Style Staples: The Denim Jacket

What are the items in your wardrobe that you can’t live without? What are the garments that are essential to the essence of YOU? What do you own in multiple silhouettes and colors? What are the icons that everyone looks fantastic in and everyone should own? In my Style Staples series, I hope to convince you that certain pieces are essential for every closet.

What is one of the most essential pieces for me? The Denim Jacket. I have rocked a denim jacket since I was young. I have given them as gifts. I’ve encouraged friends to add them to their wardrobe. I’ve worn them for work, for a night out, and an afternoon at the pumpkin patch. The Denim Jacket is versatile, durable, and adds a pop of style to any outfit. Though the washes and finishes have changed over time, a denim jacket is a timeless, American classic that should have a home in every closet.

As a former Gap employee, I got a real education in the beauty of denim. It’s a fabric that is deeply rooted in US history, created to make durable garments for laborers in the American West. Though denim was created for cowboys riding in the dirt and hardworking railroad workers, denim has become synonymous with chic style worldwide.

The first Denim Jacket was created in the early 1880’s by Levi Strauss. (You know… like Levi’s?) Since then, it has evolved from something that was purely functional to a piece that makes the wearer feel cool and a bit rebellious. Throughout its history, the Denim Jacket has been a symbol of individuality, a rebel spirit, and being plain badass. It is greaser… hippie… punk rock… country… and effortless chic… all rolled in to one garment.

I have several Denim Jackets in my closet. I like having a choice of washes and finishes to choose from when styling an outfit. My favorite way to wear a jacket is with a dress and knee high boots. The outfit is a great way to transition between seasons, wearing the jacket in the chilly morning and taking it off when the temperatures rise in the afternoon. I tend to wear my Denim Jackets as layering pieces, rather than simply outerwear. I just think they are a great statement piece.

Dark indigo denim is a wonderful choice for a more dressed approach, where a more destructed wash adds a casual touch to any look. Pair a denim jacket with dress pants and a blouse for a work-appropriate outfit, or put on a pair of black jeans, a graphic tee, and some cute kicks for a perfect weekend style. Roll your sleeves, add contrasting sleeves, cut off the sleeves… each treatment changes the cool factor. Add patches and pins to make a political statement. Heck, if you’re feeling really brave, add it to a pair of blue jeans and rock a “Canadian Tuxedo.”

Denim jackets are meant to be soft, broken in, and enjoyed. It’s truly a garment you will love forever. Find a way to wear one and make it uniquely YOU. I guess for me, I need to add an iconic Levi’s Denim Jacket to my wardrobe. (Good news… they have it in Plus Sizes!) Autumn is coming soon, my friends… get styling!

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