The trucker jacket – or denim jacket, to some – is a staple of the skinhead and bootboy wardrobe that has been worn for generations. The Northern Avenger will not explore the entire history of the trucker jacket today, but he will provide a rough guide mainly to the models that were worn in the original skinhead era.
Levi’s Type 3 Trucker
The classic trucker jacket, the Levi’s jacket was a staple of northern skinheads, usually teamed up with Levi’s or Wrangler jeans or Sta Prest. Notice the Levi’s patch on the left hand side above the pocket, which was usually taken off the back of a pair of jeans and sewn onto the jacket. Also, notice the way the jacket is buttoned at the top and how the cuffs are rolled just once. I replicate this look today, sticking to my northern roots.
The best Levi’s jacket available today would be the Levi’s Type 3 1967 trucker with big E tab. However, this is very expensive, which is why I find the 70500 Levi’s trucker acceptable, just as long as it does not have side pockets.
20MJL Blue Bell Wrangler
Not much is known about Wrangler jackets, only that they were worn ‘up north’. I’m guessing it was it was the 20MJL jacket, given that it was produced from 1968 -70 and the later Levi’s style 127MJ was not produced until 1973. The skinhead above at the Market Harborough soul all-nighter 1968/69 is wearing this style.
They are no longer produced, but can still be found in vintage shops sometimes.
Blue Bell needle cord Wrangler
Well, no one said all trucker jackets had to be made of denim? Available in various colours and a bit shorter then most trucker jackets, these were popular in Manchester and other places in the north around 1969-70 . To my knowledge, the skinhead in the picture above was from Newcastle. Another northern item.
Be prepared to pay a lot of money for these on eBay. For this reason, I think other brands are also acceptable. Also available in the 20MJL style, but I have no idea how long these have been around.
Levi’s Leather Trucker
Said to have been worn ‘up north’, as the above picture of a Coventry skinhead wearing a leather trucker in 1969 supposedly demonstrates (personally, I wouldn’t consider Coventry ‘up north’). Expensive then and expensive now. Skinheads with leather truckers were seen as hard because wearing one would attract the attention of greasers. Leather truckers were stud fastened as seen in the picture – unlike button leather Levi’s truckers today.
No name/no brand leather truckers with stud buttons very much like leather Levi’s can be found on eBay for reasonable prices. I would rather wear one of these then a modern Levi’s leather trucker.
Lee Rider jackets
Supposedly, the bloke on the left is wearing a Lee Rider jacket in Barrow 1971. I don’t know a great deal about Lee jackets, but the one I have is of decent quality (yes, I own 4+ denim jackets).
Readily available from eBay at decent prices, their raw denim jackets are also meant to be good (I can confirm that they are – Editor).
That’s all for now, folks.
Text: The Northern Avenger