Wardrobe 101

Denim Jacket Style (Part 1)

Find the Best Shape for YOUR Shape!

Happy day, reader dear!

In our corner of the world, spring is in full swing. When I was a girl, spring meant windbreakers. Does anyone else remember those flannel lined nylon jackets (usually hooded) that zipped up the front? As we got into junior high, the windbreaker lost out to its cooler big brother, the jean jacket. (Best when handed down from an actual cool big brother!) I’ve been a jean jacket girl ever since. When I taught in the classroom, I wore a denim jacket almost every day, and not only in the classroom but beyond. One Sunday, our parish priest gave me grief; he joked that he didn’t recognize me without my denim jacket. Yes, I even wrote it an ode…

Over the past year or two I fell out of love… Maybe we were too close for too long? We’d started taking each other for granted. So I put mine away. I broke it out every once and a while. Maybe we were going on a picnic, or doing something outdoorsy, but for everyday, JJ was no longer my bestie. It was a different season; I was wearing jeans more frequently, and needed a little more polish for the jacket. So when Michele asked in a post comment about some ideas for styling a jean jacket, I was flabbergasted. Not that I didn’t have ideas, but that I hadn’t already done so. How could I have missed it?

The Basics

But let’s start at the beginning… When most people think of a jean jacket, they imagine the classic Trucker. It IS fabulous, but it may not be the best choice for your body shape. Who might want to avoid the trucker? Women with unwaisted shapes and women with a large bust will look better in another single breasted style.

There’s a jacket for every shape!

Choose YOUR Denim

My favorite is a faded blue (but not bleached) denim, but that’s because my coloring is cool and light. When choosing a jean jacket for a client, I look at her Value Contrast and Undertone. If she’s dark, I’ll look for a darker jacket, like black, dark brown, or dark olive. If she’s very light, I’ll look for white, tan, or pale grey. You can branch out beyond neutrals, too! Why not consider colors like red, pink, orange, purple, yellow and green? They don’t have quite the same vibe as their denim blue brother, but their casual cool blends well with your blue jeans and avoids the double denim trap that makes many people squirm. NOTE: I’m the geek who will refuse a jacket because I don’t like the buttons. I default to the ones that blend best with the jacket and the wearer’s undertone.

Make it Yours!

Denim shows up on the fashion runways every year in different guises, but wearing your jean jacket shouldn’t be a precious style moment. Style books always talk about wearing a trench “with anything,” and I think that’s a great way to think about your jean jacket! Even so, start by rolling up your sleeves. You want it to feel relaxed and rough and tumble. Pop the collar if that makes you happy! I do. It frames the face nicely, but if you have a shorter neck, that may be uncomfortable. (And not your best look!) If that’s the case, open that collar wide. And don’t forget it’s a jacket; have (a LOT of) fun accessorizing it!

Brooches, embroidery, paint, you name it! Customize your jacket to suit your personality…
(Don’t forget safety pins and chains!)

So there are a few things to think about when adding a denim jacket to your wardrobe. OR evaluating which one you should keep or toss when doing a Wardrobe Audit! How about you? Denim jackets… LOVE or LEAVE? Do you own a denim jacket? Do you wear it, or does your closet? If you don’t wear it, do you think the reason is a personality issue, or a shape issue? Do let me know in the comments below. I LOVE to hear from you! (Even more than I love my denim jacket…) 😉

Stay safe and sound, sane and stylish!

PS: If you are looking for styling tips, here’s the second part of Denim Jacket Style!


  • Lise

    Hi Liz, I love my denim jackets. I currently have three. Two blue and a white. The white and the lighter blue color, which has a shorter crop and a few studs and a zip are both for mid-summer as they are light weight. Then I have a mid-blue which is a bit more stretchy and a heavier weight for spring and autumn. They go with everything! I would never be without one in my wardrobe. However I never wear the same color washes if wearing double denim. Lise

    • closetplayadmin

      Thanks for visiting, Lise! And thank you for the inspiration for the posts… You’re not alone in not wanting to do blue on blue, or white on white when wearing double denim! There are many who feel the same way. I don’t mind as long as the blues or whites differ.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.