Well, I don't actually have a very exciting entry, but I do have an update, a couple photos, and a few thoughts about the jacket. First, pictures:
I'm not lying when I say that this jacket isn't for everybody. 99% or people who want a leather jacket really don't want to buy this, and probably wouldn't be happy if they bought it. What they want is a collared moto in one of the stock colors; probably the sold out "Whiskey" calf options. The VTG really is vtg. It's not sleek and sexy like my lamb double-rider, and it's not slouchy and cool like my baseball jacket. It has to be cut on the larger side (not dad large, but not leatherdaddy slim, either), and it isn't, at least it isn't yet, a fire-and-forget missile of badness. It's more like a "hold on to your asses" kind of missile of badness. It is really, really loud. A quiet design, sure, but when it comes out of the packaging it's like you bought a leather jacket made from Moby Dick's cock. I love how it's hunched over in the second picture like some living, eldritch horror; or like the Guyver armor when it's chilling out in whatever alternate plane of existence it inhabits while not destroying genetically engineered travesties of nature. What it is, most of all, is tough. It is a seriously tough sonofabitch.
"Leather superhero" is a weird homoerotic descriptor that comes up in this thread fairly often, and as a young man who enjoys feeling invincible, I can tell you that this jacket really makes me feel like tempting fate. It's the kind of jacket you'd probably get arrested in - the kind you'd wear while you broke a pool cue over a biker's head. It really, really feels like armor - not, like, "Oh, yeah, this awesome jacket protects me from the cruel world!" I mean actual armor. Like for jousting. It definitely feels like it could stop most prison-grade shivs, although I'm not sure I'd actually want to test it.
You can't really drive or sit with the jacket zipped, and the collar ends up somewhere around your ears when you do sit down (see fig.2). It's stiff, a bit restrictive, and a bit laughable really - there's something utterly absurd about wearing the thing, and I spent at least an hour running around my house laughing like a maniac when it arrived. It's obvious that the leathersmiths (that's the best word I can think of for the people who had to actually put this thing together) were pretty much fighting the material the whole way through the manufacturing process. There are some spots on the jacket that don't link up seamlessly the way the lamb leathers do. This is most obvious on the cuffs and collar, where you can see the heavy-duty stitching, and where things might not be exactly inch-perfect. If you look at the fit picture, you can see the cuff spread out a bit - it is still really, really, really stiff, and it poofs out a bit without a zipper to keep it in line. I've done absolutely no waxing or conditioning of the leather as of yet, so I'm not sure if others have already noticed a breaking-in effect, and although I have plans to do some work on it, I've found it pretty fun to wear as-is, and I think that the one-off feeling of the jacket adds to its character
The unadorned split "kangaroo" pocket is probably my favorite part of the whole jacket. The pockets really lie flat, superman-abs-of-steel-style, and I actually find myself using them (I've really never used the pockets on my DR). The lack of zippers is quite nice, as well, and makes the pockets very functional. As usual, I love the fit - I did a lot of waffling on measurements (thanks to Drew & Co for their patience), and I think the shape I ended up with really complements the jacket's cut. As you can see, I've enough room to wear a flannel or even a light knit under the jacket, which is exactly what I was shooting for, and it's actually quite warm. It was in the 20s and breezy here today, and I felt just fine.
It'll be interesting to see how everyone's measurements worked out three years from now, as there's definitely an element of imagined reality when you're ordering it: it has to be loose enough so that you don't cut off circulation to your arms, but I wouldn't want to cut it so loose that when it breaks in it looks straight-up too big. There's so much stiffness in the leather that the jacket shape pretty much ignores your body, so it's almost like wearing a sculpture that doesn't move with you at all. I'd say I cut mine quite slim, but that I really wouldn't have wanted to go any larger. I really like the dramatic, built-up shoulder, and I definitely couldn't have gone slimmer in the elbow without making my life really uncomfortable and difficult. I think I'll be happier when the arm hangs a bit more naturally. You can see how it's still really stuck in it's shape, and I'm not sure that actually tapering the forearm would have had a positive effect at all - the cuffs already bruise my thumbs.
Again, I certainly wouldn't recommend this jacket to anyone. In fact, the only person I have recommended it to is a friend of mine who spends most of his free time in front of a forge. If you want sleek, sexy, instant gratification, look elsewhere. For myself, I look at the jacket and see it one, five, fifteen years from now, and it looks pretty good. I think that for people who have a sense of what they're getting into, this is quite possibly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity , and there are definitely some people on SF who would love a jacket like this. I certainly don't think it's hard to style - I've mostly been wearing it with black jeans and high-end black boots, and the jacket fits in with a nice rawness that's much more grittily evocative that a lot of the dark/romantic high-design jackets that also get love around here. It's way more Mad Max than anything I own, yet I've also been perfectly happy wearing it over a floral-print button down, beat-up jeans, and silly shoes - or just a white tee, although it's been a bit too cold to really do that. I think it'll only get easier to style as it ages, as well, and hopefully by next fall I'll be wearing it daily and it'll be on it's way to being beautifully thrashed.