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.
How to Wear a Black Denim Jacket for Men
Here are some black denim jacket outfits you can use as inspiration.
Outfit 1: 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. I like to wear this combination with a simple t-shirt and canvas shoes to keep the casual vibes of the outift.
Outfit 2: 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. Complete the all-black outfit by also wearing a black sweater or t-shirt.
Outfit 3: 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.
Outfit 4: Black Denim Jacket with a Check Shirt
A denim jacket and a check shirt is a great combination and the same is true even when the jacket is black. I went for a shirt with muted, neutral colors to give the outfit some balance. I like doing the top button up when I wear a shirt with a denim jacket to stop it from looking sloppy. Of course, this isn’t always necessary though.
Outfit 5: Black Denim Jacket 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 brogue shoes which gave the ensemble a smarter look.
Outfit 6: Black Denim Jacket with a Turtleneck
A black denim jacket looks great when paired with a turtleneck. The turtleneck in the image above is extra thick and chunky so I finished the outfit off with a pair of thick boots. I like the overall black and white vibe of this outfit a lot.
Outfit 7: Black Denim Jacket with Chinos
Pairing a darker top with off-white chinos results in an outfit that is quite different to the others on this list. Wearing an off white top and off white sneakers means the jacket contrasts nicely with the rest of the outfit.
Outfit 8: 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. The black leather shoes and the white shirt mean the outfit is monochrome, ensuring contrast between the denim and the rest of the fit is the main feature.
Black Denim Jacket FAQ: All You Need to Know
Before we start, it’s important to remember that the answers below are just a guide. All that really matters is that when you wear something, you feel good in it.
What Can You Wear With a Black Denim Jacket?
Black denim jackets are super-versatile and go well with most casual items. The most common things I wear with my black jean jacket with are indigo jeans, black boots, and light t-shirts or jumpers. Chinos are a cool alternative to indigo jeans and Vans or canvas shoes will the job too.
What Color Jeans Go With a Black Denim Jacket?
Dark blue or indigo jeans are the safest bet. But mid-and-light blue jeans can work well too in the right combination. Dark grey jeans are a good option too. The only color I’d really stay away from is white.
Can You Wear a Black Denim Jacket with Black Jeans?
Absolutely. The risk is that your outfit ends up too monotone, but there are several ways you can great the outfit up; such as by adding a different color top under the jacket. Also consider experimenting with different levels of wear/fade on the denim.