15 Denim Jacket Outfits for Spring + What I Look for in Denim Jackets

15 Denim Jacket Outfit Ideas for Spring

15 Denim Jacket Outfit Ideas for Spring

When I did the Spring Style Profiles a while back, a denim jacket made it into three of them!  A denim jacket is a closet staple in the spring for me in my casual outfits, dressy casual outfits, and athleisure style.  It’s sooo versatile.  Like, when you think of how versatile a pair of blue jeans is it makes sense.  A denim jacket is the equivalent of blue jeans but for your top half!

You can pair denim jackets with casual tops, nicer tops, skirts, any colored bottoms, and dresses.  Its versatility, plus the wonderful structure it provides, makes it my go-to completer piece when I need a layer in the spring.

I get asked fairly often if they’re out of style because people remember them from the early 90s.  The answer is definitely NOT!  I think denim jackets are considered a classic and aren’t going away anytime soon.  Now, the wash and style of the jacket might change if your jacket from way back when might look outdated, so I tend to look for classic cuts and washes that will never go out of style.

WHAT I LOOK FOR IN DENIM JACKETS

As with any item of clothing, not all denim jackets are the same.  Not only do they come in a variety of washes, but some cuts are more fitted versus boxier, some jackets are stiffer while others are stretchier–the latter making it easier to wear them all day.  If you’re searching for a denim jacket, here are some things to keep in mind:

WASH

You can get denim jackets in tons of colors, but for the purposes of this post we’ll stick to regular blue ones.  There are darker, medium, and lighter washes.  Decide where on the spectrum of dark to light you want your jacket to be.  I started out with a medium wash jacket that I felt was pretty versatile.  Over time I kept seeing light washed jackets and LOVING how they lightened and freshened up outfits.

I’d recommend pinning denim jacket outfits on Pinterest to see if you prefer one wash over another. If not, I think a medium wash denim jacket is a great starting place!

STRETCH

Did you know that denim jackets can be stretchy and decently comfy? Yes!! Just like how regular blue jeans don’t need to be stiff and uncomfortable and can actually be stretchy and comfy, denim jackets likewise don’t need to be stiff and uncomfortable and can actually be stretchy and comfy.

Down at the very bottom of this post I show 12 denim jacket options.  I read through some of the reviews and found some that *should be* stretchy at various price points, from under $30 to $79 (which is expensive but has a long standing reputation for being an awesome denim jacket).  Scroll down to check them out!

CAN YOU WEAR IT ALL DAY?

One thing I hear a lot of women ask regarding denim jackets (and utility jackets, for that matter) is if you actually wear the jacket all day even while indoors, or if you take it off?  For both denim jackets and utility jackets, I do wear it all day indoors *if* I need that extra layer.  I treat them like I do blazers and cardigans.  What I’ve gathered from women is that this seems a little strange in other parts of the country (?) but where I live and for many other women around the country, it doesn’t seem weird at all and we don’t even think twice about it.

On a practical level, I make sure of two things:

1) That my outfits work with AND without the jacket, which is what makes accessorizing important.  The accessories keep the look pulled together even when you take off the completer piece denim jacket. 

2) That my jacket is comfortable enough to be worn indoors and moving around a bit.  That is why what we talked about stretch in the previous section is important!  I don’t keep jackets that I can’t wear comfortably indoors or for long periods of time and will look for other options instead.

FIT: FITTED JACKETS VS. BOXIER CUTS

While there’s not necessarily anything wrong with a boxy fit, I prefer my denim jackets to be more fitted and not boxy.  I’ve heard this from a lot of other women as well, so let’s talk through things to look out for to find a more fitted jacket.

Fit – Open Column in the Middle.  This is pretty particular, but since I never button up my jackets (namely denim and moto jackets—once in a while I’ll close my utility jacket), I make sure there is a nice open column in the middle.  I prefer that fit as it shows off the top underneath better, but I also find it more flattering as it requires a less boxy jacket and opens you up more in general.

Fit – Fitted Sleeves. I look for jackets that have fitted sleeves. Sometimes the sleeves are too wide, which makes the jacket look a little bit sloppier, boxier, and less flattering for a lot of women. This tends to be more of an issue with utility jackets, but it happens with denim jackets too.

Fit – Length.  I typically look for shorter denim jackets, like ones that hit mid-hip or maybe even shorter.  I find that helps the jacket look more fitted as well as better defines my waistline when wearing dresses and skirts.


 

DENIM JACKET OUTFITS

Here are 15 ways I’ve worn my light wash denim jacket!  You can wear them over dressy casual tops, with skirt and dresses to dress them down a bit, and with casual and athleisure looks.  Like I said, it’s a super versatile piece!

Jean Jacket + Olive top + White Jeans + Nude Flats White Jeans + Jean Jacket + Floral Scarf + Green tunic

Shop for the Look:
Top: Nordstrom (similar in Urban Olive)
Jacket: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Jeans: Old Navy Maternity (exact–wearing size 6; exact non-maternity–I wear size 6; similar non-maternity–I wear size 6)
Shoes: Nordstrom (exact, exact)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)
Earrings: c/o Nickel & Suede (exact–wearing size M)

 

Blush Bag + White Jeans + Taupe Booties + Gingham Shirt + Jacket Gingham Shirt + Jean jacket + Taupe Booties + White Jeans + Blush Bag

Shop for the Look:
Top: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Jacket: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Jeans: LOFT (similar)
Booties: Lucky Brand via Nordstrom (exact, similar)
Watch: c/o JORD (exact)
Earrings: c/o Nickel & Suede (exact–wearing size M)
Bag: c/o Sole Society (similarsimilar)

 

Printed Dress + Jean Jacket + White Slip Ons + Statement Necklace Printed Dress + Jean Jacket + Statement Necklace + White Slip ons

Shop for the Look:
Dress: Old Navy Maternity (short sleeve in other prints; non-maternity in other prints)
Jacket: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Shoes: Zappos (similar, similar)
Bag: Nordstrom (similar)
Necklace: Nordstrom (similar)
Earrings: c/o Nickel & Suede (exact–size M)

Floral Midi Dress + Cognac Heels + ToteJean Jacket + Floral Dress + Cognac Tote

Shop for the Look:
Dress: c/o ModCloth (exact–size M; similarsimilar)
Jacket: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)
Shoes: Old Navy (similarsimilar cheaper wedges)
Earrings: c/o Nickel & Suede (exact–wearing size M)

 

Denim Jacket + Green Twist tee + White Jeans + Sneakers + Tote White Jeans + Denim Jacket + Green Twist Tee + ToteGreen Twist Tee + Tote + Sneakers + White Jeans+ Denim Jacket Green Twist Tee + Tote + White Jeans + White Sneakers + Denim Jacket

Shop for the Look:
Top: Nordstrom (exact–wearing size S)
Jacket: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Jeans: Old Navy Maternity (exact–wearing size 6; exact non-maternity–I wear size 6; similar non-maternity–I wear size 6)
Sneakers: Kohl’s (exact)

Bag: Nordstrom (exact)
Earrings: c/o Nickel & Suede (exact–size M)

 

Graphic Tee + Leggings + White Sneakers + White Bag + Denim Jacket Graphic Tee + White Sneakers + Leggings + White Bag Leggings + White Bag + Statement Earrings + Graphic Tee

Shop for the Look:
Top: Nordstrom (similar, similar)
Jacket: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Leggings: (my favorite non-maternity pair–I wear size M)
Bag: Nordstrom (similar)
Sneakers: Kohl’s (exact)
Earrings: c/o Nickel & Suede (exact–size M)

 

Business Casual: Tan Skirt + Denim Jacket + White Blouse Tan Skirt + White Blouse + Denim Jacket + Cognac Purse Denim Jacket + Tan Skirt + Blush Heels

Shop for the Look:
Top: Nordstrom (exact–wearing size M)
Jacket: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Skirt: Nordstrom (similar)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)
Shoes: Nine West via Amazon (similar)

 

Green Sweater + Statement Necklace + Jean Jacket + White Jeans + Sandals Denim Jacket + White Jeans + Slides + Statement Necklace + Green SweaterGreen Sweater + White Jeans + Peach Sandals + Jean Jacket

Shop for the Look:
Sweater: c/o ModCloth (exact–wearing L)
Jacket: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Jeans: Old Navy Maternity (exact–wearing size 6; exact non-maternity–I wear size 6; similar non-maternity–I wear size 6)
Shoes: c/o ModCloth (exact–wearing size 9)
Necklace: H&M (similar)

 

Jean jacket + olive jeans + white sneakers + lace top + blush purseLace Tee + Jean Jacket + Olive Jeans + White Sneakers

Shop for the Look:
Top: J.Crew Factory (updated version)
Jacket: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Jeans: Old Navy (updated version-I wear size 4)
Shoes: Zappos (similar, similar)
Necklace: c/o Dear Mushka (exact)
Bag: c/o Sole Society (similarsimilar)

 

Yellow Floral Dress + Jean Jacket + Cognac Bag

Shop for the Look:
Dress: Nordstrom (similar; similar cheaper, similar)
Strapless Bra: Nordstrom (exact)

Jacket: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Sandals: (updated version–sooo comfy)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)
Earrings: c/o Nickel & Suede (exact–wearing size M)

 

White Floral Maxi + Denim Jacket + Hat

Shop for the Look:
Dress: Nordstrom (similarsimilar–more casual, similar)
Strapless Bra: Nordstrom (exact)
Jacket: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)
Necklace: c/o Dear Mushka (exact)

 

Denim Jacket + Printed Dress + Booties + Cognac TotePrinted Dress + Denim Jacket + Cognac Tote

Shop for the Look:
Dress: Old Navy (similarsimilar)
Jacket: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Boots: c/o Sole Society (similar)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)

 

Grey Tee + White Jeans + Blush Lace Ups + Cognac Bag

Shop for the Look:
Tee: Nordstrom (exact–I wear size S)
Jacket: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Jeans: LOFT  exact–I wear size 6) similar–I wear size 6;
Shoes: Amazon (exact)(similar)

Bag: Nordstrom (exact)
Necklace: c/o Dear Mushka (exact)

 

Coral Jeans + Denim Jacket + Leather Backpack

Shop for the Look:
Tee: Everlane (exact–size M)
Jacket: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Pants: (similar
Shoes: Nordstrom (exact, also exact)

 

Striped Dress + Denim Jacket + Brown Leather Bag + Belt

Shop for the Look:
Dress: H&M (similarsimilarsimilar, similar
Jacket: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Shoes: Target (exact)

 


 

DENIM JACKET OPTIONS

Here are a ton of denim jackets that range in price from $29-$79.  I sifted through reviews to see which ones were probably stretchy and labeled them accordingly by affordability and stretchiness.

Denim Jackets for Spring SHOP THE JACKETS:
one  |  two  |  three  |  four
five  |  six  |  seven  |  eight
nine  |  ten  |  eleven  |  twelve

If you don’t have a denim jacket yet, I hope I’ve convinced you to GET ONE!!!



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