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Coats & Jackets

Five ways to wear: A denim jacket

Five ways to wear: A denim jacket

In the opinion of most of Thread's stylists, the denim jacket is underrated. If you go for one that's indigo and not oversized, it's an easy alternative to a jumper or light jacket—and it's hard-wearing enough to last you longer than either. Plus, contrary to popular belief, you can wear a denim jacket with most of your casual clothes. 

"Honestly, denim jackets go with everything, jeans included," says Thread stylist Alice Watt. "They're obviously on the  more casual end of the spectrum, but I love the way they dress down smarter clothes: You can wear one instead of a jumper under a trench or overcoat, or throw one on to make a shirt and formal trousers more relaxed." Whether or not you're a leather jacket guy, a denim jacket can be a nice, midweight, year-round staple.

Below, Alice shares five denim jacket outfit ideas, from classic to slightly more novel. 

When you want to pretend the weather's warmer

Outfit: Denim jacket, hoodie, t-shirt and black jeans

Why this works: "When the weather doesn't follow the seasons—and yet you're itching to trade your overcoat for something lighter—try this instead. The hoodie-jacket combo's insulating without being wintry (and you can lose a layer if the day warms up). Plus, hoodies are much more versatile than you'd think, and black jeans are an easier choice than blue."

Photographed: orSlow denim jacket (£285), Derek Rose burgundy hoodie (£215), MVP grey crew-neck t-shirt (£12), Samsøe & Samsøe black jeans (£90)

For an event that feels neither casual nor smart

Outfit: Denim jacket, cable-knit jumper, chambray shirt, chinos and desert shoes

Why this works: "Whether it's a casual meeting or a relaxed office, a date, after-work drinks, a nice lunch out with your family, or meeting your partner's parents, it can be unclear what's appropriate. This outfit ticks all the smart-casual boxes, and the mixture of textures—in the jacket, chambray shirt, cable-knit jumper and suede desert boots—looks thoughtful and even impressive."

Photographed: orSlow dark blue denim jacket (£285), Barbour grey jumper (£89), Reiss denim shirt (£90), MVP tobacco chinos (£30), Base London tan suede boots (£70)

For a summer holiday, whether in a city or by the sea

Outfit: Denim jacket, striped t-shirt, wide-leg chinos and minimal trainers

Why this works: "Just putting on a Breton-striped t-shirt makes you feel in holiday mode. Add comfortable wide-leg chinos and a denim jacket and you're set for dinner by the beach or a day of urban explorations. The denim jacket's just right: a leather one would be too heavy, a bomber too sporty and a Harrington very 1960s. Turning up the bottoms of the trousers amps up the casual-but-thoughtful style." 

Photographed: orSlow dark blue denim jacket (£285), Armor-Lux striped tee (£35), Dickies olive trousers (£45), Pointer black trainers (£100)

For casual Friday

Outfit: Denim jacket, Oxford shirt, formal trousers, black lace-ups

Why this works: "Combining smart and casual clothes is one of the chief ways to look stylish. The outfit here is on the smart side of smart casual, but the denim jacket makes things more relaxed—and earns you serious style points."

Photographed: orSlow denim jacket (£285), Research Garments white shirt (£49), Reiss soft grey trousers (£100), Selected leather shoes (£110) 

When you're so tired of jumpers

Outfit: Denim jacket, henley t-shirt, mac and formal trousers

Why this works: "Not everyone would think to wear a denim jacket this way, but if you swap your jumper for a denim jacket and you'll look more interesting—and feel more comfortable in weird weather: you can keep the jacket open and easily de- or re-layer as the temperature changes. It's hard to imagine a time that the stone mac wouldn't look great: it's among the most classic pieces you can have in your closet."

Photographed: Folk sand mac (£290), orSlow denim jacket (£285), Schiesser white henley (£49), Reiss soft grey trousers (£110)