12 Of The Best Black Denim Jackets: A Closet Staple For Every Type Of Sartorial Man
Mr. Levis Strauss first designed the trusty, hard wearing denim jacket over 140 years ago. Once the uniform of American tough guys, hippies, and hip-hop legends, it’s now the cornerstone of every modern man’s wardrobe—whatever your style preferences.
As with every popular menswear piece, it’s now produced in a wide range of styles and colors. And sitting 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.
Good news is, there’s an endless sea of designs to choose from. However, navigating your way through the good and bad can become a little overwhelming. To help out, we’ve whittled down the undisputed champs.
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 give off rebellious energy. And that energy simply can’t be matched by its blue counterpart. This version from Edwin is giving off a whole lotta bad-boy attitude.
Made from 100% cotton denim, it features a zipped 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: Regular | Features: Zip-closure, Patched Pockets
While the original sherpa jacket is firmly in the category of western wear, the most recent versions can be rocked with a wide range of outfits. This one from Alex Arigato will have no trouble fitting into your daily rotation.
A great transition piece, it’s crafted using a durable heavy denim fabric with a slightly washed appearance. Wear it with a short-sleeved tee for lighter temps, and layer it over a chunky sweater once the cold weather starts to set in.
Material: 69% Cotton, 19% Polyester, 8% Recycled Fibers, 4% Other | Sizes available: XS-XL | Fit: Regular | Features: Sherpa Collar
Layering a hoodie with your denim jacket is a great look, but it can be hard to pull off. Unless you size up, you’ll often find your jacket is too tight because of the bulkiness underneath. There is a solution—Leif Nelson’s jacket-hoodie hybrid.
Part denim jacket, part hoodie, it’s crafted from cotton with a hint of stretch, aligning with 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 | Features: Hood
The Rick Owens DRKSHDW diffusion line launched in 2005, showcasing an impressive range of luxury denim. Today, it’s the more accessibly-priced sub-brand, showing off forward-thinking staples like this distressed denim jacket.
Cut from stretch cotton for a loose fit, it features frayed slashes throughout—lending a rock’ n’ roll edge to everyday ensembles. This style fits true to size, but you can try going up one if you want an oversized look. Pair it with a bold graphic tee, skinny denim, and statement sneakers. You’re officially ready for any concert.
Material: 91% Cotton, 6% Elastane, 3% Rubber Fiber | Sizes available: S-XXL | Fit: Loose | Features: 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 tabs.
What else is great about this particular piece, you ask? It boasts enough attitude to change your style for the better every day of the week. Wear it with a white tee, gray jeans, and sneakers. This fail-safe look will take you from city lunches to summer festivals instantly.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sizes available: XS-XXXL | Fit: Oversized | Features: Patch Pockets, Adjustable Side Tabs
Looking good doesn’t have to leave you broke. There are plenty of brands out there that offer affordable black denim jackets. A must-have for every collection, this version from GAP takes on the look of an old favorite. Crafted from 100% cotton in a washed effect, it’s finished with front patch pockets and a classic collar.
Coming in at a budget-friendly price, it leaves you with plenty of spare change to build an outfit perfect for work or the weekend. Our ideal style suggestion is a simple crew neck sweater, chinos, and sneakers.
Material: 95% Cotton, 5% Recycled Cotton | Sizes available: XS-XXXL | Fit: Relaxed | Features: Patch Pockets
If you’re looking to add a dash 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 to a flattering shape, it features a pointed collar and two chest pockets. There are also adjustable button tabs at the back waist, so you’ll always get the perfect fit.
Ideal for lunch with friends but smart enough for weekend parties, too—it’s a versatile option for year-round wear. Leave it unbuttoned to reveal some practical layering of your favorite tee, sweater, or hoodie. The finishing touch is slim-fit black jeans, of course.
Material: 98% Organic Cotton, 2% Elastane | Sizes available: XS-XXL | Fit: Fitted | Features: Flap Pockets, Adjustable Tabs
Each Fear of God Essentials piece is inspired by Jerry Lorenzo’s childhood. In particular, growing up playing basketball and listening to ’90s grunge. The latter was clearly in mind when he produced this men’s black denim jacket.
Cut to a relaxed silhouette, it features adjustable waist tabs that give you a bit more structure. It also sports tonal button fastenings up the front, on the cuffs, and at the chest flap pockets for extra punch. You could team it with a pair of the label’s iconic sweatpants or dress it up slightly with jeans and boots.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sizes available: XXS-XXL | Fit: Relaxed | Features: Faded
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 dying methods, and gentle washing techniques. Now you can look good while saving considerable amounts of water, chemicals, and electricity. All without compromising on quality.
The versatile dark rinsed wash goes well with a range of pants. The buttoned pockets, subtle branding, and logo buttons make a great match for your favorite black tee. It’ll look just as good with distressed jeans and boots as it will with cropped pants and sneakers.
Material: 62% Organic Cotton, 23% Cotton, 15% Linen | Sizes available: XS-XXL | Fit: Regular | Features: Eco-Friendly, Buttoned Pockets
If you’re looking to add a little pizzazz to your outfit, a statement denim jacket is your lord and savior. A must-have for any forward-thinking guy, it’ll 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: Regular | Features: Distressed, Blue Stars
The best black denim jacket (well, at least to us) 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 having already gone through the equivalent of one wash. Yes, they were nice enough to start the breaking-in process for you. It’s a nice head start in creating a unique garment that tells its own story. Wear yours with a graphic tee and skinny jeans for a foolproof look suitable for every day.
Material: 100% Organic Cotton | Sizes available: S-XL | Fit: Regular | Features: Selvedge Denim
Eco-friendliness and sustainability are as important to Nudie Jeans as style and quality. They took all three into consideration when they produced this slim-fitting beauty. To make you feel even better about it, organic cotton is timeless, durable, and better for the planet.
A truly awesome addition to any wardrobe. It features all the classic fixtures and fittings you would expect from the best black denim jackets—buttoned cuffs, pockets, and waist tabs. If you want to speed up the breaking-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 | Features: Buttoned Cuffs, Waist Tabs
What To Look For In The Best Black Denim Jacket
The best black denim jackets are available in a variety of styles. Which one you choose will depend on personal taste. If you want a classic look (suitable for the majority of smart-casual occasions), invest in a regular fit design. Save embellishments or rips for a laid-back vibe. For something a little more ‘out-there,’ turn your attention to oversized, distressed, or patterned versions.
Unless you opt for an oversized or relaxed fit, a regular fit of any of the best black denim jackets should fit similarly to a shirt. The seam should sit on, or around, the shoulder, with the sleeves hitting the top of your wrist. The hem, however, will sit a little higher. As for the chest, there should be enough room to button it up (if you should want to, that is).
The best black denim jackets are 100% cotton. Some will also feature a hint of stretch to keep you mobile. Actually, many would argue that stretch-denim is more comfortable. You may also come across others crafted 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 sartorial arsenal. It’s a reliable workhorse that can be worn in a range of ways to suit your unique style. Perhaps the most popular method is leaving it unbuttoned, sporting a classic tee underneath.
You may also wish to pop the collar or roll 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 team it with smarter separates such as dressier trousers and a snappy pair of boots.
The denim jacket is hard working in more ways than one. Not only is it durable, but it’s a versatile and effortlessly stylish option that can work well pretty much anywhere. It may be simple, but it provides some serious style power when you throw in some of your favorite smart-casual pieces—graphic tees, sweaters, hoodies.
Straight-cut black pants are always a great choice, while white jeans offer 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 some errands, a pair of joggers will take your outfit stylishly in the other direction.