Best denim jackets for women - jean jackets that work year-round

30 best denim jackets: the coolest cover-ups to add to your closet this summer

best denim jackets on three models
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When it comes to trans-seasonal dressing, the best denim jackets are our greatest wardrobe go-to. An easy layering piece they offer a great cover-up with added style points.

The best denim jackets are a key piece in many a capsule wardrobe. Lighter than your winter coat or favorite leather jackets, they're a wardrobe essential for those in-between weather months. If you're wondering how to style denim jackets, or are struggling to see how to work them into the everyday. Think of a denim jacket as a sweater or cardigan. A light addition to a look that packs a stylish punch. Created by denim legend Levi Strauss back in 1880 (having also made the first pair of jeans ten years earlier), denim jackets were originally designed to be a durable piece of clothing worn by cowboys, miners, and railroad workers. Although denim jackets have evolved since then, they certainly haven’t shaken off their cool aesthetic.

The latest denim trends 2022 dictate a revival in '90s nostalgia and distressed styles of the '00s, placing denim jackets back on the fashion map. Alongside the best jeans for women, the fashion trends 2022 have even revived our favorite double-denim for another outing. Worn by a selection of style icons, including Meghan Markle, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Rihanna. A denim jacket is a hot-trend purchase that you can wear now and love forever.

“The best thing about denim jackets is that they actually get better with age,” says Joely Chilcott, former acting Fashion Editor at woman&home. “The worn-in look gives them that cool retro finish that’s looser and comfier to wear too. Although some denim jackets can feel stiff when you first buy them, the more you wear, the comfier they get.” 

The best denim jackets as chosen by our fashion team

If you’re in the market for the best denim jackets, we’ve done the hard work and rounded up our favorite styles you can snap up now and wear forever. If you think you'll wear your denim jacket for smarter occasions, over a super laid back look, then avoid distressed and ripped styles as these will always be more casual. If you want to enhance your silhouette, choose a denim jacket with added stretch, as this will give a more contoured and tailored fit.

1. Best blue denim jackets

blue denim jackets

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A wardrobe classic, a blue denim jacket will never go out of style. For a dressed-down look, opt for faded to mid-wash blues as these instantly give off a relaxed feel. Looking for something you can style up with your best dresses? Then go for a dark blue wash as these styles are usually smarter. A blue denim jacket will add a cool finish to pretty much any look. If you're looking to recreate Britney and Justin's double-denim look, and need to learn how to wear a denim shirt with jeans and a jacket, then look for coordinating denim pieces so that the shade is just right. 

2. Best black denim jackets

three women in black denim jackets

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Black denim jackets in many ways offer great versatility than their blue counterparts. A smarter and more discreet design, opt for a jet black denim jacket and some people won't even notice you're in the twill weave fabric. Black denim, like with anything black, pairs with pretty much anything and while faded washes or distressed iterations will be more casual in design, a fitted black denim jacket can make a nice change from your best blazers for a warm weather update. From pairing with black jeans to create a coord style look, or slipping a crop one over a dress, if you're worried about blue denim feeling to laidback, then begin your denim jacket journey with a dark wash design.

3. Best cropped denim jackets

three women in denim jackets

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A cropped denim jacket can span many different styles and doesn't have to mean an under bust skimming design. As denim jackets were originally created for miners and cowboys, essentially, in its truest silhouette, a denim jacket can be quite androgynous and for many too oversized. With the potential to drown petite figures and at the very least cover-up every curve, a cropped design can simply refer to a more waisted style and designs that offer great tailoring to the female form. While an almost bolero style jacket is great for wearing over a sleeveless maxi dress on a summer evening. Waist skimming styles, particularly with added stretch can be worn instead of a cotton cardigan on warmer days, as a neat, figure-loving layer.

4. Best plus size denim jackets

three women in denim jackets

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Traditionally, finding woven jackets for plus size women has been quite difficult, although denim jackets is one trend that has been embraced by all fashion categories. There isn't anything specific to look out for in plus size denim jackets that differs from main range, although if you carry your weight across your back or tops of your arms, you might want to look for a denim jacket with added stretch for a more comfortable fit. For more defined curves, opt for waisted fits, that nip your figure in and highlights your curves for the most flattering fit. 

5. Best white denim jackets

three women in white denim jackets

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The best white denim jackets offer an instant summer update to classic mid-blue versions. Similar to a white cardigan, these light and bright versions are ideal for teaming with your high summer wardrobe. An ideal piece to pack, they make for great evening cover-ups as even in the hottest of destinations, night time temperatures can significantly drop. So beat the breeze and keep your style in check too.

6. Best Levi’s denim jacket

three women in Levi's denim jackets

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You can't really discuss the best denim jackets without giving major props to the American clothing brand that created our favorite warm weather silhouette. Levi's may have started making workman clothes, but in 2022, its denim still remains at the forefront of fashion and denim innovation. Also offering plus size denim within its range, Levi's is the high-quality denim brand that caters across categories, delivering timeless classics, alongside forward-thinking styles. If you're looking to invest in one denim piece from Levi's, making it the brand's classic trucker jacket - the silhouette that will be around forever. 

7. Best denim coats

three women in denim coats

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There are several types of coats every woman should own, but have you ever considered a denim design? Largely in a classic trench coat silhouette, denim is a hardwearing fabric, part of the reason it is so popular for outerwear. While it is made from 100% cotton, giving it durability and breathability, the twill weave helps to add warmth and weight to the fabric, making it ideal for a coat. Depending on how tailored a silhouette you choose will determine how smart your coat is. But a dark blue denim trench can easily be worn for the office, offering a directional feel to your outerwear. 

How to style a denim jacket

best denim jackets street style

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Once you’ve added a denim jacket to your capsule wardrobe, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. From throwing over your favorite summer dresses to doubling up the look by teaming it with the best jeans, denim jackets are incredibly versatile. They also have that vintage aesthetic that gives your outfit an effortlessly cool edge.

“Cropped styles are great for the summer, especially in lighter washes including ecru and white for a fresher take. Finishing at the waist, they’re super flattering too,” adds Joely.

There are heaps of different styles and washes too. Whether you’re after an '80s-inspired acid wash or an oversized borrowed-from-the-boys look, you’re pretty spoilt for choice when it comes to hunting down your dream denim. If you’re after something smarter, look for darker washes in a more fitted cut for a more polished evening look.