Denim Disruption: How To Style a Denim Jacket in Interesting Ways
A denim jacket is a reliable part of dozens of fall outfits. Whether flannel-lined or dark-washed, this style staple is at home on an apple-picking trip, in a casual office setting or on a low-key date. While these jackets have earned their place in your wardrobe, they're rarely the most exciting addition to a look.
Over the 80 years since James Dean wore his iconic denim jacket in "Rebel Without a Cause," the jean jacket has morphed from ultra-cool fashion statement to everyday outer layer. Jean jackets don't have to be pedestrian, though. Shake up your fall style by learning how to style a denim jacket in eye-catching ways.
How To Style a Denim Jacket for Eye-Catching Outfits
Go beyond the typical ideas for how to style a jean jacket for standout fall looks. Whether you're pairing denim on denim or contrasting textures with ruffles and silk, here are tips to make any denim jacket outfit more exciting.
Start With an Interesting Jacket
Before looking at what to wear with a jean jacket, explore your options for the jacket, itself. One of the fastest ways to make any jean jacket outfit stand out is to start with a more interesting jacket.
Just like a pair of jeans, there are hundreds of style avenues for a denim jacket. Because jean jackets are naturally practical and versatile, you can go big with accents and still trust that you'll reach for the jacket again and again.
Sparkle and Shine
Metallic accents are an excellent way to upgrade a jean jacket. They also give you more style inspiration for the overall look, as you can pull the same metallic tones into the shoes and accessories. Choose a studded jean jacket or an embellished and distressed jean jacket to add both interest and edge.
The oversized trend is evergreen and it definitely applies to denim jackets. A large or even boxy fit is an easy way to make a denim jacket contemporary, especially when paired with oversized jeans. If you're on the smaller side, try both a cropped and oversized denim jacket (large through the shoulders and body but cut off near the waist.)
Push your denim jacket silhouette even further with a trenchcoat-style length and cut. Taylor Swift chose a long and comfy lined denim jacket to go out to dinner with Sophie Turner.
What do you get when you combine this contemporary jean jacket length with a stunning statement back and sleeves? Style perfection! Choosing denim jackets that incorporate different colors makes styling the entire outfit easier.
Try One of These 6 Outfit Ideas
Once you've found your new dream jacket, try it out in one of these six modern outfits.
1. More Denim
With the Y2K revival in full swing, there's never been a better time to stack denim on denim. Contrasting different shades and washes can make for an interesting all-denim outfit. You can also go monochromatic with a "Canadian tuxedo" in one shade and texture of denim. Honestly, wearing tuxedos out and about in daily life is a serve, Canadian or otherwise.
Jennifer Lopez wore a jean jacket and matching wide-leg jeans to a basketball date night with Ben Affleck. The unexpected shoe choice — a towering stiletto boot with tons of buckles — pushes this casual look over the fashion edge.
2. Denim Over Parisian Separates
Nothing says "Parisian chic" like a wispy silk blouse and immaculately fitted black trousers. Unfortunately, this is not the most cold-weather-friendly outfit. Also, French fashion law says that you must complete this look with a lit cigarette, and those are really bad for you.
Solve both problems by adding a North American spin to this outfit in the form of your favorite jean jacket. The rough texture of the denim adds an unexpected edge to the classic look and makes it even more versatile.
3. Loud Printed Dress
It can be tough to match an exceptionally loud dress with an outer layer for fall. This is the trusty jean jacket's time to shine, as its neutral denim matches even the wildest all-over print. To complete the look, you can go beyond the simple black or brown shoe. Instead, choose a denim-accented shoe to match.
4. Pleated Skirt
A pleated or plaid skirt is a great retro compliment to any jean jacket. The swish of the right skirt provides excellent contrast to the harder edges of a jean jacket, and a statement sock or stocking takes the outfit perfectly into fall. To push this look even further, go full punk with a studded denim jacket and your best pair of don't-mess-with-me boots.
5. Jacket and Jumpsuit
You've heard of the Canadian tuxedo, but what about the Canadian three-piece suit? A denim jacket over denim overalls takes the denim-on-denim look to the next level.
A jean jacket is a great choice to go over any jumpsuit, especially sleeveless pieces you'd otherwise need to leave behind at the end of summer. Use contrasting textures by pairing a smooth satin or ponte jumpsuit with a denim jacket.
6. Just the Jean Jacket
For the ultimate jean jacket statement outfit, less is literally more. Gisele Bündchen wore an oversized, trucker-style jean jacket to an evening event as its own self-contained dress.
With such simple styling, the small details really sell the jean-jacket-as-dress-moment. The belt detail on the jacket fell expertly at her thigh, giving the look structure while at the same time just fully being a big jean jacket worn with no pants. The minimalist black bra top barely peeking out from behind the lapel is the stuff of fashion legend. Honestly, looking at the supermodel's style ingenuity, maybe "pants" as a concept are overrated.
Learn How To Style a Denim Jacket the Easy Way With Runway-Ready Fashions
There are countless options for how to style a denim jacket, so it's only practical to have more than one in your wardrobe. Denim is a versatile canvas for all kinds of style accents and outfit inspirations. At Kate Hewko, we believe in accessible and affordable fashion for all ages and walks of life. Browse our collection of comfy and stylish layering pieces to punch up any fall outfit.