The Search For the Perfect Denim Jacket


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Denim jackets have been a go-to for me since, like, 1984? I haven’t covered mine with buttons these days, but you better believe I lit it up back in the ’80’s.

What do I wear with my denim jacket? Everything. I prefer a blue wash since I wear mostly black or gray jeans. (If you like your blue jeans blue, a lighter denim jacket works great.)

Jean jackets just work because they’re a great weight for most of the year and they add a casual (but structured) touch. They’re perfect with sun dresses, jeans and a tee, jumpsuits, joggers, etc. Being a denim fan in general, it makes sense that this would be my favorite jacket, but I do get particular about what I’m looking for. So I ordered a bunch to try out in person (softness counts!!), and here’s what I found:

The Comfiest

American Eagle Star Sleeve Jean Jacket – This star jacket was amazing. It was so super soft and I love the simple star embroidery detail. The two-tone paneling was really nice, too. This is a solid jacket. Fits true to size. Wearing a Small, for reference.

KUT from the Kloth – I really liked this jacket…but it fits small. It’s also really soft and I love a lighter wash for versatility. You can wear it with just about any pair of jeans. I would definitely add this to my closet in a size up. Wearing Small here, for reference.

Free People Double Weave Denim Jacket – This was so great. The sweatshirt lining makes it so comfy to wear and I love the hood for Portland weather. It was a little warmer than I’d want for this time of year and I wasn’t sure about the super raw hem on the back, but a solid choice for sure. Wearing Small, for reference.

The Most Flattering Cut

JCrew Denim Jacket – I loved this one. The wash is even better in person and the fit is so flattering. It is a great length (I’m a little short in the torso, FYI) and just felt nice and structured. It’s not the softest of the bunch if you’re concerned about that, but I love a traditional weight jean jacket and this is it. Wearing a Small.

The Best Wash

Madewell Oversize Denim Jacket – The wash on this was perfect, IMO. The fit was great, too, but I didn’t care for the longer length on me. I do like the oversized look on others though and if you’re looking for that super current fit, this is a great one to try. Wearing size Small.

The ‘Just Ok’s’

Topshop Matilda Denim Jacket – This wasn’t my favorite. It was definitely more of a retro fit and I didn’t care for the blue-er wash. I think it was just too boxy on me to be flattering. Wearing size Small.

BP Ripped Denim Jacket – I liked the softness and fit of this one, but the wash and the distressing weren’t my favorite. If you’re in the market for a super distressed jacket though, this was very comfy. Wearing a Small.

Current Favorite Denim Jackets

Are you a jean jacket fan like me? Have a favorite brand or cut? DO share below in the comments.  I asked the TME team what their favorites are – S has an ancient Joe’s denim jacket she loves (this is the closest), but recently started wearing the Abercrombie one featured above and loves it – nice and soft. Scotti actually borrows this one from her hubs (love that), Cams rocks this one in a slightly darker color, Amanda likes things a little less traditional like this denim moto jacket, Jess is all about this Levi’s number for its stretchier fit.

Follow me and my denim over on Instagram @elletrain…there’s always plenty in my world…and a puppy and a dancing 4 year old, too.

Until next time…


Be sure to follow me on Instagram @elletrain to see daily outfits, puppy updates, and of course, Sienna’s dance moves. 


  1. You missed the holy grail of jean jackets: the AG Robyn jacket. I have it in both white and medium denim wash. It is soooooooooo soft and STRETCHY (like unreal) so I don’t have that terrible stiff, back/arm binding experience I get with pretty much all jean jackets. The cut is classic too. No too cropped, no long, etc. PERFECTION. You should order and review – you’ll be hooked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I was thinking the same thing as I read this – the AG Robyn jacket…it is perfection! I bought it a few years ago when I wasn’t even looking for one. The wash is beautiful, soft, stretchy, and fits in all the right places. I’ve tried on many a jean jacket since and have yet to find one that fits and feels the way the Robyn does. It is a higher price point but it was worth it to me. I do love the AE one with the stars!

  2. I love the Madewell long denim jacket. I wear it with everything. It is perfect for the days I can’t fathom making it out of leggings and a tee. I am 5’9″ but a short torso. Length is perfect. I also have the standard Madewell jean jacket which is twin to the J. Crew one you have listed. Love that one too.

  3. I live in my Gap jean jacket (at least 10 yrs old). I keep wanting to cut the cuffs off because I always have them rolled. Has anyone done this and not regretted it? I’ll still roll them, but they’ll be 3/4 sleeves- perfect for Northern California weather.

  4. I just picked up this Caslon denim jacket from Nordstrom. Love the light wash and it’s super soft! The arm length is great for those with longer arms too.

  5. I second the Gap denim jacket. Mine is light wash and I love it with everything in my wardrobe. I roll my cuffs too unless it’s cold but wouldn’t chop them! I need them buttoned closed now and then.

  6. I ordered the Liverpool denim moto jacket after seeing it in one of your other posts and am really happy with it!

  7. I love my Helena from Kut. Brings me back to childhood and instantly adds some special 80s magic to any boring ol’ today outfit I sport. Instant childhood in a jacket! I occasionally pop the collar when I’m feeling extra rebellious. Yes to buttons! I had forgotten all about that! Like bumper stickers, but way radder!

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