There are few cooler, more masculine pieces of menswear than a good leather jacket.
A great leather jacket can make any man look roguish, rebellious and (let’s be honest) totally badass.
Think of the fur-lined bombers made famous by Tom Cruise and his fellow fighter pilots in Top Gun.
Or to take a more modern example, the red biker-style jacket Chris Pratt sports in Guardians of the Galaxy.
But when it comes to making leather jackets look as good in real life as they do in the movies, there’s one factor above all that determines whether or not you’ll look badass, or just bad:
How it fits.
A leather jacket that hugs your body perfectly can make you look like Maverick or Star Lord.
But if your jacket’s too big, you’ll look like a little boy who just raided his dad’s closet.
And if it’s too small, you run the risk of looking like noted “leather daddy” Tobias Funke, which is probably not the look you’re going for:
Enter the Jacket Maker
That’s where The Jacket Maker comes in.
In addition to selling well made jackets in a wide variety of styles, the online retailer distinguishes itself by offering custom leather jackets specifically sized to your unique proportions.
And even more intriguingly, they somehow manage to offer their custom order jackets at prices comparable to what you’d pay for a good leather jacket at a major department store.
(And in some cases, even better prices.)
All of which begs the question: is the Jacket Maker legit?
I recently ordered and spent a few weeks trying a customized version of their leather bomber jacket to find out.
Read on to learn the full results of my Jacket Maker review and find out if their custom leather jacket is worth shelling out for.
In this post I’ll outline what a professional clothier is, what they do and – most importantly – what they can do for you.
The Jacket Maker Review
Are their custom leather jackets legit?
An Irreverent Gent Investigation
What is The Jacket Maker?
The Jacket Maker was founded by Syed Obaid after he identified a distinct gap in the leather jacket market.
For years there were basically only two options for buying a leather jacket:
The Jacket Maker was founded in an attempt to offer something in between these two poles.
Their goal is to offer well made leather jackets that look just as good (and last just as long) as the luxury brands, but come at a much more affordable price.
How? By cutting the middlemen out of the supply chain, and designing and manufacturing their jackets in-house.
Their model is built on the principle of just-in-time production, meaning they don’t start making a jacket until one has been ordered.
As a result, they’re able to offer a level of customization that you rarely get from other leather jackets.
So, do they succeed? Let’s take a closer look at the custom order G-1 Leather Bomber that I tried to find out.
Let’s Get to the Good Stuff:
Assessing The Jacket Maker’s G-1 Leather Bomber Jacket
I chose to try the Airin G-1 Leather Bomber for a very specific reason:
Because it looked f@¢&ing badass on the website.
It sports an outer shell of real sheepskin leather, rib knit cuffs, a quilted polyester lining and – the piece de resistance – a removable plush white fur collar.
All of which reminded me of the masculine and dapper-as-hell leather coat worn by WWII fighter pilots.
It’s available in two different colors, black and brown, but I chose brown because it’s easier to pair with blue jeans and my favorite pair of brown leather boots.
Of course, it’s easy to make photos look great on a website, and a lot harder to deliver the goods in person, especially when you’re only charging $285 for what looks like a much more expensive jacket.
So I was curious to get the ordering and customization process out of the way and get my hands on the jacket itself.
The Ordering Process
You have two options when ordering a leather jacket from The Jacket Maker:
You can choose one of the off-the-rack standard sizes, ranging from XS to 4XL, or for an extra 30 dollars choose the Made to Measure option and get a custom jacket.
I chose the latter, which meant I had to provide them with my measurements.
The Jacket Maker asks for eight measurements that help them determine the size of your jacket, and makes finding the measurements pretty easy by providing a video that shows you how to take each one.
It can be helpful to have another person take the measurements for you.
In my case I asked my wife to help, but you could also just go to a dry cleaner or tailor, who will probably do it for you.
(Having your measurements on hand is actually quite helpful for ordering other clothes too, so it’s worth doing once a year or so.)
Ordering a custom jacket also means that it would take awhile to ship.
In my case it was something like 14 business days, as opposed to 7 to 10 for a standard sized jacket.
But in my opinion the extra few days were well worth the wait to get a jacket that was custom fit to my exact proportions.
Proactive Customer Service
The custom design process was more thorough than I expected.
After following the guidelines on their website and getting my wife to help me take my measurements, I submitted my numbers to the team and expected them to get to work.
But after reviewing the measurements I submitted, a member of their team (or as they call it, a “dedicated design consultant”) reached out.
Apparently the numbers I provided didn’t quite make sense proportionally, and would have resulted in a jacket that probably wouldn’t look quite right.
They asked if I could redo two measurements (shoulders and arm length) to double check, and sent me links to videos to walk me through the steps.
I appreciated the thoroughness of the collaborative process.
Rather than just blindly follow the numbers I provided, they were discerning and experienced enough to notice that something was wrong, and thorough enough to follow up.
Yes, it meant that they were slightly delayed in getting to work on my jacket.
But since this is a not-inexpensive piece that I intend to wear for a long time, I’d much rather get it perfect than get it quickly, and was glad to see how much effort they put into it.
The Jacket Itself
Once the G1 jacket arrived, the first thing I noticed when I got it out of the plastic bag was that the handsome leather jacket that came in the mail looked almost identical to what I saw on their website.
Even after years of ordering stuff online, I’m always a bit suspicious of the fashion industry, and worried that the product I actually receive won’t look as good as the pictures I saw online.
Fortunately, in this case my worries were unfounded.
The leather had the exact same deep brown color, and the collar was thick, warm and pure white.
So far, so good.
The next step, of course, was to try it on.
When I first slid the jacket on, I had a brief moment of panic:
“Oh sh*t, it’s too small.”
Before I went and looked in the mirror, I thought that the jacket was a bit snug, and worried that the arms weren’t the right length, even after all the back and forth with customer service about the sleeve length.
I was disappointed, since I was really looking forward to getting the jacket, and hoping it could be a piece I wear for decades, and eventually pass down to my son.
Then I looked in the mirror — and my disappointment turned to delight:
“Oh sh*t, it’s… a perfect fit.”
The reason the jacket felt a bit snug when I first tried it on is because it actually fit my body perfectly, in contrast to pretty much every other coat I own, which fit well, but not this well.
Pretty much every aspect of the G1 jacket’s fit was spot-on.
The bottom hit right at my waist, which is where you want a bomber jacket like this to fall (as opposed to trench coats, top coats or pea coats, all of which should hit a little lower.)
Through the torso it hugged my body snugly – rather than billowing out to make me look fat – but there was still enough room that I could zip it up easily.
And, yes, the customer service reps were right, and the arm length was perfect. When I stood up straight with my arms down, the rib knit cuffs hit exactly at my wrist.
Other than made-to-measure suits I’ve ordered in the past, this is by far the best-fitting jacket I’ve ever owned.
Lighter Layers Only
The only heads-up I’ll give about the fit is that, in my case, the jacket fits perfectly when I’m wearing a light layer like a t-shirt or (very) light weight sweater (think merino wool).
That’s because I was only wearing a t-shirt when I took my measurements, so the jacket is designed to fit as close to my body as possible.
Fortunately, between the viscose lining and good quality leather (on which more below), the jacket kept me quite warm, even with a thin layer underneath.
But if you intend to use it as one of your primary winter jackets and subject it to sub-zero temperatures, then you’ll want to layer it over a warm sweater.
In that case, make sure you wear a thicker sweater when you take your measurements, so the jacket will accommodate the extra layer underneath.
In addition to the fit, I was also really happy about (and pleasantly surprised by) the quality of the leather.
This was the other part of ordering online that worried me.
Generally speaking, leather bomber jackets sold at this price point don’t exactly use the most premium materials.
Instead, they’re often made from a lower quality leather, which can photograph well for the website, but look shiny and plastic-y in person.
So I was both relieved and quite happy to find that the leather was soft and supple, as high quality, natural leather should be.
In addition to the great look and feel of the jacket, the Jacket Maker really seems to have nailed the little things that a lot of cheaper jacket brands ignore.
For instance, the fur lined collar is fully removable, allowing you to switch back and forth between the fur look and a slightly less flashy leather collar.
I’ve had other jackets with removable collars before, and found that they usually leave a lot to be desired.
Sometimes the collar looks removable, which also looks cheap.
Other times it’s advertised as being removable, but actually super annoying to remove and put back on.
Fortunately, in this case neither problem applies. When the fur collar is on, you would never know that it’s removable: it’s plush, warm, and looks built into the jacket.
But it’s also easy to take off and put back on, giving you the flexibility to mix up your look, almost like you get two styles with one jacket.
The other cool design element – and distinct advantage of getting something custom made – is that the Jacket Maker can embroider whatever you like on the inside pocket.
I decided to opt for my last name rather than my initials, because I figured that the bomber is such a timeless style that I could pass it down to my son one day.
And I’m glad I did, because now that I know the quality is solid, I definitely think this is a jacket that Bowdens could be wearing for a few generations.
Neither of these details would be deal breakers if they weren’t present, but the fact that they are really increases the value that the Jacket Maker provides.
I have to admit that I’ve been pretty impressed by both the great quality of the G-1 Bomber and the experience of ordering it online.
The only real con I can identify is that, in total, the entire process took a while to complete, especially with the dedicated design consultant coming back to me with changes to my order.
So if you expect to have a perfect-fitting custom jacket draped around your shoulders tomorrow, you should probably find somewhere else to shop.
From first placing the order to finally receiving the jacket took a few weeks.
To be honest I forget the exact amount of time but I think it was about a month, which is longer than you’d wait when ordering an off-the-rack jacket from most major retailers.
But on the flip side, it’s pretty quick considering that the jacket was custom made to my exact proportions, and it was shipped halfway across the world, all the way from Pakistan.
(It’s also worth noting that the Jacket Maker offers free shipping worldwide, which makes the waiting a little easier—it’s not like you pay a premium for shipping and then still have to wait.)
And as I mentioned above, this is a piece that I intend to keep forever and hopefully even pass down to my son one day.
So if my family is going to get years – and maybe even decades – of use out of the thing, then waiting a few extra weeks isn’t much of a sacrifice.
Is The Jacket Maker legit?
The Jacket Maker is absolutely legit, and might just be the single best place to turn if you’re looking for a great price on a fully customized, made-to-measure jacket.
The process of ordering the jacket online was as straightforward as you could hope for, their customer service staff was knowledgeable and friendly, and the end result was a great jacket that fits perfectly.
Overall, it was a great experience.
So far the G1 Leather bomber is the only custom jacket in my collection, but my experience was so positive that I’ll very likely be adding a second jacket in the near future.
I definitely recommend giving their made to measure service a try, especially if you’re in the market for a fully customized bespoke leather jacket.