Jean jacket

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Jean jacket
Riga-12 moped. Fortepan 6735.jpg
A man pictured wearing a jeans jacket in Hungary in 1976
Place of originUnited States

A jean jacket, also called a denim jacket or trucker 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.[1] The "Type III" denim jacket, introduced by Levis Strauss & Co. in 1962,[a] has been described as the jean jacket "to rule them all".[4] 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.[2]

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".[5] The jacket included a processor, built-in battery, and a special yarn that turned the bottom of the arm into a touchscreen device.[5] 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".[6]

In addition to Levi Strauss & Co., other designers of jean jackets have included Wrangler, Calvin Klein, Tom Ford, Gucci, and Dior, among others.[7]

A woman demonstrates the operation of a jean jacket.

Cultural impact[edit]

Kanye West pictured wearing a jean jacket in 2009.

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".[8][9] Jean jackets have also been popular with women.[10]

Jean jackets, like jeans, are a major element of western wear, however, also like jeans, have enjoyed a more general appeal.[11] Notable wearers of jean jackets have included western entertainers James Dean and John Lennon,[1] as well as Polish anti-Communist dissident Jacek Kuroń.[12] 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".[13]

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".[14]

Wear and styling[edit]

Though usually styled in blue denim, some jean jackets are styled in bleach-white denim.[15] Jean jackets with sherpa lining have also been produced.[15]

Canadian tuxedo[edit]

A "Canadian tuxedo" is a colloquial term for wearing a jean jacket with jeans.[16] 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.[16][17] After learning of the incident, Levi Strauss & Co. designed a tuxedo made entirely of denim as a publicity stunt.[16] 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.[16][18][17] In 2016 Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau wore a "Canadian tuxedo" to a concert by The Tragically Hip.[19] Lady Gaga has also worn a Canadian tuxedo in public.[20]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Levi Strauss & Co. reports an introduction date of 1967, while the Wall Street Journal claims 1961, and Complex cites 1962.[2][3][4]


  1. ^ a b Chabbot, Sophia (August 19, 2015). "From Marilyn Monroe to Madonna, Here's a Brief History of the All-American Denim Jacket". Glamour. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "The Type III Trucker Jacket Celebrates 50 Years". Levi Strauss & Co. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  3. ^ Hrabi, Dale (April 6, 2016). "A Jean Jacket That Makes Others Look Ordinary". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Babcock, Gregory (September 24, 2014). "A Brief History of the Denim Jacket". Complex. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Pierce, David (September 25, 2017). "I Wore the Jean Jacket of the Future". Wired. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  6. ^ Cartner-Morley, Jess (December 17, 2015). "It's in the jeans: why the denim jacket is 2018's new power dressing". The Guardian. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  7. ^ "11 Jean Jackets to Wear With Everything in Your Wardrobe". Esquire. October 3, 2017. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  8. ^ Berlinger, Max (October 21, 2016). "The Best Denim Jacket: Citizens of Humanity Denim Jacket". GQ. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  9. ^ Woolf, Cam (October 3, 2017). "The Best Jean Jacket Gets Better Every Time You Wear It". GQ. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  10. ^ Friedman, Lauren (2016). 50 Ways to Wear Denim. Chronicle Books. pp. 16–24. ISBN 145215063X.
  11. ^ Lynch, Annette (2014). Ethnic Dress in the United States: A Cultural Encyclopedia. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 301–302. ISBN 0759121508.
  12. ^ Easton, Adam (June 17, 2004). "Polish Solidarity co-founder dies". BBC News. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  13. ^ Woolf, Jake (June 27, 2017). "Kanye West Owns an Alarming Number of Jean Jackets". GQ. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  14. ^ "The Evolution of an American Style Staple". Levi Strauss & Co. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  15. ^ a b Boston, Lloyd (2010). The Style Checklist: The Ultimate Wardrobe Essentials for You. Simon and Schuster. p. 35. ISBN 1439163944.
  16. ^ a b c d Yotka, Steff (April 20, 2017). "11 Unexpected Ways to Reinvent the Canadian Tuxedo". Vogue. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  17. ^ a b Fawcett, Kirsten (October 27, 2015). "The 'Canadian Tuxedo' Can Apparently Be Traced Back to Bing Crosby". Mental Floss. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ "Justin Trudeau At The Hip's Final Concert Gave Us Canada Overload". Huffington Post. August 21, 2016. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  20. ^ Cheng, Andrea (June 30, 2017). "10 New Celebrity-Approved Ways to Double Up on Denim". InStyle. Retrieved January 2, 2018.