When we think of the uniform of the American frontiersman, one brand comes to mind: Levi’s®. The brand’s iconic Trucker jacket, Western shirt, and 501® jeans have been synonymous with the American working man for generations. And just as the people who originally wore these garments helped pioneer America as we know it today, Levi’s® pioneered the American wardrobe by creating clothing sturdy enough to stand up to the toughest jobs. But it’s no longer just cowboys, miners, and farmers wearing Levi’s®. Today’s unknown exists within our ideas and creativity, and Levi’s® is still working to outfit the explorers of this modern frontier.
As we arrive on the cusp of fall, none of these items are more necessary than the Trucker. Originally introduced in 1967, the Trucker is the third generation of Levi’s® denim jackets. The most recognizable of the three, it follows on the heels of the aptly named Type I and Type II.
The Type I, the first iteration of the Levi’s® denim jacket, was created in the 1900s and relied upon a cinched buckle back to provide a better fit for the wearer. Made with raw Cone Mills denim, it was a jacket that men earned the more they wore it. A little over fifty years later, the Type II improved upon this style by adding two patch pockets with flaps on the front chest and swapping out the buckle back for adjustable buttons. Apart from these and a few other details, however, the Types I and II were relatively similar in design. But the Trucker is an entirely different beast. Unlike its boxy predecessors, it has a slimmer fit with higher, narrower flap pockets. And instead of the heavy, raw denim used on the others, it’s rinsed and preshrunk denim made it more comfortable and instantly accessible.
Pictured above, a Levi’s® 1936 Type I jacket (left) and a 1953 Type II jacket.
For somewhat obvious reasons, the Trucker jacket got its name from truck drivers in the late 1960s and 1970s who needed a tough yet relaxed and affordable piece of clothing to transition from the driver’s seat to the outside world. These jackets became like a second skin and were inextricably linked to the truckers themselves. And because truckers in the 1970s were mythologized in popular culture as that decade’s cowboys and mavericks, the Trucker jacket symbolized their free-spirited, rebellious attitude, earning it a permanent spot in the American wardrobe.
Today, the Trucker is one of those classic pieces of clothing that makes every man feel instantly at ease. No longer limited to preshrunk denim, this season Levi’s® is exploring non-denim options like corduroy and twill for its iconic jacket. But even while using these and new fabric technologies, like Levi’s® recycled Waste us.levi.com