This Buzz Rickson’s A-2 Flight Jacket is a copy of those original A-2 Flight Jackets produced by the United Sheeplined Clothing Co. of Long Branch, New Jersey under Air Corps Purchase Order 42-18777. This A-2 Flight Jacket exhibits important details that help differentiate one original A-2 Flight Jacket contractor and contract from another – details synonymous with the pedigree of historical accuracy found in the goods we offer, including for this United Sheeplined Clothing Co. A-2 Flight Jacket the following: Correct features of an early-production A-2 Flight Jacket from this contractor, including a russet-colored horsehide shell and a leather hanger sewn into the neck area that partially obscures the top lines of text on the neck label vs. the leather hangers found on most A-2 Flight Jackets, where the hanger is sewn above the top of the neck label. Other distinctive features of United Sheeplined A-2 Flight Jackets have, of course, been correctly duplicated, including the pocket flap, collar, epaulette shape and size with contractor-specific stitching on epaulets, beveled lower corners on pockets, small ring-style press studs, seam widths, nicely squared shoulders, construction with all-cotton thread in contrasting light-shade olive drab, mid-brown lining, and knit parts dyed to the darker brown typical of United Sheeplined A-2 Flight Jacket. Original A-2 Flight Jackets produced by United Sheeplined Clothing Co. are quite rare today in the community of flight jacket collectors due to the relatively small number produced by this contractor during WWII.
This A-2 Flight Jacket just looks incredibly cool, rugged and vintage the first time you put it on, thanks to Buzz Rickson’s unique aniline-dying process with hand-rubbed wax incorporated in the final phase, and their exclusive fully vegetable-tanned ”Bronco Hide.” A nicely aged vintage A-2 Flight Jacket will often reveal a mottled finish with the lighter-colored natural leather showing through over most of the entire jacket, which is due to a thin, hasty top coat of lacquer-based darker dye having been worn off with use. Buzz Rickson’s employs an aniline dye process that exquisitely duplicates this same look since the old lacquer-type dyes can no longer be employed due to environmental restrictions. Once dying is complete, the master tanners at Buzz Rickson’s work hand-applied wax into the hides for this particular A-2 Flight Jacket copy, which creates a deeper depth of color and contrast between light and dark mottled areas and greater luster, thus enhancing characteristics of age and wear from use so this A-2 Flight Jacket will look like a combat veteran from day one, and also renders a significantly more comfortable A-2 Flight Jacket out of the box vs. the stiffer feeling and longer break-in periods typically associated with horsehide that is fully vegetable tanned. And the overall appearance of the leather would not be anywhere near as authentic and beautiful if not for the exclusive “Bronco Hide” developed by Buzz Rickson’s.
The “Bronco Hide” is a result of years of costly research in obtaining a rugged horsehide featuring uneven, deep-seated broken lines of all-natural grain typical of what can be found on many vintage A-2 Flight Jackets. The hides are all sourced from the best leather country in the world – Italy- where a preeminent tannery selects only the best-of-the-best leathers (for this A-2 Flight Jacket the hides are 1.1mm in thickness), then vegetable tanned in such a way as to bring out the natural grain inherent in the horsehide. During the processing, the tannery has found a way to make the horsehide more soft and pliant, making these Buzz Rickson’s A-2 Flight Jackets incredibly comfortable right out of the box, then continuing to gain suppleness with each wearing, all the while maintaining the correct drape of an original A-2 Flight Jacket. And these A-2 Flight Jackets get better looking with use as the patina of wear continues to mount from the natural abrasions the hide develops while being enjoyed by you. Yes, Buzz Rickson’s may well have come up with the ultimate horsehide on the ultimate A-2 Flight Jacket reproduction money can buy.
Please note these authentic features:
• Copy of original-style maker’s label design produced on a vintage shuttle loom and that bears the name of the original contractor – United Sheeplined Clothing Co.
• All-cotton thread in contrasting olive drab as found on most A-2 Flying Jackets originally produced under Purchase Order 42-18777 by United Sheeplined Clothing Co.
• 1.1mm thick, vegetable-tanned, aniline-dyed horsehide imported from Italy with what can be argued as the best vintage patina available today, featuring Buzz Rickson’s unique hand-waxed process matching the look of many nicely aged A-2s made by United Sheeplined Clothing Co.
• Single-piece back as found on all vintage original A-2 Jackets
• Collar assembly following the simplified style adopted for the mass production of 1942-44, exactly as found on the majority of vintage A-2s originally produced during WWII and correct for a United Sheeplined Clothing Co. A-2 of this contract
• Custom manufacturing of the correct weight and weave all-cotton inner-lining fabric to precisely match 1940s USAAF specs. and dyed medium brown to match original vintage A-2s of this contract; the density and tightness of the weave of the lining may well be the most accurate of any reproduction A-2 made today
• Metal collar clip custom manufactured to the original USAAF spec. featuring the raised bend at mid-section with reversed backing plates, both of which are correct for United Sheeplined Clothing Co., and finished in correct semi-matte nickel plating
• Smaller ring-style press studs precisely matching those found on original United Sheeplined Clothing Co. A-2s
• Shoulder straps typifying the shape, size and stitch style found on original A-2s produced by United Sheeplined Clothing Co., including the joining seam hidden under the epaulets where front and back panels meet; most vintage A-2s have this seam located behind the epaulets
• Two snap-down exterior pockets with stitching and pocket configuration typifying the style found on original United Sheeplined Clothing Co. A-2s, most notably including the lower pocket corners cut at 45-degree angles
• Snap-down collar typifying the shape, size and stitch style found on original United Sheeplined Clothing Co. A-2s
• USAAF authentic inspector’s decal in off-white applied to reverse side of wind flap
• Correct to this A-2 contractor, a cotton label with lot and size printed in deep blue appears in the pocket
• The Army-Navy inspector-assigned number Z22 ink stamped in the lining as is typical for United Sheeplined Clothing Co. A-2s
• Custom manufacturing of two-ply super heavy-weight 100% worsted-wool knit cuffs and waist skirt in a dark brown color, with cuffs correctly graduating from a wider weave into a narrow weave, exactly matching those found on original United Sheeplined Clothing Co. A-2s. These knit parts won’t stretch out from normal wear!
• Heavy leather hanging loop correctly sewn directly through the jacket lining and outer leather shell using a box stitch and located directly over top the first two lines of text on the neck label as per vintage A-2s produced by United Sheeplined Clothing Co.
Buzz Rickson’s products are imported from Japan
Buzz Rickson USAAF A-2 Flying Jacket, United Sheeplined Clothing Co.
About this Style: This jacket provides a very easy-wearing fit that creates very few sizing issues for the overwhelming majority of individuals. It is important to keep in mind that the external chest measures listed here are just that – EXTERNAL measures – and don’t account for the slightly lesser amount of room on the inside of the jacket. Likewise, if you plan to wear heavy layers under this jacket style, that application will further subtract from the room inside the jacket. About 70% of our customers prefer this style in a size 3” - 4” larger than their chest measure, while the other 30% prefer a size that is 6” larger than their chest measure.
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, order this garment with no less than 4” of room in excess of your chest measure if you prefer a trim fit. If a roomier or longer fit is desired, then order the next available size after reviewing all relative measures that pertain to that size.
Tip 2: Please note that your chest circumference measure is not necessarily the labeled size you wear in another jacket 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 jacket 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 3: This last jacket size we have left is ideal for a chest measure 42” in circumference if you want to maintain the overall original fit found in many vintage A-2 jackets. Those whose chest measure is 41” should, in most instances, be pleased with this fit in a size 42.
Tip 4: Individuals who prefer looser fits and/or those with a waist measure that is nearly equal to or greater than their chest circumference measure may jump up one size in this jacket 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, body weight, and type of clothing to be worn beneath the jacket most of the time, as well as the type of fit you prefer: Trim, roomy or oversized.
Buzz Rickson USAAF A-2 Flying Jacket, United Sheeplined Clothing Co.
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 the 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 44 is 23”, doubling this measure yields a 46” 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 jackets are cut in such a way that the wearer requires no less than 4” of room in the jacket for a sleek fit that is also comfortable, while other jacket styles require the wearer to have more than 8” of room. If your chest circumference is 42”, a product with a 23” chest width has a 46” external chest circumference and would provide 4” of external room in this scenario (chest measures 42”, external chest measure of jacket is 46”, thus 4” of external room would be realized).
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 19.5” and the arm length is 26.5”, adding 9.75” (half the shoulder width) to 26.5” (the arm length) will yield an overall sleeve length of 36.25” in this product.
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.
IMPORTANT: Because you need room in a garment for comfort, garments with a 44” chest circumference are NOT a size 44, nor are they intended for anyone with a 44” chest circumference. Tee shirts and thermal shirts tend to have the most body-hugging fits of our product offerings because these were originally intended to be undergarments, thus these can be ordered to stretch to fit if that is how you wish to wear such garments. Other shirts, sweatshirts, sweaters, jackets, etc. will all have some amount of room incorporated in their designs, thus these will all measure larger than your actual chest measure by varying degrees.
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.
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.
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.
Please understand that no jacket can be two jackets in one (you may have to make a compromise in fit somewhere). The best look is achieved wearing a shirt and undershirt, or a medium-weight sweater with undershirt; the goal being a trim, sleek look. If the application of our jackets is with multiple layers of clothing, then the original look will be compromised; when purchased oversized, please keep in mind that the jacket will fit NOT trimly but LOOSELY when fewer clothes are worn.
As a rule here, if the jacket squares up nicely on the shoulders when worn with the sort of clothing you will wear most of the time, falls about 1 1/2" below the top of your trousers (if a waist-length jacket), allows you to reach into trouser pockets and recover keys, wallet and change without discomfort or pain, as well as allow normal strides while walking, then this is very likely a good fit and how the jacket would have been worn when originally issued.
Using the good-fit test where one draws their arms across their chest as a barometer for snugness will almost certainly produce some binding in an A-2 jacket of the correct size, and thus push you further up the sizing scale into a very large A-2 jacket. A true 1940s A-2 jacket has no bi-swing action back (as found on the USN M-422A or G-1jackets, USAAF B-6, Tanker jacket, etc.) and is not cut for such a great range of movement as experienced when doing the arm-crossing act. If you can get that sort of movement range without binding in one of our A-2s, then it will surely be rather loose and sloppy when you aren't drawing your arms across your chest in front of you.
What makes more sense, having a jacket that looks great and feels fine during 90% of your activities, or only when you cross your arms in front of you? Do you walk around with your arms crossed in front of you? The choice is yours and we will gladly oblige all tastes, but do try to get the look originally intended.