Best jean jacket for men

Outerwear

The jean jacket was created in the 1890s United States by German-American denim pioneer Levi Strauss and tailor Jacob Davis and made popular by miners, railroad workers and cowboys.

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Which jean jacket for men is best?

With its unique fusion of function and fashion, the jean jacket has become a multifaceted and timeless staple of men’s wardrobes. With its rugged versatility and easygoing style, the jean jacket has become an iconic piece of American rustic chic. But choosing a men’s jean jacket takes more than just a desire to look cool and tough — there are a number of factors to consider before adding one to your wardrobe. 

The Levi’s Men’s Trucker Jacket is the gold standard, but there are still many more jean jackets for men that will satisfy any man’s style.

What to know before you buy a jean jacket for men

Color

Jean jackets are widely recognized by their signature blue denim, but they can be found in any number of colors and shades. There are countless shades and hues among blue jean jackets to choose from, ranging from rich and deep navy to bright and light stonewash blue. Black denim jackets provide a classier flair, unlike a black leather jacket, while shades of brown evoke the outdoors. Ultimately, the color of the jacket should match the wearer’s style and preference.

Fit

Unlike many other jackets and coats, jean jackets tend to fall on the snug side, but that shouldn’t discourage men who prefer a looser fit. Typically, jean jackets stop short of the hips right around the waist, but big and tall variations add some length and a bit of slack for the heftier body types. The arm length should generally fall on the short side — excessively lengthy sleeves make the entire jacket look oversized and unflattering. Of course, comfort is a must, but generally speaking, jean jackets look best when the fit is stylishly snug.

Durability and versatility

Part of the longevity of the jean jacket’s popularity is owed to its durability and versatility. Their toughness makes them nearly impervious to the elements, and the weight makes them ideal for brisk weather. In addition, some of the best jean jackets are enhanced with liners that add even more protection from the cold, making them ideal for three out of four standard seasons. They also make great work apparel for laborers of all sorts while maintaining that iconic rugged appearance and form.

What to look for in a quality men’s jean jacket

Wash or weathering

Denim starts its life as a raw dyed fabric that is typically a rich, dark blue that fades with wear over time, but pre-washed denim is extremely popular, especially with jean jackets.  

The signature faded look comes from a specialized washing process that takes place after the dye has fully set. Washing the denim makes it softer and gives it a more worn-in look, and stonewashing — which works exactly as it sounds — gives it an even lighter and more distressed appearance. Consider finding a jean jacket with the raw or washed look that best matches your style and wardrobe.

Denim type

Jean jackets typically come in either 100 percent denim or a denim blend. Pure denim jackets start off a bit stiff, requiring a great deal of wear before they soften. Denim blends, on the other hand, tend to be softer and more pliable, with some blends being designed specifically to add enhanced flexibility and stretch. What denim type you choose should reflect both your visual style as well as your desired fit and feel.

Aesthetic features

Like most denim garments, jean jackets can be enhanced with visual flairs and functionality features like pockets and unique stitching patterns. The collars can differ between jackets as well, between short and tight to wide, with some adding padding for visual and functional effects. Most men’s jean jackets have two breast and two side pockets, allowing you to store you phone, keys and other items, but extra pouches are often added for broader appeal. Niche jackets could add western-style stitching, while others are tailored for a tapered, slim fit.

How much you can expect to spend on a men’s jean jacket

Men’s jean jackets range in price between $30-$80, with high-end garments eclipsing $100 and designer denim priced upward of $1,000.

Men’s jean jacket FAQ

Should you wash a jean jacket?

A. Yes, but not more than necessary. When you first purchase your jean jacket, you should machine-wash it in cold water with other denims to eliminate excess dye, but beyond that, you may want to stick to hand-washing or spot cleaning. If your jacket smells a bit funky, just spritz it with a fabric freshener or a mixture of distilled white vinegar and water. Avoid over-washing, and if you want to prevent shrinkage, never wash in hot water. 

What can you wear with your men’s jean jacket?

A. Jean jackets are pretty versatile wardrobe staples that can be matched to many outfits and occasions. Partner blue denim hues with a crisp T-shirt, black jeans and clean sneakers for a casual look, or pair dark denim with chinos and oxfords to class your jean jacket up.

What’s the best men’s jean jacket to buy?

Top men’s jean jacket

Levi's Men's Trucker Jacket

Levi’s Men’s Trucker Jacket

What you need to know: This is the classic jean jacket of James Dean and other 20th-century rebels with a moderate regular fit that stops tightly at the waist. 

What you’ll love: This highly-rated, 100 percent denim classic comes in a wide variety of colors and washes for an assortment of wardrobe possibilities. Plus, it’s tough enough to stand the test of time. 

What you should consider: The generic sizing makes it prone to irregular fitting.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top men’s jean jacket for the money

Signature by Levi Strauss & Co. Gold Label Men's Signature Trucker Jacket

Signature by Levi Strauss & Co. Gold Label Men’s Signature Trucker Jacket

What you need to know: The Gold Label edition of the classic provides a softer and more flexible alternative. 

What you’ll love: It’s made with premium flex denim that is strong and pliable for comfort and fit, but it looks just as authentic as raw denim.

What you should consider: Some customers note sizing and fit issues.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Wrangler Men's Western Style Lined Denim Jacket

Wrangler Men’s Western Style Lined Denim Jacket

What you need to know: This 100 percent cotton jacket is built for colder weather while remaining stylish and comfortable.

What you’ll love: It comes with one of two liners — blanket and Sherpa — so you can match the jacket with your climate, and its classic regular fit provides enough space for layering.

What you should consider: Because of the lining, this jacket is not ideal for warmer months.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Matt Fleming  writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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