lee 101

The Iconic Lee Cowboy Jacket

Within the new Spring Summer ’22 collection, Lee 101 released their iconic Lee Cowboy jacket, also known as the 401 jacket. The jacket came originally on the market in 1934 and was an instant hit amongst cowboys, farmers, and workers. Now, it’s back in special fabric in the premium Lee 101 by Lee collection.

lee 101

Lee’s First Denim Jacket Style

The H.D. Lee Mercantile Company introduced its first denim 101-J Cowboy jacket to pair with Lee 101 Cowboy waistband overalls, later known as Lee Riders. The design of this first Lee 101-J Cowboy jacket was similar to other brands catering to the western market at the time. The jacket was produced originally from 1934 until 1948 when the jacket was followed-up by the now-famous Lee 101-J Riders jacket style.

lee 101

The Unique Features Of The Jacket

The Lee Cowboy jacket is known for its classic design with features such as a single chest pocket with the shield shape and flap closure, horizontal pleats across the button-front closure (originally designed as a way to allow the jacket to age and grow with you), branded Lee Cowboy buttons, copper-rivets on stress points, triple-needle stitched seams for extra durability and, a buckle back on the back so you can adjust the jacket.

The jacket is entirely stitched with tobacco-colored thread. It features a hanging loop, also made with selvedge fabric.

lee 101

The Special Linen Cotton Selvedge Fabric

The Spring Summer version of Lee’s Cowboy jacket is made with a 14oz unwashed fabric from the Japanese Kaihara denim mill. The fabric is made with 43% linen, so easier to break in as it’s not that stiff. This cotton-linen blend denim fabric is made with cotton for the warp and linen for the weft. The result is a fabric with an authentic slubby feel. The fabric shows flecks of white showing through the slubby texture.

This special sustainable linen blend uses less water to grow than cotton. The selvedge fabric is used along with the closure and shows a plain ID.

lee 101

All the images are provided by Lee Jeans.

Written by Wouter Munnichs
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine, I'm working as a freelance denim specialist for the industry. Titled as 'Denim Influencer 2020' by Rivet 50. Celebrated my 10th anniversary with Long John in 2021.