Toning down a B-3?


New Member
First of all, to all you repro purists, probably best to skip this post! :eek:

I have owned a few Irvin's and B-3's. both original ones and repro's, and I love them dearly.
But wearing them always makes me feel like I am sticking out like a sore thumb, they are really quite conspicuous.
I still look like a dunce wearing one, but they are special and I don't care what others might think of me just enough to wear one occasionally.

I bought a nice vintage B-3 from John some time ago and as much as I liked it, I could not bring myself to wear it, so decided to tone it down a bit.
This obviously doesn't bode well for the resale value, but if I was ever going to wear one, it would have to be done...

First I trimmed the hems of surplus wool. Then I cut off the insignia flaps on the shoulders. I worked up the courage to remove the collar fur altogether by cutting off the fold-over right where it joins the top of the leather strap.
A lot of you will be cringing with disgust. But it had the desired effect for me. I look marginally less silly when wearing it, or maybe its just me thinking that :)

How is that for a first post? Have any of you done something similar? I know I could have just bought a different style jacket (A B-6 comes to mind), but that is besides the point.

There is one other thing left to do. I am going to wash the fur trim and then dry it with a hair dryer to make the cut edges look less "fresh".
Thanks for looking and I will brace myself for your replies!

Here is proof of my jacket slaughter:


Silver Surfer

Well-Known Member
Actually, it looks fine, snack. A lotta guys around here monkey around with their repros in one way or another, ie redyes, patches, patch removal, knit swap out, paint jobs, etc, so ya fall right into the “personalizion” category. Hmmmm......a nice idea for a new thread, “show your personalized jacket, and why ya did it” btw, during wwll a fair amount of aaf guys monkeyed around with their gear, to make it fit better, look better, or make it warmer.


Active Member
I also think it looks fine. I'm all in favor of keeping the edges clean, and it doesn't look like it's been overdone. And any modification that actually encourages you to wear the jacket is good.
On a related note, I've always preferred the jackets that don't have as many edges with exposed fleece like the m444/m445/anj4 for that reason. Just think it looks neater.


Well-Known Member
Sounds like you put some thought into your customized B-3 . If you’re happy with it ... then so are we;)
Question is you wear it more now than when it was a regular B-3?
By the way , welcome to the forum!
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New Member
I am probably not about to find out any time soon! Tomorrow is supposed to be a 70 degree day here on the Continent.
But I think that I will, it just looks a bit less ostentatious. Thanks for the comments guys!


Well-Known Member
Hi, welcome aboard. I have to say to my mind if the collar was bothering you that much why buy a B-3 in the first place, or why not move it on and get something with a smaller collar-like a B-6 for instance? Personally I’m a B-3 fan and don’t know why people get in a state over the collar (I find the collar on the AN-J-4 far uglier). OK it’s your jacket and your choice, and yeah, the guys in the AF never worried about doing stuff like that, but for me, a really nice jacket has been butchered. As you say though, you must have been expecting a few replies like this.


Well-Known Member
I've wondered for years whether Patton had his B-3 customized, always felt the collar was a bit small... maybe to make sure his stars were showing? :p



Active Member
personally, for vintage gears, I would leave them alone, customise the repros instead, but hey, it's your toy, so do whatever you want with it :)