What was the road to your fit nirvana? :)

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by red devil, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. red devil

    red devil Call Me a Cab

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    I was tempted to call this thread "the road to the perfect fit", but I think it is more about the fit you are happy with. I got this idea from @Marc mndt mentioning the fun aspect of nailing your fit in another thread.

    It could be fun to hear from members how they started with understanding fit and where they are now and maybe what they have planned?

    As I suspect for a lot of us here, I started completely clueless, and only started looking at it when I got into my "fashion phase". Back then my clothing was a mix of well known Italian brands and MTM clothing - formal wear and a few lether jackets - from HK and other similar places.

    Going to Italian shops taught me quite a bit of what a good fit is supposed to be depending on the clothing bought. I found them in general to be the best at advising a clueless buyer. They would generally point out if a cut did not work for me and suggest other options. It was overall very eye opening.

    Going to MTM shops in Asia on the other hand was a good way to start thinking of all the customisation options, and the fit was adjusted with a second or third fitting as necessary. Did not learn anything about numbers back then, because the tailor would deal with it.

    So by the time, I joined here, I had a certain understanding of fit, but no idea about measurements. Did my ideal fit change? Not really to be honest, I am happy with a certain range and I leave it at that. If the jacket is well designed it will look good even if the size is not perfect and that is what counts for me. It is especially critical for me because my weight has fluctuated quite regularly. I hope I will manage to stay trim this time but only time will tell.

    That being said, I learnt a lot about jacket construction here and that a good fit is dependant on more than just measurements. I really look forward to more of the great detailed conversations we have had regarding this :)

    Edit: clarified some some wonky writing lol
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
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  2. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt Call Me a Cab

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    I worked in the fashion industry for more than 10 years. I took customer's measurements for their mtm suits. Still I was clueless about leather jacket sizing.

    One of my leather fashion jackets had a 22.5 ptp and therefore I thought I ordered the right size when I ordered an Aero Boardracer size 44 with a 22.5 ptp. I totally missed the fact that it had a 27.5' back length.

    So even though I knew a thing or two about patterns and sizing, I failed miserably at my first try buying a quality leather jacket :)
     
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  3. Psant25

    Psant25 One Too Many

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    1,157
    I am still working on it. I like a more relaxed fit so all my jackets look kinda baggy in pics esp new. After some water and sun I feel they tighten up in those loose areas and fit better.

    My first custom aero jackets I was listening to TB and they looked great in pics but were just too damn tight. At the end of the day I need to feel OK wearing them and they cannot be too restrictive.

    My current brown JL CHP fits great. Took a couple fit jackets from JL to dial that in. And of course my 5-6 custom jackets from them before this helped.

    I am again trusting Langlitz to get it right. The first jacket from them using their method was a no go. However, i am making just one change (minus 1 inch body length) from the second columbia. So basically two fit jackets to get right. I hope. lol.

    Vanson off the rack model b fits great and that was my first quality leather jacket. I think I purchased, broke in, then sold 4-5 new model b jackets. It is a love hate thing I guess.

    I am enjoying the trimmer JL now. That is possible due to a better pattern. My aeros i have sold were great quality jackets, but the pattern just did not work. Something about how the arm hole is cut and how my shoulders are. I did not mind cinching in the body at all. And like a shorter boxy cut.

    for length of sleeve I have started to like a little shorter sleeve.

    i have also enjoyed a little shorter cut jacket in the body, however I think all leather jackets I have had are moto style jaclets so there you have it.

    I am not a fan of the narrow shoulder long body and arms many makers are doing these days.

    I feel best though throwing on my dirty blundstones and baggy army field jacket. Very comfortable in deed.
     
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  4. Like I mentioned in the other fit thread....I noticed after I graduated High School ( long before custom jackets were available) that many of my jackets were short in the sleeves and often body as well. I'm 6'2" with long arms and torso.
    So around 2000 I found that a place called Aero would make custom jackets to an extent. Longer sleeves and body length. Well how bout dat! So I just simply looked at my size 40 jacket and figured I would add length to the sleeve and body. It worked. Aero complied and a better fitting jacket landed on my doorstep! I was ecstatic. So with the next jacket I went closer to perfection. This time I'll take a 26 1/4 sleeve and 26 1/2 body...and Aero came through with that. It fit great. Easy peasy!
    Then I met Thedi. Their size 40 jacket slid on with such comfort throughout. With a 26 1/4 sleeve and 26 1/2 body, it was a dream come true. Didn't need to see a tailor for measurements or spec every aspect of the leather jacket. I just added to jackets I owned that had similar pattern and style. The 24 1/2- 25" sleeve became a more appropriate 26 1/4. Body went from 24 1/2-25 to 26 1/2". Those lengths have worked on every top tier leather jacket from the custom makers that I have owned. I like my wrist covered and belt. Perhaps some have deviated by 1/4 of an inch...but no biggy. It seems some have a tendency to over think or redesign the pattern to their specs with a special kind of involved hope.
     
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  5. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    4,627
    Location:
    East Java
    One day i really wanted leather jacket, before i joined here, 8yrs ago perhaps I went to order a sheepskin jacket online, weighing about colors and model and thus I tried reading everywhere about leather jacket mainly from youtube style gurus and articles about leather jacket, everybody say the color of your 1st jacket should be black and the model should be "the leather jacket" (crosszip biker), with that info in hand I went on to order a tan padded centerzip vented jacket lol thinking I would break the rules , so I got to fill in the measurement, and i can even modify the design a little (deleting handwarmers and changing collar), few months after that, the jacket came and it was a little more orange than tan but the fit is not bad although boxy around my waist.... and honestly regarding color i kind of regretting being smartass radical and not following what internet has suggested me... so i remembered about long time ago the first leather jacket my mom bought me, she mentioned her neighbor made them, the leather was cow, pretty thick and was black, i thought maybe if I visit my mom family former old house i could ask around in that neighborhood. So i found them went in with my orange jacket in hand and ask for same collarless jacket with no pocket, waisted, i added back pocket and change the hemline and added side zips, and i asked for more sloping shoulder and smaller neck hole, and they made me cloth denim jacket the one i recently upgraded with 2way zip and leather piping, and so i got a very unique looking black 1.4mm cow with dual zip quite trim on the waist and very happy with it, and so I confidently joined here and SF on the same day... while I quickly feel at home here even when i dont have flight jackets or fqhh or 1 piece back, the hype back in 2013 2014, on the other hand I also felt my jacket to be too boxy and big by looking at typical SF fit, so i measured my self, measured my slimfit shirt, and then order a real custom jacket raglan shoulder on the front really trim on the body and really sloping on the shoulder in black goat with matte naked unfinished look, jacket comes out really trim, immediately i have problem with my elbow and the back creases behind my neck and the zipper being a bit too long for a jacket this trim, so i plan for next jacket in 1.6mm grey cow since goat is too thin for my taste, it even have some double layers to make it really armor like, this time i ask for short zip but hidden, sloped shoulder but the back of the neck to be curved , more room for elbow and the sleeve rotated forward since i want this without gusset, it went great, but very hard to wear at first. And then my brother got married and I need a blazer of sort so i bought one online from china in size M thinking it would only be 1 time event and im not a blazer wearing guy, and it fit me so well beyond perfect also got measured locally for a suit but once finished even this mtm suit fit me less nice than this chinese size m blazer lol... and so i measure this blazer and since then become my measurement ... turn out im just a middle of the road size m guy on asian size chart...
    IMG_20210115_073859.jpg
    This is compilation of my fit journey and what influenced it,
    boxy 1st online mto purchase > roomy but waisted > skinny > super trim > chinese size m blazer > slim fit > raw jeans and denim jacket year > super trim fit with shortish sleeve.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
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  6. antoine p

    antoine p Familiar Face

    Messages:
    83
    Excellent thread idea... I’m still deep in the wilderness.

    Will be reading closely for any tips I can pick up.
     
    red devil likes this.
  7. jeo

    jeo Practically Family

    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    It was trial and error for me.

    Started this awesome hobby roughly around 2007. Tried OTR sizes from many different brands used off of Ebay initially. Was extremely unsuccessful.

    Lurking the forums, I found out about TOJ. A new MTM leather jacket company. They had really nice designs and it was up my ally in terms of how I wanted a jacket to fit me. I kind of messed up my first two MTM jackets from them. Slowly I learned about my body type and my measurements.

    It wasn't until 3 years and many jackets later in 2010 when I had my first glimpse of success when I bought my first brand new jacket, a Lost Worlds Ryder in size 34. It fit great and I wore it for 2-3 years but ultimately it wasn't the aesthetic I was looking for as the sleeves were just too big and baggy for me so I sold it. My focus then shifted to paying attention and learning about different makers and their patterns and how they would fit on me. Trying to look for things that may not necessarily be super obvious in photos.

    In 2013 I bought a custom made jacket from Johnson Leathers. My first "fit nirvana"! I had a couple more jackets that fit ok at that point and I thought I was done, and I was for a while.

    However...I always lusted over the jackets from the Japanese brands, but was very hesitant about buying from Japan and also the fact that they are super expensive. In 2018 though I finally took the plunge and bought a Real McCoy's Wayward from Japan. I realized at that point that these size 34 and 36 OTR jackets from Japanese brands pretty much fit me perfectly and they are exactly what I'm looking for in terms of how they fit. Also, after all those years of buying and selling, I just learned exactly what measurements work for me and what don't and what patterns work for me and what don't. So yeah big time, very expensive trial and error haha!
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
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  8. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    7,575
    Location:
    Australia
    I don't think there's a perfect fit only a 'preferred fit' and that preference is often derived subjectively or through Instagram or friends, or whatever influence.

    Took me 20 years to work out measurements were a thing. Never occurred to me and custom jackets I got were done via - "Can it be a bit longer here, please?"

    I like a jacket that is half a size or a size larger than I can get away with. But not too baggy. It's just my taste. I prefer longer too. I am trim and tall and could do an 'Instagram fit' but the look doesn't grab me. Maybe it would if I were 30 years younger. Don't know.

    My main dislike is overly wide shoulders and sleeves which are too short. It looks like you borrowed someone else's jacket to me.

    I've bought dozens of jackets since the 1980's and some early ones were 2 sizes too big and badly cut. I have learned that cut is as significant, perhaps even more so than size. You can get away with a lot more if the cut is good.

    Trigger warning: I do feel that men my age (50's) need to be careful with styles chosen. If you are 250 pounds and five ten, you can do a lot better than an A2 or cafe racer style. To me some styles just look off on some people. But this is my unscientific opinion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  9. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt Call Me a Cab

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    2,147
    How would you define an 'Instagram fit'? @dudewuttheheck is pretty big on Instagram. Most of his jackets fit him like I would like my jackets to fit. Does he example the 'Instagram fit'?
     
  10. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    7,575
    Location:
    Australia
    Yes, I guess - he and Mr Propper (also on Instagram) tend to go for a slim fit. Am I wrong about that? Maybe there are Instagram jacket guys who do baggy... show me. Mr Propper is my age too, although much better built, so he can do a groovier look than me.
     
  11. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt Call Me a Cab

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    2,147
  12. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    Nice one - urbanhippieswe is more my style. I like clothes that are loose fitting. I think Mr P and Jake generally choose really good styles and fits for them. And my gut feeling is that Instagrammers put way more effort into a look than I do. Hell, I have 30 identical black shits and black t-shirts so I don't have to think about clothing.
     
  13. Mich486

    Mich486 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,344
    I unfortunately haven’t been able to set on a preferred fit yet. I find my tastes are continually evolving both in term of styles of jackets and fits. I do get bored and I like to try out different things. I did enjoy trim fits in the past but over the past couple years I’ve started to prefer more relaxed (boxy?) cuts. What I’m settled on are the kinds of leather I tend to prefer.

    I think by now I worked out the range of measurements that works for me. Trial and error. Still messing up from time to time. As others have said, knowing your measurements is a byproduct of online shopping. I’m pretty sure there are people which everybody would agree they are very stylish though that haven’t got a clue about their measurements. I think sometimes it can also become a limit. When in the past I used to buy more in physical shops the measurements were irrelevant as you just try and see whether it fits or not.

    In summary, I think it’s a journey where I don’t see ever reaching a “nirvana” as the nirvana for me changes over time.
     
  14. MrProper

    MrProper One Too Many

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    1,005
    Yes, I like it more fitted.
    Since I'm quite tall and slender and also have narrow hips, relaxed clothes always look way too big. And I look even thinner than I already am.
    I don't like it when the shoulders and sleeves fit, I can wrap the rest around my stomach three times lol
    Of course, this is not everybodys thing.
     
  15. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    No one likes that. :D But I do like it when I do up my buttons and there is an inch or so of room for a sweater and breathing.
     
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  16. MrProper

    MrProper One Too Many

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    1,005
    ^^
    It may not look like it, but it works for all of my jackets ;-)
     
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  17. Monitor

    Monitor

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    12,664
    Same as @Mich486, no matter how great something would seem to fit me, I'll get bored of it and jump into something so over-or-under-sized I shouldn't even be wearing it. One of my favorite jackets is an XXL and I wear it often even though it technically doesn't fit me at all but I like the way it looks on me and I'm not sure I'd give up on it for a smaller one. Some looks just work.

    As to how I learned what size works best for me... It was mostly comparing how something fits me to how the same thing looks on someone that I thought wears it well. Usually someone from the movies. Honestly, I never really cared much for numbers and sizes for as long as the garment didn't suffer from something that'd technically prevent me from wearing it, like really short sleeves or something like that.

    In short, I'm not set on a "correct" fit but rather on making sure that the outfit works, regardless of what size the pieces it is comprised of are. It's all about the look for me, rather than size.

    And I agree with @Seb Lucas on the matter, too.
     
  18. red devil

    red devil Call Me a Cab

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    2,922
    Location:
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    I agree completely with this. :)

    I suspect that having built initially my fit experience on trying clothes on in shops is probably the reason I am happy with a rather wide range of fits, as opposed to one specific fit.
     
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  19. Carlos840

    Carlos840 My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,808
    Location:
    London
    I'm a 90s kid, so i spent most of my teenage years and early 20s wearing XXL clothes, everything i wore up to being 25 was usually at least 1 size too large for me.
    The first "real" leather jacket i bought was a B-3, it was a size 48 (my chest is 41"), in retrospect it looked ridiculouse on me!
    I started looking at TFL in 2011 and it didn't really help, people back then were obsessed with Aero, and the usual TFL fit was 1 size too large and sleeves 1" too long. (funny how the average TFL fit has cleaned up/changed in 9 years!).
    This is when i learnt about "numbers", i thought i had it figured out, i knew my "correct numbers" all i had to do was get the same numbers in different designs and they would fit great... WRONG.
    It was a "Knowing enough to think you are right, but not knowing enough to know you are wrong." moment.

    The thing that really opened my eyes was starting my "leather jacket database" in 2018, once i started collecting measurements and fit pics of every jacket that i had i really started to understand which numbers where important and which numbers weren't.
    It made me realize that fit was specific to patterns, and that the same numbers applied to different patterns would produce different results, and that by trying to make some patterns fit in a way they were not designed to was not always a good idea.

    ie, you can't limit yourself to saying "i need 26" back for a correct fit" because a "correct" back length for a J-100 will probably be slightly longer than your average, and a "correct" back length for a Trojan will probably be slightly shorter than average. That's ok...
    If you try to get a Trojan and a J-100 to fit your "correct" 26 back length, you will end up with two jackets that look off.
    Same thing applies to a lot of things, shoulders are the biggest one IMO.
    To me shoulder width is now a "look" thing, not a fit issue.
    Most Leathertogs patterns have wider than average shoulders, it helps with range of motion and gives a specific rounded shoulders look to the jacket. IMO if you design a LT with completely square shoulders you are getting rid of a stylistic cue that is intrinsic to the brand.

    Funilly enough, this approach has made me relax a lot, i don't really look for a "perfect fit" anymore, i just want it to be comfortable and look ok.
    The enjoyment i get from wearing a leather jacket now is not related to the fit being perfect or not, it is related to the jacket itself, the history of the design, the feel of the leather, the precision of the craftsmanship...
    In a way i see my jacket collection as i would an art collection, with the advantage that i can interract with my collection in a physical way, rather than just sit in front of a painting drinking a glass of wine.

    Overall, i would say that the for me the road to fit Nirvana was realizing that there isn't actually such a thing, and because of that i should focus on the jackets themselves rather than how they fit me. (whithin reason of course)
    If they fit great it's a bonus, if they don't fit well, i can still find another reason to enjoy them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
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  20. Monitor

    Monitor

    Messages:
    12,664
    Yesterday while I was trying to find photos of that gigantic Half-belt someone bought in the size the maker recommended, I stumbled upon a thread from 2012, where another member asks for opinions on how his new Highwayman fits, resulting in two pages of replies about how absolutely perfect it is and how it's exactly as intended.

    The jacket is not only quite literally 4 sizes too large but also a good 4" too long in both body and sleeves. OP's fingertips are barely sticking out of the cuffs and the hem is nearly covering his hips.
    It's just... Could not possibly fit any worse and yet it received just praise without a single comment that the jacket maybe seems a bit large, let alone how he should immediately return this jacket. Someone said it'll look better once it breaks in.

    Later on, the member in question luckily sold the jacket but it's really strange how much things have changed and for the better, at that.
     
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