What would you tell your former self about ordering a custom Aero?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by TropheusDuboisi, Dec 3, 2020.

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  1. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Interesting argument, but I do not find that the analogy works. Plate armor is articulated with joints. It is fitted to the wearer, a true bespoke process. When you flex your joints in a suit of armor, it bends at the joints built into the armor, and there is no resistance, because you are not bending any material. You're swiveling two pieces of metal along a joint, typically a hinge or a swivel, or sometimes two overlapping but not directly connected to each other pieces of metal.

    With heavy leather, you are flexing the material, and it stretches. Over time it does break in, and will mold itself to the wearer's body, becoming more pliable in the process. You can notice a difference within just a short amount of time, and the more that you wear it, the better it gets.

    One thing I hear about CXL is how stiff it is out of the box. The best thing for it is what Aero recommends: do nothing, and wear it. A lot.

    If you absolutely cannot handle that, then one thing I do not hear much, but I know works from firsthand experience, is to apply a thin treatment of Pecards. I did this once on a FQHH CXL Aero that I picked up secondhand, which I thought felt a bit dry. It was just as stiff as all the other CXL FQHH jackets that I'd handled from Aero to that point, but after taking a thin coat of Pecards, it became much softer and more supple immediately, and felt like a different jacket entirely. It's like the leather had been standing at attention for a drill sergeant's inspection, and had finally relaxed, at ease.

    For people who don't like the stiffness, but already have the CXL, this could be a much better solution than getting rid of the jacket. But if you're buying new, then consider Vicenza or Goat, or one of the other leathers Aero works with, like their Jerky or Badalassi, etc.
     
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  2. Carlos840

    Carlos840 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    +1 to that, my CXL Aeros are by no means the thickest/heaviest of my collection, they are actually right in the middle. I have many far thicker/heavier jackets that are much more comfortable and have far better range of motion.
    CXL is not that big a deal, it gets nice and flexible and breaks in super fast, one should not blame poor mobility on it IMO.
     
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  3. Monitor

    Monitor

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    Good arguments all around but let me expand on what I meant with my armor plating analogy.

    Joints of course make the plate armor works but it's not all about the mechanics of the joints but rather where they're located and how they've been positioned - Or rather, it's about the pattern. Badly rotated plate arm holes would still push into your arms and restrict your movement, even if the joint allows you to move your arms freely.

    The way I see it, joints aren't that different than seams and it is seams and how & where they're positioned, that dictate how comfortable a jacket will be.

    Raglan shoulders in general do not have any of the above described issues (and also prove that shoulder width is a fantasy measurement).

    I honestly in all these years have never had any of my jackets stretch even a tiniest little bit. Mold, sure, to some extent though I still don't believe this had ever added considerably much to the wearability of the jacket.

    But why I believe my armor analogy is correct is because think of it this way, how come Langlitz builds you a jacket you can quite pretty much do any sport or physical activity ever in, without it ever getting in the way?
    While in some of the other jackets that I've had - yes, Aero's too - I quite literally could not extend my arms to grab the handlebars of my Ducati? I was quite surprised by this as it was the first time I've seen this phenomenon as all the cheap-ass thrift store European bike jackets I've had prior to that allowed me a relatively unrestricted range of movement.

    I love my 3.5oz HH Aero CR, it is very comfortable, it's been broken in by me, other people wore it since and I got it back. It's a good pattern but regardless, it feels exactly the same as when I unboxed it and I don't think it'd ever be my first choice as a riding jacket.
     
  4. Monitor

    Monitor

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    12,655
    But to answer OP's question, if I had money to spare, I would definitely get another Aero and sooner than anything by many other makers.

    Rather uniquely shaped 50's cut you can't get an alternative of anywhere on the market, beautiful leather & some of the other things & details doesn't leave me with an alternative, if I wanna own precisely that kind of jacket that nowadays makes it an exclusively Aero piece.

    Maybe not as a riding jacket but I'd definitely love to own another MC jacket or Indian Ranger in the future. In brown.
     
    dudewuttheheck, MrProper and ton312 like this.
  5. trainspotter

    trainspotter One of the Regulars

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    Agree completely. I think Aero actually represents great value for what they advertise - true and great quality repros in what is considered by many as one of the finest leathers available - Horween CXFQHH. Their signature leather is not for someone looking at outright comfort, but people looking at getting a great balance of hide quality, construction, longevity, patina, character, slight but important customizations, great customer service and a 'reasonable price'(in the leather jacket parallel universe) are served greatly by Aero, provided they are ready to put in some effort to break in the HH.

    If you are in US, I would advise looking at Aero sales pages too, they have some fine jackets available in 38/36. Maybe also at their annual sale event(if it happens). I believe US customs limit is $800, and a discounted Aero will definitely be under that limit, no additional duties as well
     
  6. ton312

    ton312

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    I’ve loved all my Aero’s, new and used! Imho understanding a pattern is important, but so is realistically accessing your bodies proportions. Some Aero jackets are not meant to be “universal fit”. Anytime I’ve had a fit issue, it’s been on me not Aero.
    I’m eagerly waiting for my next Aero to finish and ship. In my opinion they make the most timeless pieces, in a hide that I desire, for a fair price. I will always shop Aero first.
     
  7. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    This is a matter of fit AND pattern. You will not be able to move very well in a suite of plate armor built for someone else. The fit is extremely customized, which is in part why full suits of plate armor are unimaginably expensive.

    The "pattern" of a suit of armor matters too, of course; it wouldn't do if the plates were designed in a poor manner that resulted in them clashing with each other when you tried to bend at the waist, shoulder, or elbow.

    Aero will take adjustments to their standard, off the rack patterns and modify them to your measurements, but that is a far cry from what an armorer will do when fitting a knight for a suit of plate armor. The number of measurements needed to properly fit such a suit is vastly more than a chest size, body length, and sleeve length.

    Again, it's just not a very good comparison.

    Leather DOES stretch, though. You can observe this by taking a leather belt that you've worn for years, and noting that the hole you use the most is no longer a perfectly round hole, but has stretched to something more like an oval. If you were to measure the overall length of the belt when it was new and compare it to the length after wearing it daily for a period of time, you'd see a difference as well. It will not be a tremendous difference, this isn't spandex we're talking about, but there will be some slight stretching, occurring at the stress points, mostly at where the buckle is, that will account for it.

    With a jacket, the amount of stretching should be minimal, but there will be some stretching on the outside of the elbows, for example, and possibly in other areas where the fit is tight and where stress is placed on the leather in order to cause stretching. If there's no stress, there will not be stretching, of course. It doesn't just happen spontaneously for no reason. It's not going to make a Large into an XL, or anything, but it will make a jacket that feels uncomfortably at first feel considerably more relaxed after a decent amount of wear.

    In a word, again, fit. Langlitz takes many more measurements, and creates something closer to a bespoke fit. Their patterns are also designed for riding motorcycles, and so are built to be comfortable primarily when the wearer is in a riding position. The jackets will be more comfortable to move in overall, because they are primarily sporting equipment.

    Aero jackets are primarily not sporting equipment, they are primarily something else, depending on the pattern you're talking about. Without the specific pattern in mind, it's a bit pointless to continue talking.

    If we're talking about Aero's motorcycle jackets, specifically, they're reproductions of 1950s and 1960s styles, and are more style pieces. I think they're serviceable for riding, but not my first choice either. I'd much rather trust my life to a modern, armored leather jacket than a period reproduction.

    I have a King of the Road and a few Cafe Racers and a Board Racer, and I haven't worn any of them on the motorcycle, mainly because I prefer modern jackets for actual riding. I'm completely confident that my KotR could handle a spill with its super-thick 4.5+oz FQHH leather, but I'd hate to subject it to that.

    I like the way that the Aero motorcycle jackets I own look on me, and I like the way they fit. I think they have better leather than a lot of the motorcycle jackets I've seen from less-reknown makers (First Gear, Xelement, etc.) that cost about 1/4th as much. But with modern jacket designs, you can get armor pockets, vents, and other comfort features that make the jacket a piece of gear, not just a jacket.

    I have worn my Langlitz, Cal Leather, and Vanson jackets on the bike, and although they do not have armor (other than the Vanson/Union Garage V7) they are well designed and fit for purpose.

    That said, motorcycle style jackets are a fraction of what Aero offers. I have owned Highwayman, 50's Half-belt, Half-belt Deluxe, Sheene, Patrolman, Bootlegger, Teamster, Board Racer, Cafe Racer, King of the Road, Premier 30's Half-belt, and Wayfarer, still only a fraction of the variety of styles that they offer. My favorite patterns of theirs are the 50's HB, HB Deluxe, Teamster, and the Wayfarer, and Sheene. There's a few more that I'd like to try, top of that list being the Thunder Bay, Irvin, and Aeromarine, and J-106, but my closets are too full, so I may never get to.

    Anyway, what were we talking about? Oh yes. If you want to make a case for heavy leather not needing break-in, it's better to compare two things: heavy leather vs light leather, and heavy leather new vs. heavy leather broken in. As well, weight and stiffness are relevant. Not all heavy leather is stiff. The stuff Natal used wasn't particularly stiff, but it was super heavy. Aero's heavyweight CXL FQHH is stiff and heavy. And it gets better the more you break it in.
     
  8. l0fielectronic

    l0fielectronic Practically Family

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    The best fitting Aero I have is one I bought second hand based on posted measurements AFTER two custom ordered ones.

    I provided my measurements and was guided by Aeros advice on sizing and adjustments on both the custom orders and somehow it didn't lead to a well fitting jacket for whatever reason, one was just a little too slim for my comfort and, perhaps due to my concerns over that, the second was at least one or maybe two sizes too large. They are lovely jackets and I still have one of them, though I can't remember the last time I wore it.

    The fit jacket service they do at Thurston seems a great idea if availible to you.
     
  9. I prefer smaller higher set armholes rather than those of large lower configurations. Better mobility and comfort if not set too high. I have found my favorite jacket brand that I think is very well proportioned and comfortably fitted. I won't bore you by naming them again. Most everyone knows my flavor in leather jackets by now that all started by Thurston Bros fit jacket.
    HD
     
  10. lina

    lina Practically Family

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    Yep, hard to get fit right for me. Maybe because of pattern, but I found that measurements varied pretty widely within the same size/patterns that I tried. I wanted to make Aero work, but they never did for me.
     
  11. Peter Bowden

    Peter Bowden Practically Family

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    With hindsight I would have done more research into the sleeve and cuff length relationship on a Letterman jacket I had made for me.I can live with it,its a lovely jacket and I got what I asked for.
     
  12. red devil

    red devil Call Me a Cab

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    This is the best advice in this thread. You are already dealing with Carrie, the Thedi have very well thought out patterns.

    I don't think old patterns were bad, if you look at the leathertogs, they were extremely well designed for example.

    I think that users in the forum realised how much a difference a good pattern makes, it took me a few years to realise that myself. It is not "normal" that leather jacket should be very restrictive.
     
  13. Carlos840

    Carlos840 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I don't think enough people have realized that.
    I think too many people still think that an uncomfortable leather jacket is a sizing problem rather than a jacket pattern problem.
    It took me 7 years and 50 jackets to understand that!
     
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  14. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    I’ve had 6 Aeros. None were custom, but I would definitely go through Carrie. Ignore the tag size as they run large in most patterns and small in others. I’ve learned a lot about my preferences from Aero jackets. I like larger collars than Aero offers, I like slim sleeves but don’t want my armpits or insides of my elbows to be sore, cotton drill is durable but I like smooth fabric in sleeves, Horsehide can be beautiful but steerhide is magical, front drop is important on jackets that sit back on your body, you can and should taper any 50s based design if you’re under 55, AND...used Aeros sell between $475-$575.
    The Aero factory makes cool looking jackets and have great service, but there are many great jacket makers in the game.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
  15. Harris HTM

    Harris HTM One Too Many

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    I have ordered 5 custom jackets in total from Aero. If I could go back, what I'd do different:
    - Mariner: nothing. By far my best fitting and favourite jacket.
    - 30's HB: Choose a cotton twill lining instead of wool tartan. Tartan is really sensitive to holes at the waist area. If you go for a woll tartan then ask for a corduroy strip at the waist area.
    - Happy Days: this has knits at the sleeves and back. I'd add 1 inch length at both.
    - Teamster: probably ask for horn buttons insetad of the leather football ones, the latter ones seem fragile and prone to wear.
    - Shearling lined LHB (such a lining probably is not you look for): I'd change a lot. I asked for the thickest lining and thickest batch of FQHH available. I got a beast that weighs a ton. I should have asked a light-medium weight leather. The thick shearling also lifts the whole jacket thus the sleeves and back seem short, I'd add 1 inch. Finally I'd ask for a shearling lining that covers more part of the body.
     
  16. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt Call Me a Cab

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    True, but most belts are made from cow leather which is much more prone to stretch than horsehide.
     
  17. ton312

    ton312

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    Pattern issues?? Huh? No pattern problem here:
    [​IMG]
    or here:
    [​IMG]
    Nothing wrong here:
    [​IMG]
    Pattern felt good here:
    [​IMG]
    Come to think of it was good here too:
    [​IMG]
    Jeez pattern actually felt pretty darn good here too, actually the easiest jacket to wear that I've ever owned:
    [​IMG]
    Good to go here:
    Capture.JPG
    I could go on and on....
    None of these had low armholes...I dunno I must be missing something!? :)
     
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  18. Tom71

    Tom71 Practically Family

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    I like Aero a lot. But then Aero equals CXL FQHH for me. And not the thinner batches either. Nothing breaks in like this leather. It´s heavy, takes a while to mould and will forever be a struggle to wear in warmer temps. You have to love the look and heft. After wearing my first Aero hard for two years (@Guppy, it is the Board Racer you bought of Aero´s sales page with the "Kentaurus" label), I got an Aero in tumbled HH and moved it on because I was actually disappointed in the "flimsyness" of the leather.

    All that said: If you value comfort over the look of a tough-as-nails jacket, you may want to turn to a different maker. Others have pointed out pattern. In this regard, I am most impressed with Lost Worlds, Thedi and perhaps Himel. They are much easier to wear than a FQHH-jacket from Aero and are by no means insubstantial pieces.

    I see that the OP is considering the Bainbridge leather. I wonder if a Vanson in this hide may not be the better choice.
     
    red devil likes this.
  19. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt Call Me a Cab

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    Be careful for @Carlos840 eagle eye hehe.
     
  20. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    Our friend @ton312 is the exception. Everything looks great on him. He really has his sizing dialed in and the body shape that pulls it off. He also has tweaked many of his jackets tapering the body down a size.
     
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