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Consider denim. It’s sturdy. Loyal. Cleans up nice. So, we’re giving denim–in all of its forms–the credit it deserves by declaring it Denim Week here on Kempt…

Herewith, we present a few carved-in-stone guidelines to take you from selvage-suiting minor deity to outerwear god.

The 10 Commandments of Denim Jackets:

1. All jean jackets are not created equal. Finding the right cut is key, because the line between dapper and ridiculous is way easier to cross than you’d like. Go for something trim that sits at your belt-line.

2. Thou shalt not match jacket to pants. But denim-on-denim is in fact fine, so long as the washes can be distinguished from one another.

3. Underneath, thou shalt keep it simple. You’re already making a pretty strong statement with the jacket, so tone it down elsewhere–a solid oxford cloth button-down is always a strong choice.

4. Accessories, or handsome neckwear, shall only strengthen the look. A tie. A scarf. A simple chain. Maybe not a bandana, though, unless you’re actually a cowboy. Or Ralph Lauren.

5. Thou may roll thy sleeves. We know it’s counterintuitive. (Because calling it a jacket implies that it’s meant to keep you warm.) Just go with what feels right.

6. Thou shalt not wear it daily. Unless you want to be known as “that guy who wears a denim jacket all the time,” which we’re assuming you don’t.

7. Thou shalt not even think about fastening pins to your jacket. You haven’t had a reason to be that angsty since the ’90s.

8. Remember, thy layering is essential. A henley, or a simple cardigan, over your button-down and beneath your jacket imparts a studied dapper look. In the right way.

9. A denim jacket shall be more than just casual wear. Done right, it can easily be worn for your trip to the office. (To the right office.)

10. But thou shalt not attempt said denim as formal wear. Timberlake taught us a lesson on that one.

And it’s not one we’re likely to forget.

—S.P.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Stephen Praetorius