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WTB/Help wanted to build my winter heavy leather jacket

Poltung

New in Town
Messages
39
Hello TFL,

I come to you folks for advice after scouring makers upon makers, second-hand marketplaces and Paris thrift stores.
Some of you may have seen me in the "ask a question get an answer" thread asking about a vintage heavy FQHH Grais with quilted lining in my quest for my winter/colder days jacket. Unfortunately, this hasn't worked out for me, as I am not too fond of the boxy vintage silhouette.
Guess I am a sucker for more modern, fashion oriented cuts.
But here's the thing: I love great, full grain leathers of vintage repro makers, which is why I am drooling over Aero's Steerhide Chromexcel and Lost Worlds 4Oz+ FQHH for my heavy leather dreams.

This is where I need your help: I have heaps of questions, but don't wish to flood the questions thread.
Most importantly, I am prioritizing buying used. If it isn't possible, then I'll go the new route to finally sooth the itch.

1) I love the "Bomber Jacket" style. Aero's "Happy Days" is to me the perfect complement to my other slim fitting, used in warmer days, Izumiya Shinki HH jacket. I'll probably be ditching the epaulets though, as I prefer the cleaner look. Lost Worlds' Civilian A-2 also seems to do the job.
Do you think this is feasible and compatible with the following requirements?

2) I want heavy, thick leather. I already have a 1.2mm midweight jacket mentioned above. The beefier the better, hence my interest for LW and CXSH. Probably in black to be more versatile with my general outfits.
Any other suggestions or counterarguments to such a choice for the intended use?

3) I wish to have it lined with insulated lining. My two choices are either sheepskin or quilted lining.
What would be the range of temperature for each of them? I fairly love the cold, so this will be a jacket I wish to wear from 9°C with a T-shirt to -10°C with layers before grabbing my down puffer jacket.

4) A back long enough to close the jacket without seeing the t-shirt or layers poking out and saying hi from below.

5) Detachable sheep fur collar, yay or nay for warmth? durability?

6) This is completely optional but I'm putting this out there just in case:
For increased mobility, do you think a bi-swing back is possible for such a jacket from those makers or others? From what I've gathered, Stu will probably tell me to go suck an egg.

TLDR: I wish to have a super heavy leather jacket, Bomber style (think Happy Days), no epaulets with (very?) warm lining, and none of the boxiness of A-2s. Round doesn't bother as much as Square, au contraire.

Here are some pics from other makers of what I am looking for in terms of fit/silhouette, but unfortunately not for my other requirements. The satchel and Page one would have been my choice if they were lined with either of the above-mentioned linings and made with super duper heavy quality leather.
 

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Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,823
Location
London, UK
It's hard to really recommend a liner for specific Winter temperatures, as everyone is different. I've seen lot of folks on here in recent years confidently state that a B3 or Irvin is "too heavy, too warm" for a London Winter, but that's never been my experience. As close as I could say is the warmest lining you'll get in the likes of an Aero is a shearling. South of that, blanket lining or the quilted rayon will be the warmest.

For really cold weather, I'd personally be looking at something longer than a short jacket like the Happy Days - something like the peacoat-length Barnstormer would for me be a more practical choice. Then I wear a lot of blazers, and my B3 and Irvin have never been compatible with those, being too short to cover them, so it may also depend what you tend to wear with it.

Horween CXL Steer is heavier in my experience, on average, than the horse. I can't imagine feeling any need for a heavier leather than that. Certainly not any practical need.

Collars.... Aero stopped doing detachable collars when Ken came back as he was never entirely happy with the design and the aesthetic. For a Winter coat that will have a heavy liner, I don't see he point in making the collar detachable - just have a permanent mouton collar on there and be done with it.

Aero will make some alterations to jackets if a] they are happy sending it out of the factory with their name on it, and b] it doesn't involve drafting a new pattern (as bespoke isn't their business model). In a jacket that is the right design for the sort of Winter coat you want, it will have been patterned for movement anyhow. Stuart LW's reputation precedes him.... I suspect that anything the idea of which he doesn't like will simply be dismissed as "unmanly".

Think carefully about the fit, though. I get that you seem to want a warm jacket for the Winter without needing any layers under it, but don't fall into the trap of getting a jacket that's both warm and so neat that you can't layer under it only to discover that it's only suitable for a couple of weeks a year when it's not too warm but you also don't need to layer under it.

As to the Happy Days, I'd be looking at something else if you want it to fit snug anyhow. Those 50s civilian-style flying jackets tend by design - as is their nature in reproducing the styles of the period - to be boxier than a WW2 era military A2.
 

Observe

One Too Many
Messages
1,049
In my experience, as someone who makes excuses to wear leather as often as possible, it's not a great winter jacket material. All the fuzzy liners in the world won't change that fact. Your preference for extremely thick leather on your jacket may leave you with a less wearable winter jacket. Leather tends to get stiff as it gets cold, which impedes mobility and reduces comfort. Thicker leather, especially if it has a high wax content, will further exacerbate the issue. The B3 and other similar models are really the only bet when it comes to specialized winter leather, and their style may not be your bag. I mostly suck it up and wear leather anyway unless it's exceptionally cold, at which point I switch to my mouton-lined N1. I think you'll be hard pressed to find a leather jacket that is extremely warm with a heavy liner that isn't a bit puffy or boxy. Most warmer styles are a bit more of a relaxed fit due to the liner and are cut to leave room for layers.

I had a G1S from Schott that did the trick for me for a couple years but I ended up selling it to make room for other jackets: https://www.schottnyc.com/products/g-1-leather-flight-jacket.htm#tab-overview
G1S_BLK_FRT1.jpg

Schott also has their take on an A2 with a zip-out pile liner. It may tick some, but not all of your boxes. I actually quite like this option, not sure if naked cowhide would soak up water like a sponge or not, that would be my main concern about this as a winter jacket.

https://www.schottnyc.com/products/a2-naked-cowhide-jacket.htm?color=2&catID=5#tab-overview
184SM_still1.jpg

I'm by no means a Schott shill, just putting out a couple OTR options off the top of my head.

Ultimately, go for a custom jacket if that's what you're looking for, and get the warmer liner option, but don't expect it to carry you through anything but a mild winter (save for the B3, B6, etc). Custom won't necessarily guarantee you satisfaction, either. End of the day, get what looks and feels good to you, as you'll be more likely to actually wear it. Getting some beast of a jacket that feels like cardboard and is impractical as hell is only gonna leave you with a lighter wallet and a sense of disappointment.
 

Canuck Panda

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,234
Every year during the short cold snaps, I don't wear leather jacket. That's when leather vests comes in. So I would still wear leather but not as a jacket.

However, I do think my quilted lined leather jackets with a good fur collar gets me through 90% of the cooler months from fall to spring. I think Paris has similar fall/winter/spring as Vancouver. There are subzero cold snaps but they usually only last about a week and no more than two to three times each winter.

There are different weights of quilted batting, use the heavier ones for the body and lighter ones for the sleeves, and it will be just fine.

For the collar, size between G-1 and B-2 will be the best, just big enough to overlap to cover the cheeks in the cold wind. This not only look cool but never have to bring a scarf again and lose it! Moleskin lined pockets means no carrying gloves and lose them too...
IMG_0448.jpg


If I were to redo some of my jackets, I would hunt for used jackets, reline them and put on the fur collar. The cost of relining and the fur collar is about 300 bucks. This makes the already broken in leather a brand new jacket so to speak, and the total will come under a brand new custom one. Used Aero's and Lost Worlds can be found in the 300 range, the leather they use will outlast our life spam.

If you like bomber jackets, check out some nylon B-15C. I got my used RMC ones for under $300, and I just give them a good cleaning and just like new again. Military nylons last forever and the alpaca/wool batting is very versatile.

I am guilty of building another custom winter jacket just now. A Grizzly. At this point I would only suggest going the custom route when no similar used jackets are available. From what you are describing there are similar jackets on the used market, just look for them and get them relined.
 

Goel

A-List Customer
Messages
332
I'd recommend giving a B6 a try, it's warm, great range of movement thanks to the bi swing back yet quite slim, has some usable handwarmer pockets and I find it's quite wearable in a range of temps. The only issue might be rain. If you really want a regular leather though do a chrome tanned goatskin jacket, they're very water resistant yet light and strong. Anything that has a shearling lining is going to be heavy already, so I wouldn't recommend a stiff leather like CXL with it. There are some vintage jackets like this out there I think, but Aero, Johnson Leather, or other makers out there can do something similar if you want to go custom.
 

thor

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,000
Location
NYC, NY
IMG_9652.jpeg

Here’s an interesting possibility: vintage LL Bean bomber jacket. Dark seal brown goatskin leather and nice, thick sheepskin fur lining (VERY warm). Some have a quilted nylon lining, but the sheepskin-lined jackets give you much more warmth and are a much more substantial jacket. They have epaulettes but it’s not strictly an A-2 clone. These can be found on eBay or at vintage clothing stores for very reasonable prices. Just another option to consider.
 

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,579
Here are some pics from other makers of what I am looking for in terms of fit/silhouette, but unfortunately not for my other requirements. The satchel and Page one would have been my choice if they were lined with either of the above-mentioned linings and made with super duper heavy quality leather.

Do not buy an "LC Schott" under any circumstances. Those are crappy jackets made by a French company (not Schott) that's the dealer for Schott in Europe, and the price is laughable (I would rather wear a cheap Five Star than a 900 Euro LC Schott.)

As thor mentioned, a vintage LL Bean sheepskin-lined flight jacket would be a great, high quality option you can get cheaply. The Schott 184SM that Observe mentioned is a great modern example of the same type of jacket that's very much geared to be a winter jacket. There's a full detachable fleece lining and a detachable mouton collar. Yes, it has epaulettes, but I wouldn't get stuck on them.

The Vanson Model F is another really cool jacket that could work for you (and their current competition weight leather is up there with the best). It has a shirt collar like the flight jackets you like, a trim silhouette, and a removable winter liner.

ROMA-F-combo.png


Ignore the fit pictures on Vanson's site, which never show the jackets' potential.

Thurston Brothers is a good dealer to buy from if you want some great advice and guidance.
 

Canuck Panda

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,234
I would second those LL Bean fur lined flight jackets. I've seen them around before. Good deals. It would be a great way to test it out first before spending custom money on them. I get the urges too sometimes when I see those new custom jackets with shearling lining. But I just looked at my sheepskin jacket and it is very different than my regular leather jackets in terms of where P2P is and very different cutting to accomodate the fur inside.
 

Rm759

New in Town
Messages
8
New to the site.
A lot of great info….enough to drive an obsessed person nuts. Lol

I went to the Schott store and tried on a number of jackets.
Along the lines of the 184sm, take a look at the 594 naked buffalo bomber jacket. I thought they said it was a naked cowhide.
It was soft, pliable, VERY thick and heavy.
Really nice feel if like a substantial jacket. The thickest jacket I tried on.

Maybe not what you’re looking, but the 545 Trucker in sycamore was a simple, good looking, mid weight, lined jacket w collar that felt like it would do well in cold weather.
 

Guppy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,287
Location
Cleveland, OH
Hello TFL,

I come to you folks for advice after scouring makers upon makers, second-hand marketplaces and Paris thrift stores.
Some of you may have seen me in the "ask a question get an answer" thread asking about a vintage heavy FQHH Grais with quilted lining in my quest for my winter/colder days jacket. Unfortunately, this hasn't worked out for me, as I am not too fond of the boxy vintage silhouette.
Guess I am a sucker for more modern, fashion oriented cuts.
But here's the thing: I love great, full grain leathers of vintage repro makers, which is why I am drooling over Aero's Steerhide Chromexcel and Lost Worlds 4Oz+ FQHH for my heavy leather dreams.

This is where I need your help: I have heaps of questions, but don't wish to flood the questions thread.
Most importantly, I am prioritizing buying used. If it isn't possible, then I'll go the new route to finally sooth the itch.

1) I love the "Bomber Jacket" style. Aero's "Happy Days" is to me the perfect complement to my other slim fitting, used in warmer days, Izumiya Shinki HH jacket. I'll probably be ditching the epaulets though, as I prefer the cleaner look. Lost Worlds' Civilian A-2 also seems to do the job.
Do you think this is feasible and compatible with the following requirements?

2) I want heavy, thick leather. I already have a 1.2mm midweight jacket mentioned above. The beefier the better, hence my interest for LW and CXSH. Probably in black to be more versatile with my general outfits.
Any other suggestions or counterarguments to such a choice for the intended use?

3) I wish to have it lined with insulated lining. My two choices are either sheepskin or quilted lining.
What would be the range of temperature for each of them? I fairly love the cold, so this will be a jacket I wish to wear from 9°C with a T-shirt to -10°C with layers before grabbing my down puffer jacket.

4) A back long enough to close the jacket without seeing the t-shirt or layers poking out and saying hi from below.

5) Detachable sheep fur collar, yay or nay for warmth? durability?

6) This is completely optional but I'm putting this out there just in case:
For increased mobility, do you think a bi-swing back is possible for such a jacket from those makers or others? From what I've gathered, Stu will probably tell me to go suck an egg.

TLDR: I wish to have a super heavy leather jacket, Bomber style (think Happy Days), no epaulets with (very?) warm lining, and none of the boxiness of A-2s. Round doesn't bother as much as Square, au contraire.

Here are some pics from other makers of what I am looking for in terms of fit/silhouette, but unfortunately not for my other requirements. The satchel and Page one would have been my choice if they were lined with either of the above-mentioned linings and made with super duper heavy quality leather.
Be patient. Take a year, or two, buy a few off the shelf jackets used that have features you're interested in. Wear them, decide what you like, take notes. Take notes on everything from design to fit/measurements.

If you don't find exactly what you want after all that in an existing jacket, start shopping for a maker who will do what you want. Then you can sell off the jackets you tried and get most of that money back. Assuming you didn't overpay.

Whatever you do, don't design a jacket and get it made after asking the forum a bunch of questions for advice, without the practical experience of having tried stuff yourself.
 

Fifty150

One Too Many
Messages
1,871
Location
The Barbary Coast
3) I wish to have it lined with insulated lining. My two choices are either sheepskin or quilted lining.


Decades ago, Eddie Bauer made a leather jacket with goose down insulation. My Dad has one. The leather jacket itself was the typical A-2 style, civilian jacket. Handwarmer pockets and inside pockets. 3 piece yoked back instead of Mil-Spec single piece back. But that doesn't matter, since it's out of production, and you probably won't find one anywhere.


5) Detachable sheep fur collar, yay or nay for warmth? durability?


I have jackets with fur collars. They are warm. It all depends on your climate, and your lifestyle. To get from the building to your car, is very limited exposure to the elements. If you walk, take public transportation, or spend more time exposed to the elements, it could make a big difference. If you have to spend 45 minutes waiting for a bus in the winter, then a fur collar could make all the difference in the world. If you are riding a motorcycle, you will be in the wind and it won't make a difference at all. My police issue motorcycle jacket has a detachable fur collar. I should say "had". I took that off on the first day, and have never seen it since. No motor officer in my area wears that fur collar on their leather jacket.


I wish to have a super heavy leather jacket, Bomber style (think Happy Days), no epaulets with (very?) warm lining, and none of the boxiness of A-2s. Round doesn't bother as much as Square, au contraire.


It sounds to me like you will have to get something made. That would be the best way to get exactly what you want. A custom jacket could use any type of insulated lining that you want. You could get a goose down jacket, and they could sew it into the jacket to be the lining, or they could modify it to be a zip in lining, so that you can remove it for the summer months. Very practical.

Most outdoors equipment manufacturers sell "3-in-1" jackets where the insulation zips into a waterproof shell. And all that it involves is a matching zipper inside of the shell, which zips the insulation jacket to the inside. That opens up the world of options. You could easily zip in a fleece jacket, a Thinsulate jacket, a softshell jacket, etc. Take a look at https://taylorsleatherwear.com/collections/mens-jackets and check out how some of the jackets use a removeable lining. I have a few of these and I can recommend their jackets.
 

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,579
OP, prompted by that last post, I do have a (new and unworn) leather jacket with detachable Thinsulate liner from Taylors. I had sized it wrong. (It's a Medium Tall.)

I've been meaning to put it up for sale but haven't had the time; if you're interested, that might make a good option to see how you feel about a detachable-liner leather jacket at a low price.
 

MrProper

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,930
Location
Europe
3) I wish to have it lined with insulated lining. My two choices are either sheepskin or quilted lining.
What would be the range of temperature for each of them? I fairly love the cold, so this will be a jacket I wish to wear from 9°C with a T-shirt to -10°C with layers before grabbing my down puffer jacket.
I once had a jacket from CXL lined with sheepskin and ... I would not buy something like that again.
There was a cold bridge at the zipper because the fur was not overlapping. CXL in cold weather passes this even more than other leather. Will be due to all the wax and grease in the leather.
The combination of thick, stiff leather and thick lining already severely restricted the range of motion.
My absolute top favorite in terms of winter jacket is shearling. For this I leave every down jacket.
Soft, comfortable to wear, warm ... I'm looking forward to my new B-6 2015-12-05_125135059_91B98_iOS.jpeg
 

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Salmosalar

A-List Customer
Messages
414
These might appeal? Aero Wayfarer with mouton lining and collar. Badalassi outer, but I suggest switching to goat if you want more water resistance….these are relatively slim fitting so I wear with just a shirt or t shirt - if things get any colder then I switch down to my Irvin and ANJ4….
 

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Poltung

New in Town
Messages
39
First of all,
Thank you so much for all of your inputs and suggestions, they have all been very helpful!

For context, I intend to use the jacket during colder autumn/winter days while commuting in public transportation, while going on a stroll in the city, going to the restaurant or at the bar. I live in Strasbourg, Northeastern part of France where the weather is usually colder than Paris.

To sum up, here's what I gathered:

- Highly unrecommended to pair super thick leather with sheepskin due to piss poor mobility and restrictiveness, and greasy ones during (very) cold winters due to stiffness.

- Used ones with my exact specs are scarce, if non-existent. If I were to go through with my whims I could have to go custom. Otherwise as stated by you folks, there are models like LL Beans' Flying Tiger or Schott's 674 that may suit me.

- Aero Happy Days is a jacket and not a coat per se, meaning that I should expect a rather short length for a winter jacket.

- B-6 may be my very best alternative for a trim, modern fit shearling harsh winter leather jacket/coat.

From this broad and quick sum up, I think I will still go for the Happy Days as my colder days, "oversized" counterpart to my slim fitting thinner Catoosa.
However, my final lining will be quilted (rayon or cotton) and not shearling, as suggested by your comments and inputs.
I am still hesitating for the leather though, since CXSH might be too stiff in the cold. Maybe the Black Steer Badalassi? But man do I hate its squeaking.

As for my very cold winter jacket, I'll probably go for a B-6 somewhere down in the future, as you guys said and from what I've seen, will probably be my best bet for very sub zero temps.

Finally, the LL Beans' Flying Tiger is pretty much what I am looking for (warm, Flight bomber style), save for simple hand warmer pockets instead of the "A-2" ones.
 

Poltung

New in Town
Messages
39
@MrProper could you further elaborate on the jacket you posted? What were its flaws, strength? What would you change if you had the chance? It's so unfortunate this didn't work out!
 

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