Who doesn’t love a cool denim jacket? Whether you are a streetwear junkie or just a fashion aficionado, denim jackets have very likely crossed your life path at least once. Due to their versatility and wearability, denim jackets are any woman’s wardrobe must-have, and we could easily state that investing in one is always worth the money.
What’s even better regarding denim jackets is their history and legacy, which inevitably adds value to the staple. Before jumping to the history of denim jackets, let’s get inspired by the best denim jackets for women of the moment, learning a few tips and tricks on how to style jean jackets shortly afterwards!
Women’s Denim Jacket Outfits to Try: Contents
- 13 Coolest Denim Jackets for Women to Buy
- Jean Jacket Fashion History
- How to Wear a Denim Jacket with Any Outfit
1. Your Girlfriend’s Denim Jacket
What’s better than a denim jacket designed as a tribute to Cara Delevingne? Probably nothing! So why not grab one for you and your girlfriend? You’ll all get a killer look anyone would love to copy. Its boxy fit will also help you play with proportions more! Grlfrnd’s distressed denim jacket is available for purchase at Net-a-Porter!
2. A Cropped Jean Jacket
For the coolest, millennial-approved vibes, we recommend heading to FWRD.com to get thisFrankie B cropped denim jacket. Its relaxed silhouette and subtle detailing will give you a jean jacket that easily transitions from day to night.
3. Your Ex-Boyfriend’s Denim Jacket
Levi’s is an absolute win-win whenever it comes to denim ensembles, and we could fairly state that a Levi’s denim jacket is any fashionista’s spring/ summer-themed must-have item. Bigger and looser in its figure than your average jean jacket, this option gives its best with a total-denim look à la Justin Timberlake in the Nineties. You can get it at Nordstrom.
4. Acid-Wash Denim Jacket
Easy to style and comfy to wear, Free People’s jean jacket is our favorite acid-wash denim item (and soon will be yours, too). You can find it on Shopbop and will very likely wear it non-stop from April to October.
5. Tracksuit Jean Jacket
Topshop just delivered the sportiest denim jacket of all time, and we are living for it! Style it with a simple slip dress (better black or silver), and just get ready to dance the night away (or the afternoon, there’s always a good reason to dance).
6. California Dreamin’ Denim Jacket
What’s the kind of jacket a skater girl wears in Los Angeles? Well, of course, Mira Mikati’s embroidered jean jacket! Adorned with the coolest graphics ever, it is available for purchase at Farfetch.
7. Fit Denim Jackets for Life
Here we present another epitome of coolness, i.e. Balenciaga’s no-stretch denim jacket! Embellished with layered seams on the front and slightly oversized, you can find it online on My Theresa. You’ll very likely wear it all year long!
8. Streetwear Meets Denim
When high streetwear meets denim, extraordinary things happen, as proven by this Aalto jean jacket available at Farfetch. Style it with a pair of fancy track pants and just get ready to rule the streets (or Instagram).
9. A Wild Denim Jacket
Here we are back on ASOS to fall in love with this checked denim jacket, which exquisitely combines punk-rock vibes with some cool hippy references. If you are a habitué at festival parties, this denim jacket is your new BFF.
10. Striped Jean Jacket
Here’s one denim jacket for the high-fashion collectors! NSF’s zip-detail jean jacket stands out with its flattering and edgy silhouette that is meant to look good on anyone and everywhere. Get it from Shopbop!
11. The Real Vintage Deal
If you were (or still are!) particularly fond of Italian fashion in the Nineties, this Fiorucci patched jean jacket is a dream come true! Available at Revolve, it exudes the coolest vintage/ grunge vibes for this spring/ summer season (plus, it could be considered as a piece of art history!).
12. Sky Trucker Denim
If your kind of festival season is more high-end than punk-rock, this ripped denim jacket by R13 is the answer to your dreams! Its sophisticated worn-out look and slightly oversized fit will make you instantly stand out from the crowd and will also give you something to get warm in as soon as the spring weather gets chilly. You can find it on FWRD.com!
13. Paris Denim Look
Last but not least, here’s a classic fit denim jacket by Free People that will automatically bathe anyone who’s wearing it with the coolest Parisian aura. Pair it with a black hat, a braid, a red lipstick, and a total-black outfit to fabulously charm anyone. You can get it at Revolve!
As stated on our list of the best denim jackets for women, a Levi’s jean jacket is a lifetime must-have item, and there’s a reason for that. The original jean jacket was, in fact, the label’s Triple Pleat Blouse, which was created back in the late 1800s (when Levi’s was still called Levi Strauss).
Made out of sturdier fabrics (nowadays it is usually 100% cotton), Levi’s jean jacket was any cowboy’s, miner’s or railroad worker’s favorite, as its structure and texture protected them whenever they were weather-beaten.
Soon after its first jean jacket, which was a huge fashion success for the era, Levi’s developed various denim jackets, among which the so-called “trucker jacket” from 1962 was the ultimate game changer.
Right before Levi’s pulled out the trucker jean jacket, many Americans, besides cowboys, began wearing denim jackets. Loved by everyone, from WWII soldiers to singers (such as Bing Crosby) to even Hollywood actors (James Dean particularly loved them), denim jackets were slowly beginning to be perceived as cool rather than merely utilitarian, if not even high fashion as soon as icon Marilyn Monroe was spotted wearing one in the early Sixties.
Thus, when Levi’s trucker jacket was introduced in 1962, the American society was ready to fully embrace the cool off-duty look that came along with a denim jacket, turning it into a fashionable staple the masses could flaunt on a daily basis.
As it often happens in fashion, a utilitarian, working-class-only staple was claimed back by the richer, mainstream culture and reinvented as an it-item that displayed a higher social status than ever before, reaching its most glamorous peak as soon as the Eighties and the punk-rock culture bloomed.
Ever since the Eighties, the denim jacket has found its glorious and unstoppable way into the runway shows, becoming an “unconventional” red carpet-approved staple in the late Nineties and getting a new, anti-fashion transformation in the ‘10s.
While it is nowadays not perceived as a rebellious fashion item as it was during the Sixties and Eighties, the denim jacket is indisputably a medium through which most fashion designers showcase their more rebellious self, and we surely won’t complain about that.
Found in the wardrobes of every woman and man, from Hollywood stars to actual cowboys (and cowgirls), denim jackets share a history of wearability like no other fashion staple before, even if sometimes it is really hard to picture ourselves with a denim jacket on for any actual occasion.
Since style tips and tricks are our cups of tea, here are a few pieces of advice on how to wear a denim jacket with literally any outfit! Before getting into the fashion tips, let’s concentrate on the dos and don’ts!
Do Carefully Contemplate the Fit
Jean jackets come in a plethora of styles, cuts, and materials. Due to the harshness of the fabrics, most of the time boxy denim jackets are, well, boxy indeed. Unlike other staples, which are more versatile fit-wise, denim jackets must perfectly flatter the figure of the wearer, who needs enough room for movement (especially for the arms, as the sleeves could end up being too tight), as well as layering options (you might want to wear a snuggly knit sweater underneath the jacket).
If you feel denim jackets feel unflattering on you, just opt for jean jackets with darts below the bust line, as they’ll help you reach a harmonious hourglass figure.
Also, the denim jacket’s cut should sit around the waist (unless we are talking about an anti-fashion-inspired item), and the shoulders must fit religiously perfectly, otherwise your silhouette could look heavily unbalanced.
Do Carefully Choose the Wash and Color
If you are a denim jacket collector, well, choose whatever color you may fancy this season. If you are looking for an it-item to invest in and possibly don for the years to come, make sure to choose a color and a wash that not only suit your skin undertone but are also more practical for your day-to-day life.
Dark washes, for example, have a classier appearance and suit almost every skin undertone. Light washes might be harder to pull off, as they work better with neutral skin undertones and are dramatically prone to reminding us of one of the most iconic yet worst “Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears total-denim” looks of all time.
If you are looking for a classic denim jacket yet with a spicier effect, but you are not ready for the light-washed ones, try medium washes!
Don’t Think Denim Jackets Are Only for Younger People
Denim jackets are literally for anyone. What you can do, if you feel uncomfortable in a denim jacket due to your age (but at the same time really love the look), is donning jean jackets only for the outdoor activities and among your closest friends, avoiding it for any slightly formal event.
If you don’t feel uncomfortable but have trouble pairing it, play with contrasts and just charm everyone with your fresh outfit!
Don’t (Always) Use a Washer
Washing machines are any modern human’s companions – we know that. But sometimes, especially when it comes to delicate fabrics, our grandmothers’ way to wash garments (i.e. with your hands) is better.
If you are not in a rush, hand-wash your denim jackets, using a toothbrush if there’s a particularly stubborn food stain.
Denim Jacket Outfit Ideas
From miniskirts to girly dresses, from short shorts to more elegant looks, denim jacket looks fab with practically any other clothing piece you already own in your wardrobe. While denim jackets are perhaps one of the most versatile outerwear options that exist, when in a fashion dilemma, these denim jacket outfit ideas can inspire you!
Denim Jacket with Turtlenecks and T-Shirts
When in doubt, two are the main staples that get along extremely well with denim jackets, i.e. turtleneck sweaters and plain white T-shirts. Simple yet classic (especially turtlenecks), they’ll give you the casual-chic look everyone is striving to get these days!
Black Pants on Denim
For a classy look, even for the more formal events, try to combine your medium-wash denim jacket with a pair of high-waisted, pencil black trousers, completed with Oxford shoes and a white T-shirt or shirt. You’ll transform yourself into the living proof that denim jackets can be described as elegant, too.
Although “florals for spring” does not necessarily sound groundbreaking, they sure are a good idea when it comes to styling denim jackets. Take a cute floral dress and combine it with a jean jacket, further playing with the contrasts such as with yellow shoes or bags.
Vintage on Vintage
If you have a true vintage Eighties or Nineties denim jacket, here’s our piece of advice for you! Instead of going for a total-Eighties/ Nineties look, single out your coolest Fifties garments from your wardrobe, especially high-waist skirts and Bardot blouses, playing once again with contrasts and just surprising anyone with an unconventional, killer look.
If “denim jacket” is synonymous with “festival season” in your book, take your most flowing maxi dress and wear it all summer long! Don’t forget to add a pair of (faux) leather sandals, too (leather goods are generally appropriate for denim staples, so go for them!).
Denim Jackets for Cooler Seasons
Even if denim jackets are usually associated with springtime, they are the perfect autumn and winter staples, too (ok, only if you live in mild climates). During fall and winter, style your denim jacket with contrasting fabrics, such as tweed (jean jackets naturally enhance the texture of tweed pants), and warmer items such as puffers, creating the fanciest high-street look you could get.
Photos via @mikutas, @wantgetrepeat, @collagevintage, @queenofjetlags