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Vintage Lee 101J Jacket, 1940's/50's?


New Member
Jun 19, 2011
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Hi guys,

I stumbled across this site whilst doing some research on a vintage denim jacket I bought recently. I'm a collector of US militaria (WWII USMC) primarly, through which I've become interested in vintage denim and work wear, thanks to the likes of Sugar Cane and Buzz Rickson.

I don't know if this is the correct place to post such a thread (please accept my apologies if not) but I was hoping to find out more about this Lee 101J jacket. I purchased it from a vintage shop because of the chain stitch design on the back, which I thought was incredible. Upon further research I found that the jacket could date from the late 1940's/early 50's. Is this correct? It looks like it has an early Lee sanfornized label and in addition the design on the back dates to the 1950's I think. The 'Frontier Fiesta' is an annual festival at the University of Houston (I'm led to believe) at which the 'Bella Union' show took place in 1953.

I'd really appreciate some more educated opinions on the jacket, as my research is more guess work than anything. It's currently listed on eBay, but I'd just like to know some more about the model and date of the jacket.

Many thanks

I hope you enjoy viewing it!

All the best,




New Member
Jul 17, 2011
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Hi Will,
I can't tell you that exact date of this jacket but these are the years of existence of Bella Union.

  • Bella Union (1947-1958, 1993-1995, 1997-2007, 2009-2011) sponsored by Gan Bey continued by Sigma Chi (1956)
Gan Bey (Veterans' Service Office) was founded as a local fraternity at UH as well as all the other local fraternities and sororities that were founded between 1940 through 1955. In 1956, all the local Greeks petitioned to be chartered as national Greek organizations. Gan Bey petitioned to become Sigma Chi national fraternity. Unless I go through yearbooks to pin point the exact year, I would say the jacket is from 1947-1955.
Hope this helps.
You can e-mail me at [email protected] for more info. And if you still have that jacket for sale, I may talk to our Alumni Association to see if we can take it off your hands for our archives.


New Member
Feb 20, 2012
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I know this jacket well. My deceased husband was in Gan Bey at the University of Houston and then Sigma Chi when they went national. He had an identical jacket with his first name on the front. I also think I know who this one belonged to. I have contacted his widow to look at it. I think my husband got the jacket about 1955. These jackets were worn during Frontier Fiesta....known as "the greatest college show on earth". He also had two newerl jackets. One with the Sigma Chi shield on the back and the other with Yosemite Sam who was the symbol of Frontier Fiesta. His Gan Bey jacket was given to a friend's son, (both were Sigs) and was given to the Epsilon Xi chapter of Sigma Chi at the U of H. If you have anymore questions contact me at this address: [email protected]


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