How to Wear A Denim Jacket with Your Formal Attire?

Guess what? Denim jackets are back in popularity, all thanks to the attention given to them by Gen Z. But, those of you who are mostly in business meetings and offices might wonder how to wear a denim jacket with formal wear.

It turns out that denim jackets are hands-down one of the most versatile articles of clothing there is. You can pair it easily with both casual jeans and dress pants for the ideal look.

All you need to do is pay attention to the style of jacket you are picking, its color, and the combination of attire you are wearing with it. Here is a comprehensive guide to help you figure out the perfect formal look.

1. Pick the right fit

Choose a right fit denim jacket


Regardless of whether you are looking to learn how to wear a denim jacket with jeans or trousers, one thing is essential to pull off a sophisticated look – the right fit!

Denim jackets are available in a variety of shapes, cuts, and silhouettes just like bomber or biker leather jackets.

While baggy jackets are still trendy if you are going for a more relaxed and casual vibe, you cannot pull off such a look if you are about to enter a corporate meeting. For such occasions, you require well-fitted outerwear. In fact, cropped and fitted denim jackets can help you look sharper.

But, if you don’t wish to experiment too much with the fit, we suggest that you opt for a denim jacket that is a snug fit and one that finishes near your hip. By snug-fitting, we mean that the jacket should not feel tight even when all the buttons are done up.

2. Wear it with a shirt and tie

Denim jacket with shirt and a tie


Search up “how to wear a denim jacket women’s,” and you will realize that it is easier for women to pair various looks with denim jackets and different colored leather jackets such as pink or maroon leather jackets. Between summer dresses to flared pants, there is no type of outfit out of the question!

Comparatively, a search about “how to wear a denim jacket mens for formal looks” will result in fewer results. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. For starters, nothing makes one look formal better than the right button-down shirt along with a tie.

That’s right. You can mix a casual denim jacket with a plain white button-down Oxford shirt and a knitted tie, and voila, you will be ready to walk into any formal event. This is probably the power of the combination of tie and shirt. It makes almost anything look formal.

3. Add an overcoat

Style denim jacket with an overcoat


Winter is surely coming! This means you can easily get away with wearing two different types of outerwear. A great way of how to wear a denim jacket for formal looks is to pair it up with an overcoat.

For this, you need to ensure that the denim jacket you choose is slim-fitted. Or else, you will look too bulky and hence might be mistaken for being from the Santa Claus family! To test how slim the jacket must be, make sure that you can get at least two fingers down when your jacket is done up.

Also, opt for a narrow-necked jacket so that its collar does not compete for attention with the overcoat’s lapels. When it comes to overcoats, pick a neutral shade to complement the blue denim. We would suggest going for beige.

Nothing looks more sophisticated than a grey or beige overcoat.

4. Choose tailored trousers over jeans

Trousers over jeans


Just like the effect a classy shirt and tie has on your look, the same is true for the type of trousers you choose.

When you think about it, your bottom wear largely governs whether a given look can be classified as “formal.” Although the world of “work from home” and zoom meetings has shown us otherwise.

A tailored, smart trouser can minimize the apparent discord between a casual denim jacket and an otherwise formal look. If you have been wondering about how to wear a denim jacket for over 60 years, this trick can ensure that you can jump on the denim trend without looking out of place.

To further create a formal aura, pick a color other than classic blue. Contrary to popular belief, denim comes in various colors, including cream, black, grey, etc. The more muted the shades, the higher the chance you can pass it off for formal wear.

5. A pair of Chinos can work too

Pair of chinos


You might have already heard of the classic combination of denim jackets with chinos. Many people don’t know that they can learn how to wear a denim jacket with chinos while looking formal.

It all comes down to the contrast of colors. The differing textures of the fabric of denim and chinos already make it an excellent alternative for trousers. And when you choose neutral shades like beige and pair them with a white dress shirt, a tie, and a cream jacket, you can easily win the outfit game.

However, remember to pair the Chinos well. If the other accessories do not complement the look, the same trousers can make you look out of place. So, the trick is all in the final look and not just the separate article of clothing!

6. Say no to embellishments

If you tour a few jacket places near you, you will notice that there are quite a lot of styles available these days. We are not even talking about the type of denim jacket. Instead, we are referring to the types of buttons and frills that come with them.

It goes without saying that you need to keep away from all sorts of additional embellishment for a formal look. Opt for a basic denim jacket. The closer it seems to a blazer or a suit, the better.

Remember, at its core, denim jackets are meant for casual occasions, so you need to hide their distinct features to be able to wear them in formal settings.

7. Pick the right shoes

Brown Leather shoes


One important element of the formal look is your footwear. And with denim, not all types of footwear go well. For starters, sadly, you cannot pull off dress shoes with denim jackets until the denim jacket is basic enough to be passed off as a blazer.

The key to picking the right shoes is to find ones that match both your jacket as well as your pants. For example, you cannot wear Oxfords with joggers! And loafers go perfectly with chinos.

If you are going with an overcoat, you can opt for boots. However, make sure to avoid bulkier military boots since they will make you seem as if you are dressed against the extreme cold! In case you live in an intensely cold area, even this option can be explored.

Ending Remarks

With the right accessories and clothing, you can surely wear a denim jacket on formal occasions. This is the versatility that has kept the denim trend alive for decades. Who would have thought we would be back to the denim on denim phase of the 90s!

Even if you don’t agree with such combinations, nothing is stopping you from giving the jacket your own spin and creating a formal look out of it. With our guide, you are certainly ready to do so.