Sir. Levis Strauss first designed the reliable, durable denim jacket over 140 years ago. Once the uniform of American tough guys, hippies and hip-hop legends, it is now the cornerstone of every modern man’s wardrobe – whatever your style preferences.
As with any popular menswear, it is now produced in a wide range of styles and colours. And at the top of the pile are those in black. The ultimate all-rounder, the best black denim jackets work just as well with a crew neck tee as they do with a shirt and trousers.
The good news is that there is an endless sea of designs to choose from. However, it can become a bit overwhelming to navigate through good and bad. To help, we’ve cut back undisputed champions.
Keep reading to find your perfect match. There really is something for everyone, regardless of style or budget.
Thanks to its association with bikers and punks, the best black denim jackets exude rebellious energy. And that energy simply cannot be matched by its blue counterpart. This version from
Made from 100% cotton denim, it features a zip closure, contrasting threads and eye-catching leopard print lining. It’s a great choice for the weekend, whether you wear it with white jeans and boots or black chinos and high-top sneakers.
Material: 100% cotton | Sizes available: S-XXL | Fit: Common | Functions: Zip, patch pockets
While the original sherpa jacket is firmly in the category of western wear, the latest versions can be rocked with a wide variety of outfits. This one from Alex Arigato will have no problem fitting into your daily rotation.
A great transitional piece, it’s made from a durable, heavy denim fabric with a lightly washed look. Wear it with a short-sleeved t-shirt for lighter temperatures, and layer it over a thick sweater when the cold weather starts to set in.
Material: 69% Cotton, 19% Polyester, 8% Recycled fibers, 4% Other | Sizes available: XS-XL | Fit: Common | Functions: Sherpa collar
Layering a hoodie with your denim jacket is a great look, but it can be difficult to pull off. Unless you size up, you will often find that your jacket is too tight due to the bulk underneath. There is a solution – Leif Nelson’s jacket-hoodie hybrid.
Part denim jacket, part hoodie, it’s made from cotton with a hint of stretch that molds to your body shape for a flattering fit. This design is a touch on the casual side, so it’s the perfect partner for chinos and your favorite sneakers.
Material: 98% cotton, 2% spandex | Sizes available: S-XXL | Fit: Slim | Functions: Hood
Launched in 2005, Rick Owens’ DRKSHDW diffusion line showcases an impressive selection of luxury denim. Today, it’s the more approachably priced sub-brand, showing forward-thinking staples like this distressed denim jacket.
Cut from stretch cotton for a loose fit, it features frayed slashes throughout – adding a rock’n’roll edge to everyday ensembles. This style runs true to size, but you can try going one up if you want an oversized look. Pair it with a bold graphic tee, skinny denim and statement sneakers. You are officially ready for any concert.
Material: 91% cotton, 6% elastane, 3% rubber fiber | Sizes available: S-XXL | Fit: Solve | Functions: Distressed, frayed slashes
H&M’s oversized jacket is made from thick cotton denim, so it feels more premium than the price tag suggests. As comfortable as it is stylish, it features a classic collar with chest pockets and adjustable side flaps.
What else is good about this particular piece, you ask? It has enough attitude to change your style for the better every day of the week. Wear it with a white t-shirt, gray jeans and sneakers. This foolproof look will take you from city lunches to summer festivals in an instant.
Material: 100% cotton | Sizes available: XS-XXXL | Fit: Oversized | Functions: Patch pockets, adjustable side studs
Looking good doesn’t have to make you broke. There are plenty of brands out there that offer affordable black denim jackets. A must-have for any collection, this version from GAP takes on the look of an old favourite. Made from 100% cotton in a washed effect, it is finished with front pockets and a classic collar.
It comes in at a budget-friendly price and gives you plenty of extra shifts to build an outfit perfect for work or the weekend. Our ideal style suggestion is a simple round neck sweater, chinos and sneakers.
Material: 95% cotton, 5% recycled cotton | Sizes available: XS-XXXL | Fit: Relaxed | Functions: Patch Pockets
If you’re looking to add a touch of designer flair to your daily rotation (and aren’t afraid to splash the cash), then this jacket from Saint Laurent is just the ticket. Cut from organic cotton for a flattering shape, it has a pointed collar and two chest pockets. There are also adjustable buttons in the waist at the back, so you always get the perfect fit.
Ideal for lunch with friends, but also smart enough for weekend parties – it’s a versatile option for all year round. Leave it unbuttoned to reveal some practical layers on your favorite t-shirt, sweater or hoodie. The icing on the cake is, of course, slim-fit black jeans.
Material: 98% organic cotton, 2% elastane | Sizes available: XS-XXL | Fit: Mounted | Functions: Flap pockets, adjustable tabs
Each Fear of God Essentials piece is inspired by Jerry Lorenzo’s childhood. Especially growing up playing basketball and listening to 90s grunge. The latter was clearly in mind when he produced this black denim jacket for men.
Cut for a relaxed silhouette, it has adjustable waist tabs to give you a little more structure. It also features tonal button closures on the front, cuffs and chest pockets for added punch. You can combine it with a pair of the brand’s iconic joggers or dress it up a bit with jeans and boots.
Material: 100% cotton | Sizes available: XXS-XXL | Fit: Relaxed | Functions: Decreased
Closed launched their eco-friendly denim line, A Better Blue, in 2018. The brand’s best black denim jacket is made in Italy using sustainable materials, eco-friendly dyeing methods and gentle washing techniques. Now you can look good while saving significant amounts of water, chemicals and electricity. All without compromising on quality.
The versatile dark-rinsed wash goes well with a variety of trousers. The buttoned pockets, discreet branding and logo buttons go well with your favorite black t-shirt. It will look just as good with worn jeans and boots as it will with cropped trousers and sneakers.
Material: 62% organic cotton, 23% cotton, 15% linen | Sizes available: XS-XXL | Fit: Common | Functions: Eco-friendly pockets with button
If you want to add some pizzazz to your outfit, a statement denim jacket is your lord and saviour. A must-have for any forward-thinking guy, it will add a pop of color to your smart casual ensembles.
This version from Amiri is a result of the collaboration with fellow LA-based brand Chemist. And it doesn’t hold back. Made locally from distressed Italian denim, it unashamedly features blue suede stars on the front, back and arms. Keep the rest of your outfit tame to let these stars shine. Pro tip – the label suggests sizing up as it fits a little small.
Material: 92% Cotton, 6% Elastomultiester, 2% Elastane | Sizes available: XS-XXL | Fit: Common | Functions: Emergency, Blue Stars
The best black denim jacket (well, for us anyway) is made in London using small-scale production for the very best quality. Built to last, it’s constructed from 13oz organic selvedge denim sourced from Japan. This one will hang in your closet forever.
A must-have for all true denim lovers, it’s sold after going through the equivalent of one wash. Yes, they were nice enough to start the break-in process for you. It is a good start in creating a unique piece of clothing that tells its own story. Wear yours with a graphic t-shirt and skinny jeans for a foolproof, everyday look.
Material: 100% organic cotton | Sizes available: S-XL | Fit: Common | Functions: Selvedge Denim
Environmental friendliness and sustainability are just as important to Nudie Jeans as style and quality. They took all three into consideration when producing this sleek beauty. To make you feel even better about it, organic cotton is timeless, durable and better for the planet.
A truly stunning addition to any wardrobe. It has all the classic fittings and fittings you would expect from the best black denim jackets – button cuffs, pockets and waist buttons. If you want to speed up the break-in process, the label recommends wearing it under a leather biker jacket (even more cool points).
Material: 100% organic cotton | Sizes available: XS-XXL | Fit: Slim Fit | Functions: Cuffs with buttons, waist studs
What to look for in the best black denim jacket
The best black denim jackets come in a variety of styles. Which one you choose depends on personal taste. If you want a classic look (suitable for most smart-casual occasions), invest in a regular fit design. Save embellishments or tears for a relaxed atmosphere. For something a little more ‘out there’, turn your attention to oversized, distressed or patterned versions.
Unless you choose an oversized or relaxed fit, a normal fit of any of the best black denim jackets should fit the same as a shirt. The hem should sit on or around the shoulder, with the sleeves hitting the top of your wrist. The bottom, however, will sit a little higher. As for the chest, there should be enough room to unbutton it (if you wanted to, that is).
The best black denim jackets are 100% cotton. Some will also have a touch of stretch to keep you mobile. In fact, many would argue that stretch denim is more comfortable. You may also come across others made from selvedge denim. Selvedge denim jackets are typically made with unwashed denim fabric, and they tend to fade better than their regular counterpart.
When used correctly, the denim jacket can be one of the most powerful weapons in a man’s arsenal. It is a reliable workhorse that can be worn in a number of ways to suit your unique style. Perhaps the most popular method is to leave it unbuttoned, with a classic t-shirt underneath.
You may also want to ditch the collar or roll up the sleeves for a preppy look (or if you’ve seen Greece one too many times). Both styles are suitable for casual occasions. For a more refined look, choose a fitted version and button it to the top. You can then combine it with smarter separates such as more elegant trousers and a smart pair of boots.
The denim jacket is hardworking in more ways than one. Not only is it durable, but it’s a versatile and effortlessly stylish option that can work well just about anywhere. It may be simple, but it packs some serious style punch when you throw in some of your favorite smart-casual pieces – graphic tees, sweaters, hoodies.
Straight cut black trousers are always a good choice, while white jeans are a great way to freshen things up. Tailored trousers will help you turn up the formality, especially with a crisp pair of shoes. And if you’re just out running errands, a pair of joggers will take your outfit in the other direction in style.