The black leather jacket epitomized by the Schott Perfecto wasn’t always the motorcycle jacket default. Here is a small sample of diagonal zip leather jackets, ancestors of the style, which date from the 1930s-1960s. Top to bottom: Monarch, no label capeskin, Foster Sportswear, British Sportswear, no label Columbia. The silver British Sportswear jackets has exposed studs on the lapels, but none on the collar. The Columbia has concealed studs on both. The top three have none. They display a variety of pocket styles and placements, and of cuff styles.
This vintage leather jacket was made in the 1940s by Foster Sportswear. It has an asymmetrical zip front, a forerunner to the modern style epitomized by the Schott Perfecto. While most jackets of this style turn up in horsehide or goat, this feels like it’s capeskin. Very nice and supple leather. It has slash handwarmer pockets, with flapped cargo pockets and a diagonal zipped map pocket. At the time, this probably would have been advertised as an aviator style.
The jacket has a quilted body lining and flannel sleeves, with knit storm cuffs. It has a conmar pocket zipper and a conmar main zip, though the slider is missing on the main zipper. There is one broken tooth about halfway up the zipper track, which is probably where it would have jumped. Somewhat surprisingly, the jacket does not have the standard half-belt back, opting instead for a paneled design with small elasticized side panels. The leather has some wear and patina, but overall is in very good condition. There is a small section of dropped stitching under the right armpit. The lining has a hole, see the photo.
Chest (pit to pit): 22″
Shoulder to shoulder: 19″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 23-1/2″
Length (collar to hem): 26″