How To Wear Denim Jacket And Jeans—And Actually Look Cool

There’s a fine line between stylish outerwear and denim tuxedo—here’s how to stay on the right side of it.


Getty Images

A good denim jacket is a must for every guy’s closet. But if you’re still sporting the denim jacket style Elvis Presley rocked in the '50s, it’s time for an upgrade.

In case you don’t actually own a denim jacket yet, here are a few quick pointers on what to look for in the jacket itself—particularly regarding fit.

Related: The 10 Coolest Gadgets Every Guy Needs

HOW A DENIM JACKET SHOULD FIT

Forget the baggy ’80s look. It’s no longer cool and was frankly never all that flattering to begin with.

When you try a jacket on, the fit should be a little snug, with just enough room to layer a thin sweater underneath.

You can opt for something a little more robust, like Zac Efron wears, pictured above. But note that while Efron’s jacket is on the chunky side, it’s still fitted. It hits just above the hip (as a good denim jacket should) and cuts a clean silhouette.

If the combination of the restricting denim fabric and your swole biceps (we noticed) makes this look hard for you to pull off—or, rather, put on—look for a jacket that has elastane in it, like this one from Levi’s ($90, levis.com). The comfortable, stretchy fabric is a game changer.

Related: How to Buy Your First Leather Jacket

WHAT TO WEAR WITH YOUR DENIM JACKET

Rule No. 1 when it comes to pairing pants with a denim jacket: It’s all about contrast.

Forget this rule and you’re at risk of wearing what has been affectionately dubbed the ‘Canadian tuxedo.’ (It’s not a look we recommend.)

We love the denim-jacket-and-chinos look. You can pair your denim jacket with fitted chinos in practically any color.

Darker pants will be more versatile.

Finally, yes, you can also wear your denim jacket with jeans. But as a rule of thumb, the jacket and the jeans should be roughly two shades apart. (If you’re unsure whether the two are different enough, then they aren’t.)

Another option is to pair a beaten-up, distressed jacket with a clean jeans, or vice versa. A standard blue denim jacket with ripped-up black jeans is an unexpectedly cool combo. See how local artiste Benjamin Kheng rocks it below.

Ultimately, we’re talking about a piece of clothing rooted in punk rock, so there’s plenty of room for creativity. Just make sure everything fits the way it should—and stay away from the Canadian tuxedo.

Comments

Related Article

Latest Style & Grooming Stories

The Most Effective Ways To Treat Facial Eczema
Tried And Tested: Can The New Listerine HealthyWhite Mouthwash Really Whiten Your Teeth?
Find Out Which Swimwear Suits Your Body Type
The Best Tweezers To Remove Blackheads Easily
How To Remove Blackheads With Dental Floss

Newsletter

Subscribe now to receive the latest news and promotions from Men's Health and our partners!
By signing up, you indicate that you have read and agreed to the and

Social Wire

Subscription

July Issue

CELEBRATING MEN'S HEALTH 14TH ANNIVERSARY: SUBSCRIBE TO 1 YEAR OF MEN'S HEALTH PRINT MAGAZINE @ $72 AND CHOOSE A GIFT WORTH UP TO $129!

Promotion

UP NEXT