The Best Men's Trucker Jackets for Cooler Weather
The world of timeless outerwear ranges from lightweight anoraks to knee-length trench coats, but one silhouette that falls directly in between each of these garments has got to be the iconic trucker jacket. Initially geared toward the working class, its history is a major element of what makes it so special — not to mention immensely coveted.
Whether you’re a fan of denim, suede, or some other composition, the progressive makeovers that this emblematic staple of American fashion has garnered have seen no bounds. Seeing as the trucker jacket has been around for well over a century, there is no shortage of brands that have put their own spin on the particular garment. With so many iterations of the iconic garment to choose from, we figured it was only right to compile a guide to the 20 best trucker jackets for men to buy right now across a wide range of prices. But before we get into the coats, let’s go over a bit of trucker jacket history.
TRUCKER JACKET HISTORY
The trucker jacket’s origin story takes us back to the dawn of the 20th century when blue-collar outdoorsmen were in excessive need of well-engineered attire to take on their physically strenuous daily regimen. Seeing as it only garnered its long-abiding moniker of the “trucker jacket” in the mid-1980s, it’s incredible to think that this enduring figure in casual attire was once merely an essential element to get through the workday. And while its illustrious history is embraced by various subcultures and brands around the world, there is solely one label that started it all: Levi’s.
Seeing as the trucker moniker hadn’t come about yet, the heritage brand had aptly dubbed its formative trio of jackets by number, each of which has ultimately proven to be some of the most beloved archival items across all of fashion. Although you may be more familiar with Levi’s assorted variety of numbered jeans, it’s worth getting a solid basis of how each type of jacket came to shape, too.
The Type I Levi’s Jacket: It may be difficult to distinguish one of these fashionable relics from afar, but the iconic, early 20th-century garment serves as the first iteration of the trucker jacket. Often referred to as the 506XX Jacket, it initially came equipped with a single pocket and a cinch that was rounded out with a brass buckle, the latter of which was implemented to save material for those who wore them throughout WWII.
The Type II Levi’s Jacket: Hitting the scene in 1953, the Type II Jacket offered a “modernized” take on its emblematic piece by including an additional pocket with Levi’s signature button flap closure, as well as swapping out the martingale single adjustment bar for bar tack stitching, adding immense reinforcement. Keep in mind, that jeans became popular among a much different crowd following WWII, gradually becoming an integral element in the fashion zeitgeist, rather than merely being worn by blue-collar laborers.
The Type III Levi’s Jacket: To say that the 55-year-old Type III Jacket has aged gracefully would be an understatement. As added trivia, it is the particular rendition that was first declared a “trucker jacket,” having been coined by connoisseurs who perused the Japanese vintage market. While the jacket’s 1967 release coincides with the Summer of Love, its additional pair of side and interior pockets weren’t added until the dawn of synth-pop, ultimately setting the benchmark for trucker jackets today. Simply put, Levi’s Type III is a cultural staple unto itself.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Material: Old-school trucker jackets are usually made of denim, and different weights give you different advantages. Heavier denim jackets will be more durable, but not as comfortable as a lighter one in hot weather. Canvas is a great choice as well, and gives you a more unique look that’s just as durable as denim.
Fit: Trucker jackets should hit right about where your waist is (or just a little below). They usually have a boxier fit, but your jacket should still fit well in the chest and shoulders while being snug but not too tight.
Lining: Some trucker jackets may come with a lining, which can be extremely useful if you live in a cold area. If the lining is made from high-quality material, it can also make the jacket more durable.
Pockets: Chest pockets are a staple for trucker jackets, but if you live in a cold climate, some hand-warmer pockets can be very helpful. Interior pockets can also give you more storage options, which is helpful for your EDC.
Best Starter Jacket: We had no choice but to take it back where it all started in Levi’s. This particular example retains its 1967 Type III form with its welt side pockets and side hem adjusters, guaranteeing that the heritage brand cares as much about tradition as its followers do. Plus, the American-bred denim aficionados assure buyers that this classic piece is going to age with nothing short of grace as a result of natural wear and tear.
Best Sherpa Jacket: To no surprise, Levi’s fuzzy, sherpa-lined Type III was bound to appear here, as well. Here, the iconic piece is bolstered for additional warmth and is even rounded out with insulated sleeves to guarantee wearers that the heat won’t escape. For some more nostalgic appeal, the heritage brand’s fashionable Type 3 is faded and distressed from top to bottom, making for a piece that is already timeless by the time it makes it to your doorstep.
Best Corduroy Jacket: If you’re in search of a trucker jacket with some unabashed flair, then Todd Snyder has what you’re looking for. The designer’s Dylan Jacket is not only composed of textured corduroy (14-wale micro corduroy, to be exact), but it comes with shank-style buttons and double-needle stitching at the seams for added durability. Putting a luxe, modern take on iconic menswear staples is what the New York designer has come to do best, and this option is indicative of just how much innovation Snyder can squeeze out of something so timeless.
Best Retro Jacket: RRL is a sublabel of Ralph Lauren that takes classic Americana and puts a modern twist on it. This retro trucker jacket is the perfect example of this blend, with a style inspired by the old-school ’50s trucker jackets, with a faded wash so it looks like you just thrifted it from a vintage store. It’s made with 13.6 oz. of washed black denim, and reinforced with double-needle stitching along the seams. It’s also been sanforized, so you don’t need to worry about it shrinking.
Best Durable Jacket: Moving on to another Huckberry-exclusive piece, we have one of the retailer’s top-selling items overall. Flint and Tinder claim that even the slightest movement you make when donning its Flannel-Lined Waxed Trucker Jacket will lighten the shade of its water-resistant waxed outer fabric, ultimately shaping up to be full of different creases and bends throughout however long you have this garment on hand. In addition to its handsome aging, the jacket boasts a soft blanket lining that keeps you remarkably warm no matter what your base layer is.
Best Japanese Denim Jacket: When you’re buying any denim-crafted piece from the Parisian clothiers over at A.P.C, you know you’re in good shape. The revered label’s Veste Jean is composed of a gorgeous shade of stonewashed Japanese denim that is seamlessly suitable with just about any pair of pants you have. Although its unlined composition may sway you toward a warmer option, keep in mind that it’s hard to get much more stylish than this when it comes to the unmistakable material.
Best Warm Jacket: Filson is often a brand that can do no wrong as it is, so it comes as no surprise that its Americana-abiding jacket doesn’t disappoint in any way, shape, or form. The Washington-based heritage label’s Lined Denim Cruiser Jacket is composed of sturdy, preshrunk raw denim and rounded out with a chic corduroy-lined collar. As added trivia, this is not Filson’s first take on the iconic silhouette, as it serves as a new iteration of an archival garment that dates back all the way back to 1914.
Best Suede Jacket: Corridor has become the epitome of cool over the years, so the fact this stylish trucker jacket exists leaves us no choice but to include it here. The New York-bred label’s Suede Trucker Jacket piece is made with 100% goat suede, and incredibly soft to the touch. Whether you’re looking to keep your fashion up to date or simply appreciate well-crafted products, then you can’t go wrong with this option.
Best Premium Jacket: Standing out amongst the vast crowd of trucker jackets is a California-bred brand that’s been doing it justice since 1922. Golden Bear’s luxurious trucker jacket is meticulously handmade using distressed Cowhide leather. For an added touch of opulence, it’s lined with wool throughout the body and satin acetate on both sleeves, coming together to make for a trio of envy-inducing, top-of-the-line textiles. Sticking to its roots, The Holden’s snap front, pair of chest pockets, and zig-zag topstitching are merely some of the timeless elements that this piece has to offer.
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