To those with a lot of Money...latest Eastman Jacket

To those with a lot of Money...latest Eastman Jacket

Joined: July 21st, 2008, 7:16 pm

July 9th, 2010, 1:57 pm #1


Have a look here: http://www.shopcreator.com/mall/eastman ... 265011.stm

My first impressions are that this thing looks beautiful, even if it is a late-war jacket, and I have to say that it is is a beautiful repro.

But look at the price; at that money, you could probably buy a late-war jaket in wearable condition, and personally wouldn't you think that the better choice? I'd be interested to hear your views on this.
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Joined: May 4th, 2007, 8:13 am

July 9th, 2010, 2:58 pm #2

Ben I agree that is a lot for a repro jacket, more than I would be willing to pay myself. But then it looks to be an awesome repro that could pass for the real thing. You are right that for a lot less you could buy a late war original, indeed my mint condition two panel back early war original did not cost anything near that amount.

As for would you be better off buying an original to wear it depends on what you want to do. If you want to wear it regulary and not have to be too careful with it the repro is the way to go. With a repro you know the leather is going to be strong, with an original even one that looks to be in good condition tears can happen easily.

If you are only wearing it occasionaly because you like the thought that it is original and it has been there then the period piece would be the jacket to buy. But again you need to factor in the considerations raised in the other thread about damage this can do to an item, which is likely to be important to you if the history behind the piece is important.

My Irvins are part of my collection that I have worn, very occasionally. In fact I have not worn one for the last five years. It is rarely cold enough in sunny Sussex to wear one anyway and if it is it will probably be snowing so I have a repro to wear.

I am thinking that I will probably not wear the originals in future. I see them as important historical peices and it would be a shame for them to have survived 70 years intact to put a hole in one when I can just as easily wear a repro. This is of course all a matter of personal opinion some people would argue whats the point in owning clothing that you do not use.

jb
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Joined: October 13th, 2009, 3:26 pm

July 9th, 2010, 5:00 pm #3

Have a look here: http://www.shopcreator.com/mall/eastman ... 265011.stm

My first impressions are that this thing looks beautiful, even if it is a late-war jacket, and I have to say that it is is a beautiful repro.

But look at the price; at that money, you could probably buy a late-war jaket in wearable condition, and personally wouldn't you think that the better choice? I'd be interested to hear your views on this.
This jacket has been discussed plenty on the VLJ Forum, it has had excellent comments particularly as one member now has one and posted photos of it being worn. The price is indeed expensive but is indicative of the rare hide and work that goes into making each jacket. It is quite possible to buy an original for around this price but how comfortable would one be wearing a rare jacket and its obvious weaknesses from age, no matter how good condition an original may be it will be more fragile than a 'new-build'. I would personally order one of these having owned Eastman 'RAF Jackets' (Irvins! Can't stand the fact the poor repros from Aviation Leathercraft are the only ones allowed to use the name 'Irvin'!!) before and they are excellent reproductions. They now offer the only repro of the 'late-war' Irvin and have produced IMO a real gem.
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Joined: July 21st, 2008, 7:16 pm

July 9th, 2010, 6:00 pm #4


I can see what you mean. Can you link me to this forum? I'd like to have a look.

I think it's the cost that nocked me back though; for a Jacket it is too steep IMO. An original would cost the same in, maybe, similar condition and I wouldn't mind wearing that so long as I didn't abuse it.

But each to his own. I keep looking at the pictures, and it does look awesome
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Joined: October 13th, 2009, 3:26 pm

July 9th, 2010, 9:19 pm #5

Here's the link, not sure if it comes up unless one is a member but give it a go...lots of discussion over 4 pages (so far!)

http://www.vintageleatherjackets.org/vi ... =13&t=7628
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Joined: December 26th, 2006, 5:09 pm

July 10th, 2010, 10:00 am #6

I saw the first of these 44 Irvins in the ELC mobile shop at Duxford last year and have to say they are without doubt the best late war Irvin repro on the market. Gary has nailed almost all the details, apart from the elastic collar securing strap, which very few late War Irvins had, and the zips are not correct. Nevertheless they look like lightly worn originals and although the price is high it's a reflection of the cost of the Devon fleece. However I own a near mint original late war jacket which cost me half the price of the new ELC jacket. I know what I would rather have!
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Joined: February 28th, 2004, 3:00 pm

July 11th, 2010, 11:16 am #7

I had a look at one yesterday and was chatting with Gary Eastman. They do look superb especially if you bear in mind they are brand new. Eastman manage to age their products very well. I have an A2 and am thinking of trading it in to 'upgrade' to another one of their range.
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Joined: May 3rd, 2006, 4:47 am

July 11th, 2010, 11:09 pm #8

Have a look here: http://www.shopcreator.com/mall/eastman ... 265011.stm

My first impressions are that this thing looks beautiful, even if it is a late-war jacket, and I have to say that it is is a beautiful repro.

But look at the price; at that money, you could probably buy a late-war jaket in wearable condition, and personally wouldn't you think that the better choice? I'd be interested to hear your views on this.
This really is top shelf....and if you look after them, it should last a lifetime....and therefore a very good investment all round....

Sure it's expensive but who else makes these things ??

At least it is made in England, and you would be supporting an English business...not an American one or God forbid, Chinese.....

I own a mid-war Irvin that was worn by a mid-upper gunner in 101 Squadron during 1944...it's huge and wearable....but I'm very reluctant to wear it given the fact that it is now 66 years since it was first worn in combat....

Good authentic copies are a safer option...and you can pretty much do what you want with them......mind you, at 700 odd quid a pop, you'd want to be very careful with it, wouldn't you ??
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Joined: July 21st, 2008, 7:16 pm

July 12th, 2010, 10:58 am #9

I had a look at one yesterday and was chatting with Gary Eastman. They do look superb especially if you bear in mind they are brand new. Eastman manage to age their products very well. I have an A2 and am thinking of trading it in to 'upgrade' to another one of their range.
So this is interesting. My Dad, like Alex, bought an Eastman A2 and he loves it. But the price compared to this was around 3-times less. What I am interested to ask is, as a collector who wouldn't mind wearing an irvin, would you still buy an excellent repro for this money if you were just wearing it casually instead of, say, buying a WPG one? As a reenactor or even collector I can now see the interest in this as it looks awesome, but if it were to be worn casually, it is a lot of money.

Despite this, I can't help but marvel at some of the products Eastman make. Hats off to them for such awesome work.
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Joined: October 13th, 2009, 3:26 pm

July 12th, 2010, 9:12 pm #10

This really is top shelf....and if you look after them, it should last a lifetime....and therefore a very good investment all round....

Sure it's expensive but who else makes these things ??

At least it is made in England, and you would be supporting an English business...not an American one or God forbid, Chinese.....

I own a mid-war Irvin that was worn by a mid-upper gunner in 101 Squadron during 1944...it's huge and wearable....but I'm very reluctant to wear it given the fact that it is now 66 years since it was first worn in combat....

Good authentic copies are a safer option...and you can pretty much do what you want with them......mind you, at 700 odd quid a pop, you'd want to be very careful with it, wouldn't you ??
That is a good point made. I have collected, bought and sold many flight jackets for over 30 years and have always been reluctant to wear originals to any extent, and if a jacket had specific and identifiable history then I would never wear it. Sure if one is lucky to find an original in pretty much unworn condition then it should be strong enough to wear but high quality repros exist because that is now a rarity. £700 is indeed a lot of money and a fortune to some but you are getting a hand-made garment to exacting standards that will stand up to heavy daily wear. It has been proven that lesser priced repros such as WPG are not as well made, notably their zips break very quickly and the hide is alot thinner, you really do get what you pay for. The market in repro flying jackets offers jackets for all requirements and pockets, a Far Eastern (not Jap!) copy will always be a cheaper but less accurate and poorer quality garment and then companies like Aviation Leathercraft who 'bought' the rights to call their jacket an 'Irvin' sell inferior jackets at fairly high prices to those who believe the hype that they are buying the only 'real' Irvin!
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