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Style Remix: The Denim Jacket

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Denim jacket street style
Photos via ELLE

This time on Style Remix, we’re featuring the denim jacket. It’s been a classic for years, and works well for both warm and cool weather, making it a stylish and versatile piece to own. If you don’t already have this wardrobe staple, here’s what to look for when buying one:

  1. Make sure it buttons comfortably, even if you never intend to button it all the way up. It’s a good way of measuring whether or not it’s the right size for layering with thin sweaters, blouses, and other structured tops.
  2. Look for a jacket that has a good fit over the shoulders. The seam over the top of the shoulder joint should lie flat with the arm (see the jacket examples in outfit sets below), and it should never be more than a half-inch inward toward the neck.
  3. If you want to get the most wear possible out of your jacket, look for one in the wash that works best for you. A dark jacket minimizes volume on top, and a lighter jacket will draw attention to the area, adding a little more volume. Most jackets have some faded areas, but the more subtle they are, the more uses you can get out of your jacket.

Now, with Style Remix, we’re all about showing you new and inventive ways to wear things so that you get the most use out of the clothes you already own. But, the denim jacket is the multi-tool of a wardrobe – it can already be worn so many obvious ways! So, today, we’re showing you how to break the rules and create new DOs out of old DON’Ts. Isn’t that what fashion is all about?

1. The Old Don’t: “Denim jackets are too heavy and masculine to wear with lightweight dresses.”

Denim jacket, strapless dress, caged sandals, sunhat
Product Details: Jacket, Dress, Hat, Earrings, Watch, Sandals

The New Do: Mix and match away!

Not only are most new denim jackets made out of lighter material, the whole mixing masculine and feminine pieces thing is so in right now. To keep the trend feeling fresh, mix girly items with menswear-inspired ones.

Here, we’ve paired a strapless dress featuring an ultra-feminine sweetheart neckline with rougher textured accessories like the denim jacket, a braided watch, straw fedora, and lace-up sandals. To balance the look, we added delicate earrings, and voila!, a chic, slightly androgynous summer outfit.

2. The Old Don’t: “Denim jackets are too casual to wear with more formal pieces.”

Denim jacket, lbd, wedge ankle boots
Product Details: Jacket, Dress, Bow, Necklace, Bracelet, Booties

The New Do: Denim over a monochrome ensemble is great for summer evenings!

Here, we chose an all-black look with gold accents, though all-white is great for summer, too. It’s an effortless way to go from a casual dinner to a night out on the town. Wear your hair in a high bun with a ladylike bow, and keep your makeup fresh and simple.

The great thing about this look is that it can be done with almost any silhouette: if dresses and skirts aren’t your thing, try it with a flowy top and shorts, or even skinny jeans. However, in this particular look, it isn’t about the silhouette, but rather the monochrome trend.

3. The Old Don’t: “Denim jackets shouldn’t be worn with jeans. It’s a denim overload!”

Denim jacket, colored skinnies, sandals
Product Details: Jacket, Blouse, Sandals, Necklace, Earrings, Pants

The New Do: Wear as much denim as you want!

While head-to-toe denim of the same wash is probably an overload (anyone else remember those Destiny’s Child outfits?), there’s no reason to avoid contrasting washes or colors. Make sure that you choose very distinctly different tones, though!

Here, we’ve paired bright, mint-colored jeans with a dark-wash jacket, and added accessories with bright colors and clean lines. The neutral white blouse and tan wedges keep things grounded, but those pops of color on the heel of the wedge and the earrings add a little something extra.

What do you think?

Denim jackets are a staple in many college wardrobes. Would you wear these outfits? How do you re-work your denim jacket? And, as always, if you have any amazing ideas for Style Remix, post in the comments below!

Posted on on May 31, 2013 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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12 Responses to “Style Remix: The Denim Jacket”

  1. 1
    May 31st, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Aargh, that last “don’t” has dissuaded me from buying a denim jacket more times than I can tell! :) But your outfits are all super cute, so maybe I should just suck it up and take the plunge into this hardy wardrobe staple?

  2. 2
    May 31st, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    I absolutely love denim jackets! I just bought a light wash one from H&M and I wear it multiple times a week. It took me a while to come around to them because I could never find one that fit properly. They look lovely with different colored denim and trousers, but I especially love pairing them with dresses of all styles and lengths.

  3. 3
    May 31st, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Yet another excellent post! Love this!

    And Savannah, we all know that the 90’s are coming back in a big way – I say try the double-denim look. (Especially since our beloved leather jackets are too heavy in this weather.)

  4. 4
    May 31st, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Thanks so much for the great post! We’ve already bought a denim vest but still need a good denim jacket as well.

    Best, x

  5. 5
    May 31st, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Spot on post! I love the new do’s, since buying my denim jacket a last year I think I have worn it each way!
    It’s without a doubt the most worn and most versatile piece of clothing I own!

  6. 6
    June 1st, 2013 at 12:54 am

    I just love denim with colored denim and with light summer dresses. I never even knew wearing them with summer dresses was considered a don’t–it always seemed like the most logical way to wear a jean jacket.

  7. 7
    June 1st, 2013 at 10:18 am

    I wear my denim jacket a l l t h e t i m e. I got it from H&M two years ago and it is the most worn item in my closet. H&M is the place to go for denim! :) great post! I hadn’t thought about wearing it with formal pieces, so I will definately be giving it a try! Nice post! I’d love to see more posts about adrogonous and menswear outfits!

  8. 8
    June 1st, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Those mint green jeans are actually a really good bargain $30!

  9. 9
    June 14th, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Love this! I was always unsure as to whether or not I should buy a denim jacket because I always felt it wasn’t versatile enough, but now I am reconsidering this decision since I see it’s actually way more versatile than I thought! Could you maybe do a similar post about leather jackets someday? I have this old beat up leather jacket that I absolutely love but I’m at a loss for more ways to wear it, other than with my t-shirts/blouses and jeans.

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