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A guide to help the average man... look less average

My thoughts on layering denim jackets

Mark Kwak

I love denim jackets. I think they're really quite versatile, can be easy to wear, and are great looking pieces if fitted properly.

However, I have recently been seeing a ton of magazines and blogs showcasing denim jackets being primarily used as layering pieces, underneath a sport coat, blazer, or some sort of other formal outerwear. Every publication I come across has at least one dude wearing a light denim jacket underneath their pretty business-like getup, consisting of pieces like sport coats and slacks.

I'm going to say right now, honestly, I have a little bit of a problem with this.

As convincing as GQ, Esquire, Details, or other menswear publications may be, I personally don't think a denim jacket looks that great under a more formal outerwear piece. I mean really, if you're wearing a blazer, what are you trying to say by putting a denim jacket underneath it? Perhaps: "Hey I'm formal and ready for business, but stylish/casual enough to be cool, man!"

Now this isn't to say that denim jackets can't be used effectively as layering pieces. When I wear a denim jacket underneath a wool coat or trench coat, I feel like it works, and that I'm being quite stylish actually. However, when putting these denim jackets underneath blazers, sport coats, suits, or other more formal outerwear, I feel like it looks a bit awkward and inappropriate in most situations. If it's a formal getogether, the denim jacket really makes an inappropriate and contrasting statement. On the opposite spectrum, if it's a really casual event, why are you wearing a blazer on top of that denim jacket anyway?

Feel free to disagree with my argument, but to me, the concept of wearing denim jackets with formalwear is a bit odd and out of place. I think if you own a denim jacket, you should wear it as your main outerwear layer, or if it's cold, perhaps add a thick coat on top. But please, if you're combining your denim jacket with a blazer, I think you might be trying too hard.

Let me know what you think? Do you agree, or am I just being nit-picky here?