How to Wear a Denim Jacket (And Why They’ll Never Go out of Style)

Smiling woman wearing denim jacket

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Virtually everyone has a jean jacket in their wardrobe, but not everyone knows how to wear a denim jacket. Denim jackets have been around since 1880, and are seen as a wardrobe staple, giving a classic Americana vibe.

I know for me personally, my denim jackets are worn all year round. I have a few of them in different styles and colors, and they make planning an outfit incredibly simple. A denim jacket is the main focal point for any outfit, so styling around it isn’t too hard once you get the hang of it.

Denim jackets can be paired with any outfit, any accessories, and you can wear them for any season or occasion. You just need to know how to style it.

How to Wear a Denim Jacket: Tips and Tricks for Every Type

When you think of how to wear a denim jacket, you might think that there aren’t many different options. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth!

Denim jackets come in so many different colors, styles, and prints. They can be dressed up or down, and can be worn in every season — you just have to know what to pair it with.

When you’re choosing a denim jacket, you have to choose the style that works best for you.

Are you petite, looking for a cropped light-wash denim jacket?

Do you have a grungy style, so you’re looking for a denim jacket that’s over-sized in a vintage wash?

Or maybe you work in an office setting, so you’re looking for a denim jacket to dress down your outfit on casual Fridays.

Regardless, the possibilities on how to wear a denim jacket are truly endless, but you can definitely spark your creativity by looking into different options.

Classic blue denim jacket

When you think of a denim jacket, you most likely picture the classic blue denim jacket. A blue denim jacket is every woman’s BFF in her closet. It’s a staple and is exceptionally versatile.

Blue denim jackets are available almost everywhere, in countless washes, price points, and sizes.

Ways to wear a blue denim jacket:

Crisp white denim jacket

Not many people think of white when they picture a denim jacket, but it instantly makes any outfit clean and fresh.

A white denim jacket elevates an outfit and can make you look more polished.

Ways to wear a white denim jacket:

Edgy black denim jacket

Adding a black denim jacket will immediately give you a cool vibe. It’s another extremely versatile layer, and you can wear it so many different ways.

Ways to wear a black denim jacket:

Fashion-forward over-sized denim jacket

An oversized denim jacket is an excellent choice if you’re looking to experiment a little bit and get outside your comfort zone.

Ways to wear an over-sized denim jacket:

  • Over a dress or skirt to offset it
  • Paired with white jeans to bring them into fall
  • Balance a sexy outfit, like heels and a skin-tight pair of jeans

Grungy distressed denim jacket

A distressed denim jacket is excellent for balancing a feminine outfit or pairing with a grungy outfit.

Ways to wear a distressed denim jacket:

  • Paired with a dress or maxi skirt
  • Mix the entire outfit: pair with a t-shirt and maxi skirt
  • Over-sized with heel booties
  • Paired with black jeans

Frame-fitting cropped denim jacket

A cropped denim jacket is ideal for those with a petite frame. You’re also able to show off your curves perfectly, and accentuate your long legs.

Ways to wear a cropped denim jacket:

Layered sleeveless denim jacket

A sleeveless denim jacket, or a denim vest, is a fantastic layering piece. You can even DIY a regular denim jacket into one if the sleeves become too short.

Ways to wear a sleeveless denim jacket:

  • Layer over a jumpsuit
  • If you have a longer silhouette, pair an over-sized one with a mini dress

How to Wear a Denim Jacket in Every Season

Although many people tend to wait until the springtime to break out their denim jacket, you can actually use them during any season.

Not sure how to wear a denim jacket during the other seasons?

  • Summer: paired over your outfit on a breezy night
  • Fall: paired with a shirt and over-sized scarf
  • Winter: worn under a winter coat, giving a chic vibe
  • Spring: the best season for a denim jacket, can pair with anything

Wearing a Denim Jacket for Every Occasion

You also may think that a denim jacket can only be worn for casual occasions, but that’s not the case either. A denim jacket can dress any outfit down just as easily as it can dress up any outfit.

We have shown you some perfect options for how to wear a denim jacket for every occasion above, but just as a recap, you can wear a denim jacket for virtually every occasion.

Here are some occasions when it’s perfect to wear a denim jacket:

  • Date night (pair it with a skirt and flats or heels)
  • Running errands or picking up your kids (paired with jeans and a striped t-shirt)
  • Summer campfire (paired with denim shorts and sneakers)
  • Graduation party (pair with a colorful dress, sandals, and bold sunglasses)
  • Shopping in the city (paired with a maxi dress, sunglasses, and Fedora)

The History of Denim Jackets

Since its debut in 1880, a denim jacket has been thought of by many people as a classic American look. When you think of how to wear a denim jacket, it can be useful to take a look at how they even came about in the first place, and how we’ve seen them worn in the past.

The first denim jacket was created in 1880 by Levi Strauss. It was ideal for laborers because the horizontal seams holding down pleats could be removed to give extra room.

What was once known as a uniform for manual labor, quickly became a wardrobe staple in virtually everyone’s closet.

  • 1880: Levi’s Triple Pleat Blouse designed by Levi Strauss
  • 1955: James Dean featured denim jacket in “Rebel Without A Cause”
  • 1961: Marilyn Monroe featured denim jackets as a staple in her wardrobe
  • 1962: Rock ‘n Roll and denim go hand in hand
  • 1970: Model of the decade, Veruschka, modeled in a denim jacket and jeans
  • 1971: John Lennon wore lots of denim jackets, adding personal touches like boutonnieres
  • 1980: Big shoulders and boxy silhouettes in fashion, making denim jackets perfect
  • 1984: Bruce Springsteen featured an all-denim wardrobe on the “Born in the USA” album
  • 1991: Geena Davis in Thelma & Louise featured a well-known look with a denim jacket
  • 1992: Claudia Schiffer made denim a 90s statement in an ad with Guess
  • 2001: Madonna featured denim-on-denim in her “Ray of Light” video
  • 2001: Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake debuted their iconic all-denim outfits on the red carpet
  • 2013: Miley Cyrus and Rihanna featured denim jackets out and about

Are denim jackets still in style?

The short answer is yes, of course, denim jackets are still in style!

You can see celebrities and everyday people wearing denim jackets out and about daily. And they are still featured in fashion runway looks.

Numerous retailers still make them. Plus, washes and fits of denim jackets are only growing.

Where to Buy a Denim Jacket

Honestly, you can find a denim jacket at virtually any retailer. They’re a little easier to find when spring clothing comes out, but they can generally be found all year.

When shopping in-store, you can find them at most major retailers. The best jean jackets can be found at denim shops, such as Levi’s or Lucky Brand.

When shopping online, you can find denim jackets virtually anywhere. Simply search “denim jacket,” and a slew of results will pop up. Two of the most famous ones to look for are by Levi’s and Wrangler, both of which get high ratings.

Making a Denim Jacket a Staple in Your Wardrobe

Now that you know a little bit more about how to wear a denim jacket, you probably are wanting to go shopping to find different washes, styles, and colors. I know I am!

Denim jackets have never gone out of style, and it’s pretty safe to say that they never will. They give such a classic look that it’s hard to make a denim jacket look bad.

Do you have a favorite way of wearing your denim jacket?

Let us know in a comment. We’d love to hear about it!

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