A good denim jacket, like a pair of jeans, changes over time – often for the better. The fabric creases, the indigo fades. The jacket becomes unique. Classic denim jackets from the middle of the 20th century are still the gold standard when it comes to denim outerwear. The Big Three brands — Levi’s, Lee and Wrangler — all made iconic versions of the jean jacket that have informed the style to this day. What’s more, you can buy one of these vintage pieces for less than you might spend on a contemporary model.
Lee Storm Rider Jacket
This Lee Stormrider jacket has a blanket lining and corduroy collar. With rounded flap-pockets and ziz-zag stitching on the front placket, this jacket is immediately distinguishable from its counterparts. Apart from some light fading, it’s in fantastic condition and will fit a size small to medium (20 inch chest).
Levi’s Type III Denim Jacket
The Type III, also called the Trucker Jacket, is one of the most recognizable denim jackets ever made. This vintage piece features the telling ‘Big E’ tag. It’s also blanket lined with light fading and no significant damage. For under $200 (almost half the price of a new LVC model), you can own the original if you’re a size small or medium.
Wrangler Denim Jacket
This Wrangler jacket is not as common as its Levi’s and Lee counterparts. It features both snap chest pockets and slanted welt pockets. The front of the jacket is pleated and riveted and includes a zipper closure. Marked Size 40, this will fit a size small to medium (20 inch chest).