Denim jackets are a modern day men’s style essential. Durable and rugged, the denim jacket was birthed more than one hundred years ago: an offshoot from the denim jeans, overalls and boiler suits worn by miners and factory workers in early 20th century America.
With a history steeped in reckless charm, mid-century cowboys picked up the perennial men’s jacket, before bikers and punk rockers went renegade with denim, speeding on in darker washes with logos and patches. Hippies then had their way flowery-way – embroidery and embellishments colouring faded blue hues, followed by nineties hip-hop heroes, millennial workwear wannabes, and the more recent Japanese denim aficionados of the noughties.
Nowadays, you can take your pick from all these pop cultural cues — and more, as contemporary designers source quality denim (from Italy, America and Japan) and make sleek cuts (that rival the flattery of a blazer) for a denim jacket that’ll slip into every man’s wardrobe.
From vintage truckers to punkish patches to flight jackets with shearling collars, here are 12 bold denim jackets to rock like a rebel (or a pseudo cowboy).
Team it with chinos, summer shorts or even suit separates for a high-low smart casual look come the weekend. The only warning? If worn with jeans — a la double denim — the denim jacket must be in a lighter shade. There’s nothing ‘hey y’all’ about that.
Classic / Washed Denim Jacket
Invest in a classic denim jacket that can be worn from at most casual occasions. Pair it with jeans or chinos, add a white shirt and you’ve for yourself a foolproof smart casual look.
Distressed Denim Jacket
Get the street approved look with a distressed denim jacket. Rips, paint and general wear in all the right places. Pair your distressed denim jacket with jeans and wild sneakers for a winning look.
Oversized Denim Jacket
The latest trend is to go big or go home when it comes to your denim jacket. Oversizes and wide is all the rage. Pair your jacket with wide legged trousers and clean sneakers.
Sherpa Denim Jacket
For the trucker in all of us the sherpa or fur denim jacket makes a strong casual statement. Popular with surfer dudes, the sherpa leather jacket is best kept simple with a t-shirt and a fresh set of Vans.