Summer is quickly coming to a close, but it’s not all bad news. With shorter days and cooler nights, denim jacket weather is upon us. An iconic classic, the right denim jacket operates in the sweet spot between cool and business casual.
“Denim jackets have everything going for them, a unique combination of functionality and Hollywood cool,” says Jessica Grilli, a personal stylist at Trunk Club — a company devoted to helping customers, both online and in person, build a wardrobe to suit their unique style and tastes.
Grilli continues, “There’s no intimidation factor like with a lot of fashion [trends], so pretty much everyone feels confident slipping one on. They’re one of those rare pieces that look good on anyone, with almost any outfit.”
This versatility is the real charm of the denim jacket. Whether you’re getting dressed for a nice dinner out or just a walk to the store, throwing this lightweight layer over anything adds a touch of flair. There are a few pairing concepts to keep in mind, and Trunk Club has some styling tips to make the most of this wardrobe staple.
Find The Right Fit
Stylist tip: “A classic fit is foolproof,” says Grilli, “but if you’re more fashion-forward you may want to experiment with something oversized.”
Typically, your denim jacket will be relatively form-fitting and cut at the waist. But an oversized jacket offers a more casual look and can be paired with anything from a basic tee to a button-down check shirt. If you prefer something a little snugger, don’t be afraid to find a fit that hugs your shoulders (not unlike your favorite shirt).
Stylist tip: “Toss one over a short-sleeve knit at the beginning of the season, then try wearing it under a topcoat as fall temperatures get crisper,” says Grilli. “They also look great over a textured suit vest and knit tie for a more sophisticated spin.”
On warm and sunny fall days, opt for breathable fabrics like cotton and chambray; then when the leaves start to fall and the weather gets a little chillier, transition into cozy knit sweaters with long-sleeve tees underneath and a scarf on top for maximum warmth.
Stylist tip: “Go for a light-wash jacket if you wear a lot of dark denim and darker chinos, and vice versa,” says Grilli.
The single shade, double-denim look has gotten a bad rap over the years. To make sure you achieve the perfect balance, try to create color contrast. Think about the bottom half of your wardrobe before adding a denim jacket to the mix. If you’re ready to experiment, try pairing classic gray, black or blue jeans with a light blue jacket and a basic tee for a denim-on-denim look that’ll take your style to the next level.
Play With Patterns
Stylist tip: “Try a white, black or colored jacket with graphic patterns like polka dots, geometrics or stripes,” says Grilli. “Blue denim looks great with classic fall patterns, like plaid and checks.”
Classic doesn’t have to mean boring. Pair your denim jacket with unexpected items, like a button-down in a bold pattern or vibrant color. Make sure your closet is chock-full of playful shirts and ties to keep your look fresh. Throwing your jacket over a bright plaid print can take you straight from the office to happy hour.
Wear It (A Lot)
Stylist tip: The most important tip on the denim jacket is simply to wear it. A denim jacket will only look better with age, especially if you opt for a darker wash — or better yet, raw denim. Over time, it will start to crease and fade, giving you a one-of-a-kind look that’s well earned. A slightly beat-up jacket with a bit of character gives you more options when layering or adding contrast.
If you’re looking for the perfect denim starter kit, the stylists at Trunk Club can build and ship a customized Trunk straight to your door — meaning you can nail denim jacket styling for this fall and beyond.