A Custom Schott, step-by-step...
My name is Jim and I'm in process of having a custom Schott made right now, and I wanted to take the time to post here, and give everyone the "blow-by-blow" of how things are done with my order, to possibly answer many of the un-asked questions as to just what is involved in getting a custom, one-off Schott made just for me (or you).
Well I knew the name, and heard the stories of how gret they are, how Schott literally INVENTED the motorcycle jacket, and I wanted to see what all the hype was about. So, my story started with a visit to the Schott web site to see the basic styles on offer. I'm sure if you are reading this, you probably have a style in mind, such as the legendary Perfecto. I choose the 141 style, as I like the clean "Cafe racer" design, but that's just me. Oh, and I wanted it in Horse Hide, as this is the classic look and feel for a jacket in my opinion.
I Then went to the Legendary USA site, and spoke with a gentleman there for a bit of insight on sizing the jacket. It runs "tight" as is said over and over; however this is how a motorcycle jacket is supposed to fit. So just how "tight" is tight? After several minutes of having Legendary measure the actual jacket in every which way, and comparing those measurements to my actual dimensions, it was confirmed: the 141HH just would not fit me properly- but I really wanted the classic Horse Hide jacket! He suggested talking to Gail directly to get a custom-fitted jacket.
So, I called Gail, and we started chatting almost daily for a while there on exactly which measurements she needed, how they should be measured and how she and I were going to get the perfect fit I needed to make me happy. Finally, we agreed it made sense to order a 141L in size 44 (I wear a size 44L when I get an "off the rack" suit) when it was discovered that the size 46 was out of stock. I had tried to take Gail's advice and go a size bigger, but couldn't this time, and figured I'd try the 44 while waiting the 4-6 weeks for the 46 to become available.
In a day, I had the jacket, and the shipping was free (living close to Schott is always a good idea...) Upon opening the box, I was immediately impressed as to the attention to detail (and the smell was nice too!). The jacket comes on a hangar, in a bag to protect it in transit. The particular one I received was in "naked leather" and has a VERY soft hand. The finish is bordering on a very subtly "sueded" finish, but a far cry from anything marked "suede". Too soft for my taste, as it makes the leather feel deceptively thin. Inspection of the seams verifies this is no lightweight, and with a 7 pound shipping weight, you know you have something on with this jacket.
Well, the 44 fit perfectly. Well, ALMOST perfectly. I couldn't have asked for a better fit, in an off the shelf jacket in the body: I tried it with a t-shirt, then added a thin wool sweater and finally added a fleece jacket under the leather- all the while the liner was kept in the jacket (in the interest of scientific research, you understand). I have to say that if I was planning to wear the flece, wool sweater and t-shirt under the leather, I'd zip-out the liner for a more perfect fit, but I could function with all that bulk with minimal difficulty. AND lets remember this is a brand-new un-worn jacket straight from the box. If you want to avoid the "break-in" on a typical leather; go for the naked leather...
So, what was the problem? Well, the sleves. I have what are refered to as "monkey arms" in that I wear a 14 1/2-36 shirt, which is an odd size. So, on the 141L size 44, I needed another inch of sleeve length to cover my wrists in riding position, which is important, as I plan to ride. For someone looking for "the look" but will not need wrist protection (casual wear) the fit is great. But, the sleeves have to be longer for me to ride with...
Another detail of note, which is less critical to me: a friend suggested a bit more length in the back, to help cover the lower back while crouched over the bike. I personally think this is less critical, as an overly long back will look a bit goofy when standing up, but I conceded the point and suggested another 1/2 inch of back length.
I have sent the "standard" jacket back to Gail's attention, as-received with all the tags in place, ready to go. She should have it tomorow, if not today. The initial price I paid for the "stock" 141L will go toward my first Schott...
I'll add more to the story as it unfolds, but as of now I have been quoted a six week delivery on my jacket. Hey, it's one-of-a-kind! This is NOT McDonalds, and I'm happy to wait as long as I have to, to get the perfect fit, durability, and quality that have made the Schott name famous the world over.
How about we ALL give Gail a big thank you, as she really wants us to have the best jacket with the best fit, to provide years of wear and protection in a fall (which we all hope to never test personally...).
Thanks! I can hardly wait!