Icons – The Denim Jacket

The Denim Jacket

With all this denim on denim at the moment, we take a look at arguably one of the most iconic piece of men’s clothing there is, the Denim Jacket. Although it’s popularity comes and goes it never really goes away as a key piece of clothing for both men and women. There are many contenders for the title of most iconic from Levi’s, Wrangler (Blue Bell) and Lee and to be honest you could pick any one of the Jackets we have illustrated. But the original and still one of the best, if you can hold of one, is The Levis Type 1 506XX, which first appeared in 1905 as the “type 1 506XX Denim Blouse.” Icons--Denim-Jacket-Levis-506XX

The Contenders


1905 Levi’s Type 1 506XX
1905 The Type 1 was first launched in 1905 as the “the type 1 506XX Denim Blouse”  had one chest pocket, double front pleats and was made in 9oz heavy quality XX denim

1953 Levi’s Type 2 507XX
1953 Levis launch the Type 2 507XX. Featuring two breast pockets and back waistband tabs with buttons in 9oz XX denim.
1962 Levi’s Type 3 557XX
1962 Levis launch the Type 3 or 557XX Trucker Jacket and the one we are more familiar with: Featuring Yellow stitching, Front panels for a slimmer fit rather than pleats and triangular shape pocket flaps on stitch through pockets. Later modelss had side pocket added


1931 The Lee Storm Rider
The Storm Rider was a lined winter version of the slimmer Lee 101J  jacket, launched in 1931. It featured a blanket lining and
corduroy collar.

Wrangler – Blue Bell

1948 Wrangler Model 11MJ
1948, Wrangler introduced its first denim jacket, the Model 11MJ. It was produced with a button front until 1950 when the buttons were replaced by a zip front. The design had two patch pockets and double pleats  at the front, and two pleats at the back held with cinch buckle adjustment. Early models included the Blue Bell and Wrangler logos. Vents on the back of the shoulder were held inside by elastic strips.

1964 Wrangler 24MJZ
In 1964 Wrangler introduced the 24MJZ this Jacket had a zip front and was made in “Broken Twill” denim which gave the jacket it’s unique look and was originally developed to stop denim jeans from twisting.
It had the addition of two hip pockets and snap buttons.

The Levi’s Type 1 506XX Blouse

The Type 1 was first launched in 1905 as the “the type 1 506XX Denim Blouse”  and was made in 9oz heavy quality XX denim. It was only in 1938 the the terminology blouse was changed to Jacket. Earlier versions of the blouse had no flap pocket and no famous Big E label anywhere, this only appeared for the first time  in 1936. A silver cinch buckle was used until the advent of World War II, when it was replaced with cheaper bronze to save on cost and metal. The cinch itself was replaced with self-fabric, buttoned tabs in the Type 2 507XX Jacket which was launched in 1953. The Jacket was originally made with Orange top-stitching and there were 6 different versions of the 506XX Type 1, dated 1905, 1928, 1936, 1941, 1944 and 1947.


Who’s wearing Who?

So Who’s wearing Who? Denim and Denim Jackets have long been favourites of the Stars. Musicians, Film Stars even politicians have donned denim to show that they are really just regular cowboys and cowgirls like everyone else. So who wins the battle?

Levis Type 1 506XX
Real Men
Levis Type 2 507XX
Charlie Sheen in Badlands 1973
Woodie Guthrie
Levis Type 3 557XX
Charlie Sheen – Badlands 1973
Bob Dylan – Heart of Fire 1987
Lee Storm Rider
Marilyn Monroe – The Misfit’s 1961
Montgomery Clift
Paul Newmann – The Hud 1963
Clint Eastwood – Every Which Way but Loose 1978
Steve McQueen wears a Holywood custom copy of a Lee Rider in Junior Bonner 1972 which sold recently for US$1562.00
Wrangler 24MJZ
Ralph Macchio – Johnny in The Outsiders 1983
John Lennon