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As summer approaches, now’s a good time to invest in a jean jacket. Light enough to be sported on a summer evening, but comfy enough to hold off any chilly nights, denim outerwear is a year-round essential. And for this summer, a nice light wash — or even a different color dye — could be the perfect fit for you.
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After all, there have been some iconic denim jacket fits over time. From Elvis Presley in the ’60s to Bruce Springsteen on his Born to Run album cover, the seemingly simple piece is a mainstay in the rockstar wardrobe. More recently, other Hollywood icons have kept the look going. Ryan Reynolds loves a good jean jacket, and who could forget Brad Pitt’s Wrangler look in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood? Even Dywane Johnson rocks one in Hobbs and Shaw.
But you don’t have to be an A-lister to look good in this classic wardrobe staple. Ahead, we’ve rounded up some of the best men’s denim jackets — with an emphasis on eco-friendly materials — for your spring and summer closet restock.
1. Levi’s Trucker Jacket
Did you expect anything else? The Levi’s trucker jacket has been around since 1967, a testament to its timelessness. The brand’s signature piece is as durable as it is cool and now with more colors and washes available. Plus, you’d be hard-pressed to find a leading man who hasn’t worn Levi’s. (Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck and Zac Efron are just a few who have.)
2. Wrangler x Fender Icons Rockstar Souvenir Jacket
While Wrangler’s iconic 124MJ style — the same one seen on Brad Pitt in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood — is a top-notch choice, the Westernwear brand’s limited-edition collection with Fender ($30 to $129) renders the silhouette in a cool embroidered statement piece in electric blue. The rigid denim jacket celebrates the jeans brand’s 75th anniversary and it features the legendary guitar brand’s logo emblazoned on the back.
Wrangler x Fender Icons Rockstar Souvenir Jacket
3. Zara Denim Jacket
Zara’s denim jacket has a classic fit, with substantial room for you to layer a hoodie or sweater underneath. It wears well over time, with the light wash resulting in some cool light patches. For under $50, it’s one of the best affordable denim jackets out there.
Zara Basic Denim Jacket
4. Everlane Denim Jacket
Everlane’s unisex denim jacket features a modern fit that looks good on everyone. The wide shoulders offer a nice oversized fit for most and the piece is made from ethically sourced cotton, so it’s a good eco-friendly wardrobe staple.
Everlane Everyone Denim Jacket
5. Pangaia Hemp Denim Workwear Jacket
These days, denim jackets don’t have to be the classic blue wash or the traditional fit. That’s the case for Pangaia’s Workwear jacket. It’s oversized yet lightweight, making it a comfortable option in the summer heat. The khaki wash gives you more flexibility in styling than a normal indigo jacket would. (It’s available in other colors, too.) It’s entirely plant-based hemp denim, too, making it one of the more environmentally-friendly picks on our list.
Pangaia Hemp Denim Workwear Jacket
6. H&M Oversized Denim Jacket
The oversized H&M jacket is both entirely modern and totally eco friendly. It’s part of the fast fashion brand’s Conscious Choice line and is sewn from responsibly sourced and recycled denim. The pockets are sufficiently deep so that you can stuff some summer essentials in, and it’s thick enough to keep the wind out on those summer evening beach walks.
H&M Oversized Denim Jacket
7. John Elliott Thumper Denim Jacket
Los Angeles designer John Elliott’s pieces have been worn by no shortage of stars (LeBron James, Justin Bieber and Kevin Love, to name a few), and this distressed denim jacket offers an effortless off-court look. We dig the frayed hem and worn-in accents that give the piece some Cali streetwear edge.
John Elliott Thumper Denim Jacket
8. Madewell Men’s Denim Jacket
Madewell is another sustainable pick. Their denim jacket is made from recycled cotton and uses less water than other companies in its manufacturing process. It has something of a rugged look, with thick seams and emphasized stitching. The jacket also benefits from non-stretch denim, so it should remain a nice fit for as long as it lasts — which, given the quality of the denim, should be a while.
Madewell Denim Jacket
9. Taylor Stitch Long Haul
Northern California-based Taylor Stitch’s Long Haul Jacket is for the selvage denim devotees. This sturdy piece is made out of cold-washed organic denim and finished with an eco-friendly indigo wash. And there are flashes that set it apart from other jackets, too. The lining is covered with a map of San Francisco, and the buttons have carefully designed inscriptions. If you want a denim jacket that pays very close attention to detail, this could be your best bet. (Julia Roberts has reportedly shopped the brand’s San Francisco boutique.)
Taylor Stitch The Long Haul Denim Jacket
10. Warp + Weft SEA Denim Jacket
For something beyond basic blue jeans, Warp + Weft’s ivory SEA Denim jacket could be a good investment. The lighter wash will certainly stand out, but the dye is sustainable and solid — so it won’t fade away over time. It’s also made of mid-weight cotton that gives it a sleek, fitted look.
Warp + Weft Sea-Denim Jacket
11. Fear of God Essentials Denim Jacket
For hypebeasts in need of an edgy-luxe staple, this black denim jacket from Fear of God’s Essentials line will fit the bill. The faded finish on the seams, relaxed fit and adjustable waist bands combine to give your look an effortless finish (even if you’re just throwing it on over sweats).
Fear of God Essentials Denim Jacket
12. Ahluwalia Signature Rework Denim Jacket
If you dig a statement-making jacket but aren’t into extremely distressed styles, go a different route with Ahluwalia’s patchworked piece. It’s made from recycled cotton jeans and features light, medium and dark wash scraps all over, and the pockets are finished monogram topstitching.
Ahluwalia Signature Rework Denim Jacket