Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.
Souvenir jackets are typically bomber or varsity styles jackets with extravagant embroidery on the back, as outlined in our article Souvenir Jackets — A Silken History of Sukajans. That said, these jackets have evolved over time. Additional embroidery on the chest is now commonplace, and the outer, which was originally made from thicker fabrics, are now usually made from lightweight nylons or silks.
1) Momotaro: 03-067 Denim Souvenir Jacket
Momotaro‘s Denim Souvenir Jacket is both affordable and unique. While most souvenir jackets utilize embroidery, this one is made from denim that has been laser treated to create an intricate pattern. The fabric isn’t the ultra-shiny nylon we’ve grown accustomed to and I actually like that; not only does it harken back to a time when heavier fabrics were used for these jackets, but it also puts the emphasis on design itself rather than the fabric.
Available for $320 at Denimio.
2) RRL: Dragon Print Tour Jacket
RRL does a great job with their historical replications, although their Dragon Print Tour Jacket has a few differences of its own. First, the pattern covers the entire chest and back of the jacket. Second, the pattern is screen printed rather than embroidered. Despite these changes, it’s one hell of a souvenir jacket. Like all jackets in this style, it’s unlikely you’ll find yourself wearing this piece every day. But when you do, boy, you know you’ll be having a good day.
Available for $990 at Stag Provisions.
3) The Flat Head: “Black Eagle” Souvenir Jacket
As noted previously, gaudy designs on an article of clothing make it difficult to wear as a daily driver, unless you want to be defined as the guy who wears that piece. That’s why it’s great to see The Flat Head’s Black Eagle Souvenir Jacket feature a more normal pattern on its reverse side. Plus, the black-on-black pattern means that even with the embroidered side is more understated than most souvenir jackets. The embroidered side of this jacket is made from a proprietary Flat Head blend made of rayon/bamboo fiber/silk/cotton blend while the other side is made from a wool houndstooth.
Available for $891AUD a(~$620USD) at Corlection.
4) Sugar Cane: Whitesville x Tailor Toyo Leather & Wool Souvenir Jacket
This souvenir jacket from Sugar Cane (and a collaboration between Whitesville and Tailor Toyo) results in a fantastic example: the Leather & Wool Souvenir Jacket. Made more in the style of a varsity jacket, as is noticeable by the snap closure, this jacket features leather sleeves, a wool body, and embroidery on both the chest and back. The substantial fabrics that make up this piece make it a much heavier duty jacket than most Souvenir Jackets, so keep that in mind while shopping.
Available for $845 at Self Edge.
5) Pherrow’s: 18W-Atlas Hawaii Souvenir Jacket
Pherrow’s 18W-Atlas Hawaii Souvenir Jacket features a much more militaristic pattern, as was traditional with these type of jackets, but is somehow much more minimalist than many other jackets this style. Like some of the other jackets on this list, this one is also double-sided to allow a plainer side to be worn out when desired. While the materials this jacket is made from are a bit unclear, as it’s listed both as velveteen/rayon and as double-sided wool, it’s safe to say that Pherrow’s used some of the best materials available.
Available for £599 (~$760USD) at Clutch Cafe.
Plus One — Fine Creek Leathers: Custom Norfolk Horsehide Souvenir Jacket
Some of the jackets on this list have featured leather elements, but Fine Creek Leathers is the first brand to offer a souvenir jacket made entirely of leather. It’s made from a veg-tanned burgundy horsehide with a bright gold embroidery, and features a standard collar rather than the elasticated collars usually seen on souvenir jackets. That said, this jacket can’t really be worn daily without standing out. But hey, if you like this jacket, I doubt that’s a concern.
Available for $2095 at Rivet and Hide.