Few spring staples are as durable as a quality denim jacket. Similar to your go-to leather biker jacket or trench coat, a denim jacket can be one of the most practical and stylish pieces to wear once the weather turns from winter to spring.
Whether you’re looking for a traditional non-stretch cotton denim jacket, a cropped style that will give your high-waisted pants an instant shine, or a tank with a more layered feel, the best denim jackets aren’t hard to find. What’s more, you don’t have to settle for traditional blue denim. “A black denim jacket is a wardrobe staple,” says New York-based stylist Desiree Miranda. “You can achieve an effortless ‘casual cool-girl’ look by pairing black jeans or leather pants with a white or striped shirt underneath.”
Luckily, you don’t have to spend a fortune on traditional staples to find stylish ones that keep you warm. We turned to the experts—editors, stylists, and influencers who try on hundreds of new pieces every month—to find the best spring denim jackets under $100. In the future, the 20 best stores.
“I absolutely love the wash of the jacket,” says influencer Raeann Langas, who recently moved to New York from Los Angeles. “I wear it as a top with dark wash denim and layer a long coat over it.”
“I’m really picky about my denim jackets—shape matters!” says stylist and editor Indya Brown. “I tend to go for shorter or cropped pants because most of my pants are high-waisted, so the proportions seem very intentional and interesting.”
“Levi’s Premium ’90s trucker jacket is a timeless and comfortable style, which means it’s effortlessly cool for both formal and casual ensembles,” says Mandy Madden Kelley, owner of jewelry brand Pagerie. ) explain. “What makes it so special is its versatility – it can be worn with a flowy dress or worn with skinny jeans and sneakers for street style. In fact, the jacket only improves with wear, Shows age with fading, ripped threads and unique fading in a way that two pieces don’t.The combination of classic design, durable materials and the fact that it goes with almost anything makes it a great addition to any wardrobe must-have item.”
“I’ve always found inspiration in the classic ’70s Californian aesthetic,” says Kathryn Zahorak, who recently moved to New York from Los Angeles. “I blame it on growing up in the Golden State. I like oversized jackets that are a little masculine. Stiff dark wash denim. Love it with vintage Levi’s or bold maxi skirts.”
“This piece from Nordstrom’s Topshop collection is the perfect staple and the slightly cropped look is sure to be a flattering silhouette for all body types,” says Miranda.
Sure you’ve seen the denim vest make a comeback in your feed lately—this pick from influencer and entrepreneur Alyssa Coscarelli is also a favorite of mine. Layer it over a tee for a casual vibe, or wear it alone for a night out.
“Cider’s cropped denim jacket is my new favorite,” says Romanian influencer Muntea Carmina, who goes by the nickname @carminamnt. “It’s a must-have for your wardrobe. I love this unique design that you don’t see every day,” he says. Carmina pairs the jacket with a “denim crop top, black cargo pants and Dr. Martens boots.”
Influencer Pauline Leclercq, who goes by the nickname @honeypopi, says she likes “a classic oversized dark denim jacket for a twist on a classic denim jacket. I see this one with a long skirt and a pair of gazelles or sambas , and a classic white shirt.”
Dress up the Instagram and TikTok revival of the ’00s with this denim shrug.
“One of my favorite denim jackets is the Opal Swing Denim Jacket from Free People,” says North Carolina-based influencer Kooba Pardo. “I love how timeless and chic this jacket is. It also comes in a beautiful distressed denim wash that can be worn year-round. It’s the perfect oversized fit without looking baggy. Plus, it’s versatile enough to be Dress or casual. It’s a great piece if you’re looking to build a capsule wardrobe at an affordable price.”
“This oversized dark denim jacket from H&M is perfect for transitional weather from fall and winter to spring and summer,” says Miranda. “Oversized denim jackets are great for when you want to add another piece of clothing without being ‘over-done’, layered over athleisure for a fun everyday look.”
This zipped denim jacket is crafted from heavy-spun denim for that signature vintage look you’ll find everywhere.
“I also love the oversized fit of this denim jacket from Topshop,” says Brown. “It’s dark denim with balloon shapes, and it looks very expensive.”
“I love Everlane denim because it’s reliable and affordable,” says Abby Price, founder of Shop Abbode. “I wear this light wash style a lot,”
Los Angeles-based influencer and model Loren Thompson loves this white wash denim jacket from Revolve because it’s perfect for transitional weather.
“I usually prefer bomber styles, but I love the way this dark wash goes with everything,” says Coscarelli.
A favorite among influencers from Los Angeles to New York, Azalea Wang creates pieces and accessories that feel like one-of-a-kind pieces that she wears every day. This cropped jacket is no exception.
Leclercq also recommends “a cropped denim jacket with all your looks—especially with long skirts on summer nights.”
“A cropped denim jacket is so versatile, you can wear it with a summer dress or a spring skirt,” says Miranda. “Plus, it’s easy to wear too casual a look. This one from Abercrombie is a good option, mostly cotton with a bit of elastane added for comfort.”
One of Amazon’s most popular denim jackets is also an influencer favorite: this Sherpa-lined denim jacket from Levi’s.