Black Denim Jackets are the Most Versatile Choice for Spring

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How many times have you started to leave the house, grabbed your regular denim jacket, then—worried that it might match the color of your jeans too closely—gone back in and changed into something else? If you’re anything like me, more than you’d like. After all, the line between disheveled rock-star and scruffy cowboy is a fine one.

Buying a black denim jacket ended this problem. On a trip home one year I realized I hadn’t brought an outer layer with me and, with the summer UK weather not being quite as sunny as I remembered it, I needed a jacket that I could wear with everything in my luggage. Looking through the racks at Zara I came across a perfect black jean jacket and it’s been my go-to ever since.

It’s not just the color of the denim that makes the jacket perfect. The one I choose is cut slightly longer than your typical high cut denim jacket. This gives it a slightly more regular jacket shape which opens it up for wearing with slightly smarter outfits than a regular jacket.

Would I wear it to a job interview or a wedding? Probably not, but everywhere else it’s a go.

See also: How to wear a trench coat in eight modern ways

How to Wear a Black Denim Jacket for Men

Here are some black denim jacket outfits you can use as inspiration.

Black Denim Jacket with Blue Jeans

The place where regular denim jackets fail hardest is arguably where the black denim jacket excels. The difference in color means there is no chance of you looking like an 80s trucker when combining a black denim jack with blue jeans. You can see in the picture that even with the jacket buttoned up there is enough contrast for the combination to work.

Black Denim Jack with Indigo Jeans

This pairing works because while closer in tone there is still enough of a difference between the two colors. Wearing a lighter t-shirt or sweater underneath the jacket increases the contrast further. In the above image, I paired my outfit with a pair of Chelsea boots which gave the ensemble a smarter look.

Black Denim Jacket with Black Denim Jeans

By pairing the same color denim on top and bottom we are entering the territory of Canadian tuxedo. However, the look is far more pleasing to the eye in black denim than in lighter shades. In the above image I went for a brand new pair of black jeans, but the look works equally well, if not better, with a pair that is more faded and worn.

Black Denim Jacket with Chinos

Denim jacket and chinos always go well together and it is no different with black denim. The different textures of the material mean you could pair pretty much any color combination and you’d be onto a winner. Because my chinos are navy I went for a light-colored top to break up the outfit. I also think the chunky boots and denim jacket combination in this image contrast perfectly with the slightly smarter aesthetics of chinos.

Black Denim Jacket with Smart Pants

This combination is the most challenging as smart pants and denim jackets are typically at polar opposite ends of the style spectrum. I think the black denim with the extended fit goes some way to helping the two items meet in the middle. As a note, the outfit looks much better with casual footwear as when I tried it with the smarter shoes I’d normally wear with these pants it was a bit too much.

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