Friday, July 20, 2012

Eastman and the Papa.

So much focus is placed on the Japanese flight jacket market these days that one begins to believe that Sakurasville is the only place where they're switched onto the good stuff. This isn't necessarily true because plodding away hidden from the limelight of the Nipponese media and the likes of Free&Easy there exists companies like the Eastman Leather Company. Eastman have had their fingers in the pie for a long long time and deservedly their product is right up there with the best of the best. Their leather jackets are a worthy investment in a historical legacy that stretches back to the war years.
Through mutual friends Heritage Research UK, the Papa was hooked up with Eastman's new US Navy ballcap. Its a style I had long tried to get my hands on and its the style synonymous with Naval and Marine aviators, PT commanders and Submarine men. It was also the cap favoured by Hollywood goes to war and perched atop John Wayne's head in Operation Pacific and They were Expendable. Originals of these are rare indeed and any find on Ebay is usually of very poor condition. Eastman have taken this cap and perfected it so that it appears to have been purchased at the PX yesterday 1945. The secret here is in the use of super fine pure wool jersey as opposed to a heavy wool broadcloth one might see in use at Ebbets Field Flannels. Its this fine grade of wool that made this cap so comfortable in the climate of the South Pacific and under Oriental waters and its also the reason why there isn't any to be had today in the vintage market, owners of these caps just flogged them to death with wear. Of course there is also the green twill underside of brim but what I found really lovely and especially comfortable is the super thin split horsehide sweatband. Its not often that I really love something and this usually leads me to make my own stuff or have a hand in the creation of others but the Papa must admit that this cap is a beauty and an absolute must have.
Look up Eastman today and get one of these caps, tell 'em the Papa told you so and let's support those brands that are truly putting the good stuff out there.


  1. You wrote it very well, the Eastman cap is a perfect spirit of the times!

  2. Now, that is one tasty cap. And the use of horsehide doesn't make it any less appealing.

    Sometimes stuff is just made right.

    Speaking of repro leather jackets. Who are the best makers in your opinion? I'm of course aware of many of them (Aero, Eastman, Buzz etc etc), but I've got very little personal experience with any of them, but I would like to know more from your perspective.