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What do you think of this New Flat Head Leather Jacket

dannyk

One Too Many
Messages
1,812
One piece of advice I have been harping on about is not to be fixated in brands, especially when it comes to the leather when you trust the maker.

Theo has I don't know how many decades of working leather under his belt, you are better off telling him what characteristics you are looking for in a leather if you have any. Otherwise ask him what leather goes best with the style, I am sure he knows best what fits. Case in point this is cowhide. My only request was that the jacket be red with his signature treatment.

View attachment 428110
Agreed on all counts. Cow and Horse are super similar and near impossible to tell apart and age just about the same. Goat, Bison, Buffalo, Moose, Deer yeah those can be way different than what people are used to. But if someone is sticking with the tried and true horse/cow than there are a million options and they are the same. I would trust someone like Theo, or Stu, or Langlitz, or Good Wear ya know the pros to help you decide whats best for the style or characteristics youre looking for. They are the pros and the ones who design and/or make these jackets everyday for a living. Unless someone is dead set they want this specific leather and they just have to have it; trust the pros and dont be afraid to be surprised or try something new.
 

Aloysius

Practically Family
Messages
918
One piece of advice I have been harping on about is not to be fixated in brands, especially when it comes to the leather when you trust the maker.

One of the worst aspects of workwear culture has been the preponderance of blogs and advertorials that use suppliers (whether tanneries, mills, etc) as a form of hype machine. It’s filled people with a false sense of knowledge, such that they’ll show up in front of a company/craftsman that has been making stuff for years, and demanding to know whether the denim is from mill X or the leather is from tannery Y or what kind of process, etc. And when it doesn’t fit the limited list of suppliers praised online, the customer assumes it’s crap. Likewise, it tends to mean that they don’t understand the same suppliers sometimes make both high and low end products, so they will buy the low end of hyped tannery Y over the high end of the tannery they don’t know!

(I mention ‘workwear’ culture in particular because in the tailoring world, we tend to know of fabric mills and stuff but isn’t quite the same degree of material/technique listing fetish, for whatever reason. My thinking is that the workwear culture has a lot of people who come from a sneaker hypebeast background and try to translate that to real clothing.)
 

dannyk

One Too Many
Messages
1,812
One of the worst aspects of workwear culture has been the preponderance of blogs and advertorials that use suppliers (whether tanneries, mills, etc) as a form of hype machine. It’s filled people with a false sense of knowledge, such that they’ll show up in front of a company/craftsman that has been making stuff for years, and demanding to know whether the denim is from mill X or the leather is from tannery Y or what kind of process, etc. And when it doesn’t fit the limited list of suppliers praised online, the customer assumes it’s crap. Likewise, it tends to mean that they don’t understand the same suppliers sometimes make both high and low end products, so they will buy the low end of hyped tannery Y over the high end of the tannery they don’t know!

(I mention ‘workwear’ culture in particular because in the tailoring world, we tend to know of fabric mills and stuff but isn’t quite the same degree of material/technique listing fetish, for whatever reason. My thinking is that the workwear culture has a lot of people who come from a sneaker hypebeast background and try to translate that to real clothing.)
I agree. Especially when different aspects can be equally awesome. I would never argue a classic good vanson has the precision or beauty of a Buco, but its built like a tank and will last forever or damn close. Which is better? Both! Theres something to appreciate about beauty and precision, theres love for tanks....the hype with Shinki. Theres a myriad of different leather types and quality they produce just like Horween. Both have lowere tier level stuff, higher tier and their specialties. Both are awesome for different things. No one brand, no one leather, chrome isnt better or worse than veg tan just different with different attributes. Horse and Cow neither is better in fact they are super similar and no one can really tell the difference unless its labeled. The fetish that up until recently thicker leather was super important. But most of us dont ride and if you do padded and armored beats thick leather all day everyday....and most of us own too many jackets and wont even wear out a paper thin jacket. Most of this culture is 100% a hype train. I love it and thats why I haunt TFL haha; but just like what you like and follow that. Dont worry about the best or coolest....whatever you like is the best and coolest.

I mentioned this in a different thread a few weeks ago if we broke TFL down by keyword searches month to month over like a 10 year period you would see how hype went to one company, then the next, then the next. then one company went under after all the hype, then it went back to a company that was once written off. Just do you and be happy.
 

handymike

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,775
Location
SoCal
I think over the last few years we have become more obsessive. Social media has helped fuel it along with brands (and their ambassadors) pushing and justifying their high-priced “artisanal” goods. Nothing new, we all want a good story to tell, but it has gotten out of hand. Hopefully, things will mellow out a bit...
 

El Marro

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,115
Location
California
Obviously I’m not going to get lucky and find an off the rack so if I want a jacket for this season I’m just going to have to choose something that might not be exactly what I want. To be honest though, as soon as whatever I choose arrives and fits properly, and has excellent workmanship, all that desire for something else will go out the window as we say. So in the end I could just live with the side panels knowing I finally have a great fit.
Vanson Comet is what popped into my head as I read this passage. In terms of cut and pattern this has to be one of the nicest café racers ever made. It is rather short as well, on the plus side for you.
I have seen a lot of them for sale on eBay and here over the years for not much money. I actually picked up my own here on the lounge a few years ago. Have a quick look around and see if you can’t find one in your size, I can almost guarantee you will be more than happy with this jacket because a good fit trumps almost everything else.
 

Damon141

Practically Family
Messages
557
One piece of advice I have been harping on about is not to be fixated in brands, especially when it comes to the leather when you trust the maker.

Theo has I don't know how many decades of working leather under his belt, you are better off telling him what characteristics you are looking for in a leather if you have any. Otherwise ask him what leather goes best with the style, I am sure he knows best what fits. Case in point this is cowhide. My only request was that the jacket be red with his signature treatment.

View attachment 428110
That jacket is a statement piece. I live in Florida and we don’t have the winters that justify too many winter coats but if you walked into the mall or a restaurant here in that people would notice. Great leather, vibrant color and the grain and texture loom amazing
 

Damon141

Practically Family
Messages
557
Vanson Comet is what popped into my head as I read this passage. In terms of cut and pattern this has to be one of the nicest café racers ever made. It is rather short as well, on the plus side for you.
I have seen a lot of them for sale on eBay and here over the years for not much money. I actually picked up my own here on the lounge a few years ago. Have a quick look around and see if you can’t find one in your size, I can almost guarantee you will be more than happy with this jacket because a good fit trumps almost everything else.
I’d pick up a Vanson preferably older if I stumbled across one that fit, the one they make with the bead collar looks great.
Just for this particular purchase I wanted something special, not that Vanson isn’t nice because they are, I just wanted this one to stand out for me because nobody had know will notice or anything.

So now that Marc mentioned his take on Thedi being up there with Freewheelers and knowing I can have a hands on in the decision making for the leather, lining, zippers etc.

Being that I’m in the USA where I feel we don’t get the same deals on Aero as the UK, I’m guessing that Thedi is a better choice in that price range, if I’m wrong let me know.
I think the Thedi CR is around $1,600 which is quite a purchase, it does bring it close to the cheapest Himel Pinecrest so I’m down to these two, I’m not sure if that Himel is well liked around here but besides not fitting me, the Kensington will always be the one that got away like an old girlfriend.
 

Aloysius

Practically Family
Messages
918
Aero and Thedi direct vs Thurston don’t really have a price difference. You’ll pay import taxes when it arrives from Scotland/Greece because a jacket is above the free import threshold.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,421
Location
London, UK
Aero and Thedi direct vs Thurston don’t really have a price difference. You’ll pay import taxes when it arrives from Scotland/Greece because a jacket is above the free import threshold.

If memory serves, somebody broke it down a few years ago, and there was a smaller price difference than you'd assume between the two, bearing in mind Thurston will be dealing with import and shipping charges, worked into the retail price. I should have thought the key difference would be whether you know exactly what you're after from Aero direct, or want to use Thurston's fit jacket service. I'm sure I recall that Thurston spec their jackets 1" longer as standard then Aero's norm - worth checking that sort of thing before tampering with adding or subtracting length by request.

Either way, I should think now is a good time for UK-made product if you run in USD, as though it's not at its very nadir that it hit in 2016ish (1.21 USD to the GBP), the pound is still at historically low value compared to the dollar.
 

MrProper

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,522
Location
Europe
Does yours have the same shoulder yoke?
BE67AE7D-CFD5-4FF3-B89C-04C484D442D8.jpeg
 

Merv

Practically Family
Messages
827
Location
San Francisco
That is pretty close, I also liked the Addict Butterscotch collaboration cross zip with mandarin collar and D Pocket.

In the future I will might order from Johnson Leather but I saw the blue one below on his instagram I wanted to reproduce with a stand collar.

But with the hassle of communicating with custom makers my next jacket will be off the rack even if I have to alter the sleeves.
Keep in mind the past week I reached out with short questions to Himel, Simmons Built, and Addict and have not heard back from all three. Over a week.

I don’t know if I have the patience for custom jackets until I receive my Field’s jackets. With him I knew the wait and I don’t mind. Communicating was easy.


The problem is communicating, most makers won’t answer unless you purchase. Johnson is one that will answer though, he was very nice when I emailed.

I simply want to enter my credit card and have a tracking number. I also don’t want to settle, if I pay $1,500-$2,000 it needs to be perfect. Im not going to look at it and wish the stitching was better, in that case I would hit up Bates for their competition jacket, nice shape but cheap looking leather and staple gun construction.
I just need a jacket with a 47”-48” chest, 18”-20” shoulder, and 24”-25” sleeves (this might be the problem) I can live with them being slightly long for a while then send them to someone capable to shorten.
That is pretty close, I also liked the Addict Butterscotch collaboration cross zip with mandarin collar and D Pocket.

In the future I will might order from Johnson Leather but I saw the blue one below on his instagram I wanted to reproduce with a stand collar.

But with the hassle of communicating with custom makers my next jacket will be off the rack even if I have to alter the sleeves.
Keep in mind the past week I reached out with short questions to Himel, Simmons Built, and Addict and have not heard back from all three. Over a week.

I don’t know if I have the patience for custom jackets until I receive my Field’s jackets. With him I knew the wait and I don’t mind. Communicating was easy.


The problem is communicating, most makers won’t answer unless you purchase. Johnson is one that will answer though, he was very nice when I emailed.

I simply want to enter my credit card and have a tracking number. I also don’t want to settle, if I pay $1,500-$2,000 it needs to be perfect. Im not going to look at it and wish the stitching was better, in that case I would hit up Bates for their competition jacket, nice shape but cheap looking leather and staple gun construction.
I just need a jacket with a 47”-48” chest, 18”-20” shoulder, and 24”-25” sleeves (this might be the problem) I can live with them being slightly long for a while then send them to someone capable to shorten.
I think FH's new jacket is awesome. They always have a good eye for keeping things classic and clean.

In terms of fit, that's one issue with the larger sized leather jackets, by pretty much all manufacturers, when the chest size goes up they assume that every thing else gets bigger and longer. Obviously, I think you've figured this out for yourself, when you get up into the larger chest sizes, most Japanese and European brands probably won't work. I would suggest American brands Golden Bear or Schott leather, because they are slightly roomier fitting.
 

Damon141

Practically Family
Messages
557
I think FH's new jacket is awesome. They always have a good eye for keeping things classic and clean.

In terms of fit, that's one issue with the larger sized leather jackets, by pretty much all manufacturers, when the chest size goes up they assume that every thing else gets bigger and longer. Obviously, I think you've figured this out for yourself, when you get up into the larger chest sizes, most Japanese and European brands probably won't work. I would suggest American brands Golden Bear or Schott leather, because they are slightly roomier fitting.
That is my problem exactly. That’s what I was trying to wrap my head around is that these 42-46 size jackets are built with very long sleeves most of the time and you can look at data all day and you could also ASSUME manufacturers have the best knowledge but when I mentioned that only 14.9% of Americans are over 6 foot, and 3.9% over 6 foot 2 inches. So very few people are going to need 27-28” sleeves with 20-21” shoulder width. I don’t have the data to substantiate this but If I was a gambling man, I’d say there are many more heavy men requiring larger sizes that are of average height than tall. This could be due to the men being classified as obese by medical standards or the fact that there are multiple gyms in every city with the popularity of weight lifting.
(Please take my word with a grain of salt because i don’t have any research to back it up, only several Walmart stores and fast food chains that you just notice a trend)
 

Merv

Practically Family
Messages
827
Location
San Francisco
I'm not calling anyone out, and I don't have anything against The Flat Head. I haven't seen one of theirs in person, but they do look good.

I think you did imply something about Langlitz's craftsmanship, comparing it to THF as lesser - - unwarranted if you have any knowledge of Langlitz. The quilted padding on Langlitz jackets is an option, not standard, and not something that TFH "removed" to improve the Cascade design.

Langlitz do a lot of different options, and are made one at a time for each customer. The Flat Head does off the rack sizing, no customization, and while I'm sure they're very nice in their own right, there's no way I would put them above Langlitz. I realize without having handled one firsthand, that's perhaps a slightly risky statement, but having owned a good dozen or more Langlitz jackets, including four Cascades, three of which I still own, I feel pretty confident in Langlitz goods. I'm open to changing my opinion after handling a Flat Head if I ever get a chance to. Again, I have nothing against them, but I don't think anyone is doing it better than Langlitz have been for the past 75+ years.

Plus, you did say you didn't think that The Flat Head would fit you, but you like the design, right? Langlitz will fit to your exact measurements, customize anything you want, and they originated that design. And will probably be less expensive, depending on what options you choose.
It's all about the fit. I tend to go with the Japanese brands like Flat Head, because their "off-the rack" sizes fit me as if they were custom made. I've tried Langlitz and Vanson leathers on before, first their sizing runs big about one size up by my calculation. Secondly, the tailoring can sometimes be strange, with extra material around the shoulder construction and through waist. I understand what you're saying about customization, but why wait for a jacket to be made when you can buy one that fits, like an old school leather, without waiting? There's something about Japanese made jackets, they integrate part of their culture into their minimalist designs and tailoring. I can't quite explain it, but only the Japanese can do that. It's like what precision is to a German/ Minimalisim is to the Japanese.

I'm not one to nerd out too much about the manufacturing quality, so again it comes down to the fit!
Below: Tri-Jacket from Butterscotch. BTW, the new version of this jacket comes with a two-way zipper, which I think just tops the cake!
tri-jacket.jpg
 

red devil

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Messages
3,568
Location
London
One of the worst aspects of workwear culture has been the preponderance of blogs and advertorials that use suppliers (whether tanneries, mills, etc) as a form of hype machine. It’s filled people with a false sense of knowledge, such that they’ll show up in front of a company/craftsman that has been making stuff for years, and demanding to know whether the denim is from mill X or the leather is from tannery Y or what kind of process, etc. And when it doesn’t fit the limited list of suppliers praised online, the customer assumes it’s crap. Likewise, it tends to mean that they don’t understand the same suppliers sometimes make both high and low end products, so they will buy the low end of hyped tannery Y over the high end of the tannery they don’t know!

(I mention ‘workwear’ culture in particular because in the tailoring world, we tend to know of fabric mills and stuff but isn’t quite the same degree of material/technique listing fetish, for whatever reason. My thinking is that the workwear culture has a lot of people who come from a sneaker hypebeast background and try to translate that to real clothing.)

Pretty much, I have been guilty of this behaviour myself, although it was not regarding brands specifically. I remember first approaching Thedi and asking them if they could use chrome thanned leather. lol
In any case, he gave me a really good answer about why he liked veg tan leather and made me a stupendous jacket. A happy learning experience :D


That jacket is a statement piece. I live in Florida and we don’t have the winters that justify too many winter coats but if you walked into the mall or a restaurant here in that people would notice. Great leather, vibrant color and the grain and texture loom amazing

Thanks! It came out much better than I ever expected! It mainly attracts attention because it is red, but otherwise in London, people rarely notice what you are wearing. I am lucky it came out so nicely!

I’d pick up a Vanson preferably older if I stumbled across one that fit, the one they make with the bead collar looks great.
Just for this particular purchase I wanted something special, not that Vanson isn’t nice because they are, I just wanted this one to stand out for me because nobody had know will notice or anything.

So now that Marc mentioned his take on Thedi being up there with Freewheelers and knowing I can have a hands on in the decision making for the leather, lining, zippers etc.

Being that I’m in the USA where I feel we don’t get the same deals on Aero as the UK, I’m guessing that Thedi is a better choice in that price range, if I’m wrong let me know.
I think the Thedi CR is around $1,600 which is quite a purchase, it does bring it close to the cheapest Himel Pinecrest so I’m down to these two, I’m not sure if that Himel is well liked around here but besides not fitting me, the Kensington will always be the one that got away like an old girlfriend.

Himel used to be put on a pedestal here a few years back. But then people started noticing some shortcomings in construction, there were quite a few issues with QC. The current view is that Himel will get you a good fit but the construction is a bit of a gamble.

He also admitted himself that he could not match Japanese craftsmanship because every jacket is different as opposed to OTR jackets.
 

Damon141

Practically Family
Messages
557
Pretty much, I have been guilty of this behaviour myself, although it was not regarding brands specifically. I remember first approaching Thedi and asking them if they could use chrome thanned leather. lol
In any case, he gave me a really good answer about why he liked veg tan leather and made me a stupendous jacket. A happy learning experience :D




Thanks! It came out much better than I ever expected! It mainly attracts attention because it is red, but otherwise in London, people rarely notice what you are wearing. I am lucky it came out so nicely!



Himel used to be put on a pedestal here a few years back. But then people started noticing some shortcomings in construction, there were quite a few issues with QC. The current view is that Himel will get you a good fit but the construction is a bit of a gamble.

He also admitted himself that he could not match Japanese craftsmanship because every jacket is different as opposed to OTR jackets.

Though I’d like a well made jacket I’m not worried about stitching per inch or I wouldn’t have tried to buy a Lewis Leather which is on a Schott level as far as I can see. I’m more worried about quality materials, good service, getting it by fall, besides I have the 2 Fields to look forward to for perfect finishing.
If I was buying off the rack with the possibility of selling down the road just to change things up for variety, then i be worried about that because the companies that have the best resale value seem to be usually the best finished. But I’m 99 percent sure I won’t find a Freewheelers that fits and I won’t go custom only to sell it down the road assuming it fits great.

I have seen it’s hit or miss with Himel which I’m fine with if it fits great. I wonder if the wavy ones could be from factors like possible employee/staff/machinist changes, workload, or even just a bad day lol.
I will say the Himel that didn’t fit me but led me to the board with wealth of knowledge, that Himel was pretty good, I’m not going to stretch it and say it’s on the level of the freewheelers pictures because some of those double stitching lines around the pockets are extremely close together and look incredibly hard to master. When you look at a similar design tge ELMC J100 you can notice the two stitching lines are much further from eachother. I’m not sure if that matters but it looks harder. I still have some close ups from that jacket and I’m sure you guys can point out what I don’t notice.

I emailed Theo with at Thedi with questions about leather choices and the collar change. Himel I already won’t respond unless you hit PAY. So they are another one that ignores you, I’ve tried.
But I do feel like Himel Bros could deliver by the fall season also and it would likely fit well. I do love Shinki…. But it would have to be the Pinecrest because that price is already expensive. Decisions, decisions.
 

Damon141

Practically Family
Messages
557
It's all about the fit. I tend to go with the Japanese brands like Flat Head, because their "off-the rack" sizes fit me as if they were custom made. I've tried Langlitz and Vanson leathers on before, first their sizing runs big about one size up by my calculation. Secondly, the tailoring can sometimes be strange, with extra material around the shoulder construction and through waist. I understand what you're saying about customization, but why wait for a jacket to be made when you can buy one that fits, like an old school leather, without waiting? There's something about Japanese made jackets, they integrate part of their culture into their minimalist designs and tailoring. I can't quite explain it, but only the Japanese can do that. It's like what precision is to a German/ Minimalisim is to the Japanese.

I'm not one to nerd out too much about the manufacturing quality, so again it comes down to the fit!
Below: Tri-Jacket from Butterscotch. BTW, the new version of this jacket comes with a two-way zipper, which I think just tops the cake!
View attachment 428230
That’s awesome that the Butterscotch/addict collaboration fits you so well. I talked with the owner about it and he was extremely friendly. You could tell he took my interest seriously but he couldn’t see a way to order a shorter size in the sleeves because of the pocket placement.
It looks great and fits you like a custom.
 

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,926
I’m not going to stretch it and say it’s on the level of the freewheelers pictures because some of those double stitching lines around the pockets are extremely close together and look incredibly hard to master.
Back in the days they used twin needle machines to do these French seams. Therefore the stitch lines are perfectly parallel:

5B80019B-0260-4E59-8DE3-D846B9CB6078.jpeg
85846BEB-6ADB-4685-809B-C595C2A78456.jpeg


I don't know why but nowadays it looks like most makers use a single needle machine to do French seams. Let me debunk the Freewheelers myth, their stitching really isn't prefect:

3DF27EA5-B0F8-4FE6-86C1-4C30FE2DF1A0.jpeg
3ACD581E-C98A-4909-90FE-A7A6AE630BDA.jpeg
1DD9F725-F5A2-4EB6-A2C6-8670595EB81E.jpeg



Now have a look at these French seam sleeves. One of them is a Thedi, the other one a Freewheelers. Both look to be made with a single needle machine.

068BB43C-D84F-430D-BD3D-CB7C42394E0B.jpeg


I don't know how the notion arose that FW construction quality is unparalleled. It's bs.
 
Last edited:

Damon141

Practically Family
Messages
557
Back in the days they used twin needle machines to do these French seams. Therefore the stitch lines are perfectly parallel:

View attachment 428262View attachment 428259

I don't know why but nowadays it looks like most makers use a single needle machine to do French seams. Let me debunk the Freewheelers myth, their stitching really isn't prefect:

View attachment 428260View attachment 428261View attachment 428264


Now have a look at these French seam sleeves. One of them is a Thedi, the other one a Freewheelers. Both look to be made with a single needle machine.

View attachment 428263

I don't know how the notion arose that FW construction quality is unparalleled. It's bs.
You just got my mind racing.
Look at this jacket from Thedi, where would you add French Seams?

I was thinking the side panels and down the arms. If he is willing and able, I am willing to pay him the price for something special
06B5BBAA-79D6-4843-AAA0-F37A66F7D579.jpeg
21798017-A948-4AD1-8690-5617B318832A.jpeg
0E593221-B527-4DD4-8953-D481A1D59805.jpeg
BD2E3030-E277-474B-A295-AA486F7275E4.jpeg
 
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