The denim jacket is a timeless piece of clothing that can be worn with virtually anything. It can be used to dress down a business casual outfit, or elevate a casual hoodie. Unfortunately, the jacket’s versatility means that so many brands have their own take on the item.
Searching for the right jacket that fits your needs – and style – can be super overwhelming. Denim jackets come in a huge array of styles, shapes and colors, and knowing where to start your search is sometimes impossible. That’s where we come in: here is a breakdown of the types of denim jackets, along with the best denim jackets on the market.
- Types of denim jackets
- Denim jacket colors
- How a denim jacket should fit
- Best denim jackets for men
- How to style denim jackets
Different Types of Denim Jackets
Denim jackets come in many styles, and each gives the wearer a slightly different look. Here are the most common styles:
- Classic: this style is exactly how it sounds. The classic jacket is a regular denim button-up, usually with a stiff feel and fit.
- Distressed: the distressed style usually has some purposeful wear and tear, coming in the form of discoloration and sometimes rips on the sleeves.
- Trucker: surprisingly, the trucker denim jacket is usually what we think of when we hear “denim jacket.” Trucker style just means it has more pockets and is a bit sturdier.
- Sherpa trucker: a trucker jacket, but with sherpa lining. Pretty simple.
- Oversized: this style is pretty self-explanatory – the fit is a little baggier, meaning this jacket could be worn over thicker material.
- Raw denim: this just means the material hasn’t been dyed, and is high quality. Look for some natural discoloration and heaviness.
- Boxy fit: this style is less fitted and, as the name suggests, provides the wearer with a boxier look on top.
- Slim fit: these jackets usually taper in towards the waist and hug your sides.
- Colored: this style of denim just means that the natural material has been dyed a different color. Sometimes, the color fades over time, giving an interesting effect.
- Patchwork: this is a more modern style, where the denim material is “patched together” with other fabrics.
Denim Jacket Colors
Denim jackets now come in virtually every color imaginable, as some companies are getting into dyeing their denim. Of course, the most popular color for denim jackets continues to be the classic blue, but you can also easily find jackets in black, brown, gray, and white. Even more obscure but still fun, some retailers sell jackets in colors like maroon, green, or indigo.
How should a denim jacket fit?
The ideal cut should sit around your waist. The jacket should neither look too long nor too short. If it’s too long then it will look like an untucked shirt. If it’s too short then the jacket may look too feminine. So it’s important to get the right fit when you buy a denim jacket.
One way to do this is by examining the effect of the jacket on your figure. If the jacket makes you look slimmer then you’ve chosen a good jacket. If not then you should keep looking.
Best Denim Jackets
If you’re looking for a jacket that goes beyond the laws of fashion (simplicity, comfort, and style all rolled into one), then look no further – this trucker jacket from Levi’s is every rule broken, and one of the most basic pieces that every man should own in his lifetime.
This Levi’s original is the iconic jean jacket engineered in 1967, made with 100% cotton and denim for your comfort. Even if you dress it up or down, or even go in between sizes (loose or fitted), you’re sure to find a great look that you can call your own.
It even has signature branded metal buttons and the trademark “V” stitches – the unmistakable touches that make this totally worth every penny.
Edwin’s Halden Jacket gives customers a darker denim option. It comes in dark stone worn and follows the trucker style. The fit is accurate to size, and the jacket has the typical chest pockets. There is also some discoloration around the seams, providing some contrast to the eye. As a smaller business, Edwin gives an impressive take on the denim jacket.
Fancy something lighter? Well then, we’ve got something just for you – this Liquor N Poker classic denim trucker jacket is obviously a real winner. Made with 100% cotton (lightweight denim) material, it has a spread collar and button placket, with functional pockets to give you more room for your essentials. Just imagine the versatility of this piece!
It comes in a regular fit, which makes it the perfect fall accessory. Cool, collected and comfortable – it’s everything you’d want in a denim jacket. We know.
A powerhouse in Japanese fashion, Uniqlo’s unmistakably streamlined and collected take on the denim jacket is a modern silhouette that’ll surely look good on almost any body type. The best part about it is that it’s made with comfortable stretch denim, which is breathable and made to fit your size accordingly.
We also love its wide-fit design, which also provides a better fit on the sleeves. It still features two functional pockets on each side, making it another contender in the everyday-jacket category.
Creatures of habit will tell you that a uniform will save you valuable minutes every single day. So, why don’t we make that choice for you? Everlane’s take on the denim jacket will surely be your next favorite, and for good reasons!
It has steel-capped brass buttons and internal drop-in pockets, which add up to its appeal, making it so easy on the eyes. Since it comes in a relaxed fit, it is good to wear especially when you’re putting on layers. Don’t sweat it – we’ve got your uniform covered.
The office is a battlefield. Don’t you just wanna zip it all up and carry on? With the APC Denim Jacket, you’re sure to stay snug and comfortable.
It’s a classic design combined with well-thought-out details and premium materials. Made with 100% organic cotton, it features a softly washed mid-blue, which goes well with most shades. Since it has a concealed zipper along the front, it’s easier to wear and more put-together. You’ll surely love the minimalist approach to this piece.
With every brand having their own spin on the classic blue denim jacket, it’s only fair we give a spot to GAP. For the quality you’re receiving for the price you’re paying, this denim jacket is hard to top, which is why it wins our best “price-to-quality” denim jacket award.
Levi’s has been in the game for so long and has given us such quality denim over the decades that they deserve a second mention – this time with their sherpa lined trucker jacket. For those cold weather days where your regular jacket just won’t cut it.
If you thought the previous styles were distinct, check out the Type 1 Selvedge Denim Jacket by Momotaro. This piece reinvents the class denim jacket, from the two white stripes on the left sleeve to the bulkier buttons. Combined with the slim fit, this jacket is in a class by itself. Momotaro has an eye-catching option for those wanting an outside-the-box look.
Naked & Famous’ Vulgar Selvedge 3 Denim Jacket might take the cake for pushing the boundaries of denim jackets. This piece features curse words woven into the cuff, and comes with a leather patch featuring the Naked & Famous Denim Tragic Blond. She has a bar of soap in her mouth, which is reflective of the jacket’s naughty nature. Beyond these unique features, the jacket is a dark gray-blue and fits the wearer comfortably. You’ll make a statement in this piece.
Edgy And Distressed: Best Designer Denim Jackets
We’ve dove in the world of the classic trucker denim jacket, from iconic brands like Levi’s to work horse brands like Uniqlo. Now it’s time to get a bit spicier with our selection – beware, you’re going to see distressed denim, oversized fits and 90’s inspired cuts.
The Relaxed Denim Jacket by Acne Studios is a great example of a jacket with a boxier fit. The light blue wash is accentuated with some tasteful discoloration. Of course, it has the classic chest pockets and silver buttons. This 100% organic cotton denim jacket is a solid choice.
I’m sure you’ve heard of workwear brand Carhartt – let me introduce you to their most fashion foreword line of clothing, Carhartt WIP (Work in progress). This beautiful jacket comes in a faded black, with a boxy fit and slightly cropped look.
If you’re looking for an edgy, punk inspired, distressed denim jacket – no one does this style quite like designer brand AMIRI.
AMI Paris’ Buttoned Boxy Fit Denim Jacket is a modern version of the classic jacket. It comes in used black and classic blue and is a bit shorter than other styles. As the name describes, the fit is boxier, giving an overall more unique look. With details such as the black metal buttons and the black leather patch on the back.
How To Wear a Denim Jacket
Here are four different outfits that demonstrate the versatility of denim jackets and how you can wear them.
Black Denim Jacket Outfit
Although it’s hammered into us to never wear denim on denim, this combination of a darker denim jacket with selvedge jeans works quite well for a rugged look. Pair it with some dark brown Chelsea’s for maximum slick.
Denim Jacket + Cargos
Hop on the cargo pants trend with this cool and casual denim jacket outfit. It’s well put together with different colors that you wouldn’t think would work at first, but the olive cargos and the light wash denim jacket work great together.
Denim Jacket Over Hoodie
For an iconic streetwear look pair an oversized denim jacket with a hoodie underneath. It’s important to pair the hoodie with a denim jacket that is specifically designed and cut to be an outer layer piece.
Denim Jacket + Boots
One of the best combinations with a denim jacket is khaki chinos and dark brown lace-up boots. The denim jacket is already a very rugged piece of clothing, which is elevated when paired with a sleek pair of lace-up boots.