The screen time (for the G-1 jacket) isn’t enough in a lot of people’s opinions, including mine. Everyone wants to see more of it. – Stefan Paul.

Studying Patches youtube thumbnail

On the show

In this episode I talk to Stefan Paul who is a die hard Top Gun fan and we return our focus to the infamous G-1 Jacket worn in both Top Gun and Top Gun Maverick. As well as the jacket and the patches, we learn more about the watch, the ray bans and what happens when your photos go viral. Be sure to follow Stefan on Instagram for more great facts on Top Gun.

We do a show and tell of the jacket on YouTube (Click image above). Be sure to check that out, I’ll include all the links in the show notes of the YouTube and where to buy the patches over on the blog shortly. The below is a loose transcription from the interview I did with Stefan. The podcast is available to listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify or in the player below.

Because you’ve you’ve done some research into the original Top Gun jacket, what don’t we know about the Top Gun Jacket?

There was everyone referred to as a G-1. But there’s lots of variants, depending on what brand produced that jacket and what year that jacket was produced in. We believe the original Top Gun G-1 Jacket was produced between 1947 and 1950, which should make it a 55 J 14 variant, depending on who produced it. There’s companies that LW Foster, Star Sportswear depends on really the cut of the jacket. Some are longer, some are a bit broad on the shoulder more of a sort of V shape, and narrowing down towards the waist. Some had longer sleeves. There’s a whole minefield out there information and variables.

Is there like a community for Top Gun guys?

Yeah, there’s definitely a band of people. I kind of stick to the Instagram side really and direct messaging between people then other sort of fans. There’s one guy on Instagram I speak to a lot. His username is topgunmav203. The guy in Canada, he has a lot of original patches, and he’s a really nice bloke. He’s actually started to produce his own patches based on the originals that he’s collected. And, you know, they’re very good. They’re very accurate, and they’re fairly priced.

Patches for G-1 Jacket

If you also want to make your ideal patches, Patches Co. is a good choice. Here you can find any type of patch you want, you can style it in the style you want, there is no minimum.

You’ll find out how great it is to use the patches you make to create a jacket that’s just yours. Custom patches can not only decorate jackets, but can also be used on your backpacks, pants, and hats to add a sense of fashion to your look. 

But Tom Cruise has the original jacket. Right? What about the one that went up for auction?

That was a different that was yeah, that was a jacket that was used behind the scenes in some photographs that are out there. I believe that Don Simpson has that jacket.

So the original Ray Bans from the first Top Gun they belong to Tom Cruise’s bodyguard, is that right?

Yeah, there’s a guy again, on Instagram, Frank Whitely. He’s based in the States is a very nice bloke. He’s got some great stories to tell. He actually has the original Ray Bans.

And what’s the story with the Porsche watch that we see make a return?

These are Tom Cruise’s words, so I can only take them as gospel. Tom said in a recent interview that after filming the original Top Gun the watch went to Jerry Bruckheimer. And he said, when it came to film Top Gun Maverick, he had to convince Jerry Bruckheimer to wear it again. But the moment filming was over, it was taken off of him.

Further Reading

Catch my interview with the costume designer for Top Gun Maverick, Marlene Stewart here.

Correspondence from Matt Lawlor from Facebook group  “Top Gun Props and Costumes Forum”

With that said I did see one detail on your page that has me a bit curious. Under the heading “ Other useful information on the patches” you mention that “the original Top Gun jacket was made by Split-S Aviation order number 43-1776”. This doesn’t match the information I have from other sources. There was a second jacket made for the original film that recently sold at a Propstore Auction. This jacket is actually shown on your page in a black and white photo of Tom Cruise, Don Simpson, Kelly McGillis and Jerry Bruckheimer.
It was intended to be used in some added scenes that were filmed in Chicago after principal photography had ended but never appears on screen. This jacket IS a Split-S 43-1776. However, when comparing the details of the original Maverick jacket from 1986 and this Split-S jacket, the finer details don’t match up. The collar is a different shape and colour fur. The front pockets are also different in shape and lack some of the stitching details that the primary jacket has.
I spoke with one of the costume dept. members from 1986 they tell me the original jacket was purchased at a second hand store in Santa Monica, CA. A number of the patches on the jacket were already on it when it was purchased. Others were added later. I also spoke with a few G1 experts and they believe the jacket is actually a a late 1940’s early 1950’s contract number 55j14 likely made by a company called L.W. Foster.