Memorial Day sale AT THE FRONT

Discussion in 'General Flight Jacket Discussion' started by CBI, May 27, 2017.

  1. CBI

    CBI Well-Known Member

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    3,761
    some great deals - going quickly

    large orders $400 free shipping US and International
     
  2. ausreenactor

    ausreenactor Well-Known Member

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    3,813
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    Mildura, heart of the Mallee.
    I was being good? Why would they dangle that carrot...
     
  3. falcon_ib

    falcon_ib Active Member

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    California
    Great deals all around. Those M1943s are a steal! He's probably making room for the next batch. Per the ATF Instagram page, the next run will be of the first production contract dated July 1943, with a slimmer cut. So get your potato sacks while you can!
     
  4. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    1,710
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    Norway
    I'm trying to hold out for that upcoming Kanaljacke.

    I seriously think you could get addicted to ATF stuff, it's great gear for great prices. Was wearing my ATF B-10 today as a matter of fact and thinking maybe I should stick a sqn patch on it.
     
  5. Bombing IP

    Bombing IP Active Member

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    441
    Has the Kanaljacke ever been reproduced by an American company before .I know its been reproduced in Germany in both winter and summer versions .I too would like to get myself one when it comes out .A2 reproduction jackets are getting way to expensive ,like most people today you get a 1% pay raise and are told your lucky to have a job in 10 years your up about 13% in pay . .Good Wear have been in business 10 years and have gone from $600 to close to $1600 for a jacket .I am not pointing the finger at Good Wear but something is out of whack .

    BIP
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
    Smithy likes this.
  6. CBI

    CBI Well-Known Member

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    3,761
    I remember when Good Wear test jackets were $350!!!!

    In re At The Front sale, I picked up a German Heer Parka, M43 jacket in my correct size (I had one a size too small before) and a US Army Sweater. All for about $200, not cheap but makes for a semi-affordable hobby!

    Yes, in general prices for everything have gone though the roof except maybe electronics. Of most concern for me is food that has gone up considerably.

    Yep, a canal jacket is on my list depending on how it turns out.
     
    Smithy likes this.
  7. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    1,710
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    It's pretty sad really, the prices for leather repro flight jackets are quite simply insane now.

    A "lowly" ELC house A-2 is 750 quid now, that's over 950 US!!!! And that's just for a bog standard generic A-2 not one of the original maker contracts.

    I was thinking of picking up an ELC A-2 at Duxford later this year but I'm really starting to think that I just can't justify shelling out that much for an A-2, it's just too much money to my mind.

    I'm thinking I'll go secondhand now or even look at something like an SM Wholesale - they're 500 US which to me is a far fairer price for what a decent A-2 should cost.

    I'd be interested to know how many of us flight jacket enthusiasts have started to think this way now and have stopped buying new repros.

    Out of whack Jeff? Abso-bloody-lutely!
     
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  8. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    I agree with you Tim. I have not bought a brand new A2 for a couple of years now. Second is perhaps the way to go.
     
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  9. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    1,710
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    Norway
    I'm just pleased I bought my ELC Irvin back in 2007 ;)
     
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  10. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    and at a fair price too Tim!:)
     
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  11. johnwayne

    johnwayne Well-Known Member

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    1,176
    We have covered this before and I touched on what a good repro actually cost vs mark up/ profit which I don't deny anyone, especially an artisan like JC but it does make you question if personally you want to shell out so much, after all when wearing it out to the observer it's just a 'leather jacket' and not as much an investment as it perhaps once was. Plus, anyone who already has an A2 they like, do we really need another? Ok if you're flush with the readies but given the time delay in getting your order those readies may have been utilised elsewhere by the time delivery comes along! Yes 'used' is the way to go pour moi!!
     
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  12. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    1,710
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    It's obviously subjective but it does seem, at least from a first glance, that there are a few of us who have started to question whether the prices today for new repros are fair. And that for me is it, I could afford to buy an ELC or Aero, or even a GW but I just can't in my head justify paying those kinds of prices for an A-2 now. Maybe the price is entirely justified given the costs of materials, labour and all that now but in my head there's a disparity between what a decent A-2 repro costs and what it's actually worth. My wife would go off like a frog in a sock if I spent that kind of money on a jacket now, and I have to agree with her.

    It would be nice to see somebody offer a really decent repro of an A-2 for example and at a mid range price point, along the lines of SM Wholesale. I don't know if there's a market for it but I'd like to think there is.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
  13. johnwayne

    johnwayne Well-Known Member

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    1,176
    Isn't that where/how Bill Kelso sprung to fame? They do seem to have gone rather quiet of late, or is that me? Not checked their site for ages but they did seem very reasonable initially and by most comments here, are pretty good too! Also Diamond were intended to be, and for want of a better comment, a poor mans more keenly priced Goodwear wasn't they?
     
  14. Bombing IP

    Bombing IP Active Member

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    441
    The used market is the way to go even for a Good Wear ,case in point Andrew just sold an A-2 Beauty look what he got for it $400 .Pilot just sold a Diamond A2 and lost $600 euros .I have sold 2 GW and lost serious money on them that hurt as I work hard for my money . The problem with A2 jackets is that the retail to used value there is huge difference .If you buy one NEW you better make sure it fits and is exactly what you want because you need to keep it until its worn out because selling it is not an option . How many of us eventually decide to move a jacket on because we have decided that the fit is off the leather is the wrong color shoulders are to wide etc etc .

    BIP
     
    Andrew likes this.
  15. CBI

    CBI Well-Known Member

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    3,761
    Off Topic But...........

    Just a few things. High end jackets are not priced to be collectors items. The idea is to buy one and WEAR it not obsess over the details and then sell it because the length is a half inch too short. Guilty…………me…….but not anymore….life too short! JC is not making a killing on these and its not like he is running a multi-million dollar business! Quality artisan pricing, makes sense to me. On the flip side, if your finances are limited, you might need to look at other options.


    Agree, the used market is BAD for sellers. Used high-end stuff is generally not getting close to retail so jackets are hardly worth selling. I have sold a number of jackets in the past year and thank goodness they were bought by me used so I could pass along at low-ish prices. Even then when people did buy them it wasn’t like a bidding war to buy it.


    SM Wholesale. Love this company. In re their A-2’s, they look short-wasted to me. I mean short for an A-2. If you buy, try to get some jacket measurements of the size you want to order. Steve said they are true to size so if you want room, go up a size.


    Bill Kelso, just too much conflicting customer feedback and aggressive marketing, not sure how they are doing. Nice website. Jackets with premium leather VERY expensive. Their entry level A-2 for $600 looks excellent provided the picture is actually what you are getting.


    Don’t forget Aero Leather Scotland for a cheaper (but still significant) quality A-2. You can ask them for authentic features and they will do a nice job for you. I have to say I REALLY like their hide selections.


    There are other guys who make super jackets as a hobby/very small business but their prices are still high for many and without going into detail, there are risks paying top dollar for limited experience and perhaps little financial/material wiggle room to redo a jacket or properly fix defects.


    In case of DD with the rigger mod, perhaps somewhere it was stated that the mod is an authentic period “option” used to cover a defect (vs. having to take the entire jacket apart to re-do the lining). I recently sold a DD A-2 and it was nicely made. It may have been a test jacket. There were some leather blemishes that IMO would not pass for a retail priced jacket. But for a test jacket, passable. The hand applied re-dye looked amazing but rubbed/scraped off way to easily. Again, a test model? No problem.


    Good Wear is still easily the way to go if you have the resources and time. If you pay if off over the two year waiting list, you will probably SAVE money vs. all of the cheaper jackets you will take a chance on!

    At The Front - loads of fun!!!
     
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  16. Spitfireace

    Spitfireace Active Member

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    116
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Yup, the price of a new repro has gone up at least 30 per cent over the last ten years. When I ordered my Aero, I sent in my measurements, so it does fit me correctly. I will be buried in this jacket because to sell it, I wouldn't get anywhere what it's worth to me and what I've put into it.

    Hugh
     
  17. CBI

    CBI Well-Known Member

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    3,761
    I should also mention that having communications with these smaller/less experienced hobbyists making jackets, they will tell you that many potential customers want Good Wear like detail/results for lower prices which is also very unrealistic.
     
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  18. Bombing IP

    Bombing IP Active Member

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    441
    Ok to set the record straight ,I understand that Good Wear is expensive because he is not making stock jackets he is making them to customers sizes bespoke and so cannot be made in bulk off the hanger sort of deal .Also the attention to detail for all the jacket makers supplies with labels pop studs and knits has to be covered to keep in stock and also has to be passed off on all the customers .My main problem is the A2 jacket in 1933 was $10 a jacket and the companies could still make money .The A2 jacket is basic in cut no bi wing back simple pocket no side entry cuts and assembled like a shirt, knits and a zip with a collar on top .Why does it cost so much ? is the leather that expensive are the people working for the leather jacket companies getting super high wages . I just do not see why I have to pay over a $1000 for a jacket ,the difference on some sites between steer and horse is $50.00 .The 1933 $10 A2 was pushed out the door with mismatched hides less than straight stiching (quality -quick -cheap ;pick 2 ) do the same for us and bring the price down . Many of us would like to own 3 or4 jackets but this is becoming impossible who could lay out $6000 on jackets . And CBI who are the less experienced hobbyist you talk about may be we could review there work and if they are on the site they understand the minutia of the A-2 type Jacket and make us customers . Com on next year are we go to have to pay $1900.00 for a jacket ?.

    bip
     
  19. CBI

    CBI Well-Known Member

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    3,761
    Comparing prices 75 years apart requires history and economics classes. It's so different of a landscape, comparisons don't really apply. However, yes, in order to make a modern jacket EXACTLY like a 1940's issue jacket does cost loads of extra money. All of the materials from the nipple snaps to zippers, wool knits and leather have to be custom made typically in small quantities as the handful of high-end makers make jackets in low volumes compared to traditional retail clothing manufactures. Leather was processed in a completely different way in 1940's and no one does that now so to get a quality leather company to do that in 2017 is almost impossible. A few do but they charge an arm and a leg to process these hides. There is no $ in it for them otherwise. Yes, there are cheap 40's era Talon zipper repros on eBay but EXACT copies are much more expensive. If you look at companies like Avirex and US Wings/US Authentic they are more of a direct comparison with that 1933 jacket. Modern copies using entirely modern materials to get "close-ish" is still pricey. Good Wear, Eastman are specialty companies. Also, very few people know how to sew vintage style. There actually are very large differences from the direction one pushes material through a machine to properly making bottom holes and having the correct vintage machine, etc! Seeing as John has a 2 year waiting list, there are enough folks with resources and willing to wait. One more thing, in heritage clothing circles, John is considered one of the finest leather jacket makers in the world...................A-2's or not, period. He could actually charge a lot more....................

    It will take some searching but these issues of pricing comes up every year/twice a year on the forum so there are some other threads. if you go to the manufactures thread, you can find some other more off the beaten path makers.
     
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  20. tibor

    tibor Active Member

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    231
    Location:
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    Well, more horses then, no pattern to imitate, just basic specs, all the materials (snaps, zips, linings and thread) were period correct, because it was the period. The machines you used didn't need to be found and/or restored, and if you screwed up a bit, you could sell it anyway.

    I still value the craftsman, the detail, the original snaps, the custom fit, all the care to match labels, stitches, etc. - of course, if that stuff matters to you, it's worth it. Otherwise, plenty of jackets out there that are "A2's"

    - posted at the same time CBI, right there with you.
     

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