How to Wear a Denim Jacket 3 Ways

by Jamie Wilson
How to Buy the Perfect Denim Jacket

Reviewed & updated: October 19, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA

No man’s wardrobe would be complete without a classic denim jacket. If you want to be stylish and comfortable in your denim jacket then this is the perfect guide for you. Whether you decide to wear it as a rugged mid-layer during the depths of the winter or as a lightweight top layer in the spring, there’s no denying the versatile practicality of the denim jacket.


How to Wear a Denim Jacket

So you’ve just bought the all-important wardrobe essential and need some advice on how to wear it. You’ve made a wise investment and, to be honest, you can’t really go wrong with this staple piece. There’s not much a denim jacket doesn’t go with. Below you’ll find some outfit examples, style tips and, of course, some denim jackets to choose from.

Smart Casual

It’s a phrase that can stress out anyone who has no clue what they should be wearing, smart casual should never be difficult when you have a denim jacket to hand. If you’re considering a smarter look you might want to think about going for a darker shade, as it can add a sense of sophistication to your outfit.

Despite its seemingly relaxed style, the denim jacket straddles the line between smart and casual perfectly. Wearing a shirt and tie underneath is a simple way to smarten up your outfit without having to put in too much effort.


It’s the style you’ll probably find yourself using most often, wearing a denim jacket casually is one of the easiest ways to look good. Picking a neutral colour and design is a good idea as it’s more likely to go with a range of outfits. Pair it with black joggers and a plain T-Shirt for a stylish but unfussy look.

Combining it with a pair of chinos is another easy way to get the most out of your jacket. It’s hard to think that anyone wouldn’t be able to emulate this outfit, most of you will have a pair of chinos and a plain white tee handy – combine them with a denim jacket and you’ve created a relaxed image.

striped joggers denim jacket mens street style

Double Denim

This combination has got a bad reputation, mainly down to it’s checkered past with celebrities wearing it badly. Fortunately, it’s time to reclaim double denim, so don’t be afraid of this style and make the most of a look that’s ridiculously easy to put together. Selvedge jeans look smart with a denim jacket. Pair with some brown shoes and you’ve got an outfit that is easy and impressive.


Depending on the situation, the type of shirt you should combine with a denim jacket can change. If you’re going for a formal look then a white dress shirt can work nicely. On the other hand, if you’re keeping it cool and casual in summer, wearing a plain T-shirt underneath is easy to pull off.


Although double denim can work, it’s also a nice opportunity to bring some contrast and balance to your outfit. If you’re wearing a blue jacket, why not pair it with some black jeans? If you want a more casual look then joggers are a nice alternative. Chinos work for a more formal style as well.


Their versatility is what makes denim jackets such a great piece of men’s fashion. Depending on the style of outfit you’re going for, you can combine it with any number of shoe styles. For a classic casual look, the iconic Converse Chuck Taylor high top is a perfect companion. Try some desert boots or leather shoes for a more formal ensemble.


Wearing a hat might not be for everyone, but accessories like these are one of the best ways to make your outfit more impressive. It shows you’ve put some thought into what you’re wearing and you care about how you look, which is always a good thing.


Street Style

The best style advice can be seen on the streets, you can look around you and you’ll be sure to see at least one person in a denim jacket. It’s one of the easiest ways to get an idea of what would work for you, with so many different jackets out there, it definitely helps to see people wearing them in real life.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that you might love someone’s outfit and it could be a great combination, but don’t be distraught if it doesn’t quite work when you wear something similar. What makes a certain outfit work on one person better than it does another is entirely down to people’s opinion, it can totally depend on your build and even just down to different hair colours. It’s great to get inspiration from others but always maintain your own style and be confident with it.

Denim Jacket

Moving on 70 years and one of Hollywood’s greatest icons, James Dean, amongst others, donned one and propelled it into mainstream culture and fashion.

The humble denim jacket is a classic piece of menswear. Steeped in history and practicality it was strewn across the backs of workmen and trendsetters alike. It was in 1880 when the denim god himself, Levi Strauss, created the first for engineers, railroad men and miners to wear as a durable and breathable piece of outerwear. The horizontal seems could be removed to allow the wearer extra room when working – it’s as practical as it is stylish.

How to Wear a Denim Jacket

  • A denim jacket is a versatile piece that should be in every man’s wardrobe, it can be worn casually every day or for slightly more formal occasions.
  • Layering the denim jacket is a good option, this means it can be worn in more than just one season. Put a jumper underneath or a bigger coat over the top.
  • Double denim can be pulled off if its worn correctly. Don’t overdo it with similar tones and if you’re not feeling bold enough – black jeans and a blue jacket is a good option.
  • Street style is the best way to look for inspiration, everyone has an individual style and its up to you to find what works best and what doesn’t.

fairisle christmas jumper denim jacket mens style

On That Note

The denim jacket is undoubtedly a classic piece of men’s outerwear fashion. Famous for its versatile nature, you can wear one all year round and in any number of outfit combinations. We have focused on three possible ways that you can wear this iconic jacket. However, don’t be afraid to experiment with different looks, the possibilities are endless.

Feature image from Pinterest

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