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The Best Denim Jackets for All Men (Who Want to Look Cool as Hell)

It's all about the denim, the wash, the fit, and getting the best deals on heritage brands like Wrangler, Lee, and Levi's.
MF
New York, US
September 10, 2021, 1:30pm

Your fall assignment? Become the denim-clad lovechild of Harry Dean Stanton and Britney Spears at the 2001 AMAs. Ideally, through a rotation of vintage workwear, distressed denim, and one-of-a-kind blue jean jackets. Cigarettes and neck python optional, but preferred. 

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There are few summer-to-fall wardrobe staples that slap like the denim jacket. It never goes out of style, can be layered and dressed up or down, and it gives the impression that you know how to split a log, roll a joint, and shred the proverbial gnar. Even Diana Vreeland, the legendary fashion editor who lived through the Belle Epoque, the Roaring 20s, the Swinging 60s, and beyond, considered denim to be the opus of humankind’s modern textiles. “Blue jeans,” she decreed, “are the most beautiful thing since the gondola." 

Denim is for everyone. It’s for those of us who secretly dig the way gas station coffee strips our stomach lining and the off-duty actor arriving at JFK; it’s the go-to accessory for lowkey California millionaires, legit ranchers, and folksy presidents like Jimmy Carter who brought denim to the oval office

Whether you’re aiming for a vibe that’s Western or Y2K; full Phishhead or 90s streetwear worthy of Salt-N-Pepa, we’ve trawled the web for the best men’s denim jackets to round out your fall avatar... 

Start with the classics

Nothing wrong with that. A classic denim trucker jacket or a touch of shearling can do wonders for your fit, especially via heritage brands like Levi’s that have been cranking out denim since ye olde Gold Rush times; the brand’s stock trucker jacket is study AF, has pockets on pockets, and goes upto a 6XL in sizing.

Levi's

Stock Trucker Jacket

Wrangler is also the GOAT, with an origin story that takes us to the world of 1940s rodeo tailoring (so, tough stuff), and their Western jacket is super iconic, and screams Robert Redford in Little Fauss and Big Halsy.

Wrangler

Men’s Western Unlined Jacket

Lee, the heritage brand from Georgia that has always boasted “the bluest denim” on the market, makes jackets that last for decades. We love their stocky but cozy chore coat. 

The best dark denim jackets

You had an inner-lip tattoo (although it's pretty faded now) and probably get to the punk bar by 5 p.m. You’re here for a long time, not a good time, and you prefer to have your denim to be washed in shades of deep grey, dark blue, and black. But even if you haven’t a clue as to why those Murphys must be drop-kicked, a dark denim wash is clutch, because it’s the most easily converted day-to-evening color palette. Naturally, Levi’s makes its iconic trucker jacket in black with or without sherpa lining—and it can’t be beat for its melding of vintage and modern good looks.

Levi's

Vintage Fit Sherpa Lined Denim Jacket

Meanwhile, Good Man Brand and Everlane also bring monochromatic, black-buttoned denim jackets with slim lines and good stretch. 

Good Man Brand

Flex Pro Denim Jacket

Everlane

The Denim Jacket

The best denim chore coats

This is where we get to play with your silhouette a bit more, in one of the most universally flattering forms. The denim chore coat runs a little wider, generally, with a fit that’s less tapered and more like a bell. In other words, it’s the ideal ramen slurping/burrito pounding jacket. They also tend to come in with more stripes and more [clears throat in Devil Wear Prada] cerulean blues. 

Banana Republic

Linen-Cotton Chore Coat

The General Public

Everyday Unisex Jacket

Vintage

Pinstripe Denim Chore Coat

The one that’s more like a shirt 

Soooo. This is kind of cheating. But who cares! When you live in a place like LA, your fall denim situation is going to be more about layering heavier jean shirts under your puffer, flannel, or Carhartt jacket. Although, once it finally does start to dip below 50 degrees in the winter, you get to go for the full Canadian tuxedo look by layering these babies under an even more intense denim coat. 

Wrangler

Vintage Denim Button-Down Shirt

Frame Denim

Heavy Denim Loose Fit Shirt

Go crust up that denim, my man. And while we’re on the subject of jackets: Have you gotten your patchworks yet?  


The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.