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Irvin RAF Flying Jackets

BJR

Member
With sheepskin you have to take account of the thickness of the shearling. It's a matter of personal preference how tight or loose you want it. But for me an unlined leather jacket would be more like 3" over chest size for a slim fit. More like 4" to get a jumper on under it and 6" to get a very heavy sweater or C3 or something like that under. It's not so easy to work out how thick shearling is though and Irvins had very thick fleece. However it does flatten with age and use, and that makes more room.

This one is said to be 42" all round chest outside so is probably 39.5" to 40" or so inside taking the shearling into account. If you normally wear a 38 it should fit you fine I would have thought. You don't really need to get anything too heavy under it unless you live in the frozen north.
So being a 39 inch chest, the jacket would likely fit me with a sweater on? I don’t see myself ever wearing just a t shirt. I’d like to wear the jacket as a winter coat. I am 5’6, 150 lbs, 39 chest. Just wondering what size would be correct for me? I am thinking either 40 or 42? Thoughts
 

Southoftheborder

Active Member
If you have a 39" chest measured only over a T shirt then you need a size 40 in most things. This jacket might be too small for you to wear with a heavy sweater. It's difficult to estimate the effect of thick fleece on the inside measurement of a jacket compared to the outside. This jacket should have a label sized in numbers with: Number 3 to fit breast 39"" height 5' 6'' to 5' 8" or something like that. I can't remember the actual sizes for the numbers but it should be on the jacket.

For example a 44 Eastman BOB Irvin I had a couple of years ago measured 25" P2P outside. So 50" all round and 6" bigger outside than my chest size over a T shirt which was a smidgen under 44". It was a very good fit, but a fairly slim one with a thick shirt and heavy sweater. It had something like 17mm long shearling I think from memory. A D 1 jacket repro I have with short shearling is very much roomer but measures the same on the outside. So you need at least 6" P2P outside over your chest size, plus a bit for luck. Say 23" P2P outside. The Eastman BOB size 40 measures that.

In service they were worn over a uniform tunic and other clothing and or a heavy RAF 'frock'. A loose long wool smock type of sweater. Not a tight fitting naval deck jumper which people usually think they wore. So they were probably oversized by today's standards. But they were practical garments not designed to be looked at.

Just to add if you go for a lighter one from US Authentic it will not have the same fleece length or warmth and you will be able to get more on under it for a given size.
 
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BJR

Member
I don't think I'll be wearing it with a heavy sweater, more like a thin sweater and/or long sleeve button down shirt with a pair of dress jeans and/or slacks.
 

BJR

Member
I'd say plus 6" over chest for a t-shirt only fit, plus 8" for medium layering and plus 10" for a more relaxed fit that would go over a uniform or heavy sweater, at least that's how my sheepskins seem to fit.
How do you prefer to wear your sheepskin? With just a t-shirt, medium layering, or relaxed? If on the fence, is plus 8” the way to go and a good compromise?
 

D97x7

Well-Known Member
I think medium layering is my favourite, e.g. a heavy flannel, plus 8 does give me that option but is a little tight with a heavy sweater.
That said, I do like the loose fit of the plus 10 on me on a not to windy day, it is a bit big around the waist though.
So yes I think plus 8 is a good compromise.
 
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johnwayne

Well-Known Member
Anyone buy The Rake magazine? It's a tad pricey quality men's mag aimed at the more affluently minded out there ie lots of high watches and clothes with no prices shown etc but I get it passed on! This month(issue 61) and I'm sure Ken at Aero will have seen it but they feature a nice Aero 'Battle of Britain' Irvin (albeit they don't say Irvin) and it states that in 1940 leather was in short supply so the RAF redesigned their B3's, yes B3's, using more panels!! Nice plug for Aero though and must say it looks a lovely jacket.
 

PADDY_M

Active Member
Apparently Wing Commander Guy Gibson had the same problems with his Black Labrador. The caustic doggie snot rotted at least two Irvine of his!!!!
 

Micawber

Well-Known Member
Lovely dog Paddy.

I'm thinking of flogging dog snot as a DIY hide ageing treatment.....

WT&J.jpg


An interesting aside is that horse snot does not have the same effect.
 

Silver Surfer

Well-Known Member
last year when i went down to the hill country [texas], i went horse back riding, as i always do to get away from the family stuff. well i stopped to admire the scenery, and this mare that i riding, sneezed, and a big gob of horse snot caught me square in the back of my a-2. ....and plenty on the back of my head. turned my hair green, and i swear that there is a worn out faded area where the goop was. going down there this spring for some more horse play, and to celebrate my mother in laws 96th.
 
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D97x7

Well-Known Member
Dog slobber permanently stained my natural cxl boots, but with three mastiffs though it was only to be expected, didn't know that about jackets though.
 

Micawber

Well-Known Member
One of my Suffolk Punch mares produces more slobber at feed time than most horses I know. Perhaps I'll get her to drool over various bits of scrap leather and see what happens.

Funny pastime though.... o_O
 
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