How to Wear It: The Denim Jacket

Woman in a denim jacket and jewelry
Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images
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Stylish Ideas for How to Wear Your Denim Jacket

Woman in a denim jacket and jewelry
Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images

If you're like most women, you've already got a jean jacket hanging in your closet. But how many different ways do you know to wear this American wardrobe staple? You may think of a denim jacket item as utilitarian, or a weekend-only item. We're here to show you that a jean jacket is actually a stylish building block you can use to create fashionable outfits, including ones that work for dressier occasions. Best of all, you probably can pull off most of these looks using the wardrobe basics you already own. Take a look at our street style fashion gallery and get inspired to style your go-to jean jacket in different ways, to look fresh now.

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Wear It With Boyfriend Jeans

Jean jacket and boyfriend jeans outfit
Dress up a jean jacket and boyfriend jeans with a statement necklace. R13 Denim

You may have heard that boyfriend jeans are the new skinny jeans. You'll look insanely trendy now when you create a double denim outfit by matching straight leg jeans (cuffed or not) with an upscale denim jacket, such as this Givenchy bomber style with fabric sleeves. Layer your jean jacket over a basic cotton t-shirt in a neutral hue and you're good to go. Choosing a darker wash jean and jacket helps to create a skinnier look as well, which flatters all figures, and is especially important when you're wearing relaxed cut boyfriend jeans.

Style Tip: Keep this look on the casual side by wearing sneakers, or dress it up with heels for a style upgrade. You can also layer a bold statement necklace over your top to add an extra dose of fashion to this easy outfit.

Get more style inspiration for wearing double denim.

Items in This Look:

R13 Boyfriend Jeans
Givenchy Bomber Sleeves Denim Jacket
Rag & Bone Jersey T-Shirt
Leith Crystal & Fringe Necklace
MICHAEL Michael Kors Colby Textured Sneaker
Tom Ford Priscila Cat Eye White Sunglasses

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Wear It With a Patterned Skirt

Denim jacket and floral skirt outfit
Add a casual vibe to a flowery skirt by adding a jean jacket. Paige Denim

Here's a fashionable denim jacket outfit that would be perfect to wear on a first date. Layering a slim-fitting jean jacket over a feminine, floral print skirt makes your look approachable, while still conveying a feminine vibe. 

Style Tip: You'll look sweet in this outfit from head to toe, when you wear it with high heels in a pretty shade of pink.

Find more easy ideas for date-worthy outfits here.

Items in This Look:

Paige Rowan Denim Jacket
Giamba Floral Jacquard Skirt
H&M Sleeveless Jersey Top
Saint Laurent Tribute T-Strap Sandal
Matt & Nat Robby Foldover Clutch
Kate Spade New York Make Me Blush Necklace

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Wear It Over Stripes

Jean jacket and jeans outfit with striped shirt
Stripes play well with a dark denim outfit. Mango

Here's another way to wear a jean jacket over jeans and look très chic for daytime. This go-to outfit of dark denim jeans, a striped tee and a rich, indigo-hued jacket is perfect for running errands or picking up the kids, especially when you add a textured scarf and classic black accessories.

Style Tip: You can dress this look up for a lunchtime date, by swapping out the ballet flats for high heeled pumps.

Get more cute outfit ideas for wearing denim and stripes together.

Items in This Look: 

Mango Jean Jacket
Ted Baker Ombre Jeans
Vince Striped T-Shirt
Eugenia Kim Infinity Scarf
Ivanka Trump Ballet Flats
Catherine Malandrino Yasmine Bow Tote

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Wear It With Denim Shorts

Denim jacket and jean shorts outfit
A jean jacket looks cool for summer with distressed denim shorts. H&M

Summer evenings calls for easy outfits — but that doesn't mean you can't still look cutting-edge fashionable. Try matching trendy, distressed denim shorts with a cheeky message t-shirt and topping it with a vintage-inspired, trucker-style denim jacket. What makes this outfit look modern is the relaxed proportions of the denim separates, plus bringing in stylish accessories such as this drool-worthy lip purse by Red Valentino.

Style Tip: Take this outfit to the next level by wearing it with open-toe ankle boots, instead of the expected sneakers or sandals.

Check out 12 more stylish ways to wear denim shorts.

Items in This Look:

H&M Denim Shorts
Levi's Boyfriend Trucker Denim Jacket
Etre Cecile T-Shirt
Ray Ban Boyfriend Flat Top Sunglasses
Dolce Vita Port Open Toe Bootie
Red Valentino Handbag

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Wear It With a Denim Skirt

Denim jacket and jean skirt outfit
Pair a slim denim jacket with a flared jean skirt. Lee Jeans

Jean skirts — much like denim jackets — are style staples that tend to resurface season after season. You'll often see fashion editors and street style stars pairing these denim separates in the same outfit. To take this trend for a test drive, try wearing a jean jacket and denim skirt simply together, with a basic white t-shirt and ankle boots. Add on a statement necklace and a quality leather satchel to pull together this denim-on-denim look.

Style Tip: When pairing a jean jacket and skirt in the cooler months, choose pieces in a similar dark wash of denim. For summer, though, a lighter wash jacket — even an over-sized boyfriend style — looks appropriate and will freshen up your look.

Get street style inspiration for wearing a denim skirt.

Items in This Look:

Topshop Dark Denim Skater Skirt
Lee Slim Rider Denim Jacket
Rag&Bone Concert T-Shirt
Kate Spade New York Clink of Ice Necklace
MICHAEL Michael Kors Satchel
Jack Rogers Kyle Bootie

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Wear It With Dark Skinny Jeans

Jean jacket and skinny jeans outfit
A cheeky sweatshirt livens up a head-to-toe denim outfit with a jean jacket. Levi Strauss & Co.

Here's a stylish look that can flatter every figure. A faded wash jean jacket is stylish and brings the focus up toward your face, while dark wash jeans help to slenderize you lower body. This is a great, go-to look for curvy women who want to try skinny jeans, as it adds volume and interest up top, while keeping you looking classic and trendy. To make this look more fashionable just add a top with a cheeky or cute message, such as the graphic sweatshirt pictured here. Menswear-inspired oxford shoes are also a fun way to play against type in body-conscious jeans.

Style Tip: Be sure to choose the right skinny jeans for your figure. If you're curvy or plus size, a mid-rise pair can flatter while helping to hold in a tummy. Straight up-and-down figures will look best in higher-rise skinny jeans.

Check out these fabulous skinny jeans outfit ideas for plus sizes.

Items in This Look: 

NYDJ Skinny Jeans
Levi's Boyfriend Trucker Denim Jacket
Bow & Drape Sweatshirt 
Matt Bernson Sterling Open Side Flat
Kent & King Crystal Stud Earrings
Rebecca Minkoff Large Moto Satchel

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Wear It With Plaid Pants

Jean jacket and plaid pants outfit
Wear a jean jacket with grunge-inspired plaid trousers. Gap Inc.

Want to look trendy but not like you're trying too hard? We like the way a classic jean jacket worn over plaid pants nods to the hipster trend in fashion, which is all about comfortable, boyishly casual styles. 

Style Tip: Give your laid back outfit a touch of edge with a jaunty felt hat and biker-inspired moto boots.

Find out which ankle boots look great with your favorite jeans.

Items in This Look:

Gap 1969 Heritage Denim Jacket
Rag&Bone Concert T-Shirt
Umber Cotton Plaid Pant
Steve Madden Wantagh Ankle Boot
Treasure&Bond Denim Trim Wool Panama Hat

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Wear It With a Mini Dress

Jean jacket and mini dress outfit
A jean jacket looks cute for dates over a colorful mini dress. Paige Denim

Adding a denim jacket as a top layer for a pretty mini dress is an easy way to upgrade your summer style. Strappy gladiator sandals are trendy and comfortable for wearing all day long.

Style Tip: Use your accessories to pull through accent colors from a patterned dress.

Check out 15 more perfect summer outfits for women.

Items in This Look:

Paige Rowan Denim Jacket
Missoni Mare Wave Knit Mini Dress
Loeffler Randall Dani Gladiator Sandal
Vince Camuto Cami Crossbody Bag
Emporio Armani Aviator Sunglasses
Tory Burch Evie Stud Earrings

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Wear a Jean Jacket With a Maxi Dress

Jean jacket and long summer maxi dress outfit
Top a summery maxi dress with a classic denim jacket. Paige Denim

A jean jacket worn over a striped maxi dress is a classic summer outfit look that is always in fashion. Add pretty accessories in gold tones to add polish. This is a denim jacket outfit you could easily wear for all your casual occasions in summer, from lunch to antiquing, shopping in the city or dinner with friends.

Style Tip: When everyone else will be wearing a black-and-white striped dress with their denim jacket, choosing a maxi with colorful stripes is an easy way to stand out from the crowd.

Find out how to style the essential summer maxi dress here.

Items in This Look:

Paige Rowan Denim Jacket
DSquared2 Striped Knit Maxi Dress
Lilly Pulitzer Claws Off Necklace
Salvatore Ferragamo Miss Vara Chain Wallet
MICHAEL Michael Kors Berkley T-Strap Sandal
Persol Keyhole Sunglasses