How to Wear a Denim Jacket: 10 Outfit Ideas for Men

How to Wear a Denim Jacket: 10 Outfit Ideas for Men

by Madeline Berger
February 20, 2020

Wondering what to wear with your denim jacket? You’re not alone. While it’s a closet staple, this classic, mid-weight jacket can often be puzzling when one wants to wear it with anything besides a plain t-shirt. Denim jackets can vary from one to the other—there’s a wide variety of washes, cuts, and distressing found on both new and vintage denim jackets. Different brands have different signature qualities, such as pocket shape and stitching pattern. The list goes on.

Once you find a denim jacket you love, hold onto it. Like a dear friend, your jacket will last for many years and provide you with a solid wingman in a wide variety of situations. To avoid the dreaded single-outfit jacket conundrum, we’ve pulled together our favorite ten ways to style a denim jacket with menswear.

1. With a beanie and cords

Tone down a bright or patterned t-shirt by layering it under your denim jacket. Add a pair of straight leg corduroy pants and a coordinating beanie for a classic look. 

2. With neutral shorts and a patterned button-up

Denim jackets are great for transitional weather. Pair yours with a button-up and shorts for an unexpected twist on a basic outfit. 

4. With lots of layers

Stay warm with some unexpected layering—start with a hoodie, throw on a button-up or vintage Hawaiian shirt (leave it unbuttoned), and add a denim jacket on top for tons of interesting texture. 

5. With a crewneck sweatshirt

Stay warm by layering a fleece-lined denim jacket on top of a vintage sweatshirt, whether it’s a solid color or has a good graphic. Like Mickey Mouse. 

6. With a vintage sweater

Get your hands on a good ’80s sweater with weird patterns or colors? Nice. Add a denim jacket on top so you can wear your sweater places other than college theme parties. Just kidding—we love ’em. 

7. Long and strong

You might be lucky enough to get your hands on a longline denim jacket. Wearing it over a vintage band t-shirt will allow your outfit to play with dimensions and lengths. Wear a pair of loose-fitting pants to keep the overall shape cool and slouchy. 

8. ’80s style

Have a pair of short-shorts? Pair them with a classic striped shirt and add a denim jacket for a super throwback look. 

9. With a polo

A denim jacket adds nice contrast to the preppy vibes of a polo. Add jeans in a complimentary color for an interesting ‘fit from head to toe. 

10. With a coordinating hoodie

Layer your denim jacket over a matching hoodie, making sure to pop the collar out to get rid of any bulk. A sweatshirt like our two-faced hoodie pictured here looks great with a white or black denim jacket.