Jean Jacket

AKA: Denim Jacket

How to say it: as it looks

Traditional Features: 

Technically any jacket/coat that is made out of denim fabric can be called a Jean Jacket, but below are the traditional features of the original – the Levi Trucker Jacket

body template

  • 2 breast pockets with pointed pocket flaps
  • vertical seams
  • metal logo buttons
  • side pockets
  • adjustable waistband


…of the style: The jean jacket was invented by Levi Strauss and first released in 1905. The first version of the jacket, or the 506XX ‘Type 1’ was made from Double Heavy 9oz denim, had a single breast pocket with no pocket flap, a cinched back which added room through the body and made the garment blouse out, and was actually called the Levi Blouse. The term ‘jacket’ was not applied to the garment until the late 1930s.

There were 6 versions of the ‘Type 1’ jacket (each one slightly different) until in 1953 the 507XX or ‘Type 2’ jacket was released. The Type 2 had two breast pockets with bar tacks instead of rivets, and adjustable waist bands instead of the cinched back.

In 1962, the 557XX or Trucker Jacket was released. It featured the two breast pockets with the pointed pocket flaps and most closely resembles the modern Levi’s jean jacket.

Levi’s has continued to tweak their jacket design over the years, as side pockets were added, the length increased and the thread colour changed, but the overall look of the original jean jacket has remained. In the modern fashion marketplace, almost every designer has produced a jean jacket at one time or another. From a version of the Trucker, to a more formal looking tuxedo style, and everything in-between, the jean jacket is definitely a fashion classic and will always be around.

…of the name: Two cities claim to to have invented the denim fabric – Nimes, France and Genoa, Italy. The name denim comes from the original French name for the fabric – Serge de Nimes (de Nimes = denim). The word jean comes from the French word for Genoa – Genes

For more in depth histories of the Jean Jacket, try these sites… SelectismValetMidwest Vintage, Wikipedia

Random Facts: 

  • Double Denim or the ‘Canadian Tuxedo’ is apparently now acceptable, as long as one of the denim garments is at least 2 shades darker than the other.

21st Century Jean Jackets

Pretty much every brand does it’s own version of the jean jacket. They come in various styles, loads of different colours, plain, embellished, bedazzled, but as long as it is made from denim, it qualifies as a Jean Jacket.

Theyskens' Theorylevisstella mcartneyVeraWang_021_1366.450x675

Top row -Theysken’s Theory, Proenza Schouler

Bottom row – Stella McCartney, Vera Wang

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