Which denim jackets are best?
While most denim jacket fans probably aren’t looking for on-the-job protection, the rising popularity of workwear over the last decade has propelled denim jackets back into the fashion scene. Boasting an effortlessly stylish look that goes with any season, denim jackets are a timeless clothing article. With a variety of colors and styles available, you can find a denim jacket that lasts a lifetime and benefits your wardrobe.
If you are in the market for a denim jacket that is durable, stylish and versatile, our top choice is the Wrangler Rugged Wear Unlined Denim Jacket.
What to know before you buy a denim jacket
Before purchasing a denim jacket, consider the cut and overall fit of the jacket. As a general rule, denim jackets tend to be cut shorter and have a more boxy shape than other outerwear styles. This means the hem of the jacket is likely to fall at or right above the hips while the shoulder seam and hem are cut at the same length. While these measurements are considered the traditional denim jacket style, there is plenty of variety when it comes to the cut and style of denim jackets on the market.
Keep in mind what flatters your body type and how you plan to wear the jacket. For example, if you have wide shoulders, a jacket that is loose in the shoulders and arms may be more comfortable for you. If you plan on layering your denim jacket, it may be worthwhile to opt for a jacket that is a bit oversized so you can comfortably wear a sweater or shirt underneath. Layering your denim jacket over a cozy sweater is a great way to stay warm and look effortlessly stylish.
Any denim jacket should be constructed using denim. However, this standard alone still leaves some room for preference. The main thing to consider when choosing your denim jacket is whether you would prefer a more heavyweight, raw denim or a softer, prewashed denim.
Most affordable denim jackets should be constructed using a prewashed denim. These jackets tend to have a lighter wash and softer feel, but usually are less durable than raw denim. In contrast, raw denim has a more rigid feel and is likely to be stiff at first but gets softer over time. Traditionally used in workwear, raw denim is made to be heavy and durable.
While the traditional denim jacket tends to be blue, there are a variety of washes available that offer different styling options. Whether you prefer the traditional dark-wash, a light-wash or a stone-wash jacket, there are plenty of options. If you want a more versatile denim jacket, there are black and white denim jackets that boast the same high-quality, durable fabric construction with a different color palette.
What to look for in a quality denim jacket
The differences between different types of denim jackets tends to come down to their intended wear, design details and overall cut.
Trucker: Considered the traditional denim jacket, trucker jackets are likely the style you envision when imagining a denim jacket. This type of denim jacket tends to have a hem that is cut at the hips, button closures along the front, one or two button-up chest pockets and a collar. More expensive models of a trucker denim jacket likely will have detailed stitching along the front, along with button adjustments at the hem. You can find a trucker jacket in a variety of colors and in raw or pre-washed denim.
Chore coat: Typically viewed as the workwear jacket, chore coats have a timeless rugged look that is both practical and stylish. Most chore coats have the same overall cut as the traditional trucker denim jacket, but chore coats do tend to have more pockets on the chests and at the waists. Made to be durable, most chore coats are made of raw denim but offer some variety when it comes to color.
Overshirt: Ideal for layering or cool summer evenings, the overshirt style is the perfect middle ground between a casual shirt and a heavy denim jacket. Overshirts tend to have button-up chest pockets, button closures along the fronts, and slightly longer hems than traditional denim jackets.
Cropped: Cropped denim jackets have the same stylish look as trucker denim jackets but with slightly shorter hems. Cut to fall below the ribs, the short hem of a cropped denim jacket is great for wear with high-waisted jeans or a cropped top.
Hooded: With the same overall cut and design detail as the traditional trucker denim jacket, hooded denim jackets boast the same timeless look with a little bit of edge. Hooded denim jackets are great for cool weather.
Fur or flannel-lined: While denim jackets are heavyweight, they offer little warmth when it comes to cold weather. However, there are fur-lined and flannel-lined denim jackets on the market. These lined jackets are the perfect combination of a denim jacket and a cozy sweater. With the same timeless look of a denim jacket and the insulated warmth of fur, faux fur or flannel, a lined jacket is great for winter weather.
How much you can expect to spend on a denim jacket
Expect to spend $40-$150 dollars on a denim jacket. Classic denim jackets tend to be more affordable while denim jackets that have fur or flannel lining tend to be more on the expensive side.
Denim jacket FAQ
When should you wash your raw denim jacket?
A. Wear your raw denim jacket for as long as possible before washing, as washing your raw denim too quickly tends to slightly change the color and texture. Wash your raw denim whenever there has been significant wear or staining.
Does denim fade?
A. Yes, denim does fade naturally over time because of washing or due to sun exposure. You can significantly fade your denim through exposure to bleach, lemon juice or white vinegar.
What are the best denim jackets to buy?
Top denim jacket
What you need to know: This best-selling denim jacket is a great addition to any wardrobe.
What you’ll love: With a durable construction and classic look, this jacket is built to last a lifetime. This jacket is perfect for wearing casually in cool weather or for durable protection in rugged environments. The two chest pockets and two side pockets are great for on-the-go storage. This jacket is available in dark blue or black and is machine washable.
What you should consider: This jacket is unlined so it offers little warmth for cold weather.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top denim jacket for the money
What you need to know: This best-selling women’s denim jacket is available in a variety of colors from classic blue to white, making it perfect for anyone looking to add some versatile denim jackets to their wardrobe.
What you’ll love: This jacket is constructed with a denim and polyester fabric mix so it has the classic look of a denim jacket with the added softness and stretch of polyester. Made to be versatile, this jacket is lightweight and functional so it’s great for casual or professional wear. With two chest pockets and two side pockets, this jacket has plenty of easy access storage.
What you should consider: This jacket is made to be lightweight so it does not offer any warmth in cold weather.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This hooded denim jacket is great for anyone looking to add some edge to their wardrobe.
What you’ll love: The body of this jacket has the same classic detailing and cut of the traditional denim jacket while the sleeves and hood have a soft cotton feel. This hooded jacket is warm enough for cool weather without the added weight of an all-around denim jacket. This jacket is available in a variety of colors.
What you should consider: Some consumers noted issues with the sizing of this jacket. To ensure the best experience, it is recommended you size up when ordering.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This Sherpa-lined denim jacket is great for cold weather.
What you’ll love: From a reputable clothing brand, this jacket has rave reviews and is made to last a lifetime. The Sherpa lining extends throughout the body and collar of the jacket, while the arms have thick insulation for full-body warmth. This jacket is available in a variety of colors, from light-wash blue to black and even olive green.
What you should consider: Some consumers noted the arms of this jacket tend to run narrow, so this jacket may not be ideal for someone with broad shoulders.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Breanna Culler writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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