A-2, A-1, G-1, B-2, B-3, ANJ-4 American WWII Flight Jackets

Vintage Sheepskin and Horsehide US Flight Jackets and Motorcycle Jackets Lost Worlds USA

  Leather Flight Jackets A-2 G-1 B-3 ANJ-4 Americana





Horsehide, Goatskin, Sheepskin A-2, G-1, B-3 Leather and Motorcycle Jackets
83rd Bombardment Squadron A-2 Flight Jacket

LOST WORLDS is renowned for our Flight Jackets. Many purport to manufacture "correct" and "authentic" flight jackets. Ours meet such criteria completely and uncompromisingly. Amazingly, to those who know.

The Golden Age of American military and commercial leather flight jackets covered a mere twenty years: from the mid-1920s to the end of WWII, following which synthetics, chiefly nylon, replaced leather. During these two decades the major hides were Horsehide, Goatskin and Sheepskin. At the outset, Lambskin (South African Cape leather) was used in the A-1, but proved fragile and short-lived, one reason for the scarcity of genuine A-1s.

The most famous leather flight jackets are the Army Air Forces A-2, 1931-43, and the USN/USMC G-1, early 1940s-present (in all its specifications). Although the USAF and USN/USMC currently sport respectively an A-2 and G-1, these modern renditions resemble the original issues but in name, differing fully in materials, hardware, details, cut and quality.

Hence the novice with scant information on these jackets can easily fall prey to inaccurate hype. When for instance a vendor claims to sell the genuine USAF current issue A-2, know that for those who know and cherish the original WWII jackets, this is akin to calling a veggie burger Steak Tartar! (Or is it veggie-tanned burger!)

How, then, can one distinguish between the claims of competitors in a small, contentious field?

Research and diligence -- comparison and common sense. Try to see original examples. Try to see as many of the many reproductions awash in the market place as you can.  Speak to those who know, as opposed to those who pretend to know. To whit --

Be most wary of so-called "Non-Commercial," "Information Only," "Here to help you" web sites, chat groups, etc. Run by self-appointed "experts," these are usually manufacturer shills. LOST WORLDS does not participate in or sanction such repugnant activity. We have no proxies doing our work for us -- LOST WORLDS jackets sell themselves.


At some point, if you're serious about dead authenticity and quality that even exceeds originals, you'll audition a LOST WORLDS jacket. We don't consider our jackets replicas, rather continuations.

Our knowledge of the history and manufacture of American flight jackets is deep, yet there's always more to learn if you're a professional. The LOST WORLDS COLLECTION includes many memorable examples, only some of which are shown. Thus when we recreate a design we have many references on hand and a database of literally hundreds of originals we restored and examined over our thirty years ("... and it's been that long, Mr. Smiley..." -- John Le Carre) of collecting and manufacturing. We can compare, distinguish, synthesize. Owning so many originals illuminates the big picture, preventing mistakes from inexperience or piecemeal quasi-research.  We don't make mistakes, period. Nor pander to what some believe or are brainwashed into believing was true of the originals. Hence we don't copy undocumented flavor-of-the-month ephemera which pop up on eBay!

Operating our own factory immerses us directly and continually in the complexities of making jackets originally designed, sewn and flown in a wholly different world. Producing many related but distinct styles for Retail and Wholesale customers keeps quality standards at their highest. Conversely, small, insular production impairs quality because the manufacturer doesn't benefit from ongoing development. With these jackets one's always learning. Stop learning and you're like a fish that stops swimming. The craftsmanship and quality of LOST WORLDS jackets must be seen to be believed. We make artisan-grade gear.

How something looks and fits on a vintage jacket isn't necessarily how it should be or even was back then. What if the operator who did the topstitch wasn't top notch, if he sewed wider rather than narrower seams? Any seam variation will produce completely different fit and measurement jackets, not to mention visual profiles! If the pattern was flawed, or worn? If through use and desiccation over 60 years of haphazard storage, warping and shrinkage dramatically skewed the dimensions, shape and fit of the original reference piece being reproduced (as always happens), such that ostensibly careful measurements will mislead if not professionally translated into proper context? If you purchase a jacket that doesn't fit and the vendor says something like, "That's how it's supposed to fit," you're being had. Original flight jackets were trim but not prohibitive. Like a pair of cowboy boots it must fit right out of the box, then will only get better with break-in. It won't fit later if it doesn't fit now.

In a typical WWII factory one set of workers would make A-2 pockets, another sleeves, collars, etc. Then the pieces would go to another area for sewing; then to another for the sewing of the lining and topstitch. Etc. Uniformity of manufacture was thus impossible and endless variation ensued. These important facts quite elude some, who see the tree and not the forest! A high degree of specific knowledge about clothing and culture -- books, movies, music, furniture, architecture, the whole nine yards -- is necessary to avoid the tunnel vision of the hobbyist and guarantee LOST WORLDS customers benchmark flight jackets of extraordinary beauty, durability, correctness.

Flight jackets are indices, signs, of the culture which produced them, now indeed a lost world. ("The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there." -- H.L. Bates, The Go Between) Knowing how a Bugatti crankshaft was forged doesn't directly translate into sewing a jacket. But knowing how in the Mechanical Age craftsmen solved production problems with eye, brain, instinct and experience, mistrusting shortcuts and partial knowledge to obtain a goal of craft perfection, is absolutely important for understanding what something is -- and frequently isn't -- on an original jacket. LOST WORLDS works from the inside of a jacket out, not the opposite. The signature of a piece is immanent, not a Xerox copy. Superficiality is easy. Hence "Reality Television!" !!! Reality for those unreal is a contradiction.

Although our jackets cost more than some others we've never -- NEVER! -- heard from a customer that the difference wasn't worth it. That's because LOST WORLDS sells to educated grown-ups who purchase by choice rather than "internet buddy coercion." Frequently a first-time customer has reservations about spending "so much." When, however, the jacket arrives, he thinks it cheap at the price. But not everyone needs the Best. If YOU do....



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