Finding the right Perfecto wasn't really easy and it took me some time to accomplish. It's been a journey, but I finally found the right size, style and quality that I was looking for. Which just so happenes to be a Perfecto118 Size 38. It was literally from a recently made batch. Mine was on back order for about 3 weeks and I received it 3 days after they were available for order on the Schott website (March 18th 2013). I can't tell you how amazed, pleased and in love I am with this jacket. (my girlfriend loves it on me too)
I did a lot of research and when I say a lot I mean A LOT. I can only say the only thing that trully helped me decide and know it was the right jacket was actually trying on various styles and sizes. I looked through almost all of these blogs; emailed and called Schott; etc... I did everything short of driving to NYC and I live in Boston so I almost did (yeah I was obsessed with getting this right). And you should be because they aren't cheap!
So I'm going to give you my story, what I was looking for in a Perfecto, what I learned and hopefully it helps all of you who are looking to find not just the right Perfecto but the perfect Perfecto.
I'm a musician and reading a recent article in Q Magazine on Brandon Flowers (lead singer of The Killers) I noticed the jacket he was wearing. Some form of a Schott 618 or 118. I reference this so you know what fit and look I went for. It was tailored but not super tight like the Ramones. And after you try on one of these Perfecto's that is TOO tight, like the Ramones wore, you'll know that it probably didn't provide any sort of comfort to them what so ever.
I'm 24 years of age, 5' 11", 170 lbs, Chest size around a 41". In short i'm thin/fit and have an athletic build. I like my clothes to look tailored/slim fitting. I have always bought pleather jackets; they were always the most accessible and price friendly. But i'm a converted man now. Theirs nothing quite as magical as Schott leather. Now most of my Pleather jackets laid flat measure around 21" in the chest. note; however, that pleather has some give/stretch to it as leather is not as forgiving. That all being said, I went to the Schott website as well as any others that had any size and style advice to find the right jacket. After weighing style, materials and size recommendations I decided on a 618 size 42. I though this would have everything I was looking for; plus Schott recommends one size up in a 618, i.e. 42, so I went with that. This for me however didn't work out at all. It was too big in every way (knowing what I know now, I would have probably went with a 40). I also was not a fan of the steerhide, which was too stiff and squeaky for me. Also the straps that remained buttoned down on the shoulders (IDK the technical name for them) kind of stuck out funny. I'm also just not looking to break mine in for a few months just to get rid of all the stiffness and embarassing squeaks. So I sent it back.
I then decided on a Perfecto 626. they are supposed to be slimmer, they have a softer leather and overall it seemed like the right style. I ordered the recommended size Large. When I tried it on it wasn't bad, not as slim as I wanted it to be, but not bad. I will say it also measured as big in the chest as the 618 size 42..The leather was nice, soft/supple, squeak free and I believe was about the same thickness as the 618 and or 118 but with thinner lining. In the end I sent it back. I just knew it wasn't quite right. I think I would have prefered a Medium. Even more so the sleeves were the deal breaker. They were a tad too long and they didn't have the leather in between the zippers, which I found was very uncomfortable against my wrists.
I was about to give up my dream for an awesome fitting Perfecto when I found a shop in Boston- Helens Leathers. Stop in there if you're ever in the area. They are super nice and huge Schott supporters. Anyways, I went in and the Owner (Greg I believe is his name) told me how the 118 is made with more supple leather than that of a 618 (squeak free too haha). He also said that in his opinion was the best leather they used. Mind however, that the 118 is a size up in chest. So in a 118 size 40 it will have the same chest measurement as a 618 size 42 and so on and so forth. In the store that day they had a size 40 and a 36 available. As you may have already guessed the 40 was a bit too big in the chest for me. Also the waist of the 36 was too tight for me to zip up. Helens Leathers ordered me a size 38 and it's perfect. I couldn't be happier with the jacket. I will say tho if you have any sort of stomach than it'll be too tight in the waist.
Keep in mind Schott does a great job of reccomending their sizes. I will say though that most people are not going for the very tailored look that I was.
I hope my story helped some of you guys. Again if you want to see for yourself what look I went for, just look up "Brandon Flowers leather jacket." That should provide you with plenty of pictures and or videos of him and his Schott jacket.
I know opinions vary. I love Schott. I think they're the best leather makers around. All the Jackets I tried on were of the highest quality but some as you read had their small set backs (in my personal taste/opinion).
If yo guys have questions I'll try to answer them as best I can. and thank you for putting up with my terrible grammar.