In 1873, Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss patented a simple design: a pair of sturdy work pants made out of indigo cotton corduroy, with pockets reinforced by copper rivets. The “blue jeans” were born, and have since become a fashion staple, worn by pop stars and presidents alike, and it wasn’t long before denim found its way to style items other than jeans.
Origins Of The Denim Trucker Jacket
Levi’s debuted the first denim jacket around 1880, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that the iconic Trucker – or Type III, to vintage denim aficionados – Jacket was introduced. The denim trucker jacket denotes effortless cool and a certain disregard for authority. And it’s been through just about every style iteration. Patched and safety-pinned. With sleeves, or without. Sherpa-lined or plain. Dressed up or down. Every color of the rainbow.
But if a trucker jacket is made out of denim, and the most famous denim jacket is a trucker jacket…what’s the difference? Simple! Sort of. The whole history of America’s favorite fabric is a little confusing, actually.
Denim Jacket vs. Trucker Jacket: What's The Difference?
A trucker jacket refers to a certain style of jacket often, but not always, made out of denim. When you hear the phrase “denim jacket,” you probably picture a trucker jacket made out of denim.
With Levi’s Type III jacket as our style guide, here are some distinctive features to look for:
- Cropped cut that ends at the waist
- Slim, tailored cut
- Buttons at sleeve, pocket, and front
- Chest pockets with pointed flaps
- Generally, two slanted (or “V-shaped”) seams that run from chest pocket to waist
- A point collar
Maybe some visuals will help.
This is a denim trucker jacket. THE denim trucker jacket: Levi's Trucker Jacket
This is a denim jacket, but not a trucker jacket: 3sixteen Shop Jacket
And now, a trucker-style jacket that isn’t denim: Leather Trucker Jacket
Many people use the terms interchangeably, so we’ve collected more examples. Other than denim, you’ll see a lot of rugged fabrics like leather or waxed canvas – materials that recall the trucker jacket’s humble origins as an item of clothing whose purpose was function, not fashion.
No matter the material, there’s a jacket for every style and every budget.