When the weather warms up and the nights get longer, the best denim jackets become our best wardrobe.
The best denim jackets are a worthwhile investment, guaranteed to be worn over and over again. Created by denim legend Levi Strauss in 1880 (having also made the first pair of jeans ten years earlier), denim jackets were originally designed to be a durable garment worn by cowboys, miners, and the railway workers. While denim jackets have evolved since then, they certainly haven’t shaken their cool aesthetic.
Just as the trends for the best jeans come and go, the fashion for denim jackets also varies. From oversized ’90s denim jackets to distressed 2000s styles, the best denim jackets have been worn by countless style icons like Meghan Markle, Sarah Jessica Parker and Rihanna. And let’s not forget the iconic double denim trend rocked on the red carpet by Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake in 2001.
“The best thing about denim jackets is that they get better with age,” says Joely Chilcott, interim fashion editor at woman & home. “The used look gives them that cool retro finish that’s looser and more comfortable to wear. While some denim jackets may feel stiff when you first buy them, the more you wear, the more comfortable they are. ”Consider us sold!
How to style a denim jacket
Once you’ve added a denim jacket to your capsule wardrobe, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it. Whether it’s throwing in your favorite summer dresses or doubling the look up by pairing it with the best jeans, denim jackets are incredibly versatile. They also have that vintage aesthetic that gives your outfit an effortless cool edge.
Lighter than the best winter coats or the best leather jackets, the best denim jackets are a great layering tool. If you go for an oversized style, you can layer chunky mesh for extra warmth, making them wearable almost all year round.
“Cropped styles are great for summer, especially in lighter washes, including ecru and white for a cooler hold. Finished at the waist, they are also very flattering, ”adds Joely.
There are also loads of different styles and washes. Whether you’re looking for an 80s-inspired acid wash or an oversized look borrowed from boys, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to searching for the denim of your dreams. If you’re looking for something smarter, look for darker washes in a slimmer fit for a more polished evening look.
Where to buy the best denim jackets
Short on time? No problem. Here are our essential brands to quickly find the best denim jackets
- Levi’s – the original denim jacket from $ 79.50 / £ 70
- H&M – affordable denim from $ 29.99 / £ 19.99
- Reformation – sustainable styles from $ 128 / £ 140
- Zara – avant-garde designs from $ 39.90 / £ 27.99
The best denim jackets chosen by our fashion team
If you’re in the market for the best denim jackets, we’ve done the hard work and rounded up our favorite styles you can shop now and wear forever.
When it comes to decent denim at affordable prices, H&M is our go-to. This jacket has an oversized fit for an even more relaxed atmosphere. It has a frayed hem for a raw, unfinished look, and the light wash gives it a ’90s feel. Unzip the casual style and wear it over a cute floral dress. Part of H&M’s Conscious collection, it’s made from partially recycled cotton, which also fits the sustainable fashion brand’s box.
The All Saints leather jackets may be the jewel in their crown, but their denim offering is also worth exploring. For something cozy, this sherpa-lined denim jacket will keep you warm during the cooler evenings and winter months. It has a boxy fit and cropped finish – perfect for showcasing a waistline. Balance the looser style and wear it with high waisted leather leggings or pants for a totally rebellious look.
This boyfriend style jacket also has a slightly oversized fit for a relaxed silhouette. An elongated hem and longer sleeves give the OG Denim Jacket a modern update and a cooler finish. You can even personalize it with your name embroidered on the chest for an even more personal and unique touch. Available in five different washes, it’s also part of Levi’s sustainable collection. Wear with your Levi’s jeans for a head-to-toe denim look.
If you are looking for a smarter option, this black cotton number is a good choice. Perfect to wear in the evening, to slip on over a fancy dress for a more relaxed atmosphere. It has a classic cut that adapts perfectly to your figure. Also available in four other colors, including bright red and cool white, if black isn’t for you.
Structured and fitted styles will also keep denim stylish. This dark indigo jacket uses non-stretch denim and has a straight silhouette, ending at the hip for a classic fit that you will achieve time and time again. It’s also part of Gap’s WashWell program, which uses less water than conventional methods.
Step away from the classic button-up style and give this trendy zip number a modern twist. It has dropped shoulders and a relaxed fit, adding to the relaxed aesthetic. The on-trend cargo pockets give it a utilitarian vibe that would look great with khaki or camel. Made from 100% organic cotton, it is lightweight and more durable.
Switch up the classic blue for a chic creme for a summery update. Easier to wear than crisp white, this loose jacket looks super cute paired with the matching skirt, or keep it tone-on-tone and pair it with caramels and coffee hues. A relaxed fit, this Zara number has extra long sleeves, dropped shoulders and bold pockets for a contemporary look.
This classic slim model is a bestseller, and we can see why. Available in 8 different shades, we love the acid wash for an 80s inspired look. The acid wash denim is a little more assertive than classic indigo and would look great on a simple white t-shirt or dress. been a cool, rock-chick finish. If you want to increase the stake, go for the pink acid wash.
Shackets – it’s a shirt-jacket hybrid – have a little moment and are a great layering as well. With its relaxed fit, this long denim skirt is perfect to slip on over knits. Embrace the double denim trend and pair it with a pair of flared jeans for a ’70s-inspired look. Just go for lighter, washed jeans and keep the rest of your outfit simple.
Patchwork denim has made a small return to the catwalks, and this jacket is a great way to inject designer-worthy style into your look without the hefty price tag. Contrasting denim pairs well with jeans for a look that’s full of denim. Or, for a more streamlined vibe, wear it with your LBD and let the jacket take center stage.
Loose fit in a classic light wash, this denim jacket will be the one you wear over and over again. Keep it 90 and wear it over a cute camisole dress or straight jeans.
For a more feminine silhouette, this belted style is a winner. With a longer length and a built-in belt, it tightens you at the waist for a flattering finish. Although it sits on the high end of the price scale, it’s a worthy investment, and decent-quality denim will last. The tighter style keeps it stylish – ideal for parties and to wear over skinny pants.