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Mod to Suedehead

Reggae Mike

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Nordstrom Rack in the US gots Ben Sherman Harrington's for 50 USDollars right now
 

northernbloke12345

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Never saw a donkey jacket with leather.
Not saying it never happened but seems a bit extravagant for a totally rough outdoor workwear item. Also the purpose of the PVC was to keep the shoulders dry - surely PVC would do a better job of that than leather?
They exist, but are far less common than the pvc ones, the pvc also varies in material and quality, some thin some thicker.

I am thinking the leather ones are from before 1960, perhaps late 30's 1940's to late 50's, leather isn't always a sign of luxury, on the leather donkey jacket i had it wasn't the kind you get on a upmarket jacket, and like you said pvc does a better job for poor weather but leather would of probably been more common 1940 to 60 as polyester was only invented in the early 40's, older blokes were also wearing hobnails all the way into the sixties.

I still wear my donkey jackets as i just like them and they are warm utilitarian items, not a skinhead anymore so i'm not really bothered if they are ''skinhead'' or not, they look great imo with flat caps. A very northern look, i get plenty of compliments from folk who remember them, they are not actually that common to see anymore from my experience, the last person i saw wearing one funnily enough was a middle aged goth, didn't look bad in all honesty.
That's what I read. I was born and raised in Southern California, and had never seen a one in real life.
I have heard a story a while back of some being being imported to american surplus shops, but i don't know if it's true, i do know they were a thing in germany and some made there way to japan, but they are a british item really.
 

Inkss

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Reggae Mike

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They exist, but are far less common than the pvc ones, the pvc also varies in material and quality, some thin some thicker.

I am thinking the leather ones are from before 1960, perhaps late 30's 1940's to late 50's, leather isn't always a sign of luxury, on the leather donkey jacket i had it wasn't the kind you get on a upmarket jacket, and like you said pvc does a better job for poor weather but leather would of probably been more common 1940 to 60 as polyester was only invented in the early 40's, older blokes were also wearing hobnails all the way into the sixties.

I still wear my donkey jackets as i just like them and they are warm utilitarian items, not a skinhead anymore so i'm not really bothered if they are ''skinhead'' or not, they look great imo with flat caps. A very northern look, i get plenty of compliments from folk who remember them, they are not actually that common to see anymore from my experience, the last person i saw wearing one funnily enough was a middle aged goth, didn't look bad in all honesty.

I have heard a story a while back of some being being imported to american surplus shops, but i don't know if it's true, i do know they were a thing in germany and some made there way to japan, but they are a british item really.
I can think of only one surplus store in town who would dare just because of the close to zero demand due to the weather, but this guy likes to stock the more obscure vintage items. I wear the one I pictured with jumpers or a button down with sleeveless jumpers, looks cool enough.I don't think I could ever be a Skinhead in the way an Original would have been or even an English person would be, but from the first time I got around people that considered themselves Skinheads I was hooked. That was about 29 years ago for me. The only thing that's changed is now I collect clothes sted of music.
 

Reggae Mike

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northernbloke12345

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Keeping warm by burning stacks of 100s in a solid gold oil drum down on the hedge fund picket line.
It actually looks like a 1930's one a bit with how the shoulder pads extend all the way down the arms, but at 500 quid, f that, the arms on the thirties ones also seem to be elasticated. I would buy a 1930's reproduction.
2.jpg

I can think of only one surplus store in town who would dare just because of the close to zero demand due to the weather, but this guy likes to stock the more obscure vintage items. I wear the one I pictured with jumpers or a button down with sleeveless jumpers, looks cool enough.I don't think I could ever be a Skinhead in the way an Original would have been or even an English person would be, but from the first time I got around people that considered themselves Skinheads I was hooked. That was about 29 years ago for me. The only thing that's changed is now I collect clothes sted of music.
I think he would struggle to stock vintage ones these days, even second hand ones are going up in price sometimes going for £70, companies make reproductions but they don't feel ''right'' the wool is too luxurious or just doesn't feel the same, i only have two now, one i have had for 5 years and one i paid a quid for in a charity shop back in 2020 which is a vintage original. i have given some away to old blokes what were too big or small for me, no man needs 5+ donkey jackets.
 

Thin White Duke

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Just thinking out loud here but perhaps the reason for leather shoulders wasn’t for rain protection as we assume, but for protection for utilitarian workers in the same way geography teachers have leather (suede) elbow patches and shooting jackets have shoulder patches for the gun stock.
Maybe the leather was to add protection for people carrying ladders or brick hods over their shoulder.
I remember as a kid one of our regular crew of bin men wore a long leather waistcoat over his overalls which obviously wasn’t “Rich Corinthian leather!”but tough old boot leather to protect him from carrying the heavy galvanised iron dustbins that we had back then.
Bernard Lee (M in the Bond films) wears something similar over his army inform in The Third Man.
 

Reggae Mike

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It actually looks like a 1930's one a bit with how the shoulder pads extend all the way down the arms, but at 500 quid, f that, the arms on the thirties ones also seem to be elasticated. I would buy a 1930's reproduction.
View attachment 1731545

I think he would struggle to stock vintage ones these days, even second hand ones are going up in price sometimes going for £70, companies make reproductions but they don't feel ''right'' the wool is too luxurious or just doesn't feel the same, i only have two now, one i have had for 5 years and one i paid a quid for in a charity shop back in 2020 which is a vintage original. i have given some away to old blokes what were too big or small for me, no man needs 5+ donkey jackets.
IDK, I'm creepin up on 5 Harrington's. But giving someone a jacket like that, what you know is gonna work and help should carry a good feeling. This guy likes the vintage stuff and he's not afraid to price high. I remember 1 time he had a Pendelton MAC style overcoat with multi colored wool for $100. I was too poor at the time, otherwise it would be mine. I got a Valley Apperel MA-1 there for $125, it's not vintage though
 

Reggae Mike

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Just thinking out loud here but perhaps the reason for leather shoulders wasn’t for rain protection as we assume, but for protection for utilitarian workers in the same way geography teachers have leather (suede) elbow patches and shooting jackets have shoulder patches for the gun stock.
Maybe the leather was to add protection for people carrying ladders or brick hods over their shoulder.
I remember as a kid one of our regular crew of bin men wore a long leather waistcoat over his overalls which obviously wasn’t “Rich Corinthian leather!”but tough old boot leather to protect him from carrying the heavy galvanised iron dustbins that we had back then.
Bernard Lee (M in the Bond films) wears something similar over his army inform in The Third Man.
If that is not the reason it should of been. I often wish certain parts of of my work wear was reinforced with leather
 

northernbloke12345

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Just thinking out loud here but perhaps the reason for leather shoulders wasn’t for rain protection as we assume, but for protection for utilitarian workers in the same way geography teachers have leather (suede) elbow patches and shooting jackets have shoulder patches for the gun stock.
I never thought it was for rain protection honestly, but for when you carry stuff on your shoulder for added protection like you said, as for the switch to pvc, it would of just been cheaper. You also got donkey jackets with elbow patches.
I remember as a kid one of our regular crew of bin men wore a long leather waistcoat over his overalls which obviously wasn’t “Rich Corinthian leather!”but tough old boot leather to protect him from carrying the heavy galvanised iron dustbins that we had back then.
Bernard Lee (M in the Bond films) wears something similar over his army inform in The Third Man.
Probably a ww2 era leather jerkin, that's what it sounds like, they would of been common after the war.
ww2-british-army-leather-jerkin_11191_main_size3.jpg

IDK, I'm creepin up on 5 Harrington's. But giving someone a jacket like that, what you know is gonna work and help should carry a good feeling.
Not sure the blokes i gave them to would wear them to work now, they looked like they were retirement age in their mid 60's at least, but i don't mind if it helps then have a bit of nostalgia and relive old memories, i did used to wear one of mine when i was a bin man and factory worker.
 

Man-of-Mystery

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Bernard Lee (M in the Bond films) wears something similar over his army inform in The Third Man.
I was just going to mention Bernard Lee and those leather items, and -bingo! - there was your post! Here's a pic of him wearing it, with Trevor Howard in a duffel.

Yes, I remember bin men wearing them too.
Lee 3.jpeg
 

Yorky

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I used to wear donkey jackets a lot, but only whilst at work when I worked in the coal mines. They originally had orange pvc on the shoulders with NCB on them, and after privatisation they changed to yellow with British Coal on them. We also got issued with a longer hooded version for when it was really cold. My normal attire was usually orange shorts and t shirt with reflective strips on them, as it was f###ing boiling most of the time, I probably wouldn't have looked out of place at a rave or house party in the 90's.
 

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