A casual, contemporary men’s wardrobe is not complete without a denim jacket.
As much as a Style Icon, Justin Timberlake is now, he’s partly responsible for making men shy away from wearing denim jackets. He caused way too much confusion where there shouldn’t be. It’s a denim jacket. It’s not hard to go wrong until you wear an entire denim suit complete with a denim hat and a matching denim Brittany Spears. But if you really want to know how to pull off the denim jacket and actually look like a complete stud, here’s how.
First off, you need to realise that pre-Timberlake, it was widely known as a wardrobe staple, post-Timberlake, we tend to feel a little unsure. But, the proof is in the well-dressed men; style icons from John Lennon and James Dean to Adam Levine and Kanye West have all worn them in different ways and looked great while doing it.
It’s the jacket you chuck on just before you walk out the door and it’s the one most men keep handy in the back seat of their car. If you don’t have one, you’re missing out.
A lot of men who don’t own a denim jacket or haven’t owned one in a while think that as long as they can find a denim jacket, they’ve brought a great wardrobe staple. Like jeans and suits and most pieces of clothing, you need to consider the shape of the garment before you commit to buying it.
A decent denim jacket can set you back a few hundred dollars unless you’re lucky enough to pick up a steal at your local charity or consignment store. There’s a variety of denim jackets available to the everyday man. You’ll find worn light blue, black, dark blue, coloured, painted and embroidered or embellished denim and that’s before we get started on the wave of sherpa collared denim jackets. To find your staple denim jacket and pull it off, you need a classic, well-fitted jacket with little detail and lots of versatility.
Your first denim jacket purchase is best in a blue or black with simple classic details like metal buttons, sleeves you can roll up and a small amount, if any, visible branding.
CAN I WEAR A DENIM JACKET WITH DENIM JEANS?
The first thing that jumps to mind for many is the idea that double denim is a big no-no. While that can be true for most, you can still wear a denim jacket with denim jeans as long as the jeans and jacket are different colours. You can wear a blue denim jacket with black jeans, or a dark blue denim jacket with faded light blue jeans. As long as they’re different in colour, you’ve got the go-ahead.
STYLING YOUR DENIM JACKET – THE BEGINNER
Choose either black or light blue as your starting point and pair it with chinos, flat front trousers or jeans. A few basic t-shirts or button-ups will add just the right amount of style. Stay clear of denim shirts or chambray if your jacket is the same colour as them and remember that this jacket should be used out of the office only.
If you love wearing jeans more than chinos, perhaps try a coloured denim jacket. Have a bit of fun with the collar and sleeves by folding them different ways and letting the sleeves from your undershirt show. You can wear a canvas jean jacket with whatever colour jeans you like, you won’t have to compromise on style and you’ll have more options for layering. Just remember to look at the colour of the jacket against your skin. You want it to be the right shape for your body and the right colour for your skin tone. There’s no point in buying a great jacket you look sick in.
Have a bit of fun with layers when wearing your denim jacket. If you’re a bit more daring, layer it over a cardigan or wear a plain t-shirt with a patterned button-up, undone and then wear your denim jacket on top. There are so many possibilities when it comes to styling your denim jacket, just remember not to match your pants too much or it will look like you’re wearing a suit.
HOW TO WEAR YOUR DENIM JACKET IN WINTER
WEAR YOUR DENIM JACKET WITH A JUMPER
In winter, a denim jacket might not seem warm enough but with some styling tips and use of your other wardrobe basics you’ll find the denim jacket to be a great go to and in some cases can even replace the need for a coat.
Try wearing textures under your denim jacket like flannel or wool, textures when worn with denim will add depth to your outfit, this could later easily be paired with suede or worn leather boots. When wearing knitwear with your denim a slimmer knit will feel most comfortable and can then be layered over a button up or tee for a cosier look.
WEAR YOUR DENIM JACKET WITH A LEATHER JACKET
If you own a leather jacket and it’s roomy enough, layering your denim jacket under your leather can be a great way to keep warm and add texture to your look. You can button up your denim jacket under the leather jacket or leave both open depending on the weather.
WEAR YOUR DENIM JACKET WITH A COAT
When the weather is a little flippant, the denim jacket can be a great layering piece, much like a jumper. If you know you’ll be spending your day or evening partially indoors and outside, wearing your denim jacket as the middle layer to your outfit and slipping your coat over the top will look stylish and detailed.
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