There are not many jackets that have kept a place in our hearts as long as the original Levi's denim jacket. Of course other jackets may spring to mind such as the Harrington, the Parka, the Duffell or the leather bomber, but have any of them sold in such volume and been featured in film, television and music culture as much as the Levi's denim?
It's interesting to consider why this jacket first became popular and how, over so many decades, it has managed to keep its legendary aura, remaining a favourite and avoiding the ups and downs of many fashion trends.
Part of the jacket's attractiveness is its durability and usefulness. Made from top quality Levi's denim material – a fabric that has also managed to secure a high opinion amongst fashion experts, despite facing many attempts by young pretenders to undercut it – it is easy to wear, comfortable in a range of temperatures and lends itself as an accessory to various fashion directions. It's worn as a practical work item by many, including of course the original cowboy ranchers who feature in so many of the Levi's advertisements, yet it can also find a place in more dressy situations, offering a shabby chic alternative to more flamboyant and colourful items. Although the material itself has avoided and rebuffed any attempt to add new technology developments, such as “stretchiness” or “waterproofness”, it seems to continue as a work garment despite some short comings. It doesn't provide much in the way of warmth, wind protection or have the ability to withstand more than a quick shower, but it works as a layering garment above a thermal layer or beneath a waterproof outer. And when the rain stops it's easy to revert to denim cool.
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