Some of the 4th FG and a lot of A-2s

Smithy

Well-Known Member
I'm sure lots of you have seen this before but I was going through some photos on a HD and turned this one up. It's one of my favourites of USAAF pilots in the UK during the war and IMHO it's one of the best for showing A-2s in a variety of fits.

cOxik5H.jpg
 

blackrat2

Well-Known Member
When you look close there is so much colour variation from the Leather through to the knits
Yep that’s how I like them, slightly loose
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
Maybe the next one they get issued will be the perfect fit... then the next one... and the next...

I think that's actually a really good point which we often forget. These guys who we look at in photos and think "wow" and "that jacket looks amazing" had no real choice, for the most part they wore what they were given and forgot about it - it was just a piece of kit. Here we are a lot of the time obsessing about whether a jacket is a half inch too short/long here or there, or does it ride up too much when I do this, should the pockets be 3/4'' away from the zipper, etc, etc.

Unless something is drastically small or large, maybe we should just wear the bloody things and forget about it. I've been into this jacket malarkey properly now for a touch over a decade and finally I'm starting to realise there is no such thing as the perfect fit nor the perfect jacket, rather wear what you have and forget about it. That's actually the spirit with which all these jackets we drool over in period photos were worn. They didn't give a damn and just wore the thing doing whatever they were doing in it, be it flying a fighter, driving a motorcar, etc. They didn't care whether their jacket was a half inch out here or whether it rode up when they did this, they just wore the bally things and the more I've been around these things the more I think that's the right way to think about.

I've started to just wear my jackets and not give a hoot about any of the small stuff and I've found I'm happier for it and funnily enough the less you give a damn and obsess over small things, the better jackets seem to fit.
 

Silver Surfer

Well-Known Member
agreed....all. but keep in mind guys, as mentioned, these guys were "given" their gear, and took what they got in the full knowledge that their time with their gear was, one way or another, limited. on the other hand some guys today are ponying up $300-$600-$1000, and more. thus, they feel they should get "perfection' [whatever that means] for their dough.....and.....
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
What’s this?????? Blasphemy I say!!!
There is a revolution on the horizon !!!
After years of searching for the “Elusive Perfect Fit” the subjects of the VLJ forum are in revolt!!
Ohhhh the blackness of it all...
Say it isn’t so.......;)
 

CBI

Well-Known Member
agreed -they were issued whatever sizes were available and there are WW2 pics showing fit all over the place.
 

Geeboo

Well-Known Member
one of the thing I observe is those A2s in these old photos are very soft - which is in most case lacking for modern A2 jackets - look like armour
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Geeboo
If you wear them everyday, in all types of weather, and treat them as a piece of ordinary survival gear, which is basically what they were meant to be, and just beat the hell out of them,
Yours will also look soft and break down to the shape of your body........You see they had one jacket that they wore everyday, while some of us have 2 or more jackets that we wear occasionally.
It’s really works.....trust me.
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
Burt is spot on. The best thing you can do with a leather jacket is wear it and wear it often. The jackets in the photo above look superb because they've been worn all the time and haven't been molly-coddled.
 

Carl

Well-Known Member
Thats such a great way of "looking "at it !!
Sod it if my sleeves are a touch long !!
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Thats such a great way of "looking "at it !!
Sod it if my sleeves are a touch long !!

Carl
Look at most of the sleeves in that photo. More creases than you can count. I bet all of those sleeves were a little long when they were first issued their jackets in flight school.
 

Cocker

Well-Known Member
Agreed, if you treat it like any other piece of garment on an every day wear, it'll become soft and will drape nicely in no time.

As far as the sizing's concerned, I think we've seen almost every kind of fit on WW2 pictures. I, personally, didn't hesitate to opt for the slender side of things. If thejacket was issued to me, I'd have no problem with the fit whatsoever, but seen the price of good repro, I'll go for the fit that pleases me over any "historical" fit anytime.
 

CBI

Well-Known Member
Yep, we have covered this before.................. One of the odd dichotomies with collecting jackets is having too many to wear resulting in none (only one or two maybe) really being worn-in resulting in the look we want. Kinda silly...............

When we order a repro, I guess we want the fit we want but I do think there has been this prevailing idea that the jacket should be trim fitting and there's really little argument for it outside of personal tastes which I guess is all the justification one needs.

However, as flying garments, I really think a roomier jacket makes more sense...............as a "kit" item.

However, if one is not flying in it, doesn't matter...........
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
Yep, we have covered this before.................. One of the odd dichotomies with collecting jackets is having too many to wear resulting in none (only one or two maybe) really being worn-in resulting in the look we want. Kinda silly...............

When we order a repro, I guess we want the fit we want but I do think there has been this prevailing idea that the jacket should be trim fitting and there's really little argument for it outside of personal tastes which I guess is all the justification one needs.

However, as flying garments, I really think a roomier jacket makes more sense...............as a "kit" item.

However, if one is not flying in it, doesn't matter...........

I think that sometimes the word "trim" is used to differentiate from those very blousey and loose A-2s that grew up in the 80s and which you still see with many cheapo jackets.

On the other hand though, the whole very trim fit or "Japanese trim fit" thing is something which arose over the last decade or less, and seems to have been picked up by the hipster crowd and those into the whole hipster, vintage workwear thing which obviously thought that anything out of Japan was the bee's knees, and there was a fashion for the thin, petite Japanese models to be wearing their jackets straitjacket tight. I don't hang around the hat place really anymore but it was very de rigueur and all the rage over there. I remember one chap over there who had a very nice looking A-2 (can't remember the maker but high end) but which was about 2 sizes too small. Looked ridiculous - there was absolutely no way he could zip it up comfortably if at all - but everybody there was giving him virtual high fives and telling him it was the perfect fit when the poor fellow looked like an over stuffed sausage casing.

The jackets in the photos above for me show good fits, a bit of room to move but not looking like a sack of spuds.
 
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