How to Style a Jean Jacket

Luckily, jean jackets are pretty easy to come by secondhand, as my own garage sale anecdote attests. And the bonus is that secondhand jackets come with that ‘lived in’ look. But whether you’re digging through thrift bins or buying new, Sullivan has some tips to get that denim jacket je ne sais quoi. Her first styling formula, denim on denim, is your classic Canadian tuxedo effect. “I tend to style denim together with similar washes which makes it feel more like a suit,” explains Sullivan, referring to a laid-back jeans ‘n’ jacket pairing. For a more elevated look, she offers a second formula, coordinating your jacket with more formal pants, or a skirt. “[The jacket] takes the seriousness out of a dressy bottom. The combination works for special occasions: Show up to an event in a denim jacket and a black tuxedo pant and you’re automatically the coolest person in the room.”

Fit, when it comes to denim of the jacket variety, is everything. Jesica Wagstaff, a writer and expert dresser, welcomes denim jackets in every wash, so long as they’re slightly oversized. “The fitted denim jacket of the early aughts is too limiting in terms of form and function. A slightly larger jacket can be worn on its own, over a sweater, or under outerwear as an added layer, ensuring you’ll reach for it again and again.” Lukewarm on the classic jean jacket silhouette? She suggests a chore coat or button up in the material as a compromise.