Denim jackets for spring, from splurgetastic to dirt cheap

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We’re all over the idea that women over 40 can’t wear these, right? Especially when they come in so many cool iterations. Like for instance, this utilitarian Nili Lotan jacket, which isn’t cheap but is just so good.

The longer length here appeals.

This cropped jacket would be perfect for pairing with dresses.

A cool quilted option in a nice light wash.

The bell sleeves here are a sophisticated touch.

And I like the flap pockets on this one.

This chore jacket has a slightly more body-skimming cut than most chore jackets, which I appreciate.

A belted utility jacket from Mother Denim that couldn’t be a whole lot more spiff.

The slim lines here give this one polish.

I could see throwing on this duster for morning dog walks.

A classic Levi’s jacket in fresh optic white.

Here’s a super-cheap choice that’s the exactly right amount of cropped.

This A.P.C. jacket is quite casually elegant.

I dig the colorblock-ish business going on here.

The wash on this well-priced jacket is perfectly un-distressed.

Here’s one from Madewell that’s ideal if you just want a straightforward denim jacket.

 

How fun is this coral-hued one?

Puffy shoulders are suddenly everywhere, and I’m feeling ambivalent (at best) about them, but don’t mind the subtle ones on this jacket.

And finally: I like the peplum action here.

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26 Thoughts on Denim jackets for spring, from splurgetastic to dirt cheap
    Eloise
    8 Apr 2021
    10:10am

    CW, I still have dreams about the black denim jacket I wore with EVERYTHING till I left it on a train about 15 years (egads!) ago. It was tight fitted and would absolutely not fit now but I loved it so much. My current go-to is a blue Free People that is very similar to the blue “ideal” Madewell above. I still pat myself on the back for grabbing it at (old,departed and stuffy )Lord &Taylor for $40 a few years ago.

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      Eloise
      8 Apr 2021
      10:11am

      Oops, that was clearly supposed to be a reply to CW’s reply….

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    Linden
    8 Apr 2021
    9:30am

    What are people feeling on denim colors? Light wash denim jackets are still reading 80s-era John Mellencamp to me.

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      Kim France
      8 Apr 2021
      11:01am

      I almost always prefer a darker denim, Linden, but there are some light ones here that I think are cute, like the quilted one from Blank Denim.

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    Viajera
    8 Apr 2021
    3:47pm

    So, there was a commenter on the other day, mentioning that she felt it was more polite if people only commented when they had something nice to say. I would just like to say that I don’t follow that rule here, except about *people.* However, afaik, we don’t have a rule here, right? Other than, don’t be mean to actual humans? I feel like the clothing items themselves are fair game. Is that okay with people? … … … … Having said that, please know that I am only at about 30-50% strength here. I used to just let it all hang out, but I don’t anymore. … … … … I like the mother one. I tend towards the dark washes. I agree that puffy shoulders will be gone very soon. Otoh, if you like them, so what? And if people want to spend $800 instead of going to the goodwill to find something really quite similar, who am I to say anything? Maybe NL pays a living wage. It’s possible, right? (It’s not relevant to me – just a rhetorical question.) Also, do Canadians mind about the tuxedo thing, or did you-all come up with that in the first place? Mellencamp=feature.

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      Mary
      9 Apr 2021
      7:59am

      I don’t mind the term “Canadian Tuxedo” at all! Kind of fun, actually.

      And since it takes a lot to offend me, I’m all for brutally honest posts and find them refreshing and interesting.

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        Lara
        9 Apr 2021
        11:42am

        I once had a male colleague who was so incensed at the “no jeans” edict from head office that he had a business suit custom made out of denim fabric. He wore it every time he had meetings with our Toronto-based boss (complete with dress shirt and tie). Canadian Tuxedo works for me, as do honest respectful opinions.

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    Maia Gendreau
    8 Apr 2021
    4:04pm

    Is the MOTHER one ATTACHED the shirt flaps sticking out from the bottom? Like when R13 had a spaz and attached skirt to jeans in a most unflattering situation?

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      kimbersam
      8 Apr 2021
      6:25pm

      I mostly love R13, but when they do crazy….it’s 500%.

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        Gleaming the Cube
        9 Apr 2021
        11:20am

        R13 is one of those brands that just irrationally irritates me, as in I see something is by them and I think, “what stupid thing have they done now?” Partially because of the stuff Kimbersam mentioned, partially because of the absurd overpriced grunge stuff. That said, one of my favorite t-shirts is by them, that I got off the Barney’s Warehouse site for $29.

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        Mary
        9 Apr 2021
        11:56am

        I love R13 jeans, beyond flattering. But yeah, it’d be great if they’d cool it a bit!

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        Kim France
        9 Apr 2021
        12:54pm

        Agree 100%, Kimbersam. I used to love R13, but no more.

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    Sharona
    8 Apr 2021
    11:34am

    I have been firmly on the ‘one piece of denim at a time and my one piece is jeans’ bench for years now but the Madewell and the Kut may sway me. Just have to get past the big chest-stiff fabric doesn’t hang right issue.

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      carlene
      8 Apr 2021
      5:18pm

      I (feel like I) look like a linebacker in denim jackets because of the chest thing. But I still hang on to my vintage one just in case some miracle occurs. I (feel like I) look okay in a fitted denim snap shirt (with a little stretch) though.

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    Candy
    8 Apr 2021
    12:34pm

    Was all ready to buy that dark wash Kut jacket because of its slightly fitted style, but it’s only available now in small and x-small, which saves me money but not regrets.

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    dkl
    8 Apr 2021
    1:30pm

    Does anyone else here sew for yourself? The Atenas Jacket from Itch to Stitch is an excellent classic denim jacket pattern: all the details, lots of sizes and alternate pieces for cup sizes. I made one last month and it is so good.

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      MaryAlice
      8 Apr 2021
      2:46pm

      I do, and thanks for the info! I am always looking for good patterns and these are great!

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        Cora
        9 Apr 2021
        6:46am

        I do, too! I’m so looking forward to sewing my first pair of jeans (Morgan by Closet Core) but since I already have the denim, I might as well look at the Atenas Jacket. You know, just … look.

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    EW
    8 Apr 2021
    3:01pm

    I have the perfect denim jacket. No joke – I got it at costco about 20 years ago and at the time I had one from Faconnable – and they were identical except the color. fitted, cropped, stretchy classic…It was so weird . the Faconnable one was $$ and in a light blue and the costco one is $20 in slightly distressed regular denim. I gave the Faconnable one to my mom – she still has it. Go Figure! (for reference there are a bunch of the Faconnables on poshmark) but the costco is dead ringer for it)
    No matter what happens in my life, at least I’ve got that denim jacket thing sorted out!

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    Jackie Beck
    9 Apr 2021
    7:57am

    A woman over 40 can’t wear these what? Never heard that one.

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    Eloise
    8 Apr 2021
    7:43am

    Signs of a great post: I zig zagged from my initial “I don’t need another one,”to my usual, “If NL were even a bit cheaper I’d consider splurging” to, “If the peplum one were available in more sizes….,” and feel like Goldilocks because I’ve a feeling the black Madewell will be on the way to me soon.

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      cw
      8 Apr 2021
      9:45am

      Adding to the thought process here, Eloise…I have denim jackets in white, blue and black and wear them all frequently. Even though I’ve been steering away from black clothing for the last few years, my black denim jacket is in frequent rotation.

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      kimbersam
      8 Apr 2021
      9:33am

      Eloise, Same, friend. The NL is fantastic and I have two denim jackets, so I don’t need another, but ……Kim France, you are a temptress!

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        Mamavalveeta03
        8 Apr 2021
        11:10am

        A downright sartorial VIXEN!

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      Katie
      9 Apr 2021
      7:33am

      I also don’t remotely need another lightweight casual jacket but am sorely tempted by the black peplum one.

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    Jax
    9 Apr 2021
    11:38pm

    Oof, that Nili Lotan one is 100% my style. Fortunately, it’s nearly $800. Whew.

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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