In every guy’s wardrobe, there are a few special garments that can’t be replaced. Whether it’s a pair of their favorite jeans, a shirt that’s been with them since they were young, or a dapper coat that’s become as much a part of their personality as any of their characteristic traits, clothing can help to define who they are. And while there might be a number of timeless staples that have helped to define a guy’s style over the past century, few can hold a candle to the denim jacket.
The denim jacket made its debut well over 50 years ago, and since then, it’s become synonymous with many a man’s well-rounded wardrobe. Not only is it the perfect lightweight garment to wear out on the town, but it also transitions well thanks to its storied past in workwear, its durable construction, and its dependable design. If you don’t have a go-to denim jacket in your arsenal, now’s the time to pick one up. Below, we’ve outlined a handful of our favorite offerings from the industry’s leading brands, including Levi’s, Carhartt WIP, and Todd Snyder, with some off-kilter selections to keep you looking your best, no matter what.
There’s no style staple that H&M hasn’t revised, and when it comes to our favorite denim peripheral, the trucker jacket, they’ve produced a great-looking variant that’s inherently easy on your wallet. That doesn’t mean that it’s short on aesthetics, however. This attractive example boasts a traditional collar, buttoned chest pockets, and flap closures, as well as durable welt side pockets. Staying true to the jacket’s iconic stylings, the company has even implemented an adjustable button tab at the sides to keep the variant prim and proper.
Zara is in the business of taking timeless style pieces and transitioning them into affordable options for the fashion-forward guy, and as such, the trucker seemed like a perfect project. The company’s Basic denim jacket features an attractive lapel collar, buttoned cuffs, and a soft-washed exterior to give it a unique presence, even among its counterparts. A metal button closure at the front and sturdy welt pocket at the hip pay homage to the classic’s iconic layout, gifting buyers a nostalgic piece of attire.
Everlane’s Uniform denim jacket is a celebration of everything that made the original trucker so great, including its year-round comfortability. This versatile piece is constructed using milled-in-Japan 13.5-ounce denim, giving it a patina that becomes more personalized over time, based on what the jacket is exposed to. The result? A great-looking jacket that’s sure to embody your own unique style.
Levi’s has been credited with the creation of one the industry’s greatest denim jackets, and since its introduction all those years ago, it’s persevered as a quintessential style staple for every guy. Like its predecessor from 1967, the contemporary version of Levi’s lauded peripheral is created from a 98% cotton fabric, and accented with elastane for a mild stretch. On the exterior, a point collar, front button placket, and button closures at the jacket’s cuffs give it a nostalgic look that’s true to the original, while durable welt side pockets provide wearers with the perfect storage area for their important accessories.
Buck Mason B001 Field Shirt
When you hear the name Buck Mason, you know that you’re in for a heritage-imbued treat. The company’s B001 Field Shirt is an interesting take on the denim jacket, offering buyers a silhouette that’s similar to a classic trucker, but a little less refined. A unique wash complements the jacket’s durable denim construction, while subtle roping at the hem and chest help set it apart from other offerings in the space by giving it a more domineering look.
Carhartt WIP Michigan Chore
Carhartt WIP’s Michigan Chore jacket was created to stand strong in one of the world’s most demanding climates, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t look great. Whether you’re buying a long-sleeve denim variant for use at the job site, or for a night on the town, this 100% cotton 11.25-ounce “Norco” denim has been left unlined for a robust feel that’s true to the rugged nature of the original. Don’t worry, it still features a great-looking front closure that’s been outfitted with metal buttons and the company’s signature square label for the perfect amount of subtle branding.
All Saints Blank
All Saints’ Blank denim jacket is a stylish variant that was made for the fashion-minded guy. It neglects some of the robust traits of the original to bring buyers a city-friendly silhouette that’s inherently handsome, thanks to its distressed denim construction. The company’s trademark metal shank buttons and closures adorn the exterior of the jacket, working alongside durable welt side pockets, two additional front pockets, and a nostalgic silhouette to provide wearers with the quintessential piece of outerwear for a night on the town.
Taylor Stitch Long Haul
Taylor Stitch’s bread and butter is the recreation of old-school garments, and with the company’s Long Haul denim jacket, it’s clear that their expertise isn’t misplaced. The Long Haul’s custom YKK buttons and rivets, 13-ounce organic cotton fabric, and selvage detailing harken back to the style that was contrived over 50 years ago. This well-endowed iteration takes a more contemporary approach, however, introducing rounded patch pockets, front welt hand-warmer pockets, and a customized San Franciso map print on the interior. Better yet, each variant has been custom developed at the famous ISKO Mills, meaning that you’ll be privy to years of functional use, with a great-looking patina to match.
G-Star’s Raw denim jacket is an eastern take on the traditional western style staple, offering buyers a beautifully detailed variant that brings some of the denim’s cutting-edge tailoring practices into the fray. To construct each example, the company has hand-selected a swathe of masterfully-aged denim, providing wearers with a substantially “used” feel, while the trucker’s iconic front, and chest, pocketing provide the perfect hint of nostalgic taste.
Saturdays NYC Emil
Saturdays NYC’s Emil jacket is as subtle as it gets. Like most of the company’s garments, it takes a straightforward approach and doesn’t divert from the original, bringing many of the same qualities, accents, and textures to the silhouette. A 100% cotton fabric is paired with the jacket’s timeless Type 3 style, making it the perfect middle ground between heritage commitment, and contemporary use.
Edwin Rainbow Selvage
Edwin’s Rainbow Selvage jacket is part of the company’s E Standard Collection, which means that it’s relatively unparalleled when it comes to quality and construction. Each bespoke example is crafted with care in Japan and features a durable, dependable Japanese 14-ounce denim, a full button front, and two traditional chest pockets. Like the original denim silhouette, each variant utilizes a rear button and strap adjuster to give it a tailored feel, while buttons at the jacket’s cuff keep it closely cropped to the wrist at all times.
Todd Snyder Japanese Stretch Selvedge
Todd Snyder’s Japanese Stretch Selvedge jacket pays homage to the timeless American style, but with a more robust Japanese denim. Each example boasts a dark, but beautiful indigo wash, calling upon the eastern country’s most established construction practices to bring buyers a quintessential item that’s subjectively better in every way.
A.P.C. Mid Denim
A.P.C.’s Mid Denim jacket is a close-cropped example that lends itself to personalized style. It features a tailored silhouette that blends classic style and modern intricacies with ease. Each variant utilizes a durable 12.75-ounce Japanese denim, engraved buttons, and a unique contrasting marigold topstitch that sets it apart from its competition. To keep things authentic, A.P.C. has even introduced a stonewashed fade that replicates wear at the jacket’s stress points, giving it a well-worn look that’s sure to please.
Acne Studios Slim Fit
Acne Studios’ Slim Fit denim jacket is based on some of the 1990s’ most influential styles and boasts a great-looking slim-fit silhouette that’s as attractive as they come. A dark Blue Overdye denim and tonal topstitching accent the jacket’s exterior, while silver-tone buttons dressed in the company’s signature logo help to complement the peripheral’s more intricate aesthetics.
Tom Ford Slim-Fit
Tom Ford’s Slim Fit trucker is a revision of an original style that’s been around since the middle of the 20th Century, and surprisingly, it stays true to its progenitor in a number of ways. Each variant is made with the same selvage denim and woven on special looms to give it a unique, one-of-a-kind finish. It features buttoned cuffs and chest flap pockets, front welt pockets, and adjustable waist tabs to keep it in-line with the original; but, like most modernized variants, it also boasts a small portion of elastane to keep it stretchy and form-fitting. Luckily, every one of Ford’s garments is a great investment for the true denim head, thanks to an authentic fade that’s unique to each one.
The 12 Best Japanese Denim Brands
When it comes to high-end denim, few proprietors can hold a candle to the Japanese. So, if you’re interested in learning a few tricks of the trade from the industry’s best, head over to our guide on the best Japanese denim brands.