How to Style a Denim Jacket

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Nataila Portman – Blogger/Designer

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How to Style a Denim Jacket

When it comes to fashion, denim is king. It has always been. Valentino, Proenza Schouler, and Rachel Comey have set trendy iterations in 2015, but denim jackets have been trending for bloody 130 years (or so)! 

The first denim jacket was created around 1880, and people -- of all walks of life -- loved it! Miners, engineers, cowboys and other people of the manual laborer sect fell in love with the durable and breathable quality of denim jackets. 

Yes, denim really is king. We can all remember icons like James Dean, Manilyn Monroe, John Lennon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Madonna (the list goes on) included denim jackets in their everyday fashion.

Just like your trusty favorite jeans, you can pair a denim jacket with almost everything in your closet. Denim jackets are, and always will be, stylish -- thanks to their cool vibe and neutral shades. 

The key to styling a denim jacket is knowing what to pair it with and understand when and where to use it. Need help? That’s where we come in.

Wear it with chinos

What you pair with your denim jacket is what makes or breaks your style. The classic khaki -- which, by the way is a colour, not a style -- is always a great ally to a denim jacket. The utilitarian cotton-twill fabric adds texture to your overall look. 

What’s really great about chinos is that they are smart. Chinos have formalising features like creases and pleats, and at the same time, they can be casual. 

Wear it with style (men):

Black or blue denim jacket

+

Bucket hat (match the colour with your denim jacket)

+

Short-sleeved shirt (button the neck)

+

Chinos

+

Brown Chukka shoes / Sneakers


Wear it with style (women):

Blue denim jacket (oversized)

+

Knot-front shirt / Shell shirt (neutral colour)

+

Chinos

+

Slip on / loafer / dockside shoes



Wear it with a white t-shirt

Pull out a James Dean vibe by wearing a white tee. But you need not only to wear a white t-shirt but the kind that fits perfectly to your torso ‒ not too baggy, not too tight, not translucent, not too much like a dress or crop-top, and not too modest. 

A white tee may be simple, but it’s never basic. It’s classic and pairs perfectly with a denim jacket. And oh, wear it with a khaki chino to become a head-turner.

 

Wear it with style (men):

Black or blue denim jacket

+

Aviator sunglasses

+

White tee

+

Slim fit / regular blue jeans

+

Black Chukka shoes


Wear it with style (women):

Crop top blue denim jacket

+

Aviator glasses

+

White tee

+

Blue or dark-coloured pegged pants / Skinny jeans

+

Slingback shoes / White sneakers



Match your denim jacket with black jeans

Black jeans and a denim jacket will make your bloody good and bad-ass. You can also match your denim jacket with jeans of similar colour, like grey. You can even go for white jeans, but beware that it has its own impracticalities and pitfalls, so wear it at your own risk. 

But for a fail-safe way to splice your denim jacket, you can always bet on black. 


Match your denim jacket with Indigo jeans

Remember how bad-ass looking Ryan Gosling in his movie Drive? He knows exactly how to pull off his denim jacket. 

Indigo is a more difficult shade than black, but still, not that hard to not be worn with a denim jacket. 

Wear it with style (men):

Blue denim jacket 

+

Wayfarer sunglasses

+

Black / Grey tee

+

Indigo jeans

+

Black Derby or Brogue shoes


Wear it with style (women):

Blue denim jacket 

+

Cateye sunglasses

+

Black / Grey tee

+

Indigo skinny jeans / Jodphur

+

Black Scarpin or Kitten Heel



Wear it with joggers

Who would’ve known that denim jacket pairs well with joggers, right? Well, just because it’s denim doesn’t mean you cannot use it with your sportswear. A denim jacket adds structure to the softness of joggers. 

As for your joggers, gray is the classic, but you can always go for black and other dark shades. 

Wear it with style (men):

Blue denim jacket 

+

Black watchcap

+

White Henley shirt / Plain t-shirt

+

Grey jogger pants

+

High-top sneakers


Wear it with style (women):

Blue denim jacket (wash)

+

White tee

+

Dark blue jogger pants

+

White trainer shoes


Wear it with a hoodie

Wanna look urban? Try wearing your denim jacket with a hoodie. Both a denim jacket and a hoodie are low-key and excellent for the weekends! But keep in mind, never overdo it. Always use neutral colors and bet only on gray or blue marvel under your denim jacket.

Wear it with style (men):

Blue denim jacket 

+

White tee with print

+

Black ripped jeans

+

Sneakers


Wear it with style (women):

Blue denim jacket with hoodie

+

White fitted crop tank top

+

Skinny jeans

+

Gumshoes


Wear it with a suit and tie

Yep, that’s right. It’s never wrong to mix denim jackets with your business attire. Style up and make business meetings less intimidating by wearing a denim jacket over your suit and tie. But instead of tailored trousers, wear chinos. 

Wear it with style (men):

Black denim jacket 

+

Aviator sunglasses

+

Blue dress shirt

Necktie (textured; colour should match the jeans)

+

Black jeans (washed)

+

Monk shoes


Wear it with style (women):

Blue denim jacket

+

White tee

+

High waisted cropped pants

+

Peeptoe shoes


Wear it with an overcoat

If you want to wear your denim jacket with an overcoat, make sure your jacket is slim fit. Tailored outerwear also has some degree of ruggedness, which shouldn’t be intimidating to wear. Do not be afraid to explore and flaunt this bad-ass combo. It gets better if the stitching in your denim jacket matches the colour of your overcoat!

Wear it with style (men):

Blue denim jacket

+

Grey topcoat

+

Plain tee shirt

+

Black skinny jeans

+

Black sneakers


Wear it with style (women):

Blue denim jacket 

+

Trench coat

+

Striped tee

+

Skinny jeans

+

Stilleto



Wear it with a Henley shirt

Denim jackets are already inherently good, but with a white Henley shirt and khaki cargo pants, you can make your jacket look even more stylish. This style is awesome for all seasons!

Tip: Always look for a denim jacket with stretch in the fabric. Such a kind of denim jacket gives you a comfortable fit and lets you move your arms freely. 


Wear it with style (men):

Blue denim jacket 

+

Grey / Blue Henley shirt

+

Black / Grey tee

+

Chinos

+

Boat shoes


Wear it with style (women):

Henley shirt

+

Blue denim jacket 

+

Brown topcoat

+

Khaki wide leg pants

+

Brogue shoes

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