Everything You Need To Know About Souvenir Jackets

Henry Charle
in fashion
Everything You Need To Know About Souvenir Jackets

The Sukajan Souvenir Jacket Explained
Thinking of adding a little zest to your wardrobe Want something out-there, classy, edgy, timeless, and with a profound historical context as old as khaki pants at the same time Then you should consider getting a Sukajan souvenir jacket this season. The name may not ring any immediate bells, but the chances are good that you’ve seen several in movies, TV shows, music videos, and so forth. The Sukajan jacket is a fierce statement piece. It is a mix of Asian-inspired colors and imagery, coupled with the rugged cut and confidence of an American baseball jacket. Does that sound like something you’d want to add to your street style? If so, read on to find out more about this unique addition that can level up any wardrobe in the world. 

The Post-WWII Asian-American Heritage
The original Sukajan jackets have been around during and after World War II. So that’s more than 70 years of the style surviving radically changing fashion trends. In fact, the jacket looks more at home in the 2020s than any other point in history, even though they originated many decades ago. The way they originated has a very rich context as well. 

The jackets were commissioned as souvenirs from local tailors and outfitters by American servicemen in Asia. They were typically most common among American soldiers stationed in Korea and Vietnam. Who had the idea first is not clear, but these jackets were meant to serve as a reminder of time spent abroad. They combined colors and imagery native to Asia, such as jungles, tigers, and dragons in a uniquely Asian style with strong American symbology such as the American Eagle, as well as catchy slogans. As far as we know, each of the original souvenir jackets was one-of-a-kind, tailored to the specifics of the soldier who commissioned it. 

The Material and Cut
True to conventional Asian fashion, the original souvenir jackets were made from satin or fine silk. Modern versions, however, do use more durable and stain-resistant materials. Some are also made with thicker lining to help protect against cold weather. The cut largely remains the same as the original versions. In many ways, the Eastern fabric and design, coupled with the utilitarian cut of the classic baseball jacket, resonate even louder today than they did in the past. 

Replicas Make More Sense Than Authentic Sukajan
The Sukajan jacket was always intended to be more than a casual wardrobe addition. The original soldiers who commissioned these jackets obviously wanted them to stand out. They had a deep meaning and immense sentimental value to the people who owned them. There is also the fact that since the originals were commissioned nearly seven decades ago, the chances of finding an authentic Sukajan jacket on sale are very slim. The authentic articles are far too rare, and will likely carry a price tag only serious collectors will be willing to consider. 

Luckily, Sukajan replicas have never really gone out of fashion. They’ve survived in many different parts of the world, where clothing companies continue to use authentic fabrics and prints. They’re just not as unique or one-of-a-kind as the originals. And obviously, replicas are brand new, unlike the weathered originals. But it’s still going to be far easier to find a great replica than even a battered original. 

High-Profile and Pop Culture Fans
One immense advantage of owning a Sukajan souvenir jacket is that you’re joining a very exclusive clique. The edgy mish-mash of cultures, colors, and styles is something that the more eclectic parts of the world are always hungry for. So you’ll never feel out of place walking down a street in LA or NYC or London or even Bangkok. The jacket has been favored by many high-profile celebs and musicians, from Mick Jagger to Jared Leto. 

During the 1960s, these jackets became extremely popular in Japan. The youth at the time was heavily into imbibing and upcycling American culture. This is where the souvenir jacket acquired the name of Sukajan and began making inroads into popular culture. It has often made appearances in Asian movies, especially ones that involve figures from the underworld, such as the Yakuza. 

Getting The Right Look 
So now that you know just about everything, there is to know about the Sukajan souvenir jacket, you’re probably looking for one right now. But before you do, there is one last thing you need to understand. Unlike many other clothes in your wardrobe, the Sukajan jacket is a through-and-through statement piece. It will serve as the center for any outfit that you wear, so build around it. It makes good fashion sense to tone down the rest of your outfit to direct more attention to the jacket. Things like a pair of khakis go as well with a Sukajan jacket as with a navy blazer. A plain white or black tee-shirt and some edgy sneakers are all that is needed to complete the look. Have fun turning heads!

Henry Charle
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Henry Charle

Content Curator
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