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.
This pared-back, double-denim ensemble takes us right back to the early ‘00s. Dark bootcut jeans are paired with a classic golden-stitched denim jacket. The look is tied together by expert accessorizing in the form of a muted handbag, tinted shades, and statement snakeskin boots. It turns out that the taboo of donning double denim might not be as serious as everyone first thought. Replicate this look with Acne Studios’ no-frills denim duo and finish it with Needles’ loafer-inspired horsebit snakeskin boots.
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 Sterling Ruby Studio’s unmissable denim trench coat while texture takes pride of place with Issey Miyake and Rick Owens layers.
Keep it Classic
The denim jacket is arguably unmatched in its universal popularity. This icon of style spans generations and cultures thanks in large part to its simplicity. A classic denim jacket will never let you down and goes with almost anything. Virgil’s beaten Levi’s iteration features fades to the indigo dye as well as a distressed collar to offer a heavy dose of self-assured nonchalance to his off-duty look. What’s more, you needn’t empty your bank account for this hard-wearing essential. Recreate Virgil’s getup with a classic Levi’s Trucker combined with camo pants by Beams Plus.
Variety is the Spice of Life
The beauty of the denim jacket is that, at its core, it’s an exceptionally simple piece. This makes it the perfect blank canvas on which to experiment. Designers have been trying their hand at reinventing the workwear staple since its inception, and a leftfield variation can add a strong sense of personality to your fits. This Japanese-inspired jacket affords great layering opportunities since it skips out the collar. Not only is the jacket a refreshingly new take on the style, it’s much less bulky than a classic trucker jacket and allows the rest of your outfit to take center stage, emphasizing smaller details. Margiela’s denim cardigan provides the collarless protagonist to your recreation while a bold red neckerchief stands out against a muted Gucci knit.
- Acne Studios 1998 Denim Jacket
- Acne Studios 2003 Straight-Leg Cotton Jeans
- Needles Heeled Boots
- Sterling Ruby Studio Denim Long Trench Coat
- Homme Plissé Issey Miyake MC April V-Neck T-Shirt
- Rick Owens Longline T-Shirt
Keep It Classic
- Levi’s Denim Trucker Jacket
- Uniqlo Oversized Crew Neck Short-Sleeve T-Shirt
- Beams Plus Mil 6 Pocket Pant
Variety is the Spice of Life
- Maison Margiela Denim Cardigan Jacket
- Urban Outfitters Bandana
- Polo Ralph Lauren Oxford Button-Down Shirt
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- Curated by: Yulia Pankova