8 Denim Jacket Looks To Carry You Through Summer 2023

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We all want to get the most mileage out of every piece in our wardrobe, so why put one of our most versatile clothing items away for an entire season? We're talking about the ever-popular denim jacket, of course. If you think you won't have any use for this staple until fall rolls around, think again. For obvious reasons, most of us don't feel that we need to keep our outerwear hanging in the front of our closet when it's hot outside. Who wants an extra layer when you're already sweating, anyway? Well, believe it or not, the denim jacket is one piece of outerwear that you don't have to leave in storage for the summer. In fact, your denim jacket isn't just a piece that you can leave out for cooler summer days or breezy evenings by the beach. This is a piece that can totally change the way you wear many of your favorite go-to summer wardrobe pieces.


The denim jacket is so neutral, and it can be an easy way of changing the vibe of many different outfits. Plus, when you really think about it, there's no need to let the term "jacket" talk you out of rolling up the sleeves and heading out with an easy extra layer. If you want to get a bit more wear out of your favorite denim jacket, or you're interested in purchasing a new piece of outerwear for the warmest months of the year, we've got you covered — literally. 

Denim on denim

We know — there's a certain vibe associated with the Canadian tuxedo that some of us just can't ignore. But, trust us – denim-on-denim has come a long way since the early aughts, and there are tons of ways to wear it these days. Most of us may not automatically associate this look with a summer 'fit, but summertime and denim-on-denim just so happen to be an unexpectedly perfect match. 


On a cooler summer day, a pair of mom jeans, a crop top, and an oversized denim jacket styled with a slicked-back bun, your favorite sunnies, and a pair of sandals is the perfect go-to 'fit. You can also make the most of the super popular denim maxi skirt trend by pairing it with a cropped denim jacket, a tank, and some white sneakers. Throwing on your fave jean jacket is also an elevated way to wear a classic jean short this summer, and it can make your favorite comfy cutoffs feel even more easy-to-wear and chic. 

Juxtapose oversized and mini

One of the biggest — no pun intended — ways to sport a denim jacket these days is in an oversized fit. An oversized, light-wash denim jacket is a great pick to go with most outfits, but for the summer season, it looks especially cool when paired with something on the mini side. Despite what you may think, there are plenty of grown-up ways to participate in 2023's miniskirt revival, and one of them is balancing all that visible skin with a big, baggy layer over the top. 


You've likely come across a skimpy romper like this one or a super-short sundress like this as you've embarked on summer shopping, but you may have shied away from it thinking that you'll feel too exposed or that your look won't be balanced enough. Well, this is when the perfect oversized denim jacket is your friend. Find a jacket that's comfy and perfectly fitted to drape over you, and you'll be able to throw it on over any extra mini 'fit for the perfectly concocted summer ensemble. 


Oversized denim jackets have a relaxed, effortless feel — plus they're comfy, and who doesn't want that for their summertime 'fits? Still, a denim jacket that's just the opposite in its size actually has more than a few positive attributes, as well. Cropped denim jackets are great, because not only do they have less fabric, which of course, is ideal for hot summer days, but they also won't bury your shape the way a lot of oversized jackets will. Certain outfits, like a shapeless maxi dress or a loose-fitting jumpsuit, may benefit from a jacket that hits you at your natural waistline, as this will give you the illusion of a cinched-in waist and let your actual body shape shine.


There are plenty of options when it comes to the crop of a cropped denim jacket. The most typical fit is a cropped jacket that ends around or just below your natural waist like this SusieLady jacket. There are shorter options that end right below the bust like this one, which is ideal for pairing with a sundress that cinches in at the waist or a crop top and high-waisted shorts. There are even jackets that fit in with the extreme crop top trend like this extra cropped, distressed jacket that's the perfect piece to throw on over every outfit all summer long. 


Let's be real — white denim is undeniably chic, and it's also a classic summertime staple. Still, many of us may not feel comfy sporting white jeans all summer, which is why the white denim jacket is the perfect piece to invest in for the warmer months. White denim is a perfect neutral, and as a result, a white jean jacket goes with pretty much everything you pair it with.


Pop a distressed white denim jacket like this one over your favorite sundress and style it with some combat boots for an edgy vibe. Try a slouchy option like this trucker jacket with a cropped tee, your favorite lightweight pants, and some sandals. Or, you could invest in an extra oversized white denim jacket like this one to pair with everything from your favorite denim shorts to a floral maxi skirt and white sneakers. If you're particularly wary of the denim jacket for summer trend, then the white version is definitely the easiest, most foolproof way to go. 

Make a statement

A denim jacket that goes with everything is a wardrobe staple, and being versatile and easy to style has to be one of the jean jacket's best features. Still, there's something about a statement jacket that leaves you feeling like you've revamped your whole wardrobe with just one piece. You can keep a repeat outfit looking new by changing the final layer, and investing in an outer layer that makes a major fashion statement is the perfect way to do this.


The only limit to what kind of statement your jacket can make is your imagination. A piece in a bold hue like this baby pink jacket can add a pop of color to any neutral summer 'fit. Some denim with a bit of added texture like this pearl-studded jacket or this embroidered option can add unexpected interest to any ensemble. Or, you can search for something that's a total showstopper like this fringe-covered jacket or this cool black, studded one. Have an old denim jacket that's damaged, stained, or that you just aren't crazy about anymore? Remember that DIY projects can give your old clothes new life, and turning an old denim jacket into a statement jacket with embroidery, patches, pins, or dye can give you an entirely fresh staple for your wardrobe. 


Layer over your bathing suit

A jean jacket is outerwear, which is why many of us think it's time to stuff it in the back of the closet when June rolls around. Yet, a jacket doesn't have to be just a layer on top of your 'fit; it can be a vital part of the ensemble. Why not incorporate it with your swimwear? Layering a jean jacket over your bathing suit and pairing it with shorts, flowy pants, or a maxi skirt is such a cool way to go from the beach to dinner or poolside to a shopping excursion. Plus, covering your bathing suit with a jacket will open a whole new world for your wardrobe: one where your favorite bikini top works as an actual top.


Speaking of repurposing pieces as tops – lingerie as outerwear is a great way to weave sultry looks into your wardrobe, but that doesn't mean we're all brave enough to head out to the bars in just our bras. Layer your jean jacket on top of a pretty bralette or lingerie bodysuit for a chic look. And, if underwear on the outside isn't quite daring enough for your hot girl summer, why not let your jean jacket get in on the fun of the topless blazer moment that's all the rage? Grab an oversized denim jacket and button a few buttons over a skimpy bralette or nothing at all to embrace boldness and sexiness while maintaining a cool, effortless vibe. 

Balance bold prints

There's no better time for a bold, eye-catching print than summertime. And, there's no better way to balance a bold, eye-catching print than with a solid, neutral layer on top. This is why throwing your denim jacket over your favorite bold printed piece is the summer OOTD formula. This applies to jumpsuits, rompers, maxi dresses, maxi skirts — any fun printed article you can dream up. 


How cute would this colorful Maggy London maxi dress look dressed down with an oversized, light-wash jean jacket and some nude sandals? What about these amazing green printed pants with a cropped denim jacket and a white crop top? The trick of adding your denim jacket to a vibrant, bold outfit will give you more freedom to wear things that you may have otherwise deemed too over-the-top to pull off. Next time you see a wild printed maxi skirt that you think is too bold for your day-to-day life, consider just how different it might look if you mellowed it out a bit with a dash of denim. 

Use as an accessory

When it comes to dressing in the summertime, there's one important thing that we often forget to incorporate into the conversation. As difficult as it can be to dress for super hot weather, it can be made even worse when you enter a building that's blasting the air conditioning when you're wearing a spaghetti strap sundress and drenched in sweat. This is one of the things that we love most about having a jacket with us when we go out in the summer heat. Still, that doesn't mean that we want to add an extra layer to our ensemble when we're out in the blazing hot sun. The answer? Sport your denim jacket as an accessory, instead.


Whether you want to wrap it around your waist, lay it over your shoulders, tie it to your bag, or just drape it over the crook of your arm when you're walking around, your jacket can act as an accessory all on its own and make your ensemble look more laidback and cool. And, this accessory isn't just there for looks; you can always grab it whenever you find yourself right in front of that pesky A/C.