Like many men’s staples today, the denim jacket was adopted into mainstream fashion over time from American workwear. We can thank Levi Strauss for that. Strauss, the immigrant and founder of the revolutionary brand that boasts his name, is credited with creating the first denim jacket in 1880.
All these years later, Levi’s name is still synonymous with the denim jacket. It’s a piece of clothing that has been imitated countless times, and it’s one of the most recognizable and versatile pieces of men’s clothing in history. In fact, the classic Levi’s denim jacket is so iconic that you probably already have one hanging in your closet right now. Officially known as the Levi’s Trucker Jacket, it’s available in a variety of colors and washes.
A perfectly lightweight spring jacket, the trucker jacket can be dressed up or down as needed. Since its down-to-earth beginnings with the American labor force at the turn of the 20th century, the iconic jacket has been adopted by dozens of music scenes, Hollywood legends and luxury fashion houses as a standard cultural touchstone. It’s even found its way into Canadian formalwear, aka the Canadian tuxedo. It’s a long-lasting style staple, but it’s hardly the only denim jacket worth a second look.
Although the options we know today are typically modernized versions of the one Strauss designed in the late 19th century, the best denim jackets for men have largely stayed true to the original with:
- Superior durability
- Front storage pockets
- Button-up closure
- Attached collar
- Looser fit designed for wearing over work shirts and other apparel
It makes perfect sense that denim jackets have lived as long as they have at the forefront of men’s style. But with new designs and better access to technology, we’re able to cast a wide net on color, stitching, wash, hardware and so many more categories.
If you’re looking for the best denim jackets for men available in 2020, then you’re spoiled for options. Here are a few of the best denim jackets for men today.
1. Levi’s The Trucker Jacket
If you don’t have a Levi’s Denim Trucker Jacket, you need one. However, if you’re looking to evolve beyond the standard denim coat, this modified version of the late-1800’s original is, hands down, the single most on-trend denim jacket in our country today. I don’t have hard stats, but next time you wander outside the house, look for the little red Levi’s tag on the breast pocket flap and see for yourself. In fact, this stylish denim jacket is so popular it’s sold out at popular retailers like Nordstrom and Levi’s itself.
Now, this specific jacket was already featured as one of our best lightweight jackets for the season on SPY. But as far as black denim jackets go, this one may be the best. Not only is it the classic Levi’s Trucker style, but it’s a great price point, sitting under $100, and its quality, versatility and durability have already been proven. Opt for this black color this time of year to match your dulled, cold-weather wardrobe if you need a relief pitcher for your blue denim jacket. It’s like giving your entire closet a facelift with just one new piece.
2. Quality Durables Co. Regular-Fit Jean Jacket
What can brown do for you? A whole hell of a lot, if it’s this denim jacket from Quality Durables. Quality Durables brings their jacket back to the basics to achieve a perfect casual vintage look you’d expect to see in your dad’s closet from high school. The denim jacket is made from 100% cotton and can be paired with just about anything to fit in your wardrobe no matter the season, but taking first prize when matched with grayscale tones, light beige or graphic tees. When searching for the best denim jackets for men this fall and winter, never be afraid to look beyond blue and navy.
3. ASOS DESIGN Denim Jacket with Camo Print
BEST FOR STREETWEAR
Shopping on ASOS is a wildly affordable way to snag some dope-looking articles made for taking on the streets. That being said, this handsome, camo denim jacket is the perfect way to step up your streetwear style as the weather gets a little colder. This jacket takes the camo look we know and love so well and merges it with the grey we see so frequently in our city streets. It’s a perfect way to blend in while standing out right now. Throw on a pair of ripped black jeans and your favorite black ribbed beanie and you have yourself a look.
4. Levi’s Type 3 Sherpa-Lined Denim Trucker Jacket
BEST FOR WINTER
Bring that classic Levi’s look into wintertime with this sherpa-lined denim trucker that will keep your neck cozy and warm all season long. Because, who needs a scarf? This jacket is built to look rugged yet has a durable quality you’d normally get from jackets at a much higher price point. Throw on your favorite colored beanie, a striped tee and a black pair of jeans for any casual day as the weather gets chillier.
5. Victorious Distressed Denim Jacket
The distressed look has been in style since the grunge aesthetic in the 90s, and at this point, it’s seemingly going nowhere. This distressed denim jacket from Victorious is a 100% cotton, button-closure jacket that will make you look stylish on the streets no matter the season. Serve that edgy, raw look with your favorite college crewneck sweatshirt and a pair of jogger sweatpants to look effortlessly in style 24/7. Throw on your Bluetooth over-ear headphones and pop in your favorite tunes to give off that “I don’t really care” look as you step down your city’s streets.
6. Charles Jeffrey Loverboy Multicolor Denim Shrooms Art Jacket
THE CRAZIEST DENIM JACKET
It’s fair to say this isn’t your typical denim jacket. But if you need a little bit of psychedelic-inspired color in your life (and really, we all do right now) sport this shroom covered coat and step into the autumn weather in style. This jacket is visually as loud as it gets and is a vibey way to influence some color into the otherwise mute fall style. It’s quite the pricy jacket (coming in at almost $500) but it’s worth every penny.
Style this with a bandanna, matching pants and a rockin’ pair of pointed toe suede boots.
7. Urban Outfitters Denim Harrington Jacket
When it comes to the best denim jackets for men, they’re almost always button-ups. Spice it up and rid the classic button-up look for a denim jacket with a shockingly provocative zippered aesthetic instead. This lightweight jacket definitely shouldn’t be your sole jacket this winter because it isn’t the warmest, but it is nice to have for transitional seasons when it’s not cold, but not hot either. This fall, pair this jacket with a flannel shirt and a pair of blue jeans to give an ultramodern look to the classic Canadian tuxedo.
8. Wrangler Retro Unlined Stretch Denim Jacket
THE NEW VINTAGE
Sometimes, when brands dig to the very bottom of their creative design bags, they pull out the roots. That’s what Wrangler did when developing their Retro series, a modernized line of classics inspired by the brand’s western origin. This classic denim jacket features the original Wrangler rope logo buttons as well as the “W” stitching on the chest pockets. The slant hand pockets also add a touch of class in a world of vertical openings. Modern details include Wrangler’s stretch recovery, which allows the jacket to hold its shape throughout the day. When it comes to the best denim jackets for men, Wrangler is second only to Levi’s in terms of staying power.
I’d be remiss to recommend wearing this jacket with anything other than a good pair of brown leather boots, like these ones. In days gone by, you could only find Wrangler denim jackets like this at vintage stores, so shop this look while you still can.
9. Ksubi Oh G T-Box Logo Bleached Oversize Denim Trucker Jacket
BEST BLEACHED LOOK
While bleached denim is definitely more of a summer look, we couldn’t leave this baby out — it’s just way too stylish. This Australian, oversized denim trucker is sized larger for a looser fit and is clad with a couple of unique bleached T-box logo designs you can’t find on any other jacket. It screams rebellion and will look great with any politically-charged or band tee, your favorite face mask and your go-to accessories.
10. Norse Projects Tyge Denim Button-Up Shirt
BEST DARK WASH
Light denim should be worn in the day while dark denim is best suited for the evening. You can quote me on that. For any night time denim adventures, you’re going to want a really nice, go-to dark denim jacket. Norse Projects made this incredible three-pocket work jacket in Italy with fine indigo denim materials. The company’s production process focuses on leaving little to no environmental impact when finishing the jacket’s hardware. A good dark wash leaves its mark for the first few months of wear, so be wary about light-colored fabrics around it. After that, the patina it acquires from your body is just incredible.
Wear this jacket with raw black denim and a rugged pair of brown boots or dress it up with a pair of skinny black trousers, awhite henley and a pair of clean black dress shoes.
11. J Brand Noah Trucker Jacket
BEST COLORED DENIM
J Brand denim products have just gotten better over the years in terms of fabrication, color and fit. This colored denim jacket is a unique shade of green and boasts the same quality and comfort as the brand’s jeans. A less adventurous man might think that this jacket won’t look good on him. In truth, this kind of stonewash green is a versatile neutral color and looks great with both light and dark jeans as well as any colored chino you can imagine. This jacket also offers a way to introduce some color into a dreary closet without looking too loud.