How To Master The Souvenir Jacket Trend

The history and how-to behind the year's boldest look

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Originating as a memento piece commissioned by American soldiers leaving Japan after WW2 - hence the name - the souvenir jacket has had a recent resurgence as one of the key retro trends for 2016, with everyone from Gucci and Louis Vuitton to Topman and ASOS releasing takes on the bright and bold jacket style.

The souvenir is typified by its cut - similar to a classic American baseball jacket - its silky finish and the abundance of embroidered eastern and American motifs that usually cover them (think cherry blossoms, tigers, eagles and depictions of Mount Fuji).

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After the war, the Sukajan - the Japanese name for the jacket - was appropriated by youth gangs who wore them as a sign of their allegiance, meaning they still have a somewhat rebellious reputation in their home country, although that is slowly evaporating as more and more western and Japanese brands jump on the bandwagon. 

Zayn Malik Louis Vuitton
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How To Wear It

The whole point behind a souvenir jacket is that they are loud, brash and attention-grabbing. While this might not be for everyone (we understand), if you do choose to buy into the trend then make sure it's your jacket and not the rest of your outfit doing the talking.

Team your Sukajan with a plain white t-shirt, slim, dark flat-front trousers (like Zayn above), or  jeans and you can't go too far wrong. 

Just make sure you don't buy a replica of the Gosling jacket from DriveFilm memorabilia is best left to the archives. 

Ryan Gosling wearing the iconic Scorpion bomber from Drive. Not one to be tried at home.

Styles To Look Out For


Louis Vuitton Souvenir Jacket, call for enquiry,

Gucci Tropical Print Silk Bomber, £1,110,

High End

Paul Smith Men's Sky Blue Satin Embroidered Bomber Jacket, £288,


Topman Black Embroidered Koi Souvenir Jacket, £75,

Zara Patch Bomber Jacket, £50,

What do you think?

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