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How to Wear a Denim Jacket (For Men) in 2021: The Ultimate Guide

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Rocking a denim jacket can be hit or miss. 

If you aren’t used to wearing or layering your clothes, denim can an intimidating material to work with. 

As you go through this guide, though, hopefully you’ll realize that you have nothing to be afraid of.

Why Denim is Great

Denim is a classic material you can never go wrong with, as long as you understand why you’re wearing it. 

The problem with denim is in how and why it’s worn. 

Sometimes, people put on a conflicting shirt, loose and baggy pants, and maybe some worn-out Skechers expecting a jean jacket to wrap this all together in some sort of style.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. 

What makes denim a solid addition to your wardrobe is the hard texture of the fabric which should contrast with what you’re already wearing.

 A denim jacket worn well adds personality, swagger, and flair to your style.

When Should You Wear Denim?

People often make the mistake of wearing denim to the wrong event or during hot weather. 

This can turn you into a sweaty mess while you’re hanging out with your friends. Additionally, denim treads the line between being too casual while also inappropriate for formal events.

Choosing the right time to wear a denim jacket can make or break your style. 

The classic look of black jeans, boots, a plain shirt, and your denim jacket is a smart choice for casual office wear. 

You can also leave it open on a windy summer day and let the air in while blocking the summer heat from your arms.

How to Find The Right Fit

An indication of a good denim fit is if the hem of the jacket sits on your hips. Denim jackets are meant to hug your body, not dangle from it.

A short-cut jacket allows for the layers underneath to pop out either by your hips or through the cuffs of your wrist. This will give you the perfect fit while allowing your creativity to slide through your sleeves, like a polo to a blazer. 

Finding the right fit for your body is the most important thing you can do before wearing a denim jacket. 

Next, we’ll teach you how to effectively use this technique to bring out more character from your style. 

Types of Demin Jackets

Classic Blue

If you’re just getting into denim culture, then chances are the denim jackets in your closet are either dark or light blue. Although you can buy denim jackets in a wider variety of colors nowadays, classic blue is still the most iconic.

The classic blue denim jacket is an excellent example of a style that has persisted through decades as a staple of casual and semi-formal wear.

Putting on a blue denim jacket gives off a friendly and casual impression, and when done right, can be perceived as clean and courageous. One of the most underestimated feats of fashion is wearing an iconic outfit in today’s fast fashion-crazed world.

One of the ways to wear double denim is to pair a light blue denim jacket with jeans that are a darker shade.

Moving on, we’ll go over the other colors of denim jackets and then proceed through the details of how to wear them.

Cool And Smart Black

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Black denim is a great way to incorporate the rough aesthetic of a denim jacket into a sleek and calm outfit. 

The color black often draws associations with certain genres of fashion, like grunge or party, but the denim jacket takes its inspiration from rockstars.

While black leather jackets remind us of rebellious teen fashion, black denim jackets give a cool and calm impression instead. 

Putting on an all-black attire with leather Chelsea boots, some chinos, a breathable undershirt, and a black denim jacket is a proven way to get attention. 

This is a great way to come off as reserved and mysterious while catching onlookers off-guard with a friendly smile. 

However, be careful with wearing something like this on a hot day! 

Black absorbs more heat than light colors, so keep this attire for cold and windy days. 

White and Grey Cousins

White, grey and all the other colors are modest and obscure cousins of the popular blue and black denim hue.

Wearing any of these colors will make you stand out from the rest, which is a great asset if you want to be confident with your style.

If you’re wearing a grey denim jacket, make sure it doesn’t look worn-down or tacky. 

You can mix and match with darker undertones to get that old-school vibe or sport a clean but grungy look with a white pair of chinos and brown leather shoes.

Another great way to bring out the grunge or streetwear feel from a grey denim jacket is by wearing high-contrast designs. Picking up an orange old-school ACDC shirt, a tailored pair of blue jeans, and some Vans is a great outfit to start with! 

Remember, the perfect fit will separate a neat and carefully chosen jacket from a tattered hand-me-down. 

The Collection of Denim Jacket Looks

Hats And Denim

Your denim jacket might protect your arms from the heat, while a hat will protect your head. 

Rock your blue denim jacket with a red baseball cap and a white undershirt. Put on a clean pair of jeans and some classic white shoes, and you’re good to go!

Contrast colors to add loudness to your style. If your denim jacket has a wool collar, pair it with a beanie of the same hue. 

Wearing a hat is a great way to show off your personality. 

If you’re confident in what you’re wearing, feel free to put on a fedora, beanie, or a flat cap. 

The Classic White Tee

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Now let’s talk about layering! 

First off, the most basic but unmistakably attractive thing you can wear underneath a denim jacket is a plain white shirt. 

Some picky individuals might find you monotonous, but there’s nothing boring about being casual while looking clean. An ironed-out white shirt and dark blue denim jacket, coupled with fresh jeans and white shoes, can go a long way for casual wear.

The plain design of the white shirt compliments the rough and rugged texture of the denim jacket. Find a white shirt that rests a little below your hip so that it dangles lower than your jacket. 

Springsteen Rockstar

Born in the USA? Dancing in the dark? 

If you’re familiar with these songs, then you might understand why we call this the ‘Springsteen Rockstar’. 

A Google search of Springsteen in his 20s would return a picture of him wearing a blue denim vest. The man is as famous as he is iconic; although he may not be as popular now, the denim vest still is.

You can rock the denim vest in black colors with a simple shirt underneath. This style leans heavily on the rock genre but can be a semi-classy outfit when paired with a long-sleeved polo. 

Hoodies & Jackets

Another great way to layer a denim jacket is by wearing a hoodie underneath. 

This might seem absurd, but don’t judge it till you try it! 

The overall result is a homey, casual, and easygoing look. Perfect for dressing up but staying comfortable.

Put on a low-hanging hoodie, your slightly large denim jacket, a pair of ripped jeans, and some Vans. Picking the appropriate pair of jeans and shoes will make you look either hip or casual.

Try to look for colors that match, but don’t be afraid to experiment! 

Pins and Badges

Are you the type to keep a bunch of pins and badges? 

Well, you can sew or stick these on your denim jacket to give it an extra flair of personality. 

Order your pins in any way you want! 

Have them neatly in line, or trust your gut and stick them where you feel like it. What’s important here is that you get to show who you are. 

Fashion can be an incredibly personal adventure and not everyone may understand why you chose to wear this or that. 

But you should never be afraid to wear your badges on your heart and your heart on your sleeve. If these pins mean something to you, they’ll mean something to someone who appreciates you as well.

Trousers And Chinos

If you feel like you’ve been reading this article only to find that denim jackets are mainly informal, don’t stop reading yet! 

You can integrate the denim jacket into your personal and semi-formal life by choosing the right pair of trousers. 

For us, we’d absolutely recommend you try it with a pair of chinos. 

Although other trousers can work just as well, try to avoid “shiny” fabric like suit trousers. The secret sauce that blends chinos and denim jackets together is in the plainness of the chino. 

Wear some khaki chinos, a polo, and a dark blue denim jacket to add a flair of formal yet casual to your attire. 

Don’t forget to wear a pair of leather shoes! 

Army Boots And Leather Shoes

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Finally, here’s some trivia for you…

Ever wondered why denim jackets are stereotypically worn with boots?

Well, that’s because denim originated as a lower-class fabric worn by miners, farmers, and other professions that involve a lot of manual labor.

Blue was also the cheapest dye for a long period of time and didn’t mark stains on the fabric. Furthermore, the rough look of the denim jacket just works really well with boots, even army boots. 

If you own a pair of RW Blacksmiths, Timberlands, or any other good-looking boot, try this on with a pair of jeans, a casual shirt, and a denim jacket. 

This workwear aesthetic is an iconic outfit that still looks pristine, even in this day and age.

Free Checklist: 10 Must-have Clothing Items for the Modern Man 🕶️

Frequently Asked Questions About Denim Jackets

Should guys wear denim jackets?

Absolutely! Denim jackets can be worn by all genders and in all shapes. Heck, even babies wear them for fashion. Putting on a denim jacket is all about wearing that extra bit of personality and culture on an overall outfit that feels like a suit.

Are denim jackets in style 2020?

Yes, they are! Denim jackets are time and again a classic and iconic overall for fashion. Although it’s best to use this style in moderation. Denim is extremely noticeable and if you’re particular about switching up your wardrobe, maybe pick up the jacket only every other week.

What pants do I wear with a denim jacket?

The classic pants that you can go for are a darker color of jeans. However, you can try chinos as a popular alternative. Another cooler and hipper alternative is a pair of boat shorts.

A Final Word From The Trending Man

Wearing a denim jacket can be intimidating, but don’t let that stop you from looking amazing. A denim jacket can accentuate and enhance the personality of your style, all while keeping you away from the heat or cold. 

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The Trending Man

Our detailed review has been contributed to by multiple members of The Trending Man Review Team to ensure the best research and highest standard of quality. Have a good or a bad experience with one of the products? Please let us know, we love the feedback!
  • Johnny P says:

    I agree denim is great, but too often I see guys go overboard with this and rock the “Canadian tuxedo” type of look! Stear clear of this and you’re usually good. Demin jacket and dark pants work well. Thanks for the article!

  • Ronald Skitzo says:

    In my honest opinion, I don’t like wearing denim ever since. It doesn’t feel appropriate regardless of thee occasion.

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