Highsnobiety’s How-To series is a toolkit for your future wardrobe, equipped with sets of tips and related products to help you style some of the industry’s most seminal silhouettes.
Leading on from the first installment of our budding How-To series, where we styled the best cardigans for men, we now turn our attention to the denim jacket. Indicative of timeless design, and regarded worlds over as the staple of all staples, the denim jacket is an unwavering style icon, and foundational to the wardrobes of the world’s best-dressed. Fortified by a compelling subcultural history, denim as a fabric forsakes the formality of ageless alternatives, surpassing the likes of chino cloth with pure, unadulterated personality.
Much like the iconic MA-1 bomber jacket, the denim jacket spans a seemingly infinite number of style strata, used in both an auxiliary capacity, and as the standout piece. And like other timeless designs, the denim jacket only gets better with age, developing a sort-of patina, highlighted by frayed edging, loose thread, and discoloration. Having outfitted everyone from punks to preps, the denim jacket remains wholly relevant in 2020, with the likes of Virgil Abloh’s Off-White™, and Demna Gvasalia’s Vetements continuing to reinterpret the silhouette, while never moving too far away from its original form.
Shop a list of the best denim jackets for men in 2020 below, together with tips on how to style them for summer.
Rooted in utilitarianism, the denim jacket featured above references the design’s earliest applications as a piece of workwear. Expertly juxtaposed against a pair of denim pants and a crushed fabric shirt, we see that the taboo of donning double denim might not be as serious as everyone first thought. Replicate this look with a pocket-heavy iteration from Dsquared2, the Contrast Stitch Pocket Shirt from Jacquemus, and a pair of Saint Laurent shades.
The Power of Print
Denim will forever be one of the greatest materials to print on. Not only does the material take to paint exceptionally well, but as it decays, so does the print, developing a patina as unique as the fabric itself. Reminiscent of denim’s “punkier” beginnings, the outfit above, paired with some bold white Cuban boots, alerts us to the advantages of contrast. An alternative can be shopped below if you can’t bring yourself to part ways with your black leather stompers, but still want to work with contrast.
There is something very special about teal-colored denim. The way the fabric reacts with the color develops a shade so unique, that iterations made from it often stand out from the rest. Seen here layered over the top of an open button-down shirt, and a pair of corduroy pants, alternative takes such as this deserve a home in any respectable Spring wardrobe. Start moving towards a look for the future with pieces like the green cotton denim jacket by MSGM, and a fitting pair of green corduroy pants courtesy of Norse Projects.
As we learned earlier, layering denim on top of more denim is not actually a bad thing… in fact, we only want to encourage it moving forward! As each layer wears down in its own time, wearing such pieces together deepens each outfit by presenting a patchwork of indigo shades. So, with that being said, start maximizing the surface area and impact of your next denim ensemble with the Oversized Denim Shirt from Raf Simons, a relaxed pair of Carhartt jeans, and a printed hoodie from Highsnobiety’s latest drop.
Tried and True
The example above is everything a denim jacket deserves to be: well-worn, repetitively washed, and worn on top of just about anything. And who better to create a denim jacket in this context than industry-leader Off-White™, matching perfectly with the refined Mafile Plastron Shirt from Jil Sander, and a pair of cargo pants from Yoon Ahn’s groundbreaking brand, AMBUSH.
- Dsquared2 Multi-Pocket Denim Jacket
- Jacquemus Contrast Stitch Pocket Shirt
- Saint Laurent Silver 250 Sunglasses
The Power of Print
- Casablanca Les Oranges Print Denim Jacket
- Casablanca Les Oranges Print Straight-Leg Jeans
- Suicoke Tamb-B Rubber Boots
- Levi’s Iconic Original Trucker Jacket
- Fung Lan and Co. Corduroy Pants
- Issey Miyake Black Pleats Flat 3 Bag
- Raf Simons Oversized Denim Shirt
- NONoon Goons Playtime-Print Hooded Sweatshirt
- Carhartt Relaxed Dungaree Jean
Tried and True
- Off-White™ Logo-Print Cotton Denim Jacket
- Jil Sander Mafile Plastron Shirt
- AMBUSH Belted Cotton-Poplin Cargo Trousers
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- Curated by: Noah Thomas