Want to buy or sell something? Check the classifieds
  • The Fedora Lounge is supported in part by commission earning affiliate links sitewide. Please support us by using them. You may learn more here.

Why I do not recommend Simmons Bilt Type B-7 parka

mumpy

A-List Customer
Messages
400
The man created his account just for this review. Not when he ordered, not when he waited, not when he gotten the jacket and had issue with it, only after he has worn it, and returned it, this review now comes to surface. Many reviews like this on Google and Yeelllp. Some with less words. I pray for all small business and self employed during this internet one hit review era.
It doesn't matter why he created the account, when he created it or how many posts he has made. As long as the content of the message is real and honest there is nothing wrong with it.
 

kiril

New in Town
Messages
8
Many thanks for all the replies!

You are right - I created my profile for the purpose of sharing my bad experience with SB.

To some of the comments - I did mention in my post, that I have another jacket from SB, which is very good quality and I like it (picture attached). Type B-7 parka though is not.
It is worth saying that the first jacket I've got was produced about 8-9 years ago, so my feeling is SB QC (intentionally or not) deteriorated a lot since.

I did not want to pollute my post with details about the long (and painful) e-mail exchanges I had with SB, neither the fact that I had the parka delivered via international shipment - so getting it forth and back was expensive and time consuming.

SB offering me to put the parka on sale at their outlet was not a good solution. I do not believe someone would have wanted to pay a reasonable amount for a worn, custom-sized garment.

Finally, when SB refused to at least cover my shipping back and forth expenses, I told them I will post somewhere about my bad experience. The answer I got was, literally - "We do not read forums, and we do not care if you post your opinion somewhere"
 

Attachments

  • IMG_1032.jpg
    IMG_1032.jpg
    1.8 MB · Views: 73

kiril

New in Town
Messages
8
I do want to also comment on the custom sizing.

When I got the parka delivered eventually, I did contact SB to ask them why it is much shorter compared to the pictures on their web site - namely 4 buttons instead of 5 buttons, and the fact that back length is the same as sleeve length
You may guess the answer I'v got - "But we produced it to your own measurements"
 

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,449
It doesn't matter why he created the account, when he created it or how many posts he has made. As long as the content of the message is real and honest there is nothing wrong with it.

OP’s subsequent messages make it even more clear that SB screwed him yet this forum is more keen to defend a dodgy business than a defrauded customer.
 

TartuWolf

Practically Family
Messages
939
Location
Tartu, Estonia
I'd say we still don't have enough details regarding what was agreed between you and them BEFORE your jacket was ordered/made/sent out to have a clear picture.

"But we produced it to your own measurements" - does this mean that you provided them the measurements of the jacket or your body measurements? If it's the former then 2inch off is clearly a good reason to get a good refund. If the latter then you are trusting them and putting things into their hands to decide.

In that case I can conclude that they made poor decisions / interpretation in terms of what the relationship between the jacket measurements and your body should be.
But you gave them the freedom to do so, I would not do that with any maker except maybe Thedi.
I've heard of cases where Aero leaned too much on the bigger = safer side and made jackets were a bit too roomy as well.
But this relates more to width (chest, waist, bottom hem, shoulders etc..).
The odd thing here is that they altered the length of a COAT, not a JACKET. And they decided to remove one button.
Those alterations would be okay IF they would have communicated with you and confirmed that you're okay with you.

So two problems there : Them using their freedom of choice (that you gave them) rather poorly and not communicating major alterations with you while making the jacket.

The other major thing mentioned was the materials - the leather itself. Others can comment on that, I don't know anything about sheepskin or shearling.

The last part was about what happened after you received - how the communication between you and them went, how you sent it back, what was their verdict etc. Again, without knowing more details we can only assume from what you described is that they denied that there is anything wrong with the jacket, did not take responsibility and treated you poorly at the end.

Learning point for me - clear communication is key with all makers, always supply your own measurements for the jacket (unless working with masterminds that you would trust completely) and demand thorough QC before jacket being sent out to the customer initially.
 

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,449
The thing is, no matter what kinds of measurement changes they decided they had to do despite the customer openly saying he did not want them, they actually changed the spec of the coat.

That is pretty significant. The amount of buttons on a coat like this aren’t analogous to zipper length; they are a key part of the design and spec. If I ordered a two button suit and it had three buttons, or vice versa, this would be a major mistake on the part of the maker regardless of how well the suit fit.

Learning point for me - clear communication is key with all makers, always supply your own measurements for the jacket (unless working with masterminds that you would trust completely) and demand thorough QC before jacket being sent out to the customer initially.

The thing is, that should not be the customer’s job! I can understand that people have to do this with Five Star, which is a factory selling fairly cheap products.

For a maker in SB’s price tier, it’s just absurd. Schott and Vanson, which are cheaper, made it right when far cheaper jackets had issues (in the case of the Schott jacket, it was a factory second at that!)

Meanwhile, Simmons Bilt continually puts out jackets that would fail QC anywhere else (not because of stitch counting, but major errors like a B-7 that looks chopped off on the bottom, jackets with the most obviously wrong sizing you can imagine, etc), and takes no responsibility.
 

TartuWolf

Practically Family
Messages
939
Location
Tartu, Estonia
I agree that they changed the spec, but I don't know if the customer openly said that he did not want them - I think he just didn't specify. And they should have definitely consulted the customer in this case.

I also agree that it should not be the customers job. But if I'm spending this kind of money and there is a POSSIBILITY to do so then I think it is very wise to use that. You're already investing so much - might as well go an extra mile in this regarding. For your own good.

Another thing that brings confusion from my perspective is the stock/OTR vs modified/custom/MTO gray area.
And this doesn't only apply to SB.
If it's a stock size - give me the damn measurements so that I can make an informed decision. Neither Aero nor SB provide stock measurements. Even if they do it's only the bare minimum (chest, shoulders, length..).
If it's not stock - make it to my requested measurements or inform me what measurements you decided based on my provided body measurements. I know that it will usually come from a stock size modified slightly - but still - tell me what it will be.
In both cases you have the 0.5" tolerance rule to go by if you need to return it because it does not fit as expected. Otherwise the 0.5" tolerance is meaningless.
 

kiril

New in Town
Messages
8
Clarification: they asked for body measurements, which I provided, clearly stating SB should match them to the closest standard size they have.
i did never ask for specific modifications of the parka, that would deviate from their standard sizing. And to say that again - I am a very standard built, never had to get something from the shop that differs from standard sizes - even a standard sizing suit matches my body pretty well.
 

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,449
I agree that they changed the spec, but I don't know if the customer openly said that he did not want them - I think he just didn't specify. And they should have definitely consulted the customer in this case.

I think the button/design thing is more significant than their measurements goof (which is already pretty bad; Aero has a .5" tolerance for CXL). They essentially delivered him a different type of jacket. I don't think that's histrionic, considering the reason people order a B-7 or an A-2 or something from a repro company is to have all of the original details in a modern jacket. If that were not desired, they could get excellent, arguably more comfortable sheepskin jackets that are civilianized.
 

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,449
I hope nobody understands my messages that way. I don't defend nor do I accuse anybody.

I'm glad that wasn't your intention but it certainly read that way, as did the "how dare someone make an account and complain about a 'small [not really] business'" post.
 

Canuck Panda

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,184
Agree, I should have used better writing style. And also first introduce myself.
Forgive me - I am not a native English speaker.
Thank you. It showed a gentleman's character to do this. I really appreciated. I think your English is fine. Many multi language speakers here.

Now that we got that out of the way, I do believe the best option financially is to get SB to make you a remake jacket free of charge. I understand the sour taste in your mouth after the unfortunate events, but given your recent posts, I believe you are a not just some hot head but can handle things in a professional cool way to get what you want in the end.

So about the leather, unfortunately you can't go with what you got the first time, color wise. The current fleece are North American chrome tanned, and have a very light top finish for flexibility. What you are searching for is the old super thick and robust Merino fur that is very stiff at the start and may take years to break in. Basically you want the stuff that is on the right hand side of the photo below, and as far as I know they only came in seal brown color. This seal brown stuff is very stiff and will wear like your CXL cossack from years ago, but is also my preference as the finish will hold up and the fur is much denser. Just the color only comes in seal brown, no burgundy.

IMG_1905.JPG


About the length, I think what went wrong there is that they used a smaller pelt to make your jacket and that limited the length. You can use this as an argument to support your remake case. It will depend on the available pelt size again on the remake, and there may be an extra seam somewhere to get the longer length to work on the smaller pelts.

I think getting SB to give you a remake using a different pelt is the best option money wise. All other options would involve you losing money by selling and getting another one. And I doubt SB would just give you money either, but may be open to new jacket exchange for old jacket, using different material of course.

Hope this helps. Good luck.
 

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,449
I think getting SB to give you a remake using a different pelt is the best option money wise. All other options would involve you losing money by selling and getting another one. And I doubt SB would just give you money either, but may be open to new jacket exchange for old jacket, using different material of course.

I think he should push for a full refund.

SB didn't think anything was wrong with this jacket, which is clearly messed up at a glance. There is zero guarantee they won't pull a similar stunt with a remake.

The pelt explanation does not work because this jacket has a split panel there anyway.
 

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,449
Simmons-Bilt7.jpg


I put the images side by side and roughly aligned at the panel split so that it's clearer.

"Having" to shorten the jacket 2 inches (even though OP didn't want to) would not explain the bottom section just being wrong. The image at left is Simmons Bilt's product, so I'm not comparing against a different B-7 contract or brand. It looks like they chopped off the whole lower part of the jacket below the pockets, then didn't know where to put the buttons and decided the customer wouldn't notice.

I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with a model where the pockets are at the bottom or other changes but that isn't what OP ordered and that's what counts.

If he wanted a jacket instead of a coat, he could have gotten their ANJ-4 for £200 less or B-3 for £300 less.
 

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,449
just to make sure: this was not in one of my posts.

That's why I said 'as did'.

Anyway, I think at this point everyone is acknowledging that OP is not a fraud and SB messed this up, so an argument yesterday is past us.
 

CatsCan

Practically Family
Messages
567
Location
Germany & Denmark
I'm glad that wasn't your intention but it certainly read that way
With respect, I don't agree. I can't read it this way, maybe because I am not a native english speaker. Perhaps natives can read it this way.
If someone reads it this way or wants to read it this way, I should make it clearer. I have no intention in defending a company when they don't take responsibility for mistakes they make.
 
Last edited:

Forum statistics

Threads
107,269
Messages
3,032,618
Members
52,727
Latest member
j2points
Top