Willis and Geiger B-3 jackets.

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Dumpster Diver, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. Dumpster Diver

    Dumpster Diver Practically Family

    Messages:
    850
    Location:
    Ontario
    Just bought myself a Willis and Geiger B-3 From (guess where) Size 46 to quench my burning desires.

    (apologies for no photos yet, it has not been Shipped, estimates between Aug. 24-31, so please be patient)

    I liked the two-tone colour and the price was affordable, I will never rest until the Eastman Mixed batch happens, but no way I could Justify spending that kind of money on something like that no matter how hard I dream about it, this seemed like a fair Compromise for now.

    The fleece of this Jacket doesnt look as dense as a wartime original, but apparently the company did some contract work during the war. It was a bit of a risk for me, because it might not be right for me... not knowing these jackets and never seeing it firsthand before sniping this thing. It did strike me as a Rugged looking Jacket Just looking at the photos.

    I have a hankering for a Jacket that will make a fine Daily Wearer.

    my Biggest concern was The look of the collar compared to an Original B-3.

    My Questions for you Kind sirs being:

    how would you say the Overall Jacket compares to a wartime original or even a good Repro.

    how do you folks rate this Jacket, and do you think I will be happy with it in terms of Look and fit etc.

    I have a late 80s Avirex B-3, so do you think I would be happier with the Willis and Geiger Jacket possibly.

    again, this is my poor mans substitute for an Aero Mixed batch Jacket fix.


    Thanks for your time, Looking forward to posting some pics for you fine Gentlemen.

    -Jules
     
  2. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

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    I bought a Willis & Geiger A-1 leather jacket from the same place & it’s holding up pretty good.
    The details are very authentic to the originals, even has the one piece back instead of the 2 pieces
    sewn together.
    For the price, style & comfort...it’s a very good deal.
     
  3. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    Boo! I don't like guessing games (>_<)
    Name the manufacturer?
     
  4. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,680
    Location:
    Alamo Heights ☀️ Texas
    Willis & Geiger ~ New York.
     
  5. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    Oh! I thought you were talking about a W&G repro, not original jackets. Does W&G even still exist?
     
  6. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
    Alamo Heights ☀️ Texas
    This is from Wikipedia...

    “Willis & Geiger was sold in 1980 to Land’s End, and was liquidated in 1999.
    Land’s End occasionally still releases a shirt or pants under the W&G name, sold on the Land’s End web site.
    However, since 1999, no new Bush Poplin clothing has appeared.” ( end of quote )

    Hope this helps !
     
  7. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    Location:
    Japan
    Yeah, I knew that, and I thought that W&G was just someone else's fashion label these days. I didn't think that they were still a real company making flight jackets. Are they any good?
     
  8. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,680
    Location:
    Alamo Heights ☀️ Texas
    [​IMG]
    Not the sharpest photo, but this jacket is pretty good in that it’s super comfortable & wears more like a sweater.
    Not bulky. I bought it from a wife in New York. The husband rarely used it. I use it all the time in all kinds
    of weather & has grease spots all over but so far I haven’t torn it yet.
     
  9. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    2,973
    Location:
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    Seems pretty good!
     
  10. The W&G B3 is a repro of a WW2 B3. Never heard of W&G making B3s during the war. G1's, during a certain period, but no B3s or A2s that I know of.
    The only W&G repro B3 that I've handled (years ago) was, indeed, lighter weight with several inaccuracies, but not a bad overall look. If I remember correctly the collar was overly large and kinda flip- floppy.
    At one time Avirex did make a very decent B3 copy for a short period.
    I agree, W&G made a very exceptional repro A-1 (as pictured) although the pockets were placed somewhat high compared to originals. However, their A-2's left much to be desired concerning authenticity.
    HD
     
  11. Dumpster Diver

    Dumpster Diver Practically Family

    Messages:
    850
    Location:
    Ontario
    Anyone know how the hide is going to Wear...Doesnt look like it will flake and Crack like an Original does.

    The seller said this Jacket I bought was from the 1950s, but it looks a lot newer in the photos.

    Wondering if it will last through regular use.

    Im not sure, My guess is the Jacket will have a lot of Sag compared to original Examples.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015
  12. thor

    thor One Too Many

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    1,891
    Location:
    NYC, NY
    During WWII, W+G wrote "Willis and Geiger"' on all their nomenclature labels. Much later, from the 1970's til their demise in the late 1990's (?), they wrote their name with an ampersand (Willis & Geiger).
    During the war they made Navy M-422/M-422a jackets as well as the sheepskin M-444 and M-445 jackets and the M-446 sheepskin pants, along with Mae West life jackets, survival equipment and much other equipment for the military.
    I believe they made many of their repro line of jackets in the 1980's.
     
  13. Cooper A-2

    Cooper A-2 Practically Family

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    Location:
    France
    Saw a few W&G jackets made in the 80ies..."cheap" by all means. No wonder they dont exist anymore.
    A golden rule which applies everywhere: you only get what you pay for.
     
  14. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

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    9,680
    Location:
    Alamo Heights ☀️ Texas
  15. mr_lits

    mr_lits A-List Customer

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    Location:
    Los Anchorage
    They make a fair repro of the B3. The hide is tanned differently than the originals and is not as robust and thick, still a decent jacket though. There are a lot of subtle differences from an original but for all intensive purposes it should be a great wearer that is pretty accurate to the ogs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015
  16. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,206
    I agree on their A2! The throat latch was unusable and it had a rayon lining. That said, I wish I never sold mine! It was the most comfortable of all my A2s, I could wear it through most of the year. The cotton lining, like on the originals is way to hot for me even in the spring!
     
  17. Cooper A-2

    Cooper A-2 Practically Family

    Messages:
    926
    Location:
    France
    Had a few of them in my hands..
    A-2's leather like cardbox paper waxed, liner like plastc bag consitency, metalware and ziper like for china made one way sleeping bag.
    B-3 leather like ill sick mouton, flaking away after 2 hours of use, zipper like cover of youth hostel sleeping bag.
    Collar like wind flap of the same chinese mde low class low cost sleeping bag...shiny snd gloomy though.

    Sorry about that...maybe you still enjoy it sincefor the few $$ paid its great value...Hope forall falling for it.
     
  18. Stand By

    Stand By One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,735
    Location:
    Canada
    W&G was acquired by Land's End and was liquidated?!?! Wow. Did not know that. What a shame.
    Always good to learn something new here. Thanks.
     
  19. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,680
    Location:
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    I have seen one A-2 by W&G .
    It was not as good overall as far as material & construction compared to other A-2s which I have seen from other companies.

    But I can’t say that this applies to all of their products.

    I have the A-1 by W&G that is well constructed, very authentic to details, great leather & very comfortable.

    The same can be said of the Ralph Lauren “military” jackets.

    I have a couple of A-2s that are very good in detail & leather quality.
    Although they are $$$$, I usually buy them off-season at sale prices.

    Others by RL, the leather is great, but the style is incorrect.
    Some jackets have the modern side-entry pockets with 2 piece leather on the back instead of the one piece .

    And one of the things that breaks on the cheaper jackets is usually the zippers.


    I’m thinking that the reason for all the different levels of quality from some of these jackets
    has to be the time period they were built & they must have been made by different leather makers.


    And there is the well-known leather makers today that offer very great jackets, if you don’t mind the
    waiting !

    I happened to buy one from a member & didn’t have to wait. :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015
  20. Phantomfixer

    Phantomfixer Practically Family

    Messages:
    819
    Location:
    Mid East coast USA
    at age 19, my first A-2 was a W&G...1985....was a great jacket...wore it for 6 years straight, was 285.00 I loved it, then bought a bigger W&G, and quality was baaaaaaaad...hide was bad, color was bad, lining was bad....zipper phooey,......
     

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