THE ITEM

THE DENIM JACKET

The denim jacket was made for the working man but evolved into an essential item in most men’s wardrobes. This is all you need to know about it – and our best styling tips.

The denim jacket at Burberry Prorsum SS15, Getty Images.

THE STORY BEHIND IT
The first known trace of the denim jacket is rumoured to be from 1874. A dirty and torn artefact called the 1874 Levi working blouse was discovered on the American west coast, dating back to a time when the area was called the Wild West. The strong fabric jackets were a cowboy favourite – and workwear for most residents in the hot and dry California climate. 

When the cowboy era faded into history, the denim jacket stayed popular. In ways, it became something American men would wear to channel their inner cowboys – who are often considered the ultimate macho men. The cowboy and denim relationship spread through popular culture and has been featured in Western-themed Hollywood movies from the birth of modern cinema.

But the denim jacket isn’t just for nostalgic Americans. It went on to become a symbol of rebellion. From the mid 1900s it’s been worn and loved by beat poets, punk rockers and hip-hop idols. From The Clash to Tupac. 

A denim jacket is never formal and is, much like the leather jacket, a way for men to show that they don’t care about suits and ties. Still today, the denim jacket is one of the least formal jackets in men’s outerwear. It isn’t multi-faceted and never dressed up – but it is cool.

HOW TO STYLE IT
H&M Life stylist Columbine Smille chose a clean look when putting together her favourite denim jacket look. She combined the jacket with a black sweatshirt and dark grey jeans.

WHAT DOES THE PERFECT DENIM JACKET LOOK LIKE?
“It’s blue and hardly beaten in, with a nice collar and good fit. Skip the loose fitting models and go for a tight one this spring and summer.“

WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO THINK ABOUT WHEN BUYING THE JACKET?
“First and foremost that it’s a good fit. You should also be sure that it goes well with many of the other clothes in your wardrobe. When buying a jacket, you’ll want to wear it a lot – so don’t get something if you can only see it together with a few of the clothes you have.“ 

 

Photographer Tobias Lundkvist’s favourite items are the classics: a black t-shirt and Chuck Taylors. Stylist Columbine Smille’s favourite item is the perfect black silk dress. Our model and super hunk is Sacha M'Baye. Hair by Mette Thorsgaard and makeup by Josefin Scherdin. 

Denim lovers Elvis Presley, Marvin Gaye, Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Jason Priestley in Beverly Hills 90210, Wiz Khalifa and Bruce Springsteen, Getty Images/All Over Press.
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