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Conversion ideas I've had

zoomer

Well-Known Member
Still looking into converting inexpensive cloth jackets to styles that are hard to find in my size. Not going for 100 per cent accuracy here of course, just something I would enjoy wearing.

What I do is take a few measurements to make sure the mods are workable, then do a Photoshop mock-up to illustrate the look. Making it would involve installing knits, relining, and constructing parts like pockets, footings, etc. I would have the sewing and cutting hired out - I wish I didn't need to - and provide detailed drawings to work from.

I have been told many times that cloth jackets aren't worth redoing and will never be "just right" (whatever that means). I still think this would be a satisfying project - a try at breaking the rules of ready-made clothing and repurposing things to suit yourself.


1. J Crew Chino Work Jacket - 37J1A redo

This one already has the reverse pleat pockets, so it's a natural for knits. The waistband would become a storm flap. I really like how it interacts with the collar.

I hate plaid linings for some reason. Maybe I just never had one I really liked.

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2. J Crew Chino Work Jacket - 37J1B redo

This is the collar design that's integral with the zipper, which is longer. Here you see how the storm flap is made from the waistband.

I'd move the inner pocket upwards, so things inside don't bunch up with things in the front pocket. (As a diabetic I carry a lot of items like glucose meter, tablets and insulin pen.)

I really like the brown knit with khaki if it's not too dark.

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zoomer

Well-Known Member
Goodfellow Light Bomber - 37J1B redo

This is a Target store brand and a great piece for the price ($35). The zipper is cheesy plastic and the collar is non-functional. Not much else is wrong.

Pockets would be made from a donor jacket, whose waist knit would become the collar.

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zoomer

Well-Known Member
Goodfellow Chore Coat - A-1 redo

Another $35 item, a stockroom smock in a nice blue-gray, unlined canvas. This could go different ways - keep the open pockets or make them into new ones. Pocket bottoms would need shortening either way.

There might be marks from unstitching, but there are ways to address those.

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Smithy

Well-Known Member
Sounds like fun. I don't know the first thing about tailoring (I can sew a button on and darn a sock and that's about it) but I'd imagine if you know a good tailor/seamstress it's worth a punt.
 

zoomer

Well-Known Member
The NA-1 is a humbug. (The 37J1 - even the designation - was totally forgotten until the Japanese revived it.) Huge floppy collar, heavy zipper, ultralight shell that's about as good as a wet newspaper in wind or rain. Burt Avedon probably worked it up from one photograph and a sketch on a napkin.

(I actually have a 44 I need to move at some point, so maybe I ought not be too dismissive of the NA-1. Cut down the collar and storm flap a bit and apply new buttons and it'd be fine.)

Bronson only goes up to Asian size 44. It's ridiculously tight and short on me.
 
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B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Zoomer
Your in the wrong line of work...….Military fashion design is your niche.....Your ideas seem to work.
 

zoomer

Well-Known Member
I am interested in style, not fashion. Fashion is what I fight against. Fashion is why a man my size cannot get a summer jacket you wouldn't see in a mall, or selvedge jeans that rise past his bikini line.

The military is actually more into fashion than I am. In a quiet way it's an ingredient in morale and esprit de corps: looking badass is fashionable, but changes over time.
 
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zoomer

Well-Known Member
Not a conversion, but a thought I had after Cockpit put their 37J on sale.
This is what I think you'd get if you put that jacket in a black dye pot.
It makes the camouflage poly liner look a LOT less obnoxious.

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zoomer

Well-Known Member
I call this one the "A2J1." You can call it a humbug if you like.
Just an A-2 with knit collar, buttons and an inside storm flap.
It could also be made in leather of course...as could a leather 37J on the cloth design.

a2j1.jpg
 
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zoomer

Well-Known Member
Here's what a leather 37J would look like in the cloth design, which is very clean.
Body is a little longer than an A-1, with deeper pockets but shallower flaps.
I've omitted the box pleats. Not sure they'd work in leather.

Headwind makes a similar jacket, the Earhart, with a zipup collar.

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zoomer

Well-Known Member
Not one of my concepts - the Healy from Ralph Lauren's RRL is pretty much a leather pattern '20s 37J in jungle cloth*. Heavily mottled and distressed, slim cut (of course!), and costs $590.

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We're talking high fashion snobbery here, friends. And it illustrates a very important point:

Make a jacket like this out of another jacket and you're a damn fool wasting your money. But buy it for 2 or 3 times as much money, with the right brand name provenance, and you have a hot piece of fashion and a valuable collectible.

*Jungle cloth used to mean heavy weight and water treated Bedford cord. Now it just means heavy weight Bedford cord. It is an exclusive material...not to any particular maker, but exclusive to the ready-to-wear trade. You cannot order it by the yard. Neither can your tailor.

The mottling looks like an imitation of denim (and probably was meant to). It's an overdone, rock-star look. It would be better in a more uniform color. If you like washed & weathered, how about a light russet brown?

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