Fresh Ways To Style Your Staple Denim Jackets For Spring 2023

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The arrival of spring means budding flowers, warmer afternoons, and birds waking you up a bit too early in the morning. It also heralds the arrival of a brand-new wardrobe. In the fashion world, seasonal collections are introduced well in advance, with 2023 spring and summer styles hitting runways in fall 2022, per Grazia magazine. This year, waistlines will continue to get lower and lower, and oversized fashion will reign supreme. 

Social media plays a key role in determining trends — TikTok subcultures like Balletcore, Clowncore, and Regencycore (among dozens of others) have not only received millions of views on the app but their influence can be spotted in the most recent collections of high-brow designers like Ludovic de Saint Sernin and Miu Miu.

However, no matter the decade, denim remains a consistent staple. Specifically, jean jackets are in that seasonal sweet spot — they're not quite warm enough for winter, and often too heavy for the height of summer. Whether you're caught in an April shower or enjoying the May flowers, here's how to style a staple denim jacket like a pro in 2023. 

Try your hand at double denim

Often called the Canadian tuxedo, denim on denim is nothing new. Princess Diana famously paired a denim jacket with high-rise jeans in the '90s, and today's high fashion It-girls like Bella Hadid and Julia Fox have taken a liking to the decades-old look too. For this, all you'll need is your go-to denim jacket, a good pair of jeans, and a simple T-shirt. To go the extra mile, layer a denim vest underneath — check out this Pacsun design for inspiration. Complete the look with anything from white sneakers to heeled boots. 

Layer over a comfy hoodie

Wear a neutral-toned hoodie underneath an oversized denim jacket on those cooler spring days. For bottoms, go with anything from black wide-legged trousers to yoga pants, completing the look with weather-resistant combat boots and a tote bag. This fit is perfect for a casual afternoon of errands or even long-distance plane travel. In fact, the aesthetic is so popular that some denim jackets are even made with built-in hoods — for instance, see this design available on Amazon

Go the extra mile with overalls

Megababe founder Katie Sturino spoke to the versatility of overalls with InStyle: "You can dress them up and make them chic or keep them casual." Underneath your go-to jacket, wear matching denim overalls like this well-reviewed pair from Madewell. Finish off with a collared shirt, a tie, and statement earrings, which will give you an effortlessly '80s-esque androgynous aesthetic. For footwear, opt for platform penny loafers or combat boots. It takes a lot of confidence to wear denim overalls with a blue jean jacket, so if you're hoping to keep the look toned down, experiment with brown or black denim instead.

Match with a denim mini

Miu Miu revolutionized the modern-day mini in 2022, cutting the hemline extra short and the waistline even lower à-la the early 2000s. Though a denim mini from the designer brand retails for over $1,000, there's no need to dip into your retirement account early in the name of fashion. Instead, check out this Mango mini for just under $60. Pair it with a denim vest and complete your ensemble with knee-high black boots and chic shades.

Pair with a form-fitting catsuit

Though originally intended for gymnasts to wear during training and competitions, bodysuits have quickly become a style staple. Kim Kardashian, in particular, has supported shapewear since before its prime, launching her own brand, Skims, in 2019. Whereas shapewear was once concealed under other layers, it's now proudly worn as outerwear. Match a form-fitting jumpsuit with your go-to denim jacket, much like in the above video. Complete the ultra-sexy going-out look with heeled boots and a statement purse.

Denim blazers bring that business casual edge

Based on '80s power suits, oversized blazers have been dominating red carpets and runways for the last few years. Not only are they comfortable, but they're also incredibly versatile. You can match them with everything from bike shorts to evening gowns. Specifically, an oversized denim blazer makes for the perfect spring coffee date or study session look. If you're going for that academia-inspired aesthetic, style your blazer with a turtleneck, flared pants, and heeled boots. 

Style your colorful denim with shorts

Stay cool during those warmer spring days by pairing your denim jacket with shorts. Wear a crop top underneath so you can remove layers as needed. After the pandemic, non-blue denim began steadily gaining popularity. "People [are] looking for more accessible, fun, and comfortable ways to incorporate color into their wardrobes — and jeans are the perfect way to do that," London-based artist Kat Rose explained to The Zoe Report. It's up to you whether you jump on this post-quarantine color kick or stick to the classics. 

Pair with patterned pants

There's nothing quite so comfortable (and stylish) as flowing patterned pants in the spring. Style floral bottoms with your go-to cropped denim jacket, a white tee, and matching shades. As Miranda Priestley famously noted in "The Devil Wears Prada," floral patterns in the spring aren't necessarily a new concept — but they are timeless. To shop the exact outfit above, check out Girl With Curves. Complete the brunch-worthy look with heeled sandals or sneakers depending on how you're feeling. 

Try a cropped jacket with a midi dress

Dress down a formal midi with the help of your trusty denim jacket. Paired with combat boots or simple flats, this look is perfect for a first date. For starters, check out this Parade bodycon midi, accessorizing with a waist chain and a statement handbag for added flair. Alternatively, opt for a loose-fitting option like this spring design from Madewell. As the weather warms up throughout the day, drape your jacket stylishly over your shoulders. 

Add pops of color

Elevate your Canadian tuxedo with expert pops of color. Specifically, bright red pairs nicely with blue denim. Match your jean jacket with red boots, a vintage-inspired red manicure, and a bright red lip. On stormier days, go the extra mile by layering on a red trenchcoat like this vinyl design from ASOS. Even fictional symbols of Americana like Rosie the Riveter are fans of the blue and red combination. She famously paired a denim jacket with a red polka dot head scarf all the way in the '40s. 

Go with the wild wild west of footwear

Although denim jackets were worn by members of the counter-cultural movement throughout the '60s and '70s, they were primarily preferred by cowboys and workmen in the late 19th century. Pay homage to these origins by styling your denim jacket with cowboy boots. Finish off the look with a simple white T-shirt and mini skirt, or keep it casual with cut-off jean shorts. Alternatively, a sundress, cowboy boots, and a denim jacket make for the ideal, laidback barn wedding ensemble. 

Layer over a knitted skirt set

Both formal and informal, two-piece sets are growing increasingly popular on social media. They allow for effortless style, which is especially nice if you're in a rush. Best of all, you can wear each piece individually, mixing and matching it with your other wardrobe staples. This spring, style a skirt set with knee-high boots and your go-to denim jacket. Take it up a notch with a denim skirt and vest set for a full-on jean aesthetic. 

Perfect the art of matching makeup

Complementary makeup takes a good outfit to the next level, transforming it into something truly unforgettable. Pair your blue jean jacket with denim-inspired makeup, as seen in the above photos. Start with a base of blue eyeshadow before drawing on a sharp cat eye, completing the look with 3-D pearls for "Euphoria"-inspired glam. TikTok's washed-denim eye makeup trend is truly taking over the beauty world. "Blue eyeshadow trends every 20 to 30 years ... And this time around, it's coming back in the form of washed denim," makeup artist Hannah Rosie Bennett informed Bustle

Pair your denim with bike shorts

The "no pants" trend is taking the fashion world by storm, turning underwear into outerwear. In the past year, it's been popularized by the likes of Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber, who are both fans of pants-less streetwear in all weather. This spring, capitalize on the trend by styling bike shorts with an oversized tee and your favorite denim jacket. Whether you're heading back from a yoga class or you're grabbing a quick coffee, this look's got you covered (if not physically, at least on the style front). Like Hadid, pair the ensemble with mini-platform Uggs for maximum comfort.

Black denim makes for a chic aesthetic

If your staple denim jacket is black, the opportunities are endless. Style it with faux leather pants, combat boots, and a vintage band tee for an edgy look. Alternatively, keep it classy with a plain white shirt, tailored black jeans, and a pair of shades. Darker wash denim will keep your outfit looking a touch more formal — plus, it won't show any stains. When you do clean your jacket, wash it on its own, cold water cycle, and always air dry to prevent it from shrinking.

Layer your denim trench over a chic button down

Trenchcoats are a street-style staple, typically worn in shades of brown and beige by influencers and off-duty models alike. This season, shake it up with your go-to denim duster. Pair it with a matching wash of blue jeans, a black or neutral button-down, and platform shoes. Style the coat with pleated suit pants and heels on more formal occasions, completing the look with a statement handbag and a tie for a more masculine edge.

A striped jumpsuit gives off retro vibes

Since the release of Taylor Swift's "Midnights" and Amazon Prime's hit series "Daisy Jones and The Six," '70s-inspired looks are trending. We're seeing modern reimaginings of the mullet cut, Farrah Fawcett waves, mini skirts, and bell-bottom jeans. Of course, it also wouldn't be the '70s without an excess of denim and a jumpsuit or two. For starters, check out this pink utility suit from Lulus, or scan the aisles of your local thrift store to find a more authentic statement piece. Complete the look with go-go boots and psychedelic earrings for maximum retro vibes. 

Keep it casual over a bra top

These days, it's increasingly popular to rock a bra as a top. In fact, model and actor Julia Fox famously wore an underwear-bralette set and a denim jacket to pick up groceries in the midst of the pandemic. Though you don't have to take it to that extreme, pair a simple Calvin Klein bra top with high-waisted pants for added coverage. Layer your go-to denim jacket on top. Or, fully commit to the Julia Fox aesthetic by wearing a Clavin Klein denim bustier, letting your midriff breathe with low-rise jeans.

Wear your jacket like a dress

If you have an oversized denim jacket, take the plunge and wear it like a dress. For more comfort, layer bike shorts or thermal leggings underneath. Alternatively, take inspiration from Ashley Graham's look for Gigi Hadid's denim-themed birthday party way back in 2019, and style your jacket with thigh-high boots. For starters, check out these black suede boots on Amazon. Like the A-list model, cinch the waist in with a belt. Alternatively, leave it loose smock dress-style.

Pair your jacket with a maxi skirt

Ankle-length skirts present a conservative alternative to the micro mini. Now beloved by fashion It-girls, maxi skirts are spring's newest staple. "Sometimes, trends are hard to jump on when you feel like you have nothing in your wardrobe to go with them, but the maxi skirt is a great way to apply a trend to an everyday wardrobe," personal stylist Christina Stein encouraged newbies, in an interview with InStyle, recommending that people replace their jeans with a denim maxi. Alternatively, stay comfy in a flowing cotton skirt, styling with a plain tee and a denim jacket.

Fringe is perfect for festival season

Spring marks the beginning of the festival season, heralding a new set of opportunities to show off your evolving style. This year, experiment with fringe. "Fashion has undoubtedly been leaning in a fun, expressive direction with maximalism and color — fanciful fringe is just a natural extension of that," Taylor Tomasi Hill, former creative and fashion director at THE YES, told The Zoe Report. Debut a trendy fringed denim jacket or wear a '70s-inspired fringe bralette from Nasty Gal, finishing the look off with statement boots. 

Wear over a mini dress to complete your going out look

Wear a denim jacket with your go-to mini dress on a night out. Not only will it keep you warm, but it also has much-needed pockets in which to store the necessities: phone, wallet, keys, etc. Although you can't go wrong with a Coco Chanel-inspired little black dress, reimagine the classics with cut-outs and color blocks while staying warm with colorful tights. Check out these opaque leggings from Calzedonia in over 16 shades — remember, purple and Valentino pink are high fashion's most recent favorite colors.

We're living in a low-rise world

The controversial Y2K trend for wearing low-rise pants is officially back in style, and it's only a matter of time before visible thongs (aka "whale tails") enjoy a full-on resurgence too. "After the pandemic, I wanted to feel a bit more optimistic and light, because I think we've been wearing lots of heavy clothes," designer Rok Hwang explained to The Guardian while discussing the inspiration behind his Spring 2022 collection. Start by contrasting low-rise pants with a high-cut bodysuit or crop top. Tie it all together with your staple denim jacket — if it's in a bedazzled early-2000s style, all the better.