The denim jacket may have roots in workwear, but nowadays it’s become a different beast entirely. It’s not just a classic, it’s remarkably versatile—if you know how to style it the right way. That’s where we come in. We’ve pulled together three different ways to wear one jean jacket, whether you’re breaking it out on the weekend or in the office (yes, the office.) Here’s how to dress it up, dress it down, and split the difference.
For maximum versatility, stick to a denim jacket that’s not too dark or too light. A black or raw indigo denim jacket will be hard to dress down. An overly faded jacket, while scoring high on the current street-style index, will be too casual to dress up for the office. Something right in the middle—worn in with just a bit of fading—is your best bet.
Mid Vintage beat denim jacket ($400) by Acne Studios, endclothing.com
Man need not wear a sport coat every single day. To dress up a denim jacket, though, you’ll want to treat it a lot like you treat that single-breasted two-button: Pair it with slim trousers, a crisp white shirt, and a stylish pair of derbies. Finish the whole thing off with a tie—you’re trying to elevate the look, after all.
Oxford slim-fit long sleeve shirt ($29.90) by Uniqlo, uniqlo.com; polka dot-embroidered knitted silk tie ($195) by Lanvin, matchesfashion.com; slim-fit super 120s wool trousers ($720) by Prada, mrporter.com; polished leather derby shoes ($525) by Common Projects, mrporter.com
To relax things just a bit for a night out, ditch the dressy accoutrements for a more minimal, sportswear-inspired look. You’ll still want to keep things clean—note the minimal sneakers—but feel free to go with a short-sleeve shirt and a pair of chinos.
Polka dot print shirt ($330) by Jil Sander, farfetch.com; olive chino ($275) by Denim by Vanquish & Fragment, endclothing.com; suede hand-sewn low ($520) by Feit, feitdirect.com
Embrace the jacket’s rock-and-roll heritage by wearing it with slim faded black jeans, a pair of OG skate shoes, and a bold graphic tee. Simple and easy—just like a great casual look should be.
Make Out T-shirt ($215) by Junya Watanabe, unionlosangeles.com; Skinny-fit black stretch-denim jeans ($690) by Saint Laurent, mrporter.com; UA Sk8-Hi 38 DX in black ($85) by Vans, needsupply.com