Best Denim Jackets For Men

The 15 Best Denim Jackets For Men

Posted in GEAR GUIDES, STYLE By

When spring time rolls around, there’s one piece of outerwear that should still remain in your rotation. Its roots, like most iconic styles, run deep. And the styling potential, like most iconic styles, is definitely high. It’s not the essential navy blazer, nor is it something like a slim cardigan — we’re talking about the denim jacket.

It’s a style that’s endured for so many decades thanks to plain old utility, toughness and wearability. The denim jacket traces its roots back to workwear and the old West, yet it’s retained a modern aura and has been adopted in part by every generation of style aficionados and rebels. Its associated with rugged cool, and it’s seemingly weathered bad style trends through the years (namely, the ‘70s and ‘80s). It’ the rare unifying piece that’s perfect for the changing seasons — it breaks in like your favorite pair of jeans, and looks just as great with time and care. It’s also a universally accepted style in a way that few pieces of clothing are. Case in point: You can find ‘em nowadays on everyone from modern-day fashion heroes like Daniel Craig to down-to-earth rockers the world over.

Typically crafted to fit slimmer and hit above the waist, the best denim jackets are rugged, tough and seemingly convey practiced nonchalance. That’s why they look so great over everything from a classic white oxford to a rugged hensley. They even manage to mimic a great navy overcoat when cut right; in short, they’re the perfect way to switch up your everyday work look, and an even better option to throw on when heading out on the town after. But where to start with a jacket that’s got so much history? We’re taking the guesswork out of buying a denim jacket for you with this handy guide.

Taylor Stitch Long Haul Jacket in Cone Mills '68 Selvage

Taylor Stitch Long Haul Jacket in Cone Mills Selvage

When we talk about denim jackets that break in like your favorite jeans, this is perhaps the jacket we’re talking about. Cone Mills selvage is the hallmark of a great pair of denim in its own right, so turning that same hard-wearing fabric into an excellent, inky-blue denim jacket makes perfect sense, especially from the fine folks at Taylor Stitch. Doing it in America ups the ante even further, and only ensures even better quality. The custom copper buttons add a touch of refinement to a tough 13.5-oz. denim jacket that’s truly built for the long haul and beyond. – $188

Levi's Commuter Hooded Trucker Jacket

Levi’s Commuter Hooded Trucker Jacket

When it comes to fine denim pieces, Levi’s is the exact place to start. True pioneers in the rough-and-tumble, real-life workwear movement, Levi’s has stayed relevant for decades on end because they craft essential styles in modern fits and use high-quality fabrics to do so. Its Commuter line is no different, and builds off that heritage in a modern way. Added details like a packable zip hood and a longer tail make this jacket commute-ready, and reflective tape (plus adjustable side tabs) ensures maximum visibility in addition to a great fit. Pick up this jacket now, and wear it for commutes to come. – $148

J.Crew Denim Jacket

J.Crew Denim Jacket

J. Crew’s take on the denim jacket falls right in line with its aesthetic as a brand — modern, approachable and highly wearable. It’s got a slightly aged look and incorporates rich indigo denim and all the classic trappings of a denim jacket, namely two front chest pockets and two slant hip pockets. It’s the kind of piece that would look great over a chambray shirt with some sand chinos and brown suede chukkas this spring and summer. Beyond that, pair it with a slim grey crew neck sweater and black denim for a layered-up, versatile look as the seasons change. – $130

Freenote Cloth Cone Mills Denim Rider's Jacket

Freenote Cloth Cone Mills Denim Riders Jacket

Freenote Cloth doesn’t compromise on quality with its heritage-inspired goods, seemingly all of which are built to last with the utmost care and quality. Take for instance, the Riders Jacket — even the interior leather patch is hand-selected. This piece makes use of ridiculously sturdy 14.75oz. Cone Mills denim, to boot. It’s also lined with Japanese Jacquard Flannel and features rivets that call to mind denim you’d wear on your lower half. Elastic arm bands make it truly fit for riding — this is one jacket you’ll reach for over and over again. – $400

Saint Laurent Denim Jacket

Saint Laurent Denim Jacket

Masters of sharp tailored wear and rock-inspired silhouettes, Saint Laurent’s take on the denim jacket is incredibly premium and sharp. For a brand normally known for its suiting and fine leather goods, that’s saying something The slim fit and slightly faded wash would be perfect complements to the brand’s lean-and-mean black denim and Chelsea boots. And like most offerings from the brand, the quality should definitely stand up to the price tag. Pair it with tan chinos and a blue chambray shirt for days at the office, and throw it on with a white thermal henley when you hit the town after. – $890

Rag and Bone Jean Jacket

Rag & Bone Jean Jacket

Rag & Bone, not surprisingly, does its Jean Jacket just about as well as it crafts its other pieces — so, that is to say, very well. Built from sturdy 14oz. 100 percent cotton Japanese indigo denim, it’s yet another premium iteration of a time-honored silhouette. With a worn wash, it’ll contrast nicely with everything from grey chinos to black denim and tan suede Chelsea boots. The fit is exactly what you should look for in a jacket, too — nice and slim. This jacket is also the ideal weight to pair with a lightweight spring sweater now, or a heavier knit come fall and winter. – $350

L.L. Bean Signature Denim Jacket

L.L. Bean Signature Denim Jacket

L.L. Bean’s variation of the denim jacket reflects the brand’s roots as a functional, hard-wearing company. It forgoes some of the other bells and whistles of similar jackets, featuring a medium wash and front-pleat stitching that calls to mind older, workwear-type silhouettes. It’s the ideal jacket to throw on when exploring the coast or hitting the water, and the easygoing nature of the piece could also make it fit for pairing with a nautical striped sweater. Its light weight makes it easy to wear in the summer, too. – $99

Tellason Denim Jacket

Tellason Denim Jacket

Tellason’s Denim Jacket is but another style staple that gets the silhouette, details and fit exactly right in so many ways. Like other great denim jackets on this list, the brand uses Cone Mills White Oak selvage denim for sturdy construction, great quality and the potential for epic fades (the hallmark of well-loved, high-quality denim). The slim fit and USA-made construction — right in San Francisco — harken back to the days when things were done right, and done by hand. That’s exactly the type of care and attention to detail you want put into an investment-worthy denim jacket. – $250

American Apparel Denim Jacket

American Apparel Denim Jacket

While the brand’s taken its share of negative criticism over the years, there’s no question that its approach to USA-made goods and minimal design continues to have its place in the style world. Classic staples like its denim jacket represent exactly that ethos. In a dark Resin Indigo wash, this jacket gets all the details right — a trim fit, chest flap button pockets and trademark gold-contrast stitching that you might find on your favorite pair of jeans. It’ll break in over time as you wear it, and the slight stretch built-in ensures you’ll be nothing but comfortable no matter the adventure. – $125

Norse Projects Five Denim Jacket

Norse Projects Five Denim Jacket

Makers of sharp, minimalist clothing, Norse Projects delivers on a denim jacket that combines the best of old and new. The 100 percent cotton denim is lightly rinsed, and the corduroy collar adds another bit of visual interest more commonly found on waxed field coats. A slim fit and branded vintage metal buttons fall right in line with the extra sort of design touches for which the brand is known. This is perhaps one denim jacket that can stand up to both fall and winter thanks to the heavier collar and tough construction. But at this level of quality, you’ll likely want to wear it all year-round. – $115

Imogen + Willie Denim Jacket

Imogene + Willie Denim Jacket

Imogene + Willie is all about doing things its own way, and that shines through in the denim jacket the brand produces. It’s got the same signature stitch detailing found on the brand’s rugged and incredibly sturdy jeans, so you know the same care and quality is built right in. Cone Mills denim is once again used in this piece, which should fade handsomely as you break it in. The asymmetrical chest pockets are another design touch that sets this jacket apart from the rest. With a clean fit and in an inky blue color, this jacket is made to stand out — in a good way. – $195

Lands End Denim Moto Jacket

Lands End Denim Moto Jacket

Land’s End takes the denim jacket into a new era with its zip moto jacket. Inspired by the racetracks and exotic locales of foreign lands, the jacket is a truly continental take on a classic American style. Tough, sturdy navy twill and a chambray lining pair perfectly in a piece that’s going to look great over a white Oxford and navy knit tie. It’ll play equally well with a slim pocket tee the rest of the time, too. A slim fit, back shoulder gussets and zipper sleeves help make this jacket slick, sharp and modern — not a bad update to a regular denim jacket, eh? – $70

Acne Studios Slim-Fit Denim Jacket

Acne Studios Slim-Fit Denim Jacket

Whereas Carhartt and other brands take a distinctly workman-like approach to crafting denim jackets, Acne Studios is all about delivering a refined, sharp and slick update to the style. Crafted to fit slim for a rock-ready vibe, this overdyed denim jacket gives off rich vibes of both black and blue — tough to do for one item of clothing. The silver buttons contrast nicely with the deep color, adding just a bit of design flair to a jacket that’s at once minimal and eyecatching. Pair this up with faded lightwash denim for a study in contrasts, or grab some slim olive chinos and a white henley to let the jacket do the talking. With a piece of outerwear like this, you won’t need to add much else for maximum style points. – $360

Carhartt Sherpa Lined Denim Jacket

Carhartt Sherpa Lined Denim Jacket

When you think workwear, you inevitably think of Carhartt. Known the world over for its truly tough, construction yard-ready staples, the brand takes the same approach to its sherpa lined denim jacket. The signature Carhartt logo patch at the front left chest ensures you’re getting your money’s worth (even if the deal isn’t half-bad to begin with). This is a jacket that’s made for early mornings, cold climates and long days of work — ideally paired with other sturdy Carhartt staples, if you can grab ‘em while they last. – $65+

Iron and Resin Stockman Jacket

Iron & Resin Stockman Jacket

With a penchant for adventure and a love of the open road, Iron & Resin knocks it out of the park when it comes to its Stockman Jacket. The lighter blue wash and silver hardware on this jacket gives it a slightly throwback look, while the trucker-style fit and styling potential make it ready for anything. It’s the type of jacket that’s going to be ideal to fight a spring or late summer chill, and it’d be the perfect base layer underneath a sturdier parka when winter rolls around. One thing’s for sure — no matter where the road takes you, you’ll definitely want this jacket along for the ride. – $159

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