Tuesday, March 31, 2015

1940s Civilian Aviator's B-2 flight jacket

This vintage jacket was made in Kansas City, Missouri, as a civilian version of the US army B-2 Flight jacket, issued in the early 1930s, and replaced by the B-3 in 1934.  The army version was made of horsehide, with a single breast pocket, attached belt zippered cuffs on the inside of the wrist, and a full alpaca lining and mouton collar.  This jacket was produced with a civilian label and a few alterations to the pattern.  This jacket is made from capeskin, and with handwarmer pockets instead the large breast patch pocket that was universally removed from the army production version. This jacket has an off-center Talon main zipper, with bell-shaped slider and unmarked diagonal-stripe sunburst stopbox.  The sleeves have zipper cuffs, with early pattern United Carr snaps and bell shaped talon zippers.  The jacket has heavy wear, and the label has been partially worn away.  The remaining text reads "aviation" and "Kansas City Mo". There is a remnant of what looks to be a wing logo.  The size tag is of the black and yellow design used on military jackets, and the pocket linings are the distinctive shade of twill used in the linings of A-2 jackets.  These details point to this jacket having been made as part of a specialized civilian aviator's line by a manufacturer which held a military jacket contract.

I'm currently selling this jacket at http://www.ebay.com/itm/281645136149

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

1970s Ibex six pocket leather jacket

This vintage jacket was made in England in the 1970s by Ibex of England – “Elegance in Leather”. It is made of what feels like lightweight deer, in a six pocket pattern made famous by East West Leathers. This style has been widely reproduced - Aero Leathers made a version as the “Hippie Jacket” and Levis made several versions as part of their LVC line as the “Scorched Up” jacket. But as evidenced by this jacket, a '70s original, even with makers from the era, that type of pattern proliferation was rampant.  It has a six pocket front. The top two are open, the bottom four are pleated and flapped, and the bottom two have buckled belts assuring a secure closure. The back has side adjusters, and the sleeves have motorcycle jacket style zippers. Zippers are all English Clix brand. The jacket has a western style back yoke as well as pleats. The sleeve zippers have distinctive u shaped surrounds. The jacket is tagged a size 40.

Monday, February 2, 2015

German double breasted leather jacket

Continuing with the theme, here's another double breasted German leather jacket with a diagonal zipper on the chest.  This vintage leather jacket was made in Germany the late 1940s - early 1950s. The label is worn but looks like it reads Rostra .  It is double breasted, with scalloped yokes front and back, loop closures for the leather buttons, belted cuffs, scalloped handwarmer pocket flaps and a zipper pocket on the chest. The pocket has a Zipp Zipper, marked DRP Nurnberg on the back  The jacket has a removable wool plaid lining, which is removable by means of PRYM snaps.

Friday, January 30, 2015

German motorcycle jacket

This vintage jacket was made in Germany in the late 1950s-early 1960s.  It is a classically German double breasted cut, with a wide collar and concentric stitching on the shoulders and elbows.  The bottom portion of the jacket is quilted.  There is a zipped breast pocket, partially under the lapel, as well as zippers on the sleeves and at the side vents, where there would be laces on an American made jacket.  The jacket appears to be made from an imitation leather product from its stamped grain pattern.  The jacket is lined in a heavy moleskin, and there are two interior pockets. The zippers are all marked with sailboats. The inside of the jacket is embossed with the maker's name, VEB, Freiberger Leder Bekleidung, which translates to Freiberger motorcycle leathers.

Imitation leather jackets go back as far as leather jackets popularity. The workmanship and detailing on this one point to it not having been a particularly inexpensive piece originally, though I'm sure it was less than the leather models,

Monday, January 26, 2015

1960s Brent half-belt jacket

This vintage leather jacket was made in the 1960s for Montgomery Ward under their Brent label.  It is a classic half-belt cossack leather jacket style, popular from the 1930s-1960s. While it is not labeled, with its heavier weight, this feels like a steerhide rather than horsehide. This one has a larger Talon zipper than earlier models, as well as a quilted nylon lining.  These are rare to find in larger sizes like this, and even rarer to find in such good condition.

This type of '60s version, with its heavier leather, simplified lines and detailing and disproportionately large zipper seems to be more in line with the "ruggedly manly" perception some people have of '30s jackets of this style who have never handled the originals.

Friday, January 23, 2015

1980s Reproduction belted leather surcoat

This leather jacket was made in the 1980s or so in the style of a 1940s fully belted leather surcoat. The belt buttons on and off like the originals (though most of them have lost their front sections).  It has a zipper front (the nylon ykk is a giveaway to an otherwise nice reproduction) and a bi-swing back.  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

T.W. Stevenson leather lined mackinaw coat

This vintage mackinaw coat was made in the 1920s by the TW Stevenson Mfg. Co of Minneapolis. Stevenson was a producer of mackinaw coats and leather jackets from the late 1800s through the 1930s. The company was headquartered at 416 N. 1st Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This coat is an early-style shawl collared mackinaw. It is double breasted, belted, with patch pockets and is constructed from heavy brown mackinaw wool. The coat is fully leather lined, body and sleeves. Such leather linings were popular in the 1910s-1920s as a windproof layer in outdoor / workwear coats. Starting in the late 1920s, leather became a more a more popular material for coat exteriors, and the popularity of the position wool and leather switched. The coat has the name Walter Sternitzke written in the lining, though the coat was probably originally purchased by his father, Reinhold Sternizke, a farmer from the town of Aitkin, Minnesota.

For another leather lined shawl collar coat from this period, see here: http://vintageleatherjackets.blogspot.com/2014/08/1920s-leather-lined-coat.html

Monday, January 19, 2015

German Theatre-made A-2 Flight jacket

This vintage A-2 leather flight jacket was made in the 1940s, either at the end of the war or during occupation. A-2s ceased to be produced in 1943, but remained popular with servicemen, leading to a secondary market for non-contract private production. Theatre made examples like this are rare, but were commissioned by Americans who wanted a jacket that was no longer available through official channels. It is made loosely to the A-2 pattern, with a shirt style collar secured by snaps, flapped, snapped patch pockets, knit cuffs and collar, and a zipper front with a wind flap. The jacket has a one piece back and two piece sleeves. Unlike contract examples, this one has a Prym snap closure on the windflap, which takes the place of the hook and eye fastening usually found on the collar stand. The jacket has war-time German hardware, with a Zipp main zipper (with the back marked DRP, which stands for Deutschers ReichsPatent, and points to a 1945 or before dating of manufacture of the zipper). All the snaps are PRYM brand. The jacket is lined with a typically German plaid, which has been heavily worn and has been patched.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Jack C. Miles two tone halfbelt leather jacket

I find regional leather jacket styles very interesting. For example, the deerskin jackets made in Wisconsin have distinctive patterns which changed very little over the decades. Denver also had their own sense of style when it came to leather jackets, one which seems to be unique to makers in that city.  Last August, I profiled one of these makers, A.T. Hendrick, whose history can be found at http://vintageleatherjackets.blogspot.com/2013/08/at-hendrick-leather-jackets.html

I recently was fortunate enough to buy another jacket, made by Jack C. Miles, a furrier and taxidermist operating on Broadway in Denver.  The pattern, with its button front, boxy cut, zip breast pocket, and distinctive cuffs, is very similar to the one made by Hendrick. This one is two tone, which really pops all the detailing.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Abercrombie and Fitch utility jacket

Before they became what they are today, Abercrombie and Fitch outfitted presidents and sold such high quality goods as this beautifully simple utility jacket, made in the early 1950s.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

1941 Aviation Style jacket

Here's a step on the way to the motorcycle jacket.  1941, with zipped sleeves and a D pocket.  The epaulettes give it a bit of an A-2 vibe.

Friday, August 22, 2014

1941 Boyville Aviator jacket

These jackets must have been fun for the makers at the time. How many pocket and fiddly details can be tacked on? This one has handwarmers, a "chart pocket" and a small pocket, described on this one as a change pocket.