When it comes to outerwear, nothing compares to the denim jacket. A beloved classic for a reason, the denim jacket is one of the most versatile items in your closet—you just don’t know it yet. Wonderfully uncomplicated, this style essential has gone through every era of fashion (from the ultra-acid-washed eighties to the grungy (looking), oversized nineties variety) and has still come out looking victorious. Here are four contemporary updates on your basic blue version.
Forever Cool Denim Jacket: Part cool and part classic, this sweatshirt-and-denim combination from Forever 21 gives your old DJ a run for its money.
Just layer it on top of a black shift dress (or this striped Forever 21 version), or with any pants you own. Slip on some sneakers and (if you’re willing) gold hoops, and—just like that—a functional, fashionable new outfit.
Collarless Denim Jacket: Synonymous with denim, Gap has done it again with this chic, edgy (no collar!) update on its most significant staple. Go model-off-duty minimalist and pair it with head-to-toe light gray, tough moto boots, and a sleek, center-parted pony.
Denim Crop Jacket: If a cropped denim jacket exists, then we’ve officially seen it all. Clean and vibrant, this boxy style (also from Gap) can take you from the last dregs of summer, to the brisk beginnings of fall. Try denim-on-denim with a dark washed chambray shirt, or let the jacket pop with all black underneath.
Faded Denim Utility Jacket: For a military-inspired twist, look to Forever 21’s utilitarian denim jacket. True to its name, this jacket can be worn any which way, and you’ll still come out looking chic. Either button it up as a statement, or mix it with a lived-in t-shirt and beanie for the ultimate cool look.