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A2 different contracts

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Welcome to the Forum.
As Flightengineer just explained, your question is not as easy as you probably think. However, I’ll try to give you a brief answer. First you’ll want to decide about how much you want to spend, because that will be a factor in determining how closely you want your repro jacket to approximate an original WWII A2. Some top tier repro makers are Eastman , Aero , Good Wear. Others here would also include Bill Kelso, and JA Dubow as tier one makers although I would disagree simply because they don’t offer the variety of contract makers jackets that the first three companies offer. Each different tier one company has their specific type of hide that they promote,some have multiple hides. Each different hide has its own specific attributes.
So I would suggest you contact these companies and do some research about what they offer, so you can become more informed about what you want verses what you can afford. Others will have their ideas about this, but these are my opinions. I also suggest you repost what you think you’ll purchase before you purchase it and then we can advise you more effectively.
 
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Smithy

Well-Known Member
Welcome aboard London Cabbie!

A really good place to look and read up a bit about the differences between contracts and how they fit is the Good Wear Leather site:

http://www.goodwearleather.com/pages/index.html

John gives a good, quick concise summary of the peculiarities of the contracts he makes. It's not a bad place to start at all.

One important point I think is that the A-2, although the same essential jacket, can be quite different in fit from contract to contract so ideally trying on is never a bad idea as some work a lot better with trimmer, athletic body types and others you can get away with being a bit more one pack than six pack.

If you've bought jackets before over the internet (like a lot of us here) and know the jacket measurements that work for you, you can 9 times out of 10 purchase without trying on, but if it's you're first time it's best to talk with the company you're buying from to get help in what will fit.
 

Brettafett

Well-Known Member
"you may need more than one A-2!"
And a lot of time!

B-man2, Nick and Smithy's points above are excellent. Also spend some time reading the posts on here in the repros and vintage thread.

At the risk of facing a firing squad, the short of it is... If you want top-tier, ie the best repro makers in todays market (and by this I mean as close to original WW2 jackets as possible), then you need to consider these (understanding that these are ALL tops! They all have their own version/ take on the jackets, but they all use originals to create their jackets from, have the details correct and use the best materials available)...
Eastman, Bill Kelso, JaDubowmfg, Goodwear and maybe Aeroleather (there are Japanese makers, but they are not as nice as these imo and are silly expensive - pop in at Real McCoys in Covent Garden).
People here will have their own opinions and favourites... But a jacket from any of the above is as close as you will come to 1944 in a box, in todays world.
And don't let budget put you off. The Dubows from JaDubowmfg are as good as any of the above for a fraction of the cost of some, but only one contract offered, seal or russet, standard sizes and no returns. If it fits, you win big time.
Good luck and enjoy the search!
 
Thankyou.
I have a couple of books on A2 & G1 Leather Jackets but none of them go into any real detail about differences between contracts etc. I suppose half the adventure is finding out for yourself. This forum looks like it’s going to take up a lot of my time for a bit. I shall be going to the Eastman pop up in Shoreditch for sure. Just a side note my wife is Japanese and will be going back to visit Tokyo in a few weeks. Can I get a good deal from buying in Tokyo or does it not really matter...?
 

Brettafett

Well-Known Member
Eastman have recently released a lovely book on their jackets. Gary Eastman has an incredible book also, going into a lot of detail - if you can find one.

Regs Japan, yes, I think you can find something there, but sizing is a concern. And if you ever need anything replaced or fixed, you will be in trouble. Go to Real McCoys in Covent Garden and you can try on some Japanese-made A-2s.
Then compare with ELC's at their pop up in Nov. You will see and feel the difference. Why pay that money, when you have ELC, Aero on your doorstep and BK/ Platon just a stones throw away. Plus, with these makers, you have the option of adding a bit of length to sleeves and body of need be, getting the best fit for you. If anything goes amiss, they will replace or fix.
 
Am looking at the big 4. Eastman, Bill, Aero & Goodwear. My G1 Eastman cost less than half the price it is now but oozes quality. I haven’t worn it for 10 years and it’s new. I just started wearing it in the cockpit of my Cab and it’s design is completely functional and makes total sense. Rubbing the back of your neck on Mouton Wool never gets tiresome...
 

Flightengineer

Well-Known Member
Am looking at the big 4. Eastman, Bill, Aero & Goodwear. My G1 Eastman cost less than half the price it is now but oozes quality. I haven’t worn it for 10 years and it’s new. I just started wearing it in the cockpit of my Cab and it’s design is completely functional and makes total sense. Rubbing the back of your neck on Mouton Wool never gets tiresome...
Well, this G1 jacket was designed exactly to sit in it and turn head in the plane cockpit :)
A2 will not be so convenient due to the another design, but we don't love it less.
 

Grant

Well-Known Member
Welcome to the forum! Your Eastman 55J14's looking awesome; for a minute I thought it was a well preserved original.
As others have said, get yourself to the Eastman pop up store and try some A-2's on.
 
Welcome aboard London Cabbie!

A really good place to look and read up a bit about the differences between contracts and how they fit is the Good Wear Leather site:

http://www.goodwearleather.com/pages/index.html

John gives a good, quick concise summary of the peculiarities of the contracts he makes. It's not a bad place to start at all.

One important point I think is that the A-2, although the same essential jacket, can be quite different in fit from contract to contract so ideally trying on is never a bad idea as some work a lot better with trimmer, athletic body types and others you can get away with being a bit more one pack than six pack.

If you've bought jackets before over the internet (like a lot of us here) and know the jacket measurements that work for you, you can 9 times out of 10 purchase without trying on, but if it's you're first time it's best to talk with the company you're buying from to get help in what will fit.
Apologies just getting the hang of the forum. I bookmarked your post but don’t know how to find my bookmarks...?
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
Apologies just getting the hang of the forum. I bookmarked your post but don’t know how to find my bookmarks...?
No harm done.

I might have been a bit quick on the draw there but I've had a few experiences here over the last year or so with the odd new fellow of giving advice and never hearing thanks.

What size is your G-1? I don't have one but there's quite a few chaps here who have them and can probably then offer you sizing advice for an A-2 (from ELC).
 
G1 is a size 40 and was stiff as cardboard and fairly fitted when I first got it since I’ve been wearing recently and I’ve had it for quite a few years it’s now softened up and seems to be a little bit looser which actually suits me because I can wear a denim jacket underneath. The A2 however from what I’ve read is a more fitted Jacket. Also That the Navy used goatskin in the G1 because it was a little bit more resistant to wet weather the A2 was originally made in horsehide because a lot of horses stop being used as vehicles and motorisation came on the scene I was wondering also if there was a link to a thread about goatskin v’s horsehide...? also I really appreciate everyone’s input and will be spending a lot more time on this forum thank you very much for all your help
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
The first time I tried on an A-2 I thought that it didn't fit as they are very different from the cut of modern jackets and even flight jackets from the period with the bi-swing back. Because they are lacking that bi-swing you might find it feels quite unusual compared to your G-1 and even restrictive. From my personal experience, A-2s have to fit in quite a narrow "sweet spot", too tight and it makes the fit far too restrictive to movement, and too big and it'll look like a bin liner and you're in Jerry Seinfeld territory :)

Definitely worth trying a few on to start with if you can and once again they can feel a little unusual the first time you wear one even if it fits bang on the money. You might just grow to love how they feel, I know I have.
 
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