Which Aero Leather is the softest of them all?!

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by DarkKnight, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. DarkKnight

    DarkKnight Familiar Face

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Alright y'all - I feel I've asked this before, but I'm gonna ask again anyway!

    I'm in the process of ordering a custom Premier Highwayman lined with either Rayon the whole way through, or a shearling body with Rayon sleeves and a fur collar. I started out with a Thunderbay, but didn't like the belt and by the time I was done listing the things I did/didn't want, it was easier to modify a Premier Highwayman than the Thunderbay.

    SO - I've been talking to Ken over at Aero and his personal favourite hide for comfort/softness is Battered Steer (although he said battered horse and steer in the same sentence, I THINK he meant steer). Thurston Bros conventional wisdom is that the Vicenza is the softest.

    I have two jackets in Vicenza now; a seal Premier Highwayman and a Blackened Brown Board Racer, so I know how soft the Vicenza can be/get and I'm fairly happy with ordering my new jacket in Seal Vicenza BUT - does anyone have experience with Vicenza AND one of the battered hides? Can anyone save me from my indecision? Someone please?! I can't be bothered with getting samples sent out and would rather the impression of someone who has experienced them in full jacket form.

    P.S If you're curious about the blackened brown Vicenza, I don't know if it's because mine was made from the very first experimental batch, but it is not as soft as my seal premier highwayman. Yes, I've had the latter one longer, but I've made up for it by wearing the Board Racer at least as much if not more. It's "broken in" and shaped to me, but it's still sort of stiff. I'm a tiny bit disappointed because it's my favourite jacket so far in every way except for it's cardboardy quality. Just an FYI for those who are curious.
     
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  2. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Steer breaks in quicker, and I think has a softer hand. My steer Aero jackets are all second-hand purchases and so already broken in, but are AMAZING to wear and touch. Their horse is stiffer and takes some work to break in. Obviously thicker will take longer. I haven't handled Vicenza, but the word is that it's thinner/lighter and also softer, and requires no break-in. Aero's battered CXL is just regular CXL that's been tumbled and beaten to break it in. You can get the same results, more or less, through just wearing it and beating on it a bit yourself.

    If you want to work the stiffness out of your board racer, consider a light application of some pecard's. I treated one of my aero's with it, because it was feeling a bit dry, and it really softened up after that, where prior it had been pretty stiff and board-like, requiring body heat to get the waxes in the leather to warm up to where they'd flex more readily. I was pleased with the results.
     
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  3. DarkKnight

    DarkKnight Familiar Face

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks Guppy. I was starting to think about ways to soften the Board Racer as I think it's had enough time to get it's act together. Might try some Pecards, might also try buffing it severy with a brush. I saw a post on here somewhere that got softening results that way.

    So far I'm still going with Vicenza until I'm swayed (or not) by further comments.
     
  4. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

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    8,344
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    Vicenza or goat.
     
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  5. DarkKnight

    DarkKnight Familiar Face

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    Cheers Sloan. You've experienced the Battered's have you? I've ruled out Goat. I'm not a fan of some of it's characteristics.
     
  6. Graemsay

    Graemsay Practically Family

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  7. DarkKnight

    DarkKnight Familiar Face

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    Location:
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    Well that only comes in black and I'm after brown. Otherwise I'd consider it. Thanks though Graemsay.

    Also does anyone have any experience with the Rayon lining? How warm is it? I'm trying to decide between the shearling and the rayon. This will be a cold weather jacket obviously. I'm going to be taking it with me on an American roadtrip going through the North West and into Canada (visitng Bannf) etc in March. It's meant to be pretty cold still at that time of year for all the places we're going. BUT - I obviously live in Australia so I want to get some use out of it here too. Maybe rayon is a medium choice between cotton drill and shearling...?

    I can always layer with thermals if I need to make it warmer. Thoughts on that?

    Thanks again!
     
  8. Graemsay

    Graemsay Practically Family

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    906
    Location:
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    I had a Hercules with a quilted rayon lining a few years back. It was probably similar in warmth to the Alpaca, though I found it more durable. I imagine that the shearling would be quite a bit warmer.

    For Australia, I'd be inclined to get a cotton drill liner, and then layer under with something like a Brown's Beach vest, or over with something like an Iron Heart N1 vest. I don't think that it'll ever get cold enough for a shearling jacket in Sydney!

    If you want to get experimental, see if Ken would copy the New Mode jacket with a built-in vest. :D

    (Iron Heart also have a Cordura Type III vest that was on clearance. You might be able to grab one from their outlet when it reopens on Friday.)
     
  9. DarkKnight

    DarkKnight Familiar Face

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Thanks for all the input Graemsay. I do already have two Aeros with standard cotton lining. So I've got the lighter weight/cooler options covered. This one I'm mocking up is going to be a slightly warmer one on purpose. Having said that, I am thinking I'll probably go rayon instead of shearling lined. I just would so rarely need a jacket to be shearling lined. And if I need extra warmth, as you say, I can layer with a thermal or something.

    I'm currently trying to figure out if I need to size up to a 40 from a 38 to allow for the thickness of the quilting. A 38 fits me like a glove in the shoulders and I REALLY dislike any hint of oversize in the shoulder area. Having said that, I want to be able to move, so if quilting in a 38 is going to be too tight....

    I can't believe I'm back here ordering another jacket already. Jesus.
     
  10. SpeedRcrX

    SpeedRcrX One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,109
    Location:
    France
    I had the two leathers and Battered Steer is the softest!

    [​IMG]
     
  11. BobJ

    BobJ Practically Family

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    Location:
    Coos Bay, OR
    Get the rayon lining and wear it over a sweater if it's cold. I live in the Pacific Northwest - it's better to be able to slide your jacket off, when you go indoors, but still have your sweater on. Lots of places, especially big mountain lodges, are somewhat chilly indoors - not enough for a shearling lined coat, but perfect for a sweater.

    Plus, we often have spells of mild weather in March.

    I wouldn't think there would be much difference between rayon and cotton drill, as far as warmth goes. Shearling is in a different category entirely. I once made a shearling lined elk skin cap, when I lived in Alaska; it was too warm 95% of the time. Like this one:

    [​IMG]

    Curious to hear what you finally decide on.

    Also, if you're driving up the Oregon coast, shoot me a PM and I'll meet you for coffee, lunch, beer, or just to compare jackets!

    Bob

    EDIT: I didn't understand that you meant quilted rayon, I thought you just meant rayon cloth. So, yeah, you're right, the quilted lining would be a lot warmer than cotton drill. My point still stands about how warm shearling is, though.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
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  12. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
    Glasgow
    Yes, it does have a very soft hand and it's very nice. My other half's Sea Biscuit is made from it, and she chose it because it was so soft.
     
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  13. Harris HTM

    Harris HTM One Too Many

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    Location:
    the Netherlands
    I own a vicenza happy days, a battered steer shackleton and a shearling lined fqhh long half belt. The battered steer is definitely softer than vicenza. It will age nice and faster, but is a bit prone to get marks and scratches easier I think. I would go with vicenza to be honest. I also dont like the smell of battered steer, or maybe it is the specific batch.
    When you order a shearling lined jacket they will use the patterns of one size bigger in order to accomodate for the lining.
    The premier highwayman has a slim fit. I wonder how it would look with shearling lining. Usually the more boxy fits are more appropriate for lining.
    My shearling lined aero is a fqhh. It weighs a ton. http://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/new-aero-long-half-belt-shearling-lined.89578/
     
  14. DarkKnight

    DarkKnight Familiar Face

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    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Is that Battered Steer you're talking about Sloan?

    Speed, I saw a thread where you were talking about it and said it's butter soft. Like a thick lambskin almost. Do you stand by that? Because that sounds pretty good. I'm surprised it doesn't get more play on here if that's the case. How has it aged for you? Have you noticed a smell like Harris mentions?



    Bob, good tip re your climate and yeah, throughout the day here I'd been thinking and pretty much decided on rayon quilting instead of shearling lined, so your advice confirms my plan there. We're definitely driving up the Oregon coast so I'll be in touch for sure! :) Thanks.




    So why would you go Vicenza? Because it's less easily marked and the smell factor? Personally I love the idea of a fast-aging leather. I want it to get beat up and gain character fast. So scratches etc don't seem like much of a deterant to me. Smell however...

    What does it smell like to you? Is it just a strong cowhide type smell?



    Thanks everyone for your feedback. Great community this is.
     
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  15. Harris HTM

    Harris HTM One Too Many

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    I would go with vicenza instead of fqhh because of the weight, as my fqhh shearling lined gives me a backache. Between vicenza and battered steer I would choose vicenza as I don' t like getting marks easily. If you want your jacket to age fast then I think you would like the battered steer. I haven't been into rain with my shackleton so I have no idea how it will behave while wet. As for the smell- maybe it was just the batch but its the exacly opposite of the intoxication drug of cxl - it reminded me of the smell of a cheap perfecto copy I had as a teen.
     
  16. DarkKnight

    DarkKnight Familiar Face

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    75
    Location:
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    Thanks Harris. Yeah FQHH has never been a consideration for me, which is a pity because I still think (based on pictures) it's the brown I love the most. The battered steer, in many of the pictures I've seen, is depicted as having an almost reddish tinge to it. Almost in the direction of cordovan. Would you agree with that? Do you have a brown or black Vicenza? If brown, how does the Battered Steer compare to that in colour? Thanks for answering all my question.
     
  17. DarkKnight

    DarkKnight Familiar Face

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    For anyone who cares/is interested, here's a dumb photo of me in my Blackened Brown Board Racer. I was one of the first four people to get a jacket made out of the first batch of this leather.



    AERO BOARD RACER_4285.jpg
     
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  18. Harris HTM

    Harris HTM One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,040
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    My vicenza is black. The steer has indeed a bit of redish tone but not close to the no.8 horween (or as it is called 'cordovan'). Keep in mind that the battered steer has a colour depth in a smaller degree than a cxl. The brown fqhh cxl is amazing as it changes its colour according to light. The steer has this to a much smaller extent. I would advise to ask for swatches, then you can compare the colour, the smell and the behaviour to water.
     
  19. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    21,179
    Location:
    London, UK
    If you're looking softness from the off (in my experience, well broken-in CXL FQHH is plenty soft), or more specifcally a lighter hide, Vicenza, battered steer, or the goat is the way to go. If you've ruled out goat, thatcuts it down to two. Not tried the battered steer myself, but I did try on a Vicenza at Aero a couple of years ago, and it was impressive. Lighter than the FQHH and much softer to wear as new, but still felt plenty robust. Not a jacket I'd bed standibng aornud in owrried about brushing against anything with it.

    Heat wise, the real heat in a leather jacket will come from the lining. I've yet to have a warmer liner than shearling; a sweater, some good thermals and the quilted rayon might be more flexible for what you want.

    One thing I would think about is whether you want the Premier pattern or the regular HWM. If you wnt as jacket with room to layer for cold weather underneath, I'd consider looking at the regular HWM pattern.
     
  20. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    21,179
    Location:
    London, UK
    If you're looking softness from the off (in my experience, well broken-in CXL FQHH is plenty soft), or more specifcally a lighter hide, Vicenza, battered steer, or the goat is the way to go. If you've ruled out goat, thatcuts it down to two. Not tried the battered steer myself, but I did try on a Vicenza at Aero a couple of years ago, and it was impressive. Lighter than the FQHH and much softer to wear as new, but still felt plenty robust. Not a jacket I'd bed standibng aornud in owrried about brushing against anything with it.

    Heat wise, the real heat in a leather jacket will come from the lining. I've yet to have a warmer liner than shearling; a sweater, some good thermals and the quilted rayon might be more flexible for what you want.

    One thing I would think about is whether you want the Premier pattern or the regular HWM. If you wnt as jacket with room to layer for cold weather underneath, I'd consider looking at the regular HWM pattern.
     
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  21. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    What an awesome look.
     
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