I’ve always loved wearing leather (cafe racer) jackets… Simple ones, combined with a pair of jeans, t-shirt, and well-made boots. Like most, I started many years ago with the inexpensive versions from the department store, then worked my way up to the classic fashion brands like Boss or Tigha up to the higher priced jackets from Belstaff. Don’t get me wrong, I still love and wear all the previously mentioned. But the more you investigate the subject, the more often you come across buzzwords like Schott, Aero and other (to me) completely unknown brands in various forums. And most of these people rave about their barely comparable quality. This piqued my interest… because I’ve always had a soft spot for quality, robust and long-lasting things. In Germany we say…
After some time and research on the subject, I decided to invest into a custom leather jacket. Namely for a black horsehide Cafe Racer jacket by “Aero Leather” from Scotland as I love its timeless and clean style.
To purchase an Aero leather jacket, you have several options. You can buy existing or even used jackets from stock, or you can order a jacket that fits your exact measurements. I decided for the latter, because I didn’t want to compromise with a price of (in the end) around one thousand Euros including taxes, customs and so on… and additionally wanted to be able to influence some of the design- and functional elements.
But even if you decide to buy a jacket from stock, you should always send a mail to Aero before buying. They will request your measurements and this way tell you, with all their experience, if the jacket you have in mind would fit.
Starting with a measuring tape
My own journey started with Holly’s initial request for my base-measurements. You could easily take these measurements yourself, but i would recommend asking for help by a third person. In my case, I want to be able to wear the jacket with a t-shirt and (for colder days) an additional thin sweater. So, don’t forget to measure while wearing them both! This also applies to the waist as you measure it including pants and belt!
- Height: 183cm – 6ft
- Relaxed: Chest 103cm – 40.5″
- Expanded Chest: 105cm – 41.5″
- Stomach: 96cm – 37.75″
- Waist: 97.5cm – 38.5″
With these measurement in mind, she recommended to take a 40″ Cafe Racer and slightly resize it to my requirements. In order to match the final sizing of the jacket, she asked me to additionally measure some of my well-fitting pieces. Namely the sleeve length as well as the back length. And since I have no experience with tailored clothes at all, some of the measurements seemed a bit too long. But Holly asked exactly the right questions and made me remeasure and think about the sizing several more times. Great!
It’s important to take these measurements very carefully:
In the end everything felt really good, and I decided to order the following specs:
- Cafe Racer
- Size 40″
- Sleeve Length: 26″
- Back Length: 26″
- Black CXFQHH
- 2 Pocket Set Up
- Nickel Hardwear
- No Shoulder Gusset
- Retain Kidney Panel
- Black Heavy Duty Cotton Drill
You now finally buy the right sized jacket, in my case 40″, via Aero’s online store and write in the comment that Holly will complete the rest of the specifications. Of course, this is not the classic “5-minute” online order that we are all used to. The communication and, I would almost say, discussion, ran over a few days to reach this point. By the way, your credit card will only be charged when the jacket is ready to be shipped.
After the slightly sobering information that the production and delivery of the jacket would take about four months, it was now time to wait. But Covid has not stopped at Scotland… and all good things take time…
My cafe racer jacket finally arrives
After a long wait of nearly four month, my new Aero Cafe Racer finally arrived. What can I say…? I am just thrilled.
The thickness and quality can’t be compared to anything I’ve owned before. Also, the details of the jacket really invite you to touch and play around. The leather itself initially feels stiff and immobile, one could put the jacket down and it would just stay put. But right after a few hours of wearing it the leather becomes softer. I really look forward to seeing how the jacket will change and mature over time.
But now let’s speak a few pictures:
I can extremely recommend you to give Aero a chance if you like jackets of high quality. They are not comparable to the leather jackets you could buy in the fashion market. Especially the nice and patient service of Holly was simply amazing. With her experience she pushed me and my decisions in exactly the right direction, so that I got my perfect leather jacket in the end.
One thing is for sure… this will not be my last piece from Aero…. isn’t the Board Racer a great cut? 😀
I will update this review from time to time to show the development of the jacket’s patina.