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 — especially if it's blanket- or fleece-lined.
The designs of denim jackets are relatively similar, save for shape and pocket placement, but brands like to tweak theirs with unique washes and colors, putting out garments that range from worn and faded to incredibly saturated. Buying your own proves simple: you click your size and add it to the cart! (Kidding.) Find a hue and style that piques your interest, and invest in this wardrobe essential you'll own for eternity.
The Best Denim Jackets for Men
- Best Overall Denim Jacket: Levi's Trucker Jacket
- Best Upgrade Denim Jacket: Lee 101 Rider Jacket
- Best Affordable Denim Jacket: Mango Medium Wash Denim Jacket
- Tecovas Denim Trucker Jacket
- J.Crew Denim Jacket
- Madewell Classic Jean Jacket
- Rogue Territory Supply Jacket
- Todd Snyder Stretch Denim Jacket
- Taylor Stitch The Long Haul Jacket
- RRL Indigo Denim Jacket
- AE77 Trucker Denim Jacket
- The Real McCoy's Lot. 001XXJ Denim Jacket
- Wrangler Cotton and Hemp Denim Jacket
- Ginew USA Selvedge Denim Rider
- Mister Freedom Cowboy Jacket "Okinawa 301"
- Loyal Stricklin Wayman Jacket
- Companion Denim Cone Denim Type III Jacket
- Dawson Denim Limited Edition Type II Jacket
- Pangaia Unisex Nettle Denim Jacket
- Tellason Coverall Jacket
The first iteration of Levi's classic Trucker Jacket came in 1905, when the Type I Levi's Blouse debuted. The Type III celebrated its 50th birthday in 2017, signaling the style's successes (and several evolutions). Plenty of jackets on this list take cues from Levi's original cuts, but the original remains a must-buy — and, oftentimes, a bargain.
The 101 Rider Jacket is to Lee what the Trucker Jacket is to Levi's. It's the brand's most popular style — and for good reason. Originally debuted in 1948, the style has changed a little since then, but this iteration mixes both new and old: zig-zag stitching across the front placket from the past and high-grade selvedge fabric from Japan's legendary Kurabo Mill from the present.
Featuring up to 20 percent recycled materials, Mango's Medium Wash Denim Jacket is made from organic cotton that's been treated with less water and waste. The result is an incredibly wearable jacket in a wash that pairs well with most outfits. Plus, it's only $70 bucks.
Yes, Tecovas makes boots, but they do Western wear at large: pants, hats, bags and, of course, denim jackets. This one is finished with a contrasting corduroy collar, antique brass buttons and adjustable back straps.
Sure, you won't get the one-of-a-kind look with a jacket made by J.Crew, but there's nothing bad about the brand's denim jacket. Plus, it's almost always on sale. It fits fairly true to size and is made from 100 percent cotton. (No elastane here!)
Madewell partnered with the Better Cotton Initiative to improve cotton farming conditions around the world, meaning their jackets are made from materials manufactured in safer, more equitable settings. The jacket itself is durable, classic and cut in a flattering way. Plus, it's fairly affordable considering the quality.
Reminiscent of a classic chore coat, Rogue Territory's Supply Jacket is cut from 15.25oz pure indigo proprietary Japanese selvedge denim from the Nihon Menpu Mills. Sized for a slim fit, the unique buttoning and side pockets give on this option give it a handmade feel.
By now, Todd Snyder's tackled almost every corner of men's Americana style. As such, of course he did a denim jacket. His version is a washed, retro-tinged type made-in-the-US from selvedge denim spun on vintage Cone Mill looms.
Taylor Stitch makes its popular The Long Haul Jacket from several different materials. There's suede, Sashiko and denim, which this one is cut from. To be specific, it's 13-oz, 100 percent organic cotton denim. Rigid at first but designed to form to your body, it's finished with subtle details like a map of San Francisco printed on the interior pocket.
It's Ralph! More specifically, Ralph Lauren's RRL line, a Western-Americana referencing line the designer established in 1993. (It's named after his ranch in Colorado.) This Indigo Denim Jacket is made from 12.75oz Japanese denim, has been sanforized to minimize shrinkage and boasts double needle stitching at the seams.
American Eagle's premium offshoot, AE77 offers elevated jeans, tops and jackets. The Trucker Denim Jacket has a vintage look to it, but it's entirely new: made from a mix of 94 percent organic and 6 percent recycled cotton, finished with recyclable hardware and washed with eco-friendly solutions.
The Real McCoy's make reproduction of titular American styles. A favorite of vintage enthusiasts and quality lovers alike, their 14.5oz Lot. 001XXJ Denim Jackets are the real deal. They're near-perfect replicas of deadstock 1950's denim jackets made to last even longer.
Falling in line with others made from one part cotton and another part something else, Wrangler opts for hemp for the other half. Hemp makes the jacket lighter, softer and more breathable.
Ginew also uses deadstock White Oak cone denim for their jacket, but this one features a banded collar first seen on vintage Harley Davidson coats. "The rider jacket pays homage to my grandfather who commuted weekly from the Mohican reservation to weld for Harley Davidson® during the 1950's and 1960's," founder Erik writes, citing Ginew as the US' only Native-owned denim brand.
LA-based brand Mister Freedom's Cowboy Jacket cut from "Okinawa 301" is a denim top made from a mix of sugarcane fiber and 100-percent. The blend's propriety to Toyo Enterprises, a Japanese company that resurrects classic American brands. Beyond making clothing of their own with their fabric, they outsource it, too. Made in the US, this option will only get better with age.
Part chore coat, part trucker, Loyal Stricklin's Wayman Jacket features two hidden internal pockets, two hand warmer pockets, and a flat-felled construction. Constructed from 140z Redline Indigo Selvedge Denim made by Vidalia Mills, this jacket furthers an American tradition.
Constructed from "14.75oz. Selvedge denim made from the last yardages of legendary White Oak Cone Denim," Companion Denim's Cone Denim Type III Jacket, aka the Tribute Jacket, pays homage to the now-closed mill. Using some of the final fabric available from it, they made a stylish, slim-fitting top with distinct, contrast stitching and a cognac leather patch.
New and limited to a run of just 30, Dawson Denim's Type II Jacket combines references to the past and features designed for today. The hidden internal Hunters pocket, for example, is "perfect for iPads," the brand says. Cut from DD018 180z Red Line Selvedge Denim, this iteration is heavyweight and will fade into several new hues with wear.
Pangaia made this unisex denim jacket from a cotton alternative called nettle. They combine it with classic cotton and treat the garment with peppermint oil for anti-odor properties. For $275, you're investing in the one of the foremost material innovators. (And you're getting a hell of a jacket.)
Tellason's Coverall Jacket is one of the most interesting to look at on this list. A complex pocket arrangement and a defined front placket pull the eye add interest, while the 16.5 oz selvedge denim impresses with its subtlety — until creases appear with wear.