How to pull off wearing a denim jacket
Take tips from Gosling and Beckham when it comes to donning the denim.January 28, 2015
There aren't many staple items in a man's wardrobe that polarise opinion so often. But for all its longevity and reliability, the denim jacket still gets questioned.
You could say it's a little unfair. The denim jacket has been around for a long time and for its sheer endurance alone it should be considered above reproach. Its origins date back to Renaissance Europe with both France and Italy claiming to have originated the fabric. However it has had a presence in American culture long enough to gain its stars and stripes residency.
So why does the denim jacket get doubted every other season? It's probably something to do with its affinity to cowboys and truckers. Or that even the most modern style can't ignore its birthplace as leftover material from jeans construction. No matter the reason, we believe that when a piece of clothing has stood the test of time like this one has it deserves some respect. Here's how to pull off wearing one:
Rough them up
Denim was made to be tough so don’t worry about scuffing it. Wear it as often as possible and only wash it when you desperately need to. The fabric's low maintenance requirement has always been a selling point for us men. It's almost impossible to damage a denim jacket. Heavier weights are going to be thicker and tougher, but even lighter jackets for warmer months will still emerge from rough and tumbles unscathed. You also don't need to worry about hanging it up, so you can do that manly thing and just throw it across a chair when you get home.
The most versatile aspect of a denim jacket is that it can both dress-down and dress-up an outfit. Throw it on over a t-shirt, casual trousers and sneakers and it adds a touch of collar and buttons to your appearance. A good option to have when a blazer is too formal and a sports jacket too, well, sporty. However, pair it up with some smart chinos, a button down shirt and a pair of brogues, and the denim jacket will save you from looking overdressed in a dive bar.
Whether you are planning on layering with a shirt and coat or pulling for a Western-style top and jeans, make sure you keep the fit of each piece tailored, but never skin tight. There aren't many jackets that can't have their look improved by being well-fitted, and the denim jacket is no exception. Take yours to a tailor and have them taper the waist and raise the sleeve holes. Or the easier option is to go for a high-end brand who will have done this at the manufacture stage.
Stay away from the light
Unless you want to look like Jeremy Clarkson, stay away from the lighter shades of denim. As for white denim, have some self-respect, man! Light blue is the most casual option and while it's getting close to cowboy territory, paired with a pair of dark slacks is acceptable for casual daywear.
For something a little more formal or of an evening, darker blues and even shades of indigo or black are your safest bets.
Dare to double
For as long as the fabric has been around the double denim look has been ridiculed. While it is certainly a risky move, there is a method to pulling off double denim. The simple rule is to opt for contrasting shades.
Polarised tones make it easier to pull off the look, with differing washes drawing attention away from the similarity of the fabric. Better still, pair colours that are noticeably different. Light grey jeans and a black or dark blue jacket can work; stone wash jeans with a medium-blue jacket definitely does not.