The Eight Most Iconic Cinematic Jackets ... and Where to Get Them

drive_jacket.jpg
FilmDistrict
By now, a good number of you regular theater goers probably checked out Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive, which sped into theaters last weekend. One of the elements of the film that cannot be ignored is Ryan Gosling's white quilted sateen racing jacket, emblazoned with a giant scorpion patch on the back (more on the careful choosing of and inspiration behind Gosling's character's jacket in my recent interview with Refn).

Having always been a fan of both film and fashion, I thought it fitting to take a look back at the coolest jackets in cinematic history. Whether the clothes make the man or the man makes the clothes, the jacket is the essential piece of cool for any iconic character.

Try them on after the jump.

IndianaJones.JPG
Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) and his brown leather adventurer jacket from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
This is the cinematic jacket. It is the Holy Grail when it comes to film fashion. If ever a character was known by his iconic pieces of clothing, it's Indiana Jones. The fedora. The boots. The bag. The shirt. And of course the jacket.

Other than just being eternally cool with its brown leather bomber style, Indy's jacket serves as an external, visual reminder of just what the teacher by day/adventure-seeking archaeologist by any other day has been through on his quest to find the secret treasures of the Earth. Rough and weathered. Beaten, bruised and worn in. Nicked, scratched and scarred just as Indy, a man's man, is. But the jacket, also like Indy, is always ready to keep on absorbing the abuse, looking cooler and cooler as time and wear conditions it. But, most importantly, it never looks as if it belongs in a museum.

Kind of crazy when you think about the fact that not only did Harrison Ford play not one but three iconic fanboy characters (Indiana Jones, Han Solo, and Rick Deckard) and that each character had their own iconic jacket.

Original maker: Wested Leather Co.
Peter Botwright, Wested's original tailor of the Indy jacket commissioned by Spielberg for Raiders, is still producing authentic replicas of the jacket in standard sizes and even made-to-order custom tailored ones, which come complete with a Certificate of Authenticity. Botwright even offers the rest of Indy's outfit, including the trousers, the shirt and the belt. Punching sound effects not included.

Where to get a good reproduction: There are number of places that make their own version of the Indy jacket though screen accuracy is always a big determining factor that separates the costumes from the clothing so to speak. If you don't want to pay the equivalent of a few golden idols, then Todd's Costumes is your best bet.


rocketeer.jpg
The Rocketeer (Billy Campbell) and his tan leather aviator jacket from The Rocketeer
Another leather jacket inspired by fashion from the aviation days of the '30s and '40s in another film inspired by serials of the same period (Disney actually planned The Rocketeer as a trilogy hoping it would take off after the success of Raiders but unfortunately it ran out of gas at the box office). Flyboy Cliff Secord already had the aviator ensemble ... all he needed was a retro-futuristic jet pack created by Howard Hughes and a helmet that resembled a hood ornament to bring out the hero in him. Yet, he wouldn't have looked as cool jetting around saving the world from Nazis without that camel-colored jacket!

Original maker: Unknown

Where to get a good reproduction: Only a few companies offer reproductions of The Rocketeer's jacket, ranging in price all the way up to $700, but the cheapest is coincidentally Wested Leather Co. - maker of the original Raiders jacket. Their jacket is made using original patterns from the actual film jacket and will run you about $352.


brando_wildone.jpg
Johnny Strabler (Marlon Brando) and his black leather motorcycle jacket from The Wild One
If we're talking leather jackets and film, it doesn't get any more eternally cool than Johnny Strabler's black leather motorcycle jacket from The Wild One. You see this style of jacket on bikers, ruffians, punks and rebels everywhere but it was Brando who first made it iconic. The Wild One jacket (officially known as the "Perfecto") has been seen on the likes of James Dean, Bruce Springsteen and just about every other icon of Americana cool.

Original maker: Schott, NYC., the first company to put zippers on jackets!

Where to get a good reproduction: Don't settle for a reproduction! Get the real deal from Schott, who offers the jacket for $540 bucks (along with plenty of other cool leather moto jackets like the red, white and blue racing striped Easy Rider jacket). If you don't want to drop that much, you can probably find a close enough style at any respectable vintage shop or motorcycle outfitter. Just remember, no amount of money can buy cool. You've got to wear it!


dean.jpg
Jim Stark (James Dean) and his red Baracuta-style jacket from Rebel Without A Cause
Speaking of Jimmy Dean, the rebel without a cause made a jacket of his own iconic in the second of only three films he starred before suddenly and tragically dying in an automobile accident. Dean's on-screen presence as Jim Stark was as fiery and eye-catching as his signature red wind breaker, which instantly became as recognizable as Dean himself.

Original maker: The original maker of the Rebel jacket is still unknown, despite many enthusiasts efforts to discover its origin. Many believe it was not made by Baracuta but was in fact a McGregor Anti-freeze style, popular in the '50s, custom made by the film's costume designer, Moss Mabry. However, director Nicholas Ray claimed he took it off a Red Cross worker and another account claims that it was simply bought at a department store. So, it seems the famous red Rebel jacket is as mysterious as the man who made it famous.

Where to get a good reproduction: Being that the jacket is so recognizable (come on, even people who have never even seen Rebel Without A Cause are familiar with that jacket), you can find various versions all over the place, both screen accurate replicas with all the buttons, flaps, and zippers in the right place or off-the-rack jackets inspired by Dean's. This American Apparel nylon taffeta wind breaker is a good start. A Google search for red Baracuta jacket will get you going in the right direction if you're looking for something a little more authentic. There are even times when you can even find original vintage McGregor Anti-freeze jacket on eBay but they are rarely in red and are typically more expensive.



My Voice Nation Help
24 comments
shannonlee1956
shannonlee1956

Why no women? Come on! At least Grease's Pink Lady jackets!

proeyebry
proeyebry

Everyone aways thinks the Jacket worn by Marty McFly was a Guess jean jacket. It in fact was not.  It was made by a company called Nuovo.  These jackets were sold buy a company called County Seat.  I had this same jacket back in the 80's.  I begged and begged my mom to buy it.  At the time it sold for 110.00.  This is the only jacket that had the paisley lining.  I wish I had never let this go!

Danny
Danny

I don't know how Mad Max isn't in here when the Joker is.  

smlbasto
smlbasto

McGregor is selling this jacket as the original coming summer.....

fyourgod
fyourgod

I was really hoping to sea the leather dusters from the matrix

Jerome Weeks
Jerome Weeks

This list is so ... utterly shallow when it comes to cinematic history. Even the comments suggest dusters from an Eastwood film -- from 1992 -- when Lee Marvin's in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) influenced all of the dusters appearing in Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), which pretty much set the standard for all that followed. You want Eastwood, why not the serape he wore in his three iconic Leone westerns? Or take on a real duster, like the one Harrison Ford wore in Bladerunner? Not so bad ass but nicely creepy: the overcoat muffling Orson Welles in The Third Man? Bogart's and Mitchum's iconic trench coats? 

Jesse
Jesse

The Fight Club jacket was made by Jonathan A Logan, who is still making them.

Fergusontx
Fergusontx

Fun topic James!  Would have liked to see a western duster - Clint from Unforgiven or Kurt Russell from Tombstone.  What about Russell again as Stuntman Mike in Death Proof?  Or Travolta in Saturday Night Fever?  Judd Nelson in Breakfast Club?  Man ... this gets your brain working!  Now I won't sleep tonight.

Shelley Marshall
Shelley Marshall

You need some iconic female representation added to your list. I vote for for the Pink Ladies jackets from Grease & The Bride's yellow jumpsuit jacket from Kill Bill. Or how about the long leather looks of Trinity from Matrix & Selene from Underworld? 

James Wallace
James Wallace

If I could have, I would have kept this list going and going and going! There are so many cinematic jackets I would have loved to include but I realized that at some point no one would be reading it (besides my nerdy self of course...and maybe my mom just because she reads everything I write).

Just a few other key picks that didn't make the cut (although there were lots):

-The Bride (Uma Thurman) and her yellow track jacket and matching pants from Kill Bill -The Pink Ladies' satin jackets from Grease-Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) and his parka from Scott Pilgrim VS. the World-Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) and his Detroit Lions letterman from Beverly Hills Cop II-Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) and his black, gray, and creme leather baseball-style jacket-Robert Neville (Will Smith) and his Belstaff Trialmaster-Wolverine/Logan (Hugh Jackman) and his various leather motorcycle racing jackets from the X-Men films-Any of the jackets from The Breakfast Club-Silent Bob (Kevin SMith) and his trenchcoat from Clerks-Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry) and his black bedazzled leather jacket from Rocky Horror Picture Show-The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and his various jackets from both Terminator 1 and 2-Mad Max (Mel Gibson) and his black leather motorcycle jacket-Chief John Anderton (Tom Cruise) and his black leather jacket from Minority Reportand many, many more! Maybe this will inspire a sequel article at some point down the road when another film with a badass jacket comes out! :)

Deb
Deb

say what?! where is Madonna's pyramid jacket in "Desperately Seeking Susan"?

DocBrown
DocBrown

@proeyebry  


Pics please ! If that you said it's the truth, it will be a revolution. But it has been demonstrated that the jacket worn by Marty was a Guess Georges Marciano jacket.

James Wallace
James Wallace

Deckard's trenchcoat from Blade Runner gets a mention. Had to pick one Ford jacket and I went with Indy's, which is undeniably more famous. I enjoy your suggestions and appreciate your feedback but I tried to keep this first list a little more modern and mainstream, as those jackets are more instantly recognizable to most movie goers. Not to mention the fact that their origins and tailors are easier to track down, along with reproductions of said jackets. Bogart's trench from Casablanca is definitely one that will appear on a future list. Welles' from The Third Man is a great pick. Wayne's from the original True Grit is another great one if we're talking Western dusters. Steve McQueen always wore great jackets, both on and off camera (he's the man who made the Belstaff famous). Thanks for the suggestions Jerome.

James Wallace
James Wallace

Right! haha Now you see what it's like to attempt to compile a list like this! You never really realize how many iconic cinematic jackets there are until you start thinking about it. It's so hard...almost impossible...because you don't want to leave one out...they all feel so worthy. I guess my determining factor was "Does this jacket feel like an extension of the character? Does he wear it like skin? Do we hardly see him without it? Is it essentially his Wooby?" I feel a follow-up coming on in the near future. Great suggestions! I thought about the jackets from 3:10 to Yuma, which are all great Western jackets.

Deb
Deb

The Pink Ladies, of course! I still want one of those jackets.

James Wallace
James Wallace

I agree Shelley! The ladies are lacking in the badass cinematic jacket department. Of course all the ones that came straight to mind were men's because, well, hey...I'm a boy and I grew up wanting to own these jackets! Trinity's shiny leather trenchcoat is a great suggestion. I'll add her to the list for the future!

James MonStar
James MonStar

I would love to know where I could purchase Axel Foley" Detroit Lions letterman jacket , I'm kinda watching Beverly Hills Cop for the first time and that is a jacket I would keep forever . I'm looking on line now and I found an autographed pic of Murphy wearing the jacket lol .

James Wallace
James Wallace

Good suggestion, Deb! Didn't think of that one!

Gmschwartzms
Gmschwartzms

I know a person that has 2 Axel Foley Lions Jackets.   Both are mediums and have never been worn.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Employment

Health & Beauty

Medical Research

Dallas Event Tickets
Loading...