Outerwear (5)

Are we in a jean jacket era?

Have we ever not been in a jean jacket era? We’ve all probably owned a jean jacket at one time or another. Maybe you’ve still got an old one hanging in your closet, because you just couldn’t bear to part with something so iconic and cool. Or perhaps you’re tempted by newer styles of denim outerwear, but haven’t yet pulled the trigger. Maybe you wear a jean jacket everyday. The point is, this is one style that has persevered, ever so quietly, making it a truly timeless, if rebellious, American classic.

Where did the denim jacket come from?

As with jeans, we have Levi Strauss to thank for the denim jacket. Back in the 1800s, when he was crafting denim trousers as work wear, he realized that there was a need for an equally rugged garment to wear on top. And so, the denim jacket was born. As it evolved from function to fashion, it held onto its iconic Western American roots, and symbolized the freedom of a bygone era, making it the perfect wardrobe for rebel characters in pop culture during the 20th century. Today, it’s not so much a fashion ‘staple’ as it is an icon, reserved for those looking for just a hint of anti-establishment.

Do I need to be on horseback or a motorcycle to wear a jean jacket?

As romantic as that sounds, no, you do not need to engage in an act of rebellion to wear a jean jacket. In fact, while you can still get an original, rugged style denim jacket, most women’s jean jackets have taken on a high fashion design, better suited for brunch or cocktails. In addition to the classic, there are cropped, embellished, quilted, blazer, moto, and hooded denim jacket styles. Washes range from light chambray, to dark denim, and everything in between. And blue jean jackets aren’t just blue—white, black, and even printed denim is in.

Can I wear a denim jacket with jeans?

Yes! While historically mocked as a ‘Canadian Tuxedo,’ the denim-on-denim look is definitely in. Try mixing and matching washes, weights, and colors of jeans and jackets for an original look. And don’t forget to try out a denim vest as part of your outfit. Just make sure you have a classic tee, some boots, and a saddle bag to complete your look.


Shop women’s denim jackets on sale from Levi’s, Free People, Joe’s Jeans, Madewell, and Paige Denim.

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$114.95 $73.99
Not all colors.
Washed Denim Vest
Roberto Cavalli
$1,099.00 $439.00
$1,695.00 $593.00
Denim Vest
$118.00 $83.00
from H&M