Buzz Rickson USAAF C-2 Winter Flying Vest (sweater)
The C-2 Vest (sweater) is an all-time favorite of our founder, who deems its design, utility, construction, and function as genius, as well as indispensable with almost every jacket in one's wardrobe.
Developed in 1934 for the Air Corps and intended specifically to be worn under flying jackets and flying suits, the C-2 was both fabricated and designed to provide a very hugging fit; the narrow, tapered sleeves and hugging body help the C-2 to act as a second skin. The intention was to provide for an additional 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit of useful life to any given outer garment, and with minimal bulk and interference when worn with any number of layers protecting from the cold. The A-2 Flying Jacket was the main companion intended for wear with the C-2, as the A-2 was designated a Summer Flying Jacket and, with its lightweight poplin lining, really nothing more than a leather wind breaker.
When the C-2 is worn with the classic A-2 Flying Jacket, the benefits are immediate and immense, truly allowing for use of the A-2 into colder temperatures without feeling chilled. It has been said that to get the most use out of an A-2 Flying Jacket, one must be prepared to sweat and freeze: the C-2 Winter Flying Vest can extend the useful life of the A-2 significantly into colder weather and substantially help to eliminate the "freezing" part associated with getting the most life from the A-2. Additionally, thanks to the tapered sleeves (very snug from elbow to cuff), easy donning and removal of any jacket style is readily afforded with a TRUE C-2 Winter Flying Vest.
Another substantive benefit of the C-2 is the full-zipper closure. Many individuals find they want to remove their sweater once inside warmer surroundings, then having to reverse the process when heading back outside: with most sweaters, this means pulling the sweater over one's head or slowly fidgeting with buttons, but the easy-glide zipper of the C-2 makes immediate removal and replacement effortless!
The C-2 is not just for use with the A-2 Flying Jacket: the design, function, utility and overall fit makes it the perfect companion for any jacket, whether leather or textile in fabrication, and military or civilian in design! Although attempted by other brands past and present, the various iterations of the C-2 have all fallen short in one or all of the following ways: incorrect or less-than-precise fit (such as sizing small, medium, large, etc., or sizes that cover ranges, such as 42-44 vs. sizing that is size specific, such as 38, 40, 42), yarn size that is too thick (creates bulk and sloppy fit), yarns that are too fuzzy and soft (will not hold up to years of use), incorrect zipper types, sewing/assembly, and various other atrocities.
Buzz Rickson's has, in their typical precision, crafted the ultimate C-2 Winter Flying Vest (sweater). Please note these authentic, high-quality features that make this the ONLY C-2 to own:
• Copy of original maker’s label design produced on a vintage shuttle loom.
• Custom manufacturing of the correct weight and weave Olive Drab worsted-wool yarns to match AAF spec. The yarns are not at all bulky or thick, and they have that crisp "bite" found on the vintage C-2 sweaters; these yarns are decidedly not at all soft or fuzzy, thus providing years, and years of use without premature wear and excess pilling.
• Taping of neck seam and zipper closure sides with contrasting HBT cotton fabric.
• Correct design of fit, with tapered arms and hugging body construction; in conjunction with the correct weight of wool yarns, the use of this C-2 with most any jacket will be a dream.
• One pocket on lower left side.
• Correct lockstitch throughout assembly.
• Authentic copy of a brass Conmar zipper custom made at great expense and outfitted with cool-looking, contrasting tan-colored zip tape made of all-cotton HBT fabric, not incorrect poly-cotton, and correctly reinforced with real bar tacking (not mere look-a-like stitching) at the base.
• Correct cotton hanging loop cross-stitched directly through the sweater neck area.
• Assembly with contrasting-color, all-cotton thread on vintage sewing machines.
When worn as originally intended, we can comfortably fit chest measures up to 46". Please do NOT attempt to guess your size and please see our SIZING TIPS for advice on how to get the correct fit.
Imported from Japan
Buzz Rickson USAAF C-2 Winter Flying Vest (sweater)
About this Style: This sweater is manufactured from medium-weight worsted-wool knit woven to readily stretch and drape nicely with the body shape; most body types can be accommodated in this style without difficulty. The design was intended for use with flying jackets, most especially, the lightweight A-2 Flying Jacket - there is absolutely nothing about the correct wearing of the C-2 that is supposed to be like your grandfather's cardigan! And, of course, the C-2 can be worn on its own, as well as easily unzipped and removed once indoors.
The C-2 is trim and snugly tapered from elbow to cuff, and the entire concept of this design was for it to be worn very hugging to the body, as if a second skin, where it can stretch to the body's shape so it would present the least bulk and restriction; when donning and removing a jacket with the C-2 worn underneath, the process should be relatively easy and smooth.
Please note that wool knits are designed for maximum stretch: it is the nature of knits vs. woven garments. Most individuals today are not familiar with the look and feel of wearing sweaters such as the C-2, which is not intended to be a loose, cardigan-style sweater, but if you prefer a looser fit, study the listed measurements for this sweater and compare them to your body measures, then determine if you want to go up a size.
If the primary intention is to wear the C-2 under a jacket, the sleeve length should be a secondary consideration, as the jacket sleeves themselves should be providing protection against the cold and adding additional thickness/bulk to jacket styles with knit cuffs is not necessary.
The raglan-sleeve construction does not allow for an accurate measure of shoulder width as noted under the PRODUCT MEASUREMENTS tab on this website since there is no shoulder seam to mark as a starting and end point, thus measures for shoulder width and arm length have been performed as accurately as possible in approximate terms, but the sum total derived from adding the listed shoulder width to the arm length is extremely precise because we can clearly identify and measure the distance from center neck to end of cuff.
Tip 1: Follow the instructions entitled “How to Use Product Measures to Obtain a Good Fit” listed under the PRODUCT MEASUREMENTS tab for this product. After finding no substantive conflicts with your body measures obtained from the tab entitled BODY MEASURING, and assuming you desire the original, body-hugging fit of the C-2, order this garment with between 0" - 2” of room in excess of your chest measure, thus if you have a 42” chest circumference measure, order size 38 or 40. If a roomier or longer fit is desired, then order the next available size after reviewing all relative measures that pertain to that size. Those whose chest measure falls on an odd number, such as 41” or 43”, will have to determine if they want less room or more room when selecting a sweater size, but the original, body-hugging, non-bulky fit will be best found by going with a tighter fit vs.a a looser one.
Tip 2: About 90% of our customers are pleased with the fit if they order a size with a numerical value one size below their chest measure, thus an individual with 40” chest circumference measure would overwhelmingly be pleased by ordering a size 38 in the C-2.
Tip 3: Please note that your chest circumference measure is not necessarily the labeled size you wear in another jacket or sweater you may own from a different maker or even the same maker, so please take the time to obtain your true chest circumference measure so as to compare to our chart of sweater measures; this will enable us to perform a better job getting you the right size and minimize your chances in having to deal with the hassle and cost of exchanges.
Please ask us for fitting advice if in doubt.
Tip 4: Individuals who prefer looser fits and/or those with a substantial waist measure may jump up one size in this sweater for comfort and desired fit (when we refer to waist measure we do not mean your trouser size; we mean the actual circumference measure of your waistline at its widest point). If you are unsure of the size to order we will assist you; please contact us with the following information: Height, waist circumference measure, chest circumference measure and body weight, as well as the type of fit you prefer: Trim or loose.
Buzz Rickson USAAF C-2 Winter Flying Vest (sweater)
The following table provides actual product measures. These measures are provided as an aid because, in conjunction with the information found under the SIZING TIPS tab for each product, they can sometimes be very useful when comparing the measurements from this garment to the measures of your body; however, acting as an armchair tailor should be done with caution, as well as with knowledge of other important areas of fit that are not displayed here. Armchair tailors frequently fail to take into account other significant elements that impact fit; following the information found under the SIZING TIPS tab for each garment on this web site is strongly suggested, which can be very useful in supplanting or supplementing the listed measures below.
Our measures were derived from averaging measurements taken from many garments of the same size from each specific size in the range of any given product, thus the measures provided are representative for each size but they may not be exactly what you will receive. Some fluctuation in size is normal and to be expected, especially in these garments that have been manufactured on the bench by hand. Size fluctuations are rarely encountered in the width measures and more typically encountered in length measures, and particularly with respect to leather jackets and jackets with knit cuffs and waistbands. Fluctuations in width measures are very rare, and when they are encountered they are typically insignificant: 1/8” – ¼”. Normal fluctuations in sleeve and/or body length + /- a ½” are more common but still rare, and such fluctuations in that increment range are within spec. for jackets of the same size and style.
How to Use Product Measures to Obtain a Good Fit:
1) Using the measurements listed for this product and information found under the tab entitled MEASURING GARMENTS to understand our measuring technique, please double the chest measure to obtain the total external chest circumference of this garment. For example: If the chest measure listed for size 40 is 21”, doubling this measure yields a 42” external chest circumference.
2) Measure your chest circumference as per the tab on this web site specifically addressing BODY MEASURING, then compare your chest measure to the chest measure of this product.
3) Many sweaters are cut in such a way that the wearer requires no less than 2” of room in the sweater for a sleek fit that is also comfortable, while other sweater styles require the wearer to have more than 6” of room. If your chest circumference is 40”, a product with a 21” chest width has a 42” external chest circumference and would provide 2” of external room in this scenario (chest measures 40”, external chest measure of jacket is 42”, thus 2” of external room would be realized). Please see SIZING TIPS for specifics to ordering the correct size in this C-2.
4) Again, using the measurements listed for this product and information under the MEASURING GARMENTS tab to understand our measuring technique, add half of the shoulder width to the arm length. For example: If the shoulder width is 21.5” and the arm length is 22.5”, adding 10.75” (half the shoulder width) to 22.5” (the arm length) will yield an overall sleeve length of 33.25” in this product.
PLEASE NOTE: The raglan-sleeve construction of the C-2 does not allow for an accurate measure of shoulder width as listed on this website since there is no shoulder seam to mark as a starting and end point, thus measures for shoulder width and arm length have been performed as accurately as possible in approximate terms, but the sum total derived from adding the listed shoulder width to the arm length is extremely precise because we can clearly identify and measure the distance from center neck to end of cuff.
5) Measure your overall sleeve length following the instructions on this web site under the tab specifically addressing BODY MEASURING, then compare your overall sleeve length to this product.
6) If desired, repeat the measuring comparisons for back length.
7) Compare your body measures to the listed garment measures and follow the advice found under the SIZING TIPS tab to obtain a good fit.
Sometimes-Problematic Way to Determine a Good Fit:
Due to differences in how even near-identical garments are cut by different manufacturers, it is not necessarily a good idea to compare the listed measures of this product to the measures of an existing, similar product in your wardrobe to determine the correct size to order in this product. Though such comparisons can indeed work some of the time, and maybe even most of the time, vast experience with and knowledge of the products we market has proven such practices will sometimes fail. This inaccurate measuring methodology doesn't factor in other key variables of fit relative to you and the garment that includes: Armhole opening, shoulder slope, high-point shoulder, high chest, width of sleeves at all points including the all-important elbow, waist measure, and the thickness, plumpness, and rigidity of the material the garment is made from, naming just some variables influencing fit that do not appear on any list of measurements for a garment or that a customer is likely to account for.
A Good Fit:
This is highly subjective - what one person may think is too big, another may think fits perfectly. Some garments are cut quite generously and others are cut quite trimly. If comparing measurements of one of our products to another you may own, some individuals will surely find that none or maybe only one area of measure is commonly shared or remotely close to being the same. Ultimately, chest measure is the most important area to properly fit, then all other areas of measure will have to fall into place. And some individuals who are extremely tall may find that body and/or sleeve length are more important to accommodate than even chest measure.
It is best to compare your actual body measures to the listed measures of this product AND follow our advice listed under the SIZING TIPS tab specific to this product to obtain a good fit in this style.
We strive to create a crisp fit between our products and the customer, and not a loose, sloppy look. If you prefer your clothing to fit more loosely, then we will do our best to work with you to that end, though, by the very nature of our product designs and fits it may not be possible to duplicate the slack looks found in many mainstream clothing brands even if you go up one or two sizes in our products.