How to Style Denim Jackets for All Occasions

Sunday, October 10, 2021
Wonam wearing white denim jacket and light blue jeans

If you haven’t jumped on the denim jacket bandwagon yet, what’s keeping you? This all-purpose outerwear is durable, warm, flattering, and goes with everything—truly, everything. Whatever the weather, a denim jacket can be just the addition your outfit needs, not only for warmth but for style too. Keep it in your car, closet, or on the hook by the door. Wherever you hang it, make sure your denim jacket is within easy reach. 

If you’re not sure how to style denim jacket, you may not know what all the fuss is about. But you’ll soon find out. This guide will show you how to style denim jackets for all occasions, from casual to not-so-casual. Keep reading to learn why this piece of denim clothing works for everything. 

Finding the Perfect Denim Jacket

The key to being able to style a denim jacket for all occasions is finding a great, versatile denim jacket. It should be able to be worn with pants, skirts, dresses, and over thin t-shirts and thick sweaters all the same. It should also be a wash or color that works well in all seasons and with a variety of colors underneath. This rules out denim jackets that are too oversized or too cropped, and denim jackets that are colored i.e. black, white, or pink. While there’s a place for these different denim jackets in your wardrobe, they aren’t the most versatile.  

We suggest getting a wear-with-everything denim jacket like this one. The light blue wash and charming cropped length are just right to wear with dresses, sweaters, camis, skirts, and more. It’s cut from stretchy denim as well, so it’s always comfortable, and it features a buttoned sleeve that can easily be cuffed for warmer weather.

How To Style a Denim Jacket 

There are countless ways to style a denim jacket casually and some great ways to dress it up as well. Here are a few of our favorites that will leave you with plenty of options for every occasion.

Over a T-Shirt Dress 

Never has there been a simpler outfit than the t-shirt dress. And, in our opinion, it may be the comfiest thing in our closet, short of sweats. The great thing about a t-shirt dress is that it’s an outfit in one easy-to-wear piece. You can throw it on in an instant and be fully dressed for the day ahead. The perfect complement to a t-shirt dress is a jean jacket. It adds color, shape, and warmth to the look in one fell swoop. 

Now, there are levels of casualness to this jean jacket outfit. If you want to style it for a soccer game or a trip to the store, simply add sneakers. If you want to style it for lunch with friends or a day at a winery, add ankle boots and a pendant necklace. Top it off with a baseball cap in the former setting and a felt hat in the latter to complete the look. 

Woman in printed blue dress and blue denim jacket

With White Jeans

Wearing white jeans is easier than you may think, especially when you style them with a denim jacket. A classic pair of white denim, a striped tee, and a denim jacket can take a sailboat by storm or a rock a backyard BBQ. Slip on sneakers and you’re ready to step out. Once you try it, this look is a recipe you’ll follow over and over again.

While white jeans are typically reserved for the spring or summertime, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. You can easily style white jeans for fall with a turtleneck underneath the denim jacket instead of a tee. To dress this look up, slip on loafers or heeled boots and add a pair of drop earrings

With Joggers 

Our go-to look for the airport or a stroll to breakfast on Saturday is joggers, sneakers, a t-shirt or tank top, and a denim jacket. It’s easy, comfortable, and cute. You will feel put together enough to step out on the brunch scene or in the security line but comfortable enough to have your fill of French toast or stretch your legs on the plane. 

Kick this look up a notch by wearing printed joggers and a matching pullover (find the plus-size versions here and here). Of course, there are a million places you can wear this casual denim jacket look. And you’ll find a million opportunities to do so all year long. 

With a Patterned Skirt  

When the dress code is elevated, heels or heeled boots and a skirt go a long way. There are so many beautiful midi skirts with unique patterns and prints that look great with a denim jacket, even at a fancier fete. Consider this floral midi skirt and matching blouse and pair the look with nude heels. Or reach for this classic black midi skirt with a side slit and pair it with this blouson sleeve top and black heeled boots. Add your denim jacket and you can’t go wrong with either of these looks for a dressier occasion such as date night or a dinner party. 

Over a Sweatshirt

When the weather turns cold, it can feel like you need something thicker than your trusty denim jacket to get by, but don’t underestimate its warmth. There is a way you can get away with wearing it in lower temps too. Reach for your favorite hoodie or fashion sweatshirt and put that on first. Then pull on warm pants, such as jeggings, leggings, black denim jeans, or faux leather pants for a festive look, and a cozy pair of socks and boots. Check out our blog on The Best Jeggings for Women to learn more about rocking jeggings. 

Add a denim jacket and suddenly you have an ultra-warm, comfortable, and cute layered look that can handle cold weather whether you’re out looking at holiday lights or enjoying a Hot Toddy on the patio of your favorite eatery. You can always bundle up even more by adding a thick scarf, knit beanie, and gloves. In winter, the layered look always wins. 

Over a Maxi Dress

One of our favorite ways to wear a denim jacket is over a maxi dress. This outfit combines the soft femininity of a flowy dress with the structure and hardware of a denim jacket; it’s a match made in fashion heaven. Plus, it can so easily be dressed up or dressed down with the right accessories. Think heels and fine jewelry for a special occasion or sandals and a beaded necklace for a more laid-back affair. One of our favorite looks for plus-size women is pairing this patchwork maxi dress with a denim jacket. With leather boots and gold jewelry, it’s fit for any occasion. 

With Blue Jeans

Wondering how to style wide leg jeans or how to style straight leg jeans with a denim jacket? With a great pair of jeans and a great jacket, anyone can rock a denim on denim look. It’s fun, unexpected, stylish, and comfortable. To pull it off:

  • grab a pair of jeans in the same shade, or much lighter or darker than the shade of your denim jacket. 
  • Underneath, wear a neutral top that doesn’t take away from the overall look. 
  • Add drop earrings and a pair of mules to dress the look up or wear it casually with sandals or sneakers. 
  • Don’t shy away from denim on denim. 

Give it a go — you can pull it off! 

With Black Pants 

Black goes with everything, denim included, so it’s only natural to throw on your denim jacket over black pants and a sweater or tee. This look can also be casual or dressy. For instance, black jeans, a printed pullover, flat boots, and a denim jacket is a great casual look for a trip to the movies or a casual dinner out. If you’re looking for an outfit that can take you to drinks with friends or a holiday play, reach for a pair of tailored black pants such as these, your go-to black heels, and a silk blouse. Add your denim jacket, and you’ll dress the look down just a touch, making it ideal for either of these settings and anything in between.

Wear it With Everything

While denim jackets are typically reserved for more casual settings, this doesn’t have to be the case. With the right outfit underneath and the right accessories, you can wear your favorite jacket for a dressier occasion too. Have fun throwing your denim jacket on over everything and see just how versatile this closet staple is, come rain or shine. 

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