Both versatile and a good value, denim jackets are a workhorse garment. Born out of practicality and function, they’re ready for years of use, and they get better as the color fades and creases fray. As a light jacket, they can be thrown over a t-shirt or a button-down equally well, and in the cooler months, they can function as the perfect layer under your parka. The designs of denim jackets are relatively similar, but brands like to tweak washes and colors, putting out garments that range from worn and faded to incredibly saturated. Find a hue and style that piques your interest, and invest in this wardrobe essential.
Recommended picks by Gerald Ortiz.
Levi’s Trucker Jacket
This is the definitive denim jacket from the definitive jeans brand. If you’re gonna get just one, it should be this one.
Story Mfg. Sundae Jacket
There are a lot of hands involved with Story's Sundae Jacket. The organic cotton threads are spun by hand. Those threads are then loomed by hand, into denim fabric. Finally, that hand-spun, hand-loomed fabric is hand-dyed using natural indigo, as opposed the the synthetic indigo most denim is made from.
Ginew Thunderbird Jacket
There aren't many jackets that can say they use deer skin for the collar. Even less can say they hunted the deer themselves.
Taylor Stitch The Long Haul Jacket
Cut from rare deadstock denim from the legendary Cone Mills White Oak mill, this jacket is one and done. It features dual chest pockets with an included pen pocket, hand pockets, custom print pocket bags, copper hardware, a leather patch and it's all sewn in Stateside.
Lee Barn Jacket
This vintage-inspired barn jacket looks and feels like something a hardcore reproduction brand would make, but it comes straight from Lee’s mainline. With hardy raw denim waiting for you to fade yourself, spade patch pockets and relaxed fit, it’s one of the best things they make.
Gap Denim Chore Jacket
Quality, tightly-woven denim in a very respectable inoffensive rinse with bartack reinforcement, double needle stitching and copper buttons? This is easily the most slept-on jacket in Gap's collection.
Tellason Coverall Jacket
Made in San Francisco out of heavy, 16.5-ounce raw selvedge denim, Tellason’s Coverall Jacket has more pockets than you likely need. But, hey, you never know.
Buck Mason Two Pocket Field Shirt
Buck Mason’s Field Shirt feels like a trucker and a CPO shirt all in one, which only makes it more versatile.
Iron Heart 14.7oz. Eco Selvedge Denim Blanket Lined CPO Shirt
It looks like a shirt, but it’s heavier than your average pair of jeans. From the king of heavyweight denim, Japanese brand Iron Heart’s CPO Shirt really deserves to be in the jacket category, especially with the 14.75-ounce raw denim, blanket lining and hand pockets.
Veilance Cambre Jacket
Veilance’s entry into the denim world also places it in this best-of list. The futuristic jacket uses denim with polyester hollowcore fiber which makes it lighter and stronger without sacrificing denim’s natural fading properties. It has a clean silhouette and taped seam construction for a comfortable fit.