Foster Sportswear motorcycle jacket

http://www.ebay.com/itm/281030496790

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″

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Diagonal Zip Vintage Leather Jackets

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.

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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

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Allen Stockman Suit

I got this vintage suit in today. In the pocket was a letter from the original owner’s wife dated 1947. The original owner’s armed services honorable discharge pin is still on the lapel. I’m not clear on whether this suit is pre-war or immediately post-war, but it seems that it hasn’t been worn in 65 years.

If I had just seen the jacket of this, I would never have thought “suit”. The cut is classic sportswear, with a short body, button adjusters on the sides, an open collar and double buttoned waistband. The heavy material puts it squarely into the realm of someone who spends a lot of time out of doors. A real workwear look, especially with the construction of the pockets. Like some leather jackets of the period, there are suit style buttons on the sleeves. I would almost expect some sort of belted or sunburst pleated back on it, but other than the adjusters, it is just plain.
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This Eisenhower style jacket is unlined, with serged seams and a cotton reinforcement panel at the bottom edge.
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Now here’s where things really get interesting. It’s a suit! It has a button fly, wide fancy western style belt loops to accommodate a wide western belt. Watch pocket, and western style pockets.
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Made by Allen Brand
Stockman’s Garments
Denver, CO
Western Made for the Westerner

The jacket still bears the original owner’s ruptured duck discharge pin and American Legion pin
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Details of the Pocket and Cuff
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Cut down Colvinex Flight Suit

The colvinex flight suit was a one piece goatskin coverall electrically heated flight suit. Great for cold weather flying in WWII and Korea, not so great as surplus. Not a lot of call for the average joe for something as specialized as these. So out come the electrical coils, and out come the scissors, needle and thread. I’ve run across quite a few examples of these that were cut down post war for casual or motorcycle use, and each does it a bit differently.

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M-69 Transport Coat

I have worn the buttoned version of this USN M-69 Transport coat for two winters now, and it’s about the most practical winter garment imaginable. And yet- somehow so very ridiculous.

It’s a full length goatskin leather overcoat. This Willis and Geiger version has the zipper front, which gives it a bit of a deiselpunk vibe to it. Very Buck Rogers. Brown painted Talon zips throughout. Full alpaca pile lining with satin overlays. Mouton collar.

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