Waxed Cotton A-1 jacket

This jacket was made by Ralph Lauren under the Polo equestrian label. It is a reproduction of a jacket style popular from c. 1919 through into the 1930s, which would be adapted by the military into the A-1 flight jacket. The original civilian model of this jacket was defined by its knit collar, cuffs and waistband, and patch pockets. The style was originally a hunting/outdoorsman’s style, and was generally, though not always, made of leather. This reproduction is made of water resistant waxed cotton / oiled cotton, a material appropriate for the style, as it also shares the hunting / outdoorsman’s garment lineage. This jacket has two large patch cargo pockets, and a small functional ticket pocket. The jacket is lined with tartan flannel. Unlike many Ralph Lauren products, this jacket, made under the leather Polo Equestrian label was made in the USA,

Chest (pit to pit): 27″ (doubled = 54″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 21-1/2″
Sleeve (shoulder to end of cuff): 26-1/2″
Length (bottom of collar to bottom of waistband): 26″

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Early 1940s half-belt leather jacket

This vintage leather jacket was made in the early 1940s. Unfortunately, the maker’s tag is long gone, but it can be fairly accurately dated using other details. In one of the pockets is a union tag from the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. The last digit of the tag is mis-printed, but I believe it’s a 1939 tag, not a 1936. This puts the dating between 1939, when that tag first came into usage, and 1949, when it was replaced by a different design. The zipper is a spring loaded crown zipper, of the type used in the early 1940s, notably on several contracts of Army Air Force A-2 flight jackets. That narrows the dating from about 1939 to 1945.

The leather, still nicely soft and supple, has developed a nice fade and patina from its original russet brown color through decades of wear. The wear is heaviest on the neck of the collar, the hem and the cuffs. The jacket’s design is a classic: half belt back with side belt adjusters. The back has pleats to bring it in at the waist. On the front, there are two small flapped pockets, with double stitching to give them the look of patch pockets. Above them are buttoned, vertical chest pockets. The pockets are lined in a soft cotton flannel, and are presumably designed as hand-warmers. The body of the jacket is lined with plaid cotton in cream, blue and brown, and the sleeves in plain cotton.

Chest (pit to pit): 23″ (doubled = 46″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 18″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 25″
Length (base of collar to hem): 28″

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1920s A-1 leather jacket (repro)


This jacket is a very close copy of the suede leather “windbreaker” jackets of the 1920s which evolved into the A-1 flight jacket. Many of these early jackets were made of lightweight leathers, suede or capeskin, and were unlined. Separable bottom zippers were not invented until 1927, and didn’t come to jackets until c.1930, so jackets of the 1920s had button fronts. In this period, knit collars, cuffs and waistbands were popular. These jackets were marketed toward the sporting market: golfers, hunters, outdoorsmen. This short style would come to be adopted by civilian aviators, as it was far less clumsy than the full length coats of the WWI period.

There are no tags or identifying marks. Though this jacket is vintage, probably from the ’60s or so from the look of the buttons, it is a good reproduction of that 1920s style. It has caramel colored buttons and is made from rough-out capeskin. It is entirely unlined.

Chest (pit to pit): 21″
Shoulder to shoulder: 17″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 23-1/2″
Length: 23″

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Vietnam era G-1 leather flight jacket

To compare with one made about 20 years before this, see this post.


This vintage leather G-1 flight jacket dates from the Vietnam war era. It feels like it may be one of the cowhide ones as opposed to the usual goat. It has a bi-swing back, and knit cuffs and waistband. The zipper is missing the puller, and is separating from the leather in some places- so it needs to be replaced. The leather has all been freshly cleaned and conditioned, however, it still has a mildew smell from decades of storage which I have been unable to remove, so keep that in mind.

Chest: 20″
Shoulder to Shoulder: 18″
Shoulder to end of knit: 24″







Rough Wear reproduction A2 jacket

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271144854806This jacket is a recent reproduction of a WWII USAAF leather jacket. It is made of horsehide leather, with knit cuffs and a cotton liner.  The tag is for a Rough Wear contract, and puts the size as a 44, though it fits smaller. The leather appears to be spray dyed, with some scuffs to the finish to the edges; see the photo of the epaulette. Chest (pit to pit): 22″
Shoulder to Shoulder: 18″
Sleeve (shoulder to end of cuff): 25-1/2″   Photobucket








Harold’s Sportswear Civilian A2


This vintage jacket was either made by or sold by Harold’s Sportswear in the 1950s.  It is a typical civilian A-2 influenced design of the period, with flapped cargo and slash handwarmer pockets, eppaulettes, and a knit waistband and cuffs.  It has a crown zipper, scovill snaps on the wind flap, and a great patina.

Chest: 22″
Shoulder to Shouler: 18″
Sleeve (shoulder to end of knit): 25″






WWII sheepskin gauntlets


These vintage mittens were made during WWII and are named to a Captain Bill Grall.  They are fully sheepskin, with a tanned finish on the hand and a raw finish on the gauntlet.  They have what looks to be a horsehide reinforcement pull panel on the gauntlet, as well as a horsehide gusset. The leather is still supple and the sheepskin is in great shape.  Though they appear to be a handmade, non issue item, they would match a wartime sheepskin B-3 or Irvin, or are perfect to go with a vintage motorcycle jacket.



Early Issue G-1 leather flight jacket

This vintage leather jacket was made for the USN.  It is goat, with a real mouton collar.  It has an action back, knit cuffs and waistband, a windflap and an interior gun pocket.  There are stitch marks from a nametag from when it was issued.  The town, “Poultney, VT” is written in the lining.  The cuffs are replacements, and all the knits are in need of replacement.  The main zipper is Conmar, with what may be a replacement conmatic puller. The prong of the zipper is missing, as are some teeth by the neck.  The mouton is worn through and flaking. The lining is torn and repaired.
Chest: 22″
Sleeve: 24″
Shoulders: 17″
Length: 28″  PhotobucketPhotobucket







The Postwar Outdoorsman

Knapp moc toe hunting boots with ripple soles.
American Optical Aviator Sunglasses.
Horsehide A-2 leather jacket
zip front plaid railroad vest