Denim jackets have been shoved in the corner (not even deserved of a hanger) of people’s wardrobes since the 1800’s. Like that jar of your Nan’s plum jam, the denim jacket will loiter in the sordid recesses of your storage space for years. You don’t know at what point you should use it, but you sense you shouldn’t throw it out in case one day every mother fucker you know is eating home-made jam and you’ve got jack. Let me tell you, (for once) you were right to hold on to the jam, I mean the denim jacket, because for the last 200 years it has been rearing its head on the fashion scene. Although in those huge chasms of time in-between denim jackets being ‘cool’ it has been a clothing fundamental of bogans and freaks who are way too into horses, at this very moment its time to resurrect the denim jacket , because denim jackets are *A-Ok*.
Since 1873, when Levi Strauss had the revelation that jeans made his ass look pert, so maybe denim could do something for his less than fucking average torso, denim jackets have been injecting some masculinity into men’s ‘looks’. Denim jackets were originally created for the workplace; they were a part of the overall denim outfit that was rugged and durable, and nothing much has really changed; a denim jacket still suggests a tough, unassumingness.
Yes, denim jackets have always been laced with connotations of old school cool and even ‘badass’ with only denim providing the strength to restrain dangerously high level of testosterone. However, tapping into that ‘manliness’ without crossing the fine line into looking like your name is ‘Billy Ray’ and you snuggle down at night wrapped in a confederate flag, can be a hazardous endeavour. The trick is to try and counter the ‘red-neck’ with some ‘dandy’. I realise that the mere mention of the word ‘dandy’ makes your bollocks do a speedy retreat into your pelvis, but I’m not suggesting you whip out a fucking cravat or anything. You just need to introduce a sense of the fashion-cognizant, and [even] irony when you don the denim.
So to avoid looking like you’re the type of guy who is in a relationship with his sister, DO NOT wear your jacket too big. Keep it boxy-looking i.e. very square shoulders but don’t let the shoulder seam travel much (if at all) past your shoulders. Also the jean-jacket should sit just on the hip; don’t stress if you can even see a little shirt between the bottom of the jacket and your belt (little: we’re talking millimetres i.e. you’re not the third lost member of Wham in a crop-top), it just makes it seem relaxed and casual.
I think generally a faded, distressed look is the way to go, but not too holey/ripped. If your jacket looks like it was taken off the body of someone who was machine-gunned down, then it’s time for a new jacket.
I’ve included some images of thick denim shirts too, because I’m actually a fan of ‘homo-denimming’ ie ‘denim on denim’. The rule with layering denim on denim is to aim for different shades of blue. Denim shirts can also look great by wearing them a bit like a jacket with another collar-shirt underneath, or wait for it; even a tie! I know; I’m losing you about now aren’t I...
If you’re feeling a little bold or drunk (either/both), you could even go for a denim jacket with a moderate amount of bling. Maybe a contrast fabric on the collar or pocket etc. However, AVOID labels, buckles...and ummm rhinestones (for any readers in southern states of the US). Speaking of too much ‘flair’: I’ve included a couple of denim jackets from G-Star in the images below, but I must warn that this brand presents some fucking landmines when it comes to denim so tread carefully and avoid any of their jackets with too much detailing. G-Star seem to have little understanding of ‘simple’/’classic’, and I often get the impression their target market is the massive consumer population of gay, Korean karaoke-singers.
|Lee 101 Short Loco Washed Denim Jacket|
|FILM by Samuel Membery for ASOS Dip Dye Denim Jacket|
|Denim jacket with Aztec print|
|Paul Smith denim jacket|
|JC Penney Denim Work Shirt|
|ASOS Cardigan In Worker Jacket Style With Indigo Wash|