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
but proved fragile and short-lived, one reason for the scarcity of
The most famous
leather flight jackets are the Army Air Forces
1931-43, and the USN/USMC
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
activity. We have no proxies doing our work for us -- LOST WORLDS jackets sell
THE INTERNET MAKES FRAUD PAINLESS AND
CHEAP. WITH FREEDOM COME ABUSERS. THOSE WITH
HIDDEN AGENDAS HAVE THINGS TO HIDE.
THE UNWARY AND GULLIBLE WILL PAY THE PRICE.
US IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS.
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,
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
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.
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
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
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....