A Barbarian’s Guide on Denim Jackets

Greetings Barbarians! Long days and pleasant nights!

The patrons have decided and I will deliver! What is not to love about the stylish denim jacket? I love denim jackets. It’s a much better option than a leather jacket when you live here in the sunny Philippines. It’s a staple in any stylish person’s wardrobe. From James Dean to Kanye West, it has come a long way from humble work apparel to a global icon. It has a rebellious, non-conforming appeal that is popular with people from all walks of life. 

I love denim, may it be shirts, jeans, or jacket. My love affair with denim goes way back to my childhood. As a kid, denim was my first jacket and owned quite a few now that I’m an adult. My fondness to the denim jacket never seemed to fade. 

The denim jacket came a long way from its first start in the 1880s by Levi Straus. The denim jacket is designed as apparel for cowboys, miners, and railroad workers. Also known as the trucker jacket, it has features like tapered sides, welt hand pockets, and bar tacks.

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So, How to wear a denim jacket? Much like everything else in your wardrobe, you must nail the fit. First, you’ve got to realize that the denim jacket is a “short” jacket; it must not be too baggy or too tight. The bottom hem must not pass below the beltline yet, it mustn’t be short either or it looked cropped. The end sleeves shouldn’t extend past the creases of the thumb yet shouldn’t be shorter than the bend of the wrist. You can button it up without tightness on the chest and you should be able to cross and swing your arms with ease. 

These days, denim jackets are available in a variety of colors. The more versatile and classic is blue. The dark washed denim is dressier while light washed denim is more casual. I have both but I’m leaning towards my light washed denim jacket. 

Keep in mind that the denim jacket might be versatile but it is still a casual jacket. You may match a dress shirt and a tie with a denim jacket but the contrast might be too jarring to look okay. 

Another thing to keep in mind is the dreaded double denim or denim on denim. Double denim is considered by many as a fashion faux pas. It’s when you wear a matching denim outfit, may it be a denim jacket or shirt with denim jeans. I avoid wearing double denim myself even if it doesn’t match. It’s too hot and heavy for a tropical climate like the Philippines. Another thing, avoid wearing shorts then a jacket; and I mean any kind of jacket. It doesn’t make sense, is it too hot that you wear shorts or too chilly that you wear a jacket. With that said, denim jackets are okay on joggers but the best option would be chino/khakis and corduroys.

As far as shoes go, avoid formal shoes like oxfords. Loafers or mocassins are okay, and the best are sneakers in canvas or leather and boots. 

Now for the tops, as I said too much contrast formality is too jarring. So, avoid wearing dress shirts with denim jackets as well as workout shirts and chambray. Sweaters, polos, casual shirts are okay. But the best choices are plain t-shirts, henley’s, hoodies, and plaid or flannel shirts. 

There are countless options on how to wear a denim jacket. My favorite outfit is a pair of loafers, a navy blue chino pants, a white henley, and a light-washed denim jacket. Feel free to mix and match a denim jacket with the clothes you have. Experiment on various looks and styles. Another thing you could do is to avoid pairing from an archetype. For example, if you are wearing a denim jacket with a flannel shirt, try to match it with white leather sneakers. This gives you a fresher look and not looking like you are wearing a costume. 

Denim jackets are great; it is stylish as well as timeless. It is a great addition to any stylish man’s wardrobe and if you still don’t have it yet then go ahead and get one. Levi’s may still be the gold standard for denim but there are other great brands out there. 

It doesn’t matter if you are a man who rocks his socks off or a man working his ass off, there is a denim jacket for everyone. Denim Jackets are here to stay. 

To Courage and Freedom, and Denim Jackets!

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7 thoughts on “A Barbarian’s Guide on Denim Jackets

Add yours

  1. I like a man in a denim jacket too. So handsome and a little on the rough side, which I like. He is making a statement that I don’t mind getting my hands and jacket dirty if need be.
    Love the post Mr. A., I had no idea that this would be so interesting. Sending you lots of love ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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