Whether you’re a ranch worker, the lead singer in a rock band, or simply a connoisseur of the venerated Canadian tuxedo, every guy needs a good denim jacket in his closet. The best denim jackets for men offer the same timeless style, casual ruggedness, and easygoing coolness that have made the garment a menswear essential for more than a century. And while the style may be old, it’s anything but outdated, as the 2021 crop of jean jackets is filled with an outstanding blend of classic and modern coats to suit every taste.
For our picks of the best denim jackets for men, we took a look at a range of brands, styles, and price ranges, casting a wide net but only keeping the best of the best. Our search led us to American heritage brands that were outfitting cowboys and miners at the turn of the century, high-end boutique purveyors of Japanese selvedge denim, and style-forward designers who are putting their own unique spin on this well-worn icon of Americana. We ended up with 15 jaunty jean jackets that we’d be elated to add to our fall wardrobe — or, you know, any other season’s wardrobe. In fact, from now on, we’re just going to say there are 15 seasons just so we have an excuse to pick up each one of our favorite men’s denim jackets.
Uniqlo Denim Trucker Jacket
Uniqlo should be your home base for affordable essentials, and if you’re not super picky about your denim, then it’s a great place to grab a classic jean jacket. Uniqlo’s Denim Trucker Jacket is a modern take on the form, with stitching and buttons colored to match the dye of the denim and a hint of stretch in the form of 1% Spandex to add some great comfort and mobility with zero break-in period.
Levi’s Trucker Jacket
If it’s a true icon you’re after in a denim jacket, then Levi’s should realistically be the only brand on your radar. The American heritage brand’s founder literally invented the style in the 1880s, and Levi’s has been churning them out in their famed trucker form since the 1960s. This forward-thinking version of the classic includes soft and breathable Tencel in the blend and is made using sustainable manufacturing practices and materials.
Flint and Tinder Denim Trucker Jacket
Flint and Tinder has a knack for crafting rugged modern garments that wouldn’t look out of place half a century ago, and they’ve done so again here with their take on the traditional Type III trucker jacket silhouette. Their unlined version is built with rugged 8 oz. washed denim that’s meant to take on patina as you wear it and includes custom FNT buttons and dual side hand pockets.
J.Crew Denim Jacket
When we think of classic Americana style that’s engineered for today’s tastes and sensibilities, we think of J.Crew. The NYC-based outfitter often sets the trends in menswear with their seasonal updates, and if J.Crew is making it, you should probably be wearing it. For their denim jacket, the brand has kept things simple and affordable with an old-school 100% cotton faded denim trucker with dual chest pockets, a point collar, and button cuffs.
Buck Mason RC Denim Blanket Trucker
Up to this point in the guide, we’ve only featured traditional unlined denim jackets. These lightweight layers are great for slightly cool fall days, but when things get chillier, you’re going to need something more robust. That’s where Buck Mason comes in. The LA-based brand’s Blanket Trucker features a soft fleece blanket lining that will keep you warm and toasty when the temperature drops. Plus, the denim exterior is made from recycled cotton, upping the coat’s sustainability cred.
Grayers Denton Japanese Selvedge Trucker Jacket
Founded by Ralph Lauren veteran Peter Georgiou, Grayers excels at remaking classic pieces of menswear through their unique modern lens, and their take on the denim jacket is no different. Crafted from high-quality 12.5 oz selvedge denim from Kurabo Mills in Japan, each Denton Trucker Jacket is hand-cut and sewn by a single artisan, from start to finish, in a traditional workshop in Thailand. If you’re looking for a cookie-cutter, mass-produced jean jacket, this ain’t it.
Taylor Stitch The Long Haul Jacket in 18-Month Wash Organic Selvage
We love a good pun, so we’ve got to give Taylor Stitch some credit for calling this trucker jacket “The Long Haul.” But we’re obviously not going to recommend a garment based purely on its name, and thankfully, the San Francisco-based brand doesn’t let us down with the quality of this coat. The Long Haul features 100% organic cotton selvage denim construction that’s been given a thorough wash for a lived-in vintage look, plus unexpected extras like a pair of front welt hand-warmer pockets.
Todd Snyder Stretch Denim Jacket in Faded Wash
New York designer Todd Snyder celebrated ten years of his eponymous brand in 2021, and he marked the occasion by doing the same thing he always does: making killer menswear. Todd’s version of the classic denim trucker was inspired by an example from the ‘70s and comes in a stylish retro faded wash. But it’s modernized in places, too, with a stretch weave for comfort and welcome details like genuine shank buttons.
Rogue Territory Supply Jacket Dark Indigo
Originally founded in 2008 as a custom denim workshop inside American Rag’s World Denim Bar in LA, Rogue Territory feels like a brand that’s about to blow up in a big way (that tends to happen when James Bond wears one of your jackets in a movie). But the up-and-coming brand still hasn’t lost sight of their roots, as the Dark Indigo denim version of their trademark Supply Jacket mixes its unique modern chore coat silhouette with 13.5 oz Japanese selvedge denim from Okayama Prefecture.
A.P.C. Denim Jacket
Founded in the ‘80s, French luxury brand A.P.C. is a legend in the denim industry for their role in popularizing high-quality Japanese selvedge denim on a global scale. Today, the brand is still largely associated with the material and they know how to work with it better than most, as you can easily see on this design-forward take on the classic trucker that features unexpected lines and curves snaking across its high-end 12.75 oz. Japanese cloth.
Rag & Bone Damon Zip Loopback Denim Hoodie
In the realm of denim jackets, the classic trucker is king. But the ubiquitous style is not the only way to incorporate denim into your outerwear. Rag & Bone has turned to the blue-jean material for their Damon Zip Loopback Hoodie, and the mashup works far better than you might expect. This zip-up hoodie boasts a drawstring-packing hood and is made from Rag & Bone’s own Loopback Denim that features a traditional jean exterior and a soft and cozy lining akin to French terry.
Naked & Famous Denim Jacket – Brown Fox Selvedge
Naked & Famous is one of the biggest names in denim, and they’ve got a massive variety of jackets to suit virtually every taste. You can’t really go wrong with any jean jackets from the brand, but we’re especially fond of the Brown Fox Selvedge variant. Its denim is made from a rare and highly sought-after type of American natural brown cotton called Foxfibre that gives it a unique look and provides for some one-of-a-kind aging.
Lee 101 Rider Jacket
With the exception of Levi’s, no brand is more associated with America’s long-running love affair with denim than Lee. Founded in 1889, Lee has a longstanding reputation for making hard-wearing workwear, and their classic Rider Jacket has been favored by legitimate cowboys since it debuted in 1948. This modern recreation of that post-war original is part of the brand’s high-end heritage 101 imprint and features trademark zigzag stitching on the placket, cat eye waistband adjusters, and premium Japanese selvedge denim construction.
Filson Lined Denim Short Cruiser Jacket
Speaking of brands that are known for making hardwearing workwear, Filson first began outfitting America’s outdoorsmen in 1897. Their products have been keeping the country’s builders and sportsmen warm and safe for more than a century, and there’s no better denim jacket we can think of for braving the elements than the brand’s Lined Denim Short Cruiser. Fully lined with Filson’s bestselling Alaskan Guide brushed flannel, this coat is sewn in the USA from American raw denim.
Iron Heart 19 oz Left-Hand Twill Selvedge Denim Type III Jacket
Founded by Japanese garment industry veteran and moto enthusiast Shinichi Haraki in 2002, Iron Heart may gear its apparel toward Japanese motorcycle culture, but the unmatched quality of the brand’s denim has gained them a far wider audience than their niche target market may suggest. This take on the classic Type III trucker silhouette is cut from an extremely heavy-duty 19 oz. left-hand twill denim that’s overdyed to make it incredibly durable. The brand refers to it as “cotton armor,” and we see no reason to disagree with that not-so-hyperbolic claim.
The 15 Best Flannel Shirts for Men
A good denim jacket is certainly one of the most essential pieces of kit you need in your closet once the leaves start changing colors, but it’s far from the only fall garment you should have in your arsenal. A good flannel shirt is an absolute must for the autumn months, and we’ve rounded up several of them in our guide to the best flannel shirts.