The combination of durability and practicality is well represented in the everyday wardrobe, while good looks are just a bonus.
Take the denim jacket as an example: robust, versatile, and always stylish. It's an outfit that no discerning man should be without.
In this article, let's discuss one of the most enduring garments in menswear: why you need a denim jacket, and and the main types of denim jackets.
Layering is one of the cornerstones of good dressing, and the denim jacket is a brilliant layering tool.
Slim enough to be worn under a coat or paired coat, yet strong enough to be worn as a separate layer in the transitional months, this blue-collared main jacket is a garment that can be worn universally. It's an investment piece purely because of how much use you'll get out of a garment - it can be worn every day and into an infinite number of outfits all year round. Throw it over a t-shirt in the summer evenings, put it over a flannel shirt in the spring and autumn, or even under a thick jacket in the winter.
Add to that the fact that it's a rare item that gets better with age, and it's easy to see why the denim jacket deserves a place in your wardrobe.
To get a jacket that is guaranteed to stand the test of time in terms of both looks and longevity, there are a few key things to bear in mind. Here are the most important buying considerations.
We've said it a million times before, but it's always worth repeating: fit is everything. This takes precedence over everything else. It doesn't matter if it costs £100 or £1,000, if the cat doesn't suit you, it will never look good.
Denim jackets come in all shapes, styles, and sizes. However, as a general rule of thumb, they are cut much shorter than other outerwear styles. Traditionally, the hem will be at the hip or just above it. It should also provide enough room for knitwear or jumpers to be worn underneath without severely restricting movement.
This particular garment should always be constructed from denim. However, as any connoisseur of jeans already knows, this still leaves a lot of room for interpretation.
Stiff, unfinished denim can be stiff and uncomfortable at first, but over time develops into something truly unique that fits you like a glove. Meanwhile, washed denim will be softer and ready to wear right off the hanger. Either way, weight is often a sign of quality - so, generally speaking, the heavier, the better.
In the world of menswear, it's often a case of you get what you pay for. Yes, it is possible to get a good-looking denim jacket for less than £100, but as to whether it will stand the test of time, that's more difficult to say.
One thing we can say for sure - to a certain extent - is that a higher price tag tends to equate to better quality denim, and better denim is always better and more durable than cheap denim. Therefore, the more you spend, the more likely you are to get a jacket that will still be around after you've left.
So, what should your budget be? Realistically, a few hundred pounds will guarantee you a top-notch design made with quality, heavyweight denim from a renowned mill. If it's more than £500, you're just paying extra for the label.
The final factor to consider is color—Black, white, grey, indigo, stonewash, etc. Denim jackets are available in a huge range of colors, but some will benefit your wardrobe more than others.
The classic indigo is our color of choice. Of all the washed-out colors, it is the most traditional and versatile. In other words, it always looks great, and it complements anything you choose to wear.
As fashion has evolved, so have denim jackets. These days you can pick from several modern silhouettes, from lightweight jackets to miscellaneous coats suitable for workwear. Below you'll find four types that Ape suggests every man has in his wardrobe.
When you imagine a denim jacket, this is likely to be the style that comes to mind. It features a cropped length, buttoned chest pockets, a collar, stitched detailing on the front, and often button adjustments at the waist. It's a great all-rounder - perfect for layering in winter or as a light jacket in spring and summer.
Lightweight, loose and versatile, the denim smock is somewhere between an all-rounder denim jacket and a casual shirt. It usually has chest pockets with button closures and can be worn as a middle layer or a stand-alone outer layer with a t-shirt in warmer weather. It's a great option for summer nights when a classic denim jacket might be too heavy.
The service coat is a time-honored classic piece of workwear that is rugged, stylish, and timeless. It is most commonly made from thick duck canvas, but denim is also a common choice. It typically features three or four patch pockets at the front, a classic collar, and a squared-off silhouette.
At its core, the denim jacket is a transitional garment. As a stand-alone garment, it doesn't offer much in the way of warmth, which is why the version with shearling is the best choice for cold conditions. The thick wool lining traps heat next to the body and spills out into the collar, providing visual contrast and texture.