The Devil in the Detail 007: Freewheelers & Co 506xx ‘The Vanishing West’ Denim Jacket

Today we’re taking a closer look at the jacket that started it all, a piece which is hallowed ground to vintage collectors, and heritage enthusiasts around the world; The Type-I denim jacket. And, while any heritage design company worth its salt will have tried their hand at a Type-I model, there are few who have gotten as close to the real thing as Freewheelers & Co.

Known for their attention to detail, Freewheelers have gone all out in their quest for perfection, and they are pretty close to the mark if you ask us! Using a 100% cotton, 14oz denim which has been expertly woven using five different short fibre American cottons, the brand have developed a fabric which feels, and looks like it has come straight from the golden age of denim production. The jacket is weighty without being overbearing, but has been gently rinsed, creating a luxuriously supple feeling, and also removing any excess shrinkage.


As for the shape, well that’s where we really start to lust over this design! Taking their inspiration from the iconic 1947 Levi’s Type-I, this jacket is cut short in the body to sit neatly on top of the hip, made for a time when the rise of pants would have been higher. The body too is a vintage boxy shape, with sewn in knife pleats on the front to allow for maximum freedom of movement and breathability. The back of this jacket boasts the iconic bloused shape, with a custom manufactured buckle back, which can be easily used to cinch in the shape of the waist.


With no detail overlooked in their craftsmanship and design, the brand have used 100% cotton, gold contrast thread; no nasty poly blends to be found here! The beauty of this choice is that the thread will decay over time for the perfect vintage effect. A single chest pocket sits proudly on the left hand side, with a traditional button flap which serves to protect your valuables, and at the corners of the pocket (and cuffs, and cinch back), you’ll find custom branded punch through copper rivets, designed to age beautifully over time.


The steel tuck buttons which line the selvedge iD button plate have themselves been carefully considered. These steel buttons are one of the most instantly recognisable icons of the denim world, but the brand have gone one step further and developed rounded off button backs, reminiscent of the earliest denim production. At the bottom of the button plate we find a distinct selvedge run off, which indicates only one thing; these jackets are made on vintage machines! Yes, to ensure the authenticity of their product, the brand use only the original American machines to craft their art, resulting in a finished piece which feels just as good as those made by the famous Levi Strauss company in the 1940’s.

In all, if you’re in the market for an original Levi’s Type-I, you might want to consider The Vanishing West instead, as the quality is unparalleled, and you’ll save yourself a pretty penny in the process! At Son of a Stag, we stock the Freewheelers’ 506xx from a size 36 for the slighter shape, all the way up to a 48, for the ‘big and tall' customer. So now there’s no need for the whole family not to look their best!