My thoughts on layering denim jackets

9f5193eecd08426d6cae63adc3245f7e My thoughts on layering denim jackets

Source: Followpics

I love denim jackets. I think they’re really quite versatile, can be easy to wear, and are great looking pieces if fitted properly.

However, I have recently been seeing a ton of magazines and blogs showcasing denim jackets being primarily used as layering pieces, underneath a sport coat, blazer, or some sort of other formal outerwear. Every publication I come across has at least one dude wearing a light denim jacket underneath their pretty business-like getup, consisting of pieces like sport coats and slacks.

I’m going to say right now, honestly, I have a little bit of a problem with this.

As convincing as GQ, Esquire, Details, or other menswear publications may be, I personally don’t think a denim jacket looks that great under a more formal outerwear piece. I mean really, if you’re wearing a blazer, what are you trying to say by putting a denim jacket underneath it? Perhaps: “Hey I’m formal and ready for business, but stylish/casual enough to be cool, man!”

Now this isn’t to say that denim jackets can’t be used effectively as layering pieces. When I wear a denim jacket underneath a wool coat or trench coat, I feel like it works, and that I’m being quite stylish actually. However, when putting these denim jackets underneath blazers, sport coats, suits, or other more formal outerwear, I feel like it looks a bit awkward and inappropriate in most situations. If it’s a formal getogether, the denim jacket really makes an inappropriate and contrasting statement. On the opposite spectrum, if it’s a really casual event, why are you wearing a blazer on top of that denim jacket anyway?

Feel free to disagree with my argument, but to me, the concept of wearing denim jackets with formalwear is a bit odd and out of place. I think if you own a denim jacket, you should wear it as your main outerwear layer, or if it’s cold, perhaps add a thick coat on top. But please, if you’re combining your denim jacket with a blazer, I think you might be trying too hard.

Let me know what you think? Do you agree, or am I just being nit-picky here?

My new year’s style resolutions

Weirdly, I take new year’s resolutions kind of seriously. Even if I fail, I’m usually determined to get as close to my goal as I can for the majority of the year.  This year, my resolutions include cooking at home more often, playing my musical instruments regularly, and actually reading books, but I don’t want to bore you with details on those.

More interestingly, here are my style-related resolutions, where I’m relying on you guys to help keep me accountable.

 My new years style resolutions

1. Layer more often.

Layering multiple pieces of clothing allows you to show your creativity and style a bit more than… well, not layering. Though layering is especially appropriate during the fall and winter, I still think it can be done properly all year round. There’s just more substance and variety when you start combining multiple pieces to create a cohesive outfit. It will stand as one of my top style goals for 2013.

handing over cash My new years style resolutions

2. Buy only if I love.

Sales can be irresistible, and often too hard to pass by. For example, I recently saw some authentic Harris tweed sport coats go on sale at Walmart (who’da thunk?) for $75 a pop. Ridiculous price for such a high quality garment. Well, just because the price was right, didn’t mean everything else was as well (it fit boxy, they didn’t have a color I liked, and the armholes were too big).

Through the years, I’ve been shafted by sales too many times to count, ultimately spending money on things I didn’t need or want, that could have gone to something I truly loved. My goal is to stop the impulse shopping, and focus on just those pieces that won’t leave my mind after I’ve tried them on in the store. Makes more sense to invest in things I love rather than spill money for things that are just OK.

nph 3 My new years style resolutions

3. Own a signature look.

Developing my signature look has been a work in progress for a while now, and that hasn’t changed entering 2013. I’m starting to understand what I feel most comfortable in, and conversely, what just isn’t me, but again it’s a work in progress. Is it the rugged Americana look, consisting of flannel, denim, and waxed cotton? Maybe it’s the sleek, precisely tailored European suits and wool outerwear look. I guess only time will tell, and it’s my mission to get closer to figuring it out this year.

Anyhow, I hope you guys keep me accountable. And good luck with all of your resolutions as well. I hope you are all able to achieve your highest highs this year. Seize opportunities, grab life by the horns, and stay legit.


 LayerYour breath creates a fog as you walk slowly along the breezy coast. A beautiful woman walks by your side and begins to cross her arms for warmth. You ask her if she’s cold, and she abruptly says no, even though you can tell she’s shivering. Time to be the man she wants you to be. Time to give her your jacket.

You take off your fitted trench and drape it along her shoulders, feeling cool and masculine…. But oh no. You start getting goosebumps, your teeth start shaking, and you can barely keep up with conversation. You realize the only thing you’re wearing is a thin dress shirt, and it’s too damn cold… My friend, you’ve just lost the cool that you had 10 seconds ago, and it’s all because you didn’t LAYER.

Gentlemen, we’ve just started fall, and winter is next door. The time has come for us to layer our clothing in order to keep warm… and of course to look awesome.

To me, nothing looks more sophisticated than a man who properly layers his clothing. You’ll get a nod of approval from me if you put a wool scarf on top of your favorite peacoat and sweater, with a little bit of your dress shirt peeking out. Apart from keeping you warm and fuzzy, the technique of layering helps you show off more parts of your wardrobe at once. Layering allows you to start being creative with color, pattern, and texture matching, not to mention the fact that you never need to choose between wearing your black sweater and your grey jacket. Just put them both on and call it a day.

Of course this doesn’t mean you can just blindly choose a random sweater, shirt, and jacket to layer on top of each other. We’re still trying to remain stylish, and there are some basic rules I would suggest you follow.

1. Don’t wear too many patterns.

I love patterns. A gingham shirt or pinstripe jacket can really make clothing a bit more fun and appealing. However, you start layering heavy stripes on top of argyle on top of checks, and you’ve essentially made your outfit unbearable to look at. Your clothes will start to distract attention from you… and that’s never good.

2. Colors matter.

Try to layer with complementing colors. The reason I keep recommending greys, blacks, whites, and browns is because you can match a lot easier with basic colors/shades. Put yellow, purple, green, and orange in one outfit, and you’ve likely got yourself an eyesore. This isn’t to say that you can’t have some accent colors in your layered outfit. In fact, I would recommend it! Put a pink shirt on in the midst of greys, or an olive sweater around black. It’ll be fun and classic at the same time.

3. Don’t overdo it.

Yes, I’m telling you to layer. However, I don’t want you to perspire to death or debilitate your arm movements while doing so. Stick to layering two or three pieces. Maybe four if the fabric is thin enough. If you start layering too many pieces, the other problem is that patterns, colors, and fabrics may start to clash. We want to keep style simple, not complicated.

So next time you’re on that date and you’ve just lent out your jacket in the midst of a cold winter night… thank your style knowledge, for it saved you both practically, and fashionably.