This review was originally published by first-time customer Charles, on The Fedora Lounge, a popular internet forum for men who appreciate well-constructed, heritage clothing, as well as other fine lifestyle choices. The review is presented to you completely unedited from its original form, save that the names of other brands have been redacted.
I'd like to note as well that the long wait time Charles experienced was a problem resulting from our old ordering system, and that system has since been replaced.
The exact jacket that Charles purchased can be found here.
My experience with Himel started slowly.
I sent an email in May 2017, asking for more information about the jacket and the ordering process, and started waiting.
In February 2018 i receved a short answer "Are you still interested in the Chevalier?", "Yes i am" was my answer!
This was pretty much how my entire exchange with Himel went, Dave is a man of few words, don't expect to receive lengthy emails!
Once we had gotten the ball rolling, everything went very smoothly (and much faster).
I sent Dave 9 pictures, 3 of me in a tight rash guard, 3 wearing my [another manufacturer's aviator's jacket] and 3 wearing my [cafe racer jacket] (each set was front, back and side view). I included all my measurements, and both jackets measurements. And let him pick and choose what he needed from that.
I also sent him a picture showing five jackets made of Shinki photographed together (thanks TMitchel) and told him which shade i liked best.
Other than a couple small details, like the single row of holes on the belt, and the lining, i left him to do his thing. By the end of march my jacket was made and shipped.
I have to say, that this is IMO my best fitting jacket yet (8th jacket), i asked Dave and he said that the pattern was 100% custom according to the numbers i provided. He definitely has the eye when it comes to fitting a jacket! The only other piece of clothing that feels that good on me is my tailored three piece suit, and i was literally laser scanned for that one!
The stitching is very nice and neat, the triple stitching is very even and there isn't anything noticeably wrong anywhere on the jacket. If you go full OCD you will find things, but nothing i haven't seen on other jackets before.
The stitch count is much smaller than [redacted] or [redacted], and the needle holes and thread much thinner too. It feels less "industrial" and a little bit more refined, along the lines of what you would expect from [redacted] or [redacted].
The hide is what you would expect from Shinki, nice and supple, thinner than CXL, great grain, no break in, and a very interesting colour that really responds to lighting conditions in interesting manners.
The lining is Japanese blanket, it is nice and soft, it feels close to [16oz] tartan in thickness, but a lot softer and airier (not as tightly woven).
Picture time, the colour in these is as accurate as i can get them, and i will soon create a new thread with all my jackets together to show how it compares to brown CXL, to compare colour, grain, fit etc...
Fit pics, it works well both opened and closed, and can be worn with the collar up or down.
This really fits amazingly well, i have literally no restriction of movement whatsoever.
It hangs well, doesn't pull on my neck, doesn't choke me when i sit down, i can reach up, down, forward, the underarm gussets are super discrete, but very effective.
Even though the armholes are super high and snug, they don't feel restrictive.
Overall, i am very happy with my Himel Chevalier.
The only slight negative is the long delay to respond when i first got in touch, other than that this has been a completely flawless experience.
There is a lot of talk about the "is it worth it" question regarding Himel, [redacted] and other makers in these price range, and a bit of a cult following...
This jacket costs more than both my [aviator's jackets] combined. From a purely technical point of view, it isn't twice as "good" as an [redacted], but it fits me much better than any [redacted] or any other jacket has ever fit me, and that has to be worth something.
Would i do it again? Without hesitating a second!
I'm not going to go on a "Himel is the best and only his jackets are worth buying" spree, but i am definitely very impressed by what he has done, and would recommend him without hesitation.
Thanks for reading! Don't forget, if you want a Chevalier just like this one, it can be custom ordered through our website right here.
...at first sight, I was fascinated by the wonderfulness and design of leather...