Tag: Jackets

Levi’s Denim Jackets

Several manufacturers lay claim to being the original jeans manufacturer, although Levi Strauss and Co., which can trace its origins back to the middle of the nineteenth century, has to have one of the strongest. The facts that we now know the company simply as Levi’s and that the company logo is one of the most recognisable in the world certainly drive home their credentials as the “authentic” jean.

The company has managed to achieve something that’s practically impossible in fashion: staying cool for decades. Being at the higher end of the field in terms of price certainly helps, as flaunted wealth always has fashion cachet, but they’ve managed to steer a steady course even when the Ralph Laurens and Versaces of the world started making jeans and denim jackets that trumped them on the price front. Perhaps therein lies the secret of success – keeping the everyman feel but not taking everyman for granted and producing clothing that might be on the verge of luxury but which is guaranteed to be durable, stylish and well fitting.

Another interesting aspect of the Levi’s denim jacket is how little it has changed over the years. While its lower-half counterparts have wandered through the fashion landscape, being flared, skinny, boot-cut, blue, black, brown and white, the jacket’s resolute and stubborn shape has remained largely unchanged. Any variations from the norm have been mere tweaks. We’ve seen woolly fleece inners (with their distinctive fleecy collars), occasional retreats from blue into black, charcoal, natural cotton, and yes, stone-washed and snow-washed examples which seem eternally on the cusp of coming back into fashion.

But throughout all of these modifications, there they are: the two breast pockets, two side pockets, metal buttons and peculiar girth adjusters at the back that defy purpose but add authenticity.

While never fully disappearing, the Levi’s denim jacket has certainly had its highs. The 1950s, when denim was everywhere, put the DJ on the fashion map, and by the 60s no self-respecting hippy would be seen without one, especially when they had eschewed the leather jacket for veggi wear and the summer sun prevented them from wearing the Afghan coat. They came back with a vengeance in the mid 80s thanks to some super cool TV ads and adoption by the indie music scene, and in the mid to late 90s, the Oasis vs Blur battle was also a denim jacket vs tracky top battle.


Military Coats and Jackets

These coats and jackets have durability rarely seen in items destined for the high street. A naval jacket can withstand every thrown at it by the high seas, from gallons of salt water to gale-force winds. An authentic army trench coat can keep the wearer warm in the coldest winter weather, survive through muddy conditions yet still come back in pristine condition after a simple wash. Many of the items being produced for today’s armies are being designed for warmer climates where heat, sand and minimal opportunity to wash clothing is the norm. Camouflage colours are now lighter coloured and more suitable for leisure outfits than the dark greens and browns of older garments, so the future of retro military fashion seems secure for many years to come.

Of course there are many types of military coat, some designed with practical usage in mind, but there is also the ceremonial aspect of the armed forces to look at. Many countries place great sway on the custom and tradition and parades, ceremonies and mass displays play a great role. It is on these occasions that military clothing takes on a whole new angle. Braided tunics complete with epaulettes and shiny buttons look fantastic on the parade ground, but also as a foundation for an outfit with a twist. Stars of popular culture such as Michael Jackson, Chris Martin of Coldplay, Cheryl Cole and Jimi Hendrix all turned to military tunics at some point to embellish their stage wear. The interesting point here is that these items are available to everyone in your local vintage clothing store of army surplus store. Of course not every outlet will stock the very best of these items, particularly as they are highly sought after and command equally high process for the very best garments. If you want the best in military jackets or ceremonial wear you may need to visit the premium vintage clothing stores or a specialist ceremonial wear outlet.