Probably best known as the denim jacket worn by The Beatles, the Lee 101 Rider denim jacket is a bona fide clothing classic.
Not that it’s the first name you think of when you think trucker jacket. That honour inevitably goes to the Levi’s Type III jacket, which tends to come and go out of that label’s range. There was a made-in-Japan version around over the summer, which may or may not be still on the shelves.
Lee doesn’t mess about with its classics as much. The Lee 101 range is always the focal point of the company’s range, and the 101 Rider jacket is pretty much always available in some finish or other.
So where did The Beatles connection come from? Well, the band did a photoshoot in Lee denim and jackets not dissimilar to this one back in 1966. Which you could argue was the band’s style peak. A Lee 101J 1966 denim jacket, a replica of the one worn by The Beatles, was reissued back in 2007. I wish I’d picked one up, as they change hands for healthy money these days.
Not that it’s massively different to the one you see here, which is the 101 jacket that’s in the current range.
It uses much the same template as the original, with its angled yoke, front seams and zig-zag stitching through the placket. And like all the best denim jackets, it’s a piece that looks better with age.
That is, in part, down to the heavyweight 15 oz mix of organic and recycled cotton, crafted in a left-hand weave that will ‘wash beautifully’, according to the maker. Although washing denim is another topic entirely and one that could have us arguing for days. The orange stitching and brass buttons add some contrast to this heavyweight jacket.
One of those jackets you invest in with the hope that it’s with you for years. As long as you don’t leave it somewhere. I’ve got denim and cord jackets going back decades. They look worn, but isn’t that the beauty of them?
If you want to invest in this one, the price is £250.
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