The denim jacket has been around almost as long as the first pairs of jeans peddled by Levi Strauss. And it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s distinctly American, yet almost always fashionably out of fashion. A wide range of subcultures, including greasers, mods, rockers, hippies, and skinheads embraced it at one point or another (I sported mine as early as 5th grade). While its Take Ivy documentation in the 60s was certainly overshadowed by varsity jackets, madras shorts, and penny loafers, the denim jacket was at home on Ivy League campuses too.
Levi's Trucker Jacket, $68
This summer, everyone from Gant Rugger to Abercrombie & Fitch to Michael Bastian (for Gant) turned out designer versions of the American classic at designer prices. Opt for the original Levi’s offering. It’s a fraction of the price, and what’s more, embodies an untouchable authenticity (a classic since its introduction in 1962). The updated slim fit sits closer to the body while hitting right below the belt. I tend to dress mine up like a sport coat—silk pocket square, lapel pin, etc.—to play up the high/low approach. Levi’s offers a variety of washes but stick with the medium wash for a timeless piece you’ll actually be able to pass down to your sons. And although the denim jacket isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, don’t let it get near a pair of jeans.