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Review: Buzz Rickson’s New 37J1

zoomer

Well-Known Member
If you read my long silly poem “How Buzz Rickson Stole Christmas!” you may remember that this jacket impressed me as very high quality, overall excellent fit, but gratuitously tapered thru the midsection. One or two body nazis even commented that that is key to the design.

Nonetheless, I have worn the Buzz a fair bit and am really coming to appreciate it, despite the fact that the tight waist still drives me up a wall. I’m back with a few more impressions in case you’re considering a purchase. And this time I will NOT be ranting about fit!

Let’s get the few goofs out of the way first. Now these may be authentic and not goofs, but they do concern practicality. What kind of military grade outer layer has pockets fastened with shirt buttons? No, they’re no bigger than that! And why go to the work of putting reverse-box pleats in those pockets, then have them open barely 1/2 inch? I said I wouldn’t be mentioning the tight waist, but these details seem just as gratuitous...as if Buzz doesn’t want the wearer to stow anything in the pockets that will disturb that all important v-shaped silhouette.

It just seems so inappropriate for a garment that is otherwise so practical and robust. The heavyweight Bedford cord is tightly woven, with a great crisp drape (altho it does not actually resist water as the original treated Jungle Cloth did). The knits are all wool and nicely finished in a light weight weave, and the liner, a desert tan high-count broadcloth shirting, is soft and comfortable. Despite being all cotton, the jacket is decently warm on a temperate day and cheats wind well.

Major seams are double-needle stitched, tightly and accurately, in a stout thread a shade lighter and less green than the olive-khaki Bedford shell. There seems to be decent selvage in the shell seams (but none in the liner). The Hookless branded grommet zipper is the sturdiest I have seen, and so far is utterly reliable.

A word about the collar, which unlike other repros is that of Style 37J1A, with dual-button closure thru the knit. This is a more wearable type than the zip-up 37J1B, which can be hard to fold over or wear open without it flopping around. The overlap in front aids staying in place when unfastened. It too uses shirt size buttons, but at least the buttonholes are long enough to take something bigger - on the pocket flaps, they are not!

Priced at USD465 from History Preservation Associates, who add a $35 domestic shipping/handling charge, this is a good deal for the quality and rarity of the design and materials. It’s nice not to have to pay a premium to a Japanese vendor for something like this. And who knows, there may be enough extra material to allow me a custom fit! I’ll be updating you on that situation as it develops.

Photos to come shortly.
 
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Smithy

Well-Known Member
but gratuitously tapered thru the midsection...

I said I wouldn’t be mentioning the tight waist, but these details seem just as gratuitous...as if Buzz doesn’t want the wearer to stow anything in the pockets that will disturb that all important v-shaped silhouette.
The problem is that these jackets, along with all flight jackets of this era were originally designed for thin (or at the most athletically built, yup those V shaped fellas) body shapes. Any jacket which is designed to sit on the waist which is cut trim in the torso is going to accentuate any extra girth in the mid section and especially if it has knits. Unfortunately if you've got a lot of extra beef round the tum a knitted, waist length jacket will highlight this. It's the same for an A-2, G-1, etc, etc.
 

zoomer

Well-Known Member
Yet there are cuts that are more forgiving in fit. The M-422 and -422A, for example. Or some early A-2s such as Security and HLB. Cut to blouse, and, consequently, longer waisted.

What they aren't, obviously, is iconic. They’re not what a jacket “should” be.
 
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zoomer

Well-Known Member

Attachments

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zoomer

Well-Known Member
(sorry, I've f'd up the picture display...let me see if I can't put it right...)
 

zoomer

Well-Known Member
Meanwhile, look at this cadet with his blousy 37J. Yes, he's a rawboned youngster, but it's sure not tailored to his shape.
My point? Slim fit is an esthetic, not a specification...one that seems to have evolved some time after these garments originated.
Screen Shot 2019-01-19 at 12.28.44 PM.png
 
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zoomer

Well-Known Member
I can't reveal the source just yet, but someone's passed me a BuAer spec sheet showing that the chest-to-waist drop on the 37J1B was just 2 inches! They were anything but form-fitting!
 
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