Three Foolproof Ways to Wear a Denim Jacket This Spring

Classic though it may be, it's a surprisingly difficult item to style

April 12, 2023 11:11 am
a collage of denim jackets on a blue denim background
Denim jackets can be surprisingly difficult to style. We're here to help.
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Yank open those spring closets and chances are, you’ll find a crispy, slightly cropped jean jacket staring back at you. The denim jacket has been a bastion of men’s style as long as the words men and style have been associated: from Sienfield to Steve McQueen, it’s the outwear the keeps on giving. But for all its longevity and rugged wearability, it’s actually a surprisingly difficult item to style — one wrong move, and you’ll be facing comparisons to JT at the VMA’s.

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Is denim on denim okay? Can I still wear boots? What’s the fit playbook? To help you steer clear of any jenim faux pas, we’ve highlighted three surefire looks that’ll put your denim jackets to work this spring. With jackets from Levi’s to Alex Mill running the gamut of workwear, westernwear and any other kind of -wear you cant think of, you’ll be in good hands.

The Candian Cowboy:

a collage of model photos from Wrangler x Leon Bridges
Wrangler x musician Leon Bridges is the only candian tux inspo you’ll ever need.

The ’70s craze is alive and well, which means you’re officially in the clear to embrace the much-debated candian tuxedo. It’s a polarizing look, sure, but are you really going to argue with Robby Redford? Just follow a few simple rules — match denim hues, keep the jacket short and the pants long, and commit to the retro aesthetic — and you’ll be a certified urban cowboy in no time.

The Workwear Hero:

a collage of model photos of Drake's clothing
No one perfectly captures that “looks like I own a power drill, but definitely doesn’t own a power drill” vibe better than U.K.-based Drake’s.

We fully realize that not every man may feel at home making his own furniture, but there’s no reason you can’t look like you do. Nowadays, plenty of workwear jackets are decked out in denim, and unlike your standard trucker, they drape a touch longer (and sport all the necessary pockets to hold your…uh…tools?) for increased mobility and better coverage. Basically, you’ll look sick ordering your $7 matcha, and be totally good to go when you inevitably spill it all over yourself.

The Designer Darling:

two model shots from a Canoe Club lookbook
Ultra-premium denim from 3sixteen and Kapital can take your look to a whole other level.
Canoe Club

They may be simple, but don’t be fooled — there are denim jackets out there that’d look right at home on Euro runways or at downtown hotspots. Fabric and cut are the names of the game when it comes to moodboard-level ‘fits, along with the prerequisite accessorizing. For our money, the 3sixteen’s altered Type 3s Trucker is the ideal combo of rugged outerwear and designer denim. She’s expensive, but worth every damn cent — your hot date will think so, too.

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