Alexander Leathers are delighted to have collaborated with Still the Right Stuff in recreating this historic garment that was issued to NASA Astronauts and Test Pilots during the 1960’s and early 70’s. (There are many photographs of Astronauts wearing these jackets during training on the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal website – Check the Cinder crater geology training images from various missions).
There are many public domain pictures showing crews wearing these jackets and the distinctive flight suits of the same color. No other item of clothing reflects the exciting days of space exploration as readily as the blue NASA flight jacket, which is now, for the first time, available as a museum quality replica.
These jackets were only issued to the elite, “The Right Stuff” and as such are surely one of the rarest and most desirable US flight jackets ever produced.
Colonel Al Worden’s original Apollo 15 issued jacket wore out long ago and he was determined to replicate these garments correctly. The jackets are rare but with the help of friends he managed to obtain two physical samples ( Wally Schirra’s jacket, for example, which is in the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame at Kennedy Space Center) for the purpose of examination, evaluation and patterning. Our team also had access to detailed photographs from two other examples.
It soon became apparent that material of the correct weave and quality was not available “off the shelf”, so the Right Stuff team set about to solve that problem. They had the outer shell woven from 100% cotton thread of the highest quality. This thread was then pre dyed to exactly the correct shade and woven in the north of England in the same weave pattern on correct period machines.
The iconic flame orange heavyweight Rayon lining was similarly unavailable so once again a different mill was commissioned to reproduce the original fabric in exactly the correct style and color. The material had to be dyed and woven from scratch as well.
This level of detail is an extremely expensive undertaking but there really was no choice given our company philosophy that only the best is good enough along with Colonel Worden’s personal standards that he insisted were not to be compromised. It was clear from the start that the philosophy was “Do it right or don’t bother doing it at all”. There are other manufacturers who make merely adequate products.
The zippers were supplied by the original Government contractor, as were the studs and snaps. Even the stitching thread is the correct composition and specification!
The jacket is elegant and smart, beautifully cut and constructed and actually has a totally different pattern than the MA-1 or L2-B series; it is very flattering and distinctive and has many uses from driving or flying to leisure and golf. We have had the garment treated so that it is shower resistant although the exceptionally closely woven cotton provides an efficient wind stop and thermal insulator even without the shower proofing.
Still The Right Stuff is committed to producing a range of space and aviation related clothing and accessories of the very highest quality and accuracy, one has only to look at photographs of Astronauts in the days of Apollo to see that the men at the leading edge of this era of exploration and promise for the future had their own iconic style. The Apollo flight jacket is our first product and looks great with Jeans, chinos or dockers. All of the variations of this jacket will be produced if there is demand including the later gold colored variant.
We will also be releasing an exciting numbered limited edition AL Worden signature jacket with real silk lining along with accurate accessories in the coming months so if you are interested please sign up for our internet newsletter!
The Apollo Flight Jacket is a timeless classic and a great addition to any wardrobe.
We hope you enjoy wearing our products as much as we enjoyed getting the stuff right!