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Very few items of clothing are so universally beloved as the iconic jean jacket. (Show us another wardrobe staple that pairs just as well with a sundress or workout gear as it does with an LBD or even a wedding dress.) To honor our favorite go-to topper, we’ve pulled together a list of 17 jean jacket outfits we’d gladly wear any day of the week. Plus, one combination that doesn’t quite work.

RELATED: The 7 Rules of Dressing for Summer in 2022 (& One Look That's Officially Done-zo)

Liz Teich

1. With a Prairie Dress

Billowing floral dresses are a summertime staple, but if you don’t want to look like you’re testing out a Little Women Halloween costume, add a denim jacket. The look brings things back into the 21st century, and gives you a figure in a dress that can otherwise look shapeless.

Shop similar styles: Levi’s Original Trucker Jacket ($98); The Great Tassel Tie Dress ($375); Nisolo Amalia Leather Boots ($250)

Fashion Steele NYC / Monroe Steele

2. To Offset a Slip

A slinky tank top, slip skirt and strappy heels makes for an excellent date night ensemble. But if you want to tone down the sexiness just a smidge, a longline jacket can offer additional coverage without sacrificing any style points.

Shop similar styles: MICHAEL Michael Kors Oversized Denim Jacket ($250); Quine Washable Silk Cami ($98; $40); Nation Ltd Mabel Skirt ($193; $78); Staud Shirley Bag ($210); Mix No. 6 Aliciana Sandals ($50)

jean jacket outfits shorts
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

3. Cropped with Shorts and a Tee

The summer-ready jean jackets are a bit shorter in length and fit closer to the body. This helps to balance out shorter hemlines, like a minidress or classic shorts.

Shop similar styles: Abercrombie & Fitch ‘90s Drapey Denim Jacket ($99; $80); Everlane Organic Cotton T-Shirt ($30); Nasty Gal Faux-Leather Shorts ($100; $50); Madewell Leather Transport Bag ($158)

jean jacket outfits mixed prints
Georgie Hunter/Getty Images

4. With Wild Prints

We love a good print mixing moment. But adding in one sleek, neutral piece, like this cropped dark-wash denim jacket, can help pull everything together no matter how wild or colorful your printed pieces may be.

Shop similar styles: Banana Republic Essential Jean Jacket ($100); ASOS Design Button-Front Blouse ($40); Cider High-Waist Pants ($24); Coach Marlie Handbag ($428; $172); Sam Edelman Hazel Heels ($140)

jean jacket outfits white eyelet dress
Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

5. With a Sundress

Another wonderfully classic combination, blue denim and white eyelet lace will always look gorgeous together. Try to find a jacket that hits within a three or so inches of your waist to avoid looking too frumpy with a maxi dress or oddly disproportionate with a mini.

Shop similar styles: J.Crew Classic Denim Jacket ($118); Maeve Eyelet Midi Dress ($190); Cuyana Half Moon Shoulder Bag ($298); J.Crew Sorrento Sandals ($118; $50)

jean jacket outfits black with florals
Edward Berthelot /Getty Images

6. Black Wash with Spring Florals

What’s the easiest way to make delicate blooms and dainty pastels feel less precious? With a biker-inspired black jean jacket draped over your shoulders, of course.

Shop similar styles: Lucky Brand Tomboy Denim Jacket ($119; $72) Old Navy Cotton T-Shirt ($13; $8); Reformation Grazie Skirt ($148); Havaianas St. Tropez Sandals ($42)

jean jacket outfits corduroy pants
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

7. With Corduroy

Have yourself a ‘70s moment with flared cords and a denim jacket in that OG true blue wash. A ladylike bag and pointy toes will give your look a more modern vibe, but we’re not opposed to slipping into a pair of Birkenstocks as well.

Shop similar styles: Old Navy Classic Dark-Wash Jacket ($40); GAP Long-Sleeve Shirt ($30; $23); Cider Corduroy Pants ($28); Brahmin Faux Croc Tote Bag ($395); Lattelier Pointed-Toe Pumps ($85)

jean jacket outfits belted like a shirt
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

8. Belted as a Shirt

Button your jacket up all the way, add a belt at your waist and voilà! You’ve got yourself a brand-new top to pair with anything from a classic black pencil skirt to faux leather joggers.

Shop similar styles: Madewell Oversized Trucker Jean Jacket ($138); B-Low the Belt Zuri Wrap Belt ($144)

jean jacket outfits leather pencil skirt
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

9. In a Polished Blazer Cut

When we think of jean jackets, we immediately imagine a classic trucker style. But there are tons of other silhouettes to consider, like a tailored blazer, for example. Lean into the mix of professional and weekend-ready with a leg-baring pencil skirt or printed trouser.

Shop similar styles: Something Navy Double-Breasted Denim Blazer ($225); Lucky Brand Logo T-Shirt ($40; $28); Reiss Reagan Leather Skirt ($328); Vince Camuto Hamden Slingbacks ($99)

jean jacket outfits layered coats
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

10. Layered Under Another Jacket

No need to break out the tired peacoat (again). Instead, pair two jackets, one denim and one patterned trench, for a fashion-week ready look that’s just as warm.

Shop similar styles: Madewell Westlawn Jean Jacket ($128); BA&SH Fauve Trench Coat ($595; $178); GRLFRND Sara Jeans ($195); Reformation Gigi Heels ($248)

jean jacket outfits winter pastels
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

11. With Pastels

Mint green, bright winter white and other cool pastel hues are trending big right now, so why not add in a touch of ice blue too?

Shop similar styles: AG Kendrix Jacket ($265); Lululmeon Back in Action T-Shirt ($58); Ronny Kobo Noro Skirt ($368); House of Want We Are Fabulous Bag ($88); Jeffrey Campbell Taysha Boots ($278)

jean jacket outfits denim on denim
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

12. Matching Denim on Denim

The trick for not looking like a lost cowboy is to opt for extra with a bit more polish. Think pointy-toe shoes, Steve Jobs-esque turtlenecks, flirty blouses and colorful leather handbags.

Shop similar styles: American Eagle Outfitters Classic Denim Jacket ($90) and AE V-Rise Mom Jean ($50); Sanctuary Essentials Turtleneck ($59); Street Level Faux-Leather Crossbody Bag ($54); Raid Enrique Heels ($48)

jean jacket outfits two tone denim on denim
Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images

13. Mismatched Denim on Denim

If a monochrome denim suit isn’t really your style, try mixing things up with two different washes. It doesn’t matter if you do the lighter shade on top or on bottom, as long as there’s a distinct and obvious difference between the two shades.

Shop similar styles: GAP Icon Denim Jacket ($70; $35); G-Star Raw Deck Wide-Leg Jeans ($150); Tory Burch Ballet Loafers ($298; $219)

jean jacket outfits denim accessories
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

14. Denim on Denim on Denim

A chambray shirt with skinnies and a denim handbag? Sounds good to us. Just be sure to add in at least one non-denim, non-blue item (like a beige trench or statement belt) or you’ll run the risk of looking like Britney and Justin at the 2001 American Music Awards.

Shop similar styles: Sophie & Hailee Belted Denim Jacket ($68); Nasty Gal Colorblock Trench Coat ($152; $76); L'Agence Margot Jeans ($245); JW Pei Denim Crossbody Bag ($109); Jack Rogers Brianna Booties ($168; $99)

jean jacket outfits red colorful
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

15. Colorful Denim on Denim

Red, pink, white or yellow all feel fresh and fashion forward and are still as comfortable and easy to wear as their blue-wash counterparts. As for tops and accessories, neutral hues will give your denim pieces room to truly shine, while brighter colors or patterns will give a trendy Y2K vibe that’s definitely worth a try.

Shop similar styles: Mango Denim Jacket ($60) and Bootcut Jeans ($50); lululemon All Yours Cotton T-shirt ($58); Sam Edelman Loraine Loafers ($150)

Amanda Stewart

16. In an Unexpected Silhouette

Swap the typical trucker style for a long trench coat instead. Layer it over straight-leg jeans and a cropped tee, your favorite LBD or even an office-ready suit—this refined silhouette works with all of them.

Shop similar styles: Instantfunk Denim Trench Coat ($390; $320); Brixton Audrey Beret Hat ($49); John & Jenn by Line Cedric Top ($89); RE/DONE ‘90s High-Rise Jeans ($280); Marc Fisher Ulani Boots ($189; $114)

jean jacket outfits with workout apparel
gotpap/Bauer-Griffin / Contributor

17. Over Your Gym Clothes

Yes, you could throw a sweatshirt on over your leggings, but a jean jacket looks more put together. So when you inevitably run into your coworker/kid’s teacher/book club frenemy, you won’t feel quite so underdressed.

Shop similar styles: Polo Ralph Lauren Denim Jacket ($198); Nike Dri-FIT One Elastika Tank Top ($35; $23); lululeon Wunder Train Leggings ($88); Brooks Revel 5 Sneakers ($100)

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Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images

DON'T: Over Longer Outerwear

Layering your denim jacket under a longer coat, like a trench or wool peacoat, can create a fun layered look that provides extra warmth. But if you swap those pieces around and wear your cropped denim over a longer silhouette the proportions just don’t work and you wind up looking disheveled. Stick with the outfit formula you know works—shorter layers on the inside, longer layers on the outside—for a foolproof, totally chic outerwear combination.

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