I’m a big denim jacket fan. I consider a denim jacket a wardrobe staple. It’s my go-to when I’m not quite sure how to top an outfit or when I want to add a little edginess to a look. A denim jacket is the perfect topper during this summer-to-fall transition season, when the weather is too warm for a coat and a little too cool to go without a some kind of lightweight jacket.
You might say that the denim jacket is one of my obsessions (along with stripes and polka dots). I have four – one just recently added. They are all different from each other in ways that might not be immediately obvious. And I wear each with intention to create a specific look or feeling.
The Traditional Denim Jacket – From Dressy to Grungy
A denim jacket can give an outfit that cool factor, especially when paired with a dressier look. In the blink of an eye, the same outfit becomes much more casual simply by adding a denim jacket that evokes a bit of a “grunge” look. In the photos below, my outfit of black cigarette leg pants and satiny burgundy blouse (remember – from my last Fix from Stitch Fix!) has a more “pulled together” feel with the dark denim jacket (my “dressy” denim!). The same outfit conjures a cool “not trying too hard” effect when topped by my worn denim jacket.
The faded and broken-in 1969 Gap (the brand not the year!) is my favorite. I’ve worn it a lot and it has the raw edges to prove it (see the close-up below). I love that about this jacket, and I have fun pairing it with both super casual and not-so-casual looks.
The Grunge Effect
Check out the worn edges along the cuffs and seams (maybe a little hard to see it all in the photo). It’s my favorite denim jacket and is super comfy and soft after many washings.
White – Always Fresh and Versatile
A white denim jacket is a fun twist. This black and white look is fresh and simple and is versatile enough to go just about anywhere. Since it’s not the traditional jeans fabric, it can easily take you to work, date night, girls’ lunch – endless possibilities!
Pair a Denim Jacket with Colored Pants
There really isn’t a fashion rule you can break with a denim jacket. (And if you’re not comfortable with that statement, just try breaking a so-called fashion rule for fun and see how you feel about it!) Denim is truly a neutral, and a jacket in denim easily tops just about any color.
In the photos below, I’ve styled these fun olive side stripe pants (another Stitch Fix score) with both the white denim jacket and the “dressy” dark jacket. A switch of shoes (slip-on tennies and my favorite Rothy’s shoes in black) also gives a different twist to each ensemble.
Denim on Denim
It’s fun to combine denim with denim and the look has grown into a popular fashion trend over the past few years. There are some ways of pairing denim tops and bottoms that help make this look work (check out some tips in this post). One way is to mix different shades of denim, like the dark jeans with the faded, lighter jacket below.
Shop the Look
There are endless options in the denim jacket category. Here are a few you may find fun!