It’s now well established among menswear circles that the denim jacket is a bona fide wardrobe staple. Considered a firm favourite among both FashionBeans staff and readers, the qualities carried by the denim jacket are verging on the innumerable: hard wearing, masculine, a seamless fit into almost any look and incredibly versatile. With the current crossover to warmer climes, it’s the latter trait that is the major focus of today’s article.

As Britain continues to make the awkward transition from winter to spring (although the current cold snap would have you thinking otherwise), style-conscious men can find dressing appropriately a bit of a predicament.

Impromptu changes in temperature and climate can leave you looking (and feeling) somewhat of a fool. When rays unexpectedly turn to rain, within an instant your meticulously planned sockless loafer and shorts combination is left looking extremely out of place and incredibly ill-considered.

A Transitional Essential: The Denim Jacket

Among the fixes available, the denim jacket is often considered king. The piece can easily be layered up to combat the cold or left open and loose to sit as a comfortable top layer in a spring ensemble.

The denim jacket is not only seasonally versatile but also oozes effortless style – merits that have already been documented in our pocket guide to transitional jackets. A well-fitting version looks just as on point alongside a t-shirt and shorts as it does in place of a blazer in the company of a button-down shirt and textured tie.

However, as versatile as the denim jacket may be, it still requires careful consideration when putting together seasonally appropriate looks (even if it isn’t meant to appear so). So let’s breakdown how we can utilise this versatile piece in a variety of scenarios…

Lookbook Inspiration: The Denim Jacket
Cold Weather Lookbook

Men's Cold Weather Denim Jacket Lookbook

river island aw12apc pre spring 2013brunello cucinelli ss13allsaints ss13allsaints ss13topman 2011espionage aw12espionage aw12ami aw13
Warm Weather Lookbook

Men's Warm Weather Denim Jacket Lookbook

matalan ss13topman ss13debenhams ss13sandro ss13river island ss13river island ss13pull & bear heritage ss13he by mango ss13allsaints ss13
Outfit Inspiration
Look One: Beating The Cold Snap

Layer a denim jacket under a lightweight hooded parka and over a roll neck sweater to remove the chill from an unseasonal cold spell. The varying tiers of texture will add both depth and visual interest to your layering without necessitating the use of bold colours or prints.

Anchor the top half with simple, heavier weight trousers, neutral boot socks and workwear-inspired leather boots for an altogether masculine aesthetic:

  • Oliver Spencer Ribbed Rollneck SweaterOliver Spencer Ribbed Rollneck Sweater
  • Allsaints Fremont Denim JacketAllsaints Fremont Denim Jacket
  • Topman Mustard Lightweight ParkaTopman Mustard Lightweight Parka
  • Reiss Tullum Textured Heavy Canvas Trouser MidnightReiss Tullum Textured Heavy Canvas Trouser Midnight
  • Pringle 2 Pack Boot SocksPringle 2 Pack Boot Socks
  • Vans Vault X Taka Hayashi Sierra Dune Lx BootsVans Vault X Taka Hayashi Sierra Dune Lx Boots
Look Two: Smart-Casual Layers

Integrate denim into your smart-casual style by layering a jacket underneath your blazer. A bold – but not bright – unstructured blazer is perfect for slipping on over well-fitted denim.

A shirt and knitted tie underneath reinforces the refined aesthetic whilst the textured knot works alongside the denim effortlessly. Clean-cut chinos and loafers finish off the look perfectly.

If the weather is a bit warm for the two layers, ditch the blazer and substitute with the denim jacket for a rugged twist on an otherwise smart, preppy outfit:

  • Topman Heather Blue Smart ShirtTopman Heather Blue Smart Shirt
  • Asos Denim JacketAsos Denim Jacket
  • Boglioli Slim-fit Unstructured Cotton And Linen-blend BlazerBoglioli Slim-fit Unstructured Cotton And Linen-blend Blazer
  • Reiss Cutler Silk Knitted Tie NavyReiss Cutler Silk Knitted Tie Navy
  • Brooks Brothers University Chino Trousers 146400Brooks Brothers University Chino Trousers 146400
  • H By Hudson Tyskatu Brown Tassel LoafersH By Hudson Tyskatu Brown Tassel Loafers
Look Three: Well Done Double Denim

Do double denim the right way by making use of contrasting shades. Follow the menswear adage by going dark for the jeans and lighter for the top half. Keep everything well fitted and simple for a superb off-duty look that will deflect the stigma attached to the 1990s inspired style.

A grey tee with in vogue camo detailing keeps the look current and casual. In terms of footwear, opt for a similar minimalistic approach. Spring/summer appropriate sneakers in a dark colour will complement the look well whilst maintaining the carefree aesthetic:

  • Burton Grey Camo Printed Pocket T-shirtBurton Grey Camo Printed Pocket T-shirt
  • Allsaints Kita Denim JacketAllsaints Kita Denim Jacket
  • Nudie Jeans Organic Black Long John JeansNudie Jeans Organic Black Long John Jeans
  • Common Projects Rec SneakersCommon Projects Rec Sneakers
Look Four: Transitional Period

When the weather sits on the fence of both seasons, reach for your trusty denim to battle the indeterminate climate. Pair the jacket with chunky knitwear (a great opportunity to exercise some use of colour), neutral chinos and leather desert boots to form the basis of a look that is ready to battle both the subtleties of spring and hard wearing nature of winter.

Accessorise the look to perfection with a pocket square in the jacket and a simple beanie:

  • Reiss Juke Mutli Yarn Crew Neck Jumper RoseReiss Juke Mutli Yarn Crew Neck Jumper Rose
  • Burton Light Wash Denim JacketBurton Light Wash Denim Jacket
  • Richard James Polka Dot Cotton Pocket SquareRichard James Polka Dot Cotton Pocket Square
  • Allsaints Pipe ChinoAllsaints Pipe Chino
  • Asos Tiny BeanieAsos Tiny Beanie
  • Topman Ben Sherman Ezra Desert BootsTopman Ben Sherman Ezra Desert Boots
Look Five: Simple Summer Style

Despite its rugged material, denim jackets work with equal success when the sun is shining. Elect for a coloured option to make a real statement.

Underneath, utilise a striped t-shirt for a subtle yet on trend twist; a Breton stripe is a timeless choice. Polish off with lightweight shorts and white sneakers – something every man should have in their wardrobe.

  • Topman Burgundy And Navy Breton Stripe T-shirtTopman Burgundy And Navy Breton Stripe T-shirt
  • A.p.c. Slim-fit Washed-denim JacketA.p.c. Slim-fit Washed-denim Jacket
  • Richard Nicoll Mens Blue Cotton Canvas ShortsRichard Nicoll Mens Blue Cotton Canvas Shorts
  • Allsaints Rule Low-topAllsaints Rule Low-top
Current Denim Jackets

Here are a selection of our favourite denim jackets currently on the market at a variety of price points, from Boohoo and Topman to Acne and Dolce & Gabbana:

  • He By Mango Washed Denim JacketHe By Mango Washed Denim Jacket
  • Allsaints Ecru Denim JacketAllsaints Ecru Denim Jacket
  • Washed Denim JacketWashed Denim Jacket
  • Allsaints Kinman Denim JacketAllsaints Kinman Denim Jacket
  • 1969 Heritage Denim Jacket1969 Heritage Denim Jacket
  • Topman Mid Wash Denim Western JacketTopman Mid Wash Denim Western Jacket
  • Allsaints Keswick Denim JacketAllsaints Keswick Denim Jacket
  • Topman Acid Wash Blue Denim Western JacketetTopman Acid Wash Blue Denim Western Jacketet
  • Lee Smart & Slick Navy Rider JacketLee Smart & Slick Navy Rider Jacket
  • Indigo Denim JacketIndigo Denim Jacket
  • Dolce & Gabbana Denim Jacket 146388Dolce & Gabbana Denim Jacket 146388
  • Neighborhood Stockman Washed Denim JacketNeighborhood Stockman Washed Denim Jacket
  • Acne Jam Over-dyed Denim Jacket 146490Acne Jam Over-dyed Denim Jacket 146490
  • Solid Denim JacketSolid Denim Jacket
  • A.p.c. Slim-fit Washed-denim JacketA.p.c. Slim-fit Washed-denim Jacket
Final Word

The denim jacket seems to further cement its place within the modern man’s wardrobe with every passing season. Hard wearing, effortless and masculine, its versatile nature allows it to seamlessly integrate within a variety of looks – whether utilised creatively for layering purposes or as traditional outerwear.

So, we want to know:

  • Is the denim jacket the perfect transitional piece?
  • Have you made use of the denim jacket during this current transitional period?
  • Do you rely on your denim jacket to see you through every season?
  • How do you style yours? Do you prefer smart-casual? Or do you keep it casual?

Let us know in the comments section…