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The trucker jacket is a garment with character. Toss one on and you’ve got an instant air of James Dean sangfroid. Or perhaps you’re going for a hint of Joey Ramone punk rock rebellion. Marlboro man more your speed? Any way you cut it, a trucker jacket spells attitude—but with a light touch (save leather moto jackets for another day). There’s a subtlety and versatility to trucker jackets that make them a workhorse in many men’s wardrobes.
Like most anything denim, the trucker’s story begins with Levi Strauss & Co. After pioneering blue jeans, the brand introduced its first denim “blouse” in 1905 as the outerwear equivalent of its hard-wearing pants. It was defined by a boxy fit, double-pleated front, rivet buttons and a single chest pocket. In 1953 it evolved into the Type II, which built upon the original’s workwear design with side tab adjusters and an additional chest pocket. It is the Type III, introduced in 1967, that set the template for most truckers we know today: vertical seams in place of its predecessors’ pleats, smaller chest pockets and the addition of warmer pockets.
As far as design goes, it is a pretty faultless specimen. In the years since, few have been able to improve upon its basic form. The materials, however, have moved far beyond classic indigo-dyed denim. The trucker is transformed into a luxurious off-duty layer when rendered in things like suede, woven cashmere and corduroy. While it’s no replacement for the polish of a blazer, a trucker jacket is an indispensable topper to have in your outerwear arsenal. Here are the best to buy now.
Levi’s Denim Trucker Jacket
Best Classic Trucker Jacket
Levi’s Type II jacket is the OG to beat all trucker OGs. Here, the style’s originator revives the historic model that’s now prized by collectors, but upgrades the traditional flap pockets for clean patch pockets. In dark-wash denim with a hint of stretch, it’s a classic you’ll be turning to for years to come.
Rag & Bone Eli Denim Trucker Jacket
Best Elegant Trucker Jacket
Rag & Bone, purveyor of cool city styles, offers a trucker jacket that’ll turn heads as you stroll down and up avenues and boulevards. Fitted to the nines, the sleek topper features a corduroy-trimmed collar, Mudd tack buttons and a quilted interior made of shiny cupro fabric. It’s definitely a looker.
John Elliot Leather Thumper Type III Jacket
Best Leather Trucker Jacket
John Elliot has reenvisioned its stalwart Thumper silhouette into a leather style. Not just any leather, though, but one that goes through a five-step process to give it a buttery, worn-in look. The brand starts by employing artisans to cut, sew, wash and then dry vegetable-tanned French lambskin before applying natural wax to the seams. It is then washed again and then ironed and hand-buffed. This painstaking process makes each jacket unique, meaning that there won’t be another that looks exactly the same.
Frame Denim and Nylon Trucker Jacket
Best Mixed Materials Trucker Jacket
Why settle for one durable material when you can have two? Enter this trucker from Frame, which features contrast panels made of washed denim and nylon. The result of combining these two materials not only gives the jacket a streetwise edge but allows you to move your arms much more nimbly.
Visvim Social Sculpture Denim Trucker Jacket
Best Cult-Status Trucker Jacket
Visvim is one of the most prestigious of Japan’s many cult denim labels, beloved by gents who value unmitigated quality and styles packed with character. Take this beautiful trucker, for example, which is made of hard-wearing denim, trimmed with leather and cut to flatter figures of all types. It’s the kind of jacket that you’d want to show off in the most stylish circles.
Filson Cruiser Trucker Jacket
Best Durable Trucker Jacket
Filson, more than most, understands durability, offering pieces that can withstand a great deal of wear and tear. To wit: the brand is celebrated for creating heavy-duty styles for ranchers and miners in the American West. This handsome trucker in a dark wash definitely lives up to its reputation.
Schott NYC Vintage Buffalo Leather Trucker Jacket with Genuine Sheepskin Collar
Best Sheepskin-Lined Trucker Jacket
When it comes to leather jackets, Schott NYC is the standard-bearer. Icons like Brando, Dean and Springstein have all been fans. And if that alone isn’t enough to get you to fawn over the brand’s trucker, the tanned buffalo leather, sheepskin collar and lined interior definitely should.
Flint and Tinder Flannel-Lined Waxed Trucker Jacket
Best Flannel-Lined Trucker Jacket
This jacket is the single best-selling item at outdoorsy retailer Huckberry, and it’s easy to understand why. It’s fashioned from hardy waxed sailcloth and lined with downy fleece, offering all the durability and performance of a Barbour but an attitude that’s more Wild West than Scottish Highlands.
A.P.C. Denim Trucker Jacket
Best Tailored Trucker Jacket
A textbook denim trucker, upgraded. A.P.C.’s jacket features stonewashed Japanese denim with a more tailored cut and elevated details like trim along the edges of the chest pocket flaps. It’s an all-arounder that’ll never disappoint.
J.Crew Corduroy Trucker Jacket
Best Corduroy Trucker Jacket
A blue jean jacket is a wardrobe essential. If you’ve already got that covered, expand your repertoire with this trucker in rust-colored corduroy from J.Crew. The warm neutral hue is a brilliant match for all manner of creams and blues and can easily be smartened up with more tailored clothing.
RRL Leeland Indigo Denim Trucker Jacket
Best Western-Inspired Trucker Jacket
An astute scholar of all things Western, Ralph Lauren gives us his recreation of Levi’s Type III trucker jacket. There are subtle points of differentiation—rounded chest pockets and vertical seams—but the perfectly patinated wash and whiskering stay true to its vintage inspiration.
Todd Snyder Suede Snap Dylan Jacket
Best Suede Trucker Jacket
Toeing the line between rugged and refined, Todd Snyder’s snap-buttoned jacket is rendered in luxurious Italian suede. It comes in a range of neutral colors, from black to beige, but we’re partial to this rich olive hue—a fine match for denim and charcoal wool trousers alike.
Harris Wharf London Felted Wool Western Jacket
Best Wool Trucker Jacket
It’s not denim and not what you might typically identify as a trucker, but Harris Wharf’s handsome felted wool jacket demonstrates the style’s range. It follows the same basic lines as the classic, but the plush wool fabric and refined buttons make for an altogether more elegant off-duty layer.
Valstar Suede Trucker Jacket
Best Luxury Trucker Jacket
Italian brand Valstar is best known for its buttery soft suede bombers. Lovely as those are, the same sumptuous material feels significantly cooler in a trucker. The versatile pale gray hue is ideally suited to autumnal attire, from camel sweaters to gun check trousers. This is workwear for the leisure class.
Sacai Denim x MA-1 Trucker Jacket
Best High-Fashion Trucker Jacket
Sacai is a fashion favorite, a Japanese brand that takes classic styles to new heights. Take this fittingly conceptual riff on a trucker, which features a chunky exposed zipper instead of the usual buttons. It’s a subtle twist that gives this tried-and-true classic some swagger.