A man pictured wearing a jeans jacket in Hungary in 1976
|Place of origin||United States|
A jean jacket, sometimes called a denim jacket, is a jacket made from denim. Introduced in the United States in the late 19th century, it has been a popular type of casual apparel with both men and women and has been described as an iconic element of American fashion. Though a staple of western wear, the jean jacket has also enjoyed a more general appeal.
The first recorded jean jacket was created in the United States in about 1880 by Levi Strauss, approximately ten years after he had invented jeans as a new type of work apparel intended for use by cowboys, miners, and railroad workers. The "Type III" denim jacket, introduced by Levis Strauss & Co. in 1962[a], has been described as the jean jacket "to rule them all". Also known as "the trucker jacket", design elements of the Type III include a tapered style, welt hand pockets, and bar tacks which hold down chest pocket and sleeve openings.
In 2017, Google collaborated with Levis Strauss & Co. to develop a jean jacket billed as a "connected" jean jacket, and described by Wired as the "jean jacket of the future". The jacket included a processor, built-in battery, and a special yarn that turned the bottom of the arm into a touchscreen device. The same year, New York Fashion Week featured several jean jackets and The Guardian would later predict that the jean jacket would "be everywhere in 2018".
According to GQ, there are "few things more iconic, more innately American, than a denim jacket" and the magazine has called it "a staple for stylish men". Jean jackets have also been popular with women.
Jean jackets, like jeans, are a major element of western wear, however, also like jeans, have enjoyed a more general appeal. Notable wearers of jean jackets have included western entertainers James Dean and John Lennon, as well as Polish anti-Communist dissident Jacek Kuroń. In 2017 GQ opined that Kanye West seemed to own "an alarming number of jean jackets", remarking that "he doesn't seem to go a few days without wearing one".
According to Levi Strauss & Co., the jean jacket has traditionally appealed to nonconformists as "a knock to the ‘suits’ of the world, its informal yet edgy heritage making it the ideal item to stick it to the man".
Wear and styling
A "Canadian tuxedo" is a colloquial term for wearing a jean jacket with jeans. The term reportedly originated in 1951 after Bing Crosby was refused entry to a hotel in Canada due to wearing a denim top and denim bottoms. After learning of the incident, Levi Strauss & Co. designed a tuxedo made entirely of denim as a publicity stunt. Though long considered a fashion faux pas outside of work apparel, the Canadian tuxedo achieved a "pop cultural peak" in 2001 when Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake wore the combination to that year's American Music Awards. In 2016 Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau wore a "Canadian tuxedo" to a concert by The Tragically Hip. Lady Gaga has also worn a Canadian tuxedo in public.
Ronald Reagan wearing a jean jacket at Rancho del Cielo in 1977
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- Yotka, Steff (April 20, 2017). "11 Unexpected Ways to Reinvent the Canadian Tuxedo". Vogue. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
- Fawcett, Kirsten (October 27, 2015). "The 'Canadian Tuxedo' Can Apparently Be Traced Back to Bing Crosby". Mental Floss. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
- La Rose, Lauren (September 2, 2014). "The Canadian tuxedo: Expert tips on how to wear the double-denim look". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
- "Justin Trudeau At The Hip's Final Concert Gave Us Canada Overload". Huffington Post. August 21, 2016. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
- Cheng, Andrea (June 30, 2017). "10 New Celebrity-Approved Ways to Double Up on Denim". InStyle. Retrieved January 2, 2018.