Nail key looks using bomber jackets, hoodies, and denim jackets/vests
Though much of the U.S. is experiencing a minor heatwave this week, we are officially in the middle of fall. Whether you’re living on the beaches of California or the on the island of Manhattan, there’s a touch of crispness in the air most days. That means the mornings are getting increasingly cooler and, soon, the afternoons will follow. Right now, in order to start out warm and still have the flexibility to cool off later in the day, you need some lightweight outerwear.
Fall signals a major shift in the weather and in your wardrobe. From thicker fabrics to richer colors, lots of changes are taking place. But most important of all the changes is the role outerwear now plays. Fall outerwear has to meet a handful of requirements. First, it can’t be heavy. Due to the unpredictability of the weather, you need pieces that can keep you warm without smothering you. This means sticking to fabrics like cotton or polyester, which are both durable and breathable. Second, your outerwear should be easily removable. You don’t want your overall look to be too dependent on your jacket. It shouldn’t be cumbersome to take off, and your look should still stand tall without it. And last but not least, it should reflect the colors of the season. Your outerwear should be versatile. Like a social chameleon, it should seamlessly work its way into any situation. Blues, blacks, and grays tend to satisfy these criteria most.
The best outerwear pieces to stock up on are hoodies, bomber jackets, denim jackets, and denim vests. All of these key items satisfy the aforementioned criteria with no problem. Additionally, they’re all streetwear staples. Before we dive into ways to wear them, there are some notes about fit.
With bomber jackets, you should really pay attention to the shoulders. The sleeve seam should match up perfectly with your shoulder bone. If the seam hits somewhere on your trapezius muscle or closer to your bicep, it doesn’t fit correctly. A bomber should be cut relatively slim while still allowing you some room to move comfortably.
Denim jackets should be snug but give you more of a straight cut. Denim jacket fabrication tends to be a bit rougher and wears in over repeated wears and washes. Be sure to choose one that isn’t too loose because the fit will shift a bit over time.
Hoodies fall in the same category of fit. If you want to avoid looking too casual, your hoodie should be cut slim too. Follow the same fit guidelines as the bomber with special focus on the shoulder. Though hoodies are primarily cotton-based, laid back garments, they don’t have to look sloppy.
With the basics out of the way, it’s important to assemble some looks that are rooted in your new outerwear pieces.
1. Denim Jacket-Casual
Denim is a casual fabric. Jeans have long been associated with off-duty style. We look to denim as a source of comfort. For some, it’s even a touchpoint of rebellion. Denim jackets can have the same effect. For the ultimate casual look, pair your jacket with a pair of black tailored sweatpants or joggers, white trainers, and a solid, neutral t-shirt. The look is simplistic, but as long as you have a decent stack on your sweats, it’s still stylish. The denim fabrication of the jacket provides a nice contrast with the cotton blend of your joggers. And the differentiation in color provides a nice exercise in color blocking.
2. Denim Jacket-Double Denim
Some people call it the Canadian tuxedo, but let’s give double denim more credit than that. When it’s pulled off right, you can end up looking like a well-dressed, fashion daredevil. In order to nail this style move, you need a jacket and pair of jeans that are as close to the same color as possible. You’ll want to avoid lighter colors and stick with navy or indigo blue. It’ll feel more sophisticated. Stick with something like our Button Down Trucker Denim Jacket. Layer it over a white woven shirt and add some personality into the look by cuffing your jeans or wearing a classic oxford shoe.
3. Denim Jacket-Smart Casual
The smart casual aesthetic is all about the high-low combination. Highs are the dressier items while the lows are more casual pieces. Smart casual lands somewhere in the middle by combining the best of both worlds. To pull this off with a denim jacket, go for something a little lighter and still stick with a t-shirt as your layering piece. But from the waist down, get elevated. Rock a pair of chinos based in a fall color like olive or even a darker khaki like acorn. Finish off the look with Chelsea boots or oxfords, and voila, you’ve taken your denim jacket into all new territory.
4. Denim Vests
Denim vests work best in casual situations. You’ll want to avoid using your vest in a double denim outfit. Without full sleeves, the concept doesn’t fully come together. Instead, get creative with what you layer underneath. Layering a hoodie is a great way to keep your denim look steeped in streetwear. Paired back to joggers, it’s a multi-faceted, functional look. Also, t-shirts work great. Solid tees work, but if you want to inject some personality, opt for a bold, graphic statement instead. In terms of color here, you can wear a lightly colored vest like our Acid Wash Denim Vest Jacket or stick to the tradition of dark with our Hooded Denim Vest Jacket.
5. Bomber Jacket-Layering
Our Basic Bomber Flight Jacket with Zippers pulls on design elements from the MA-1 design while still holding on to the more contemporary bomber aesthetic. This jacket style looks incredible with some skillful layering. For the chillier days, rock a hoodie underneath for some added streetwear appeal and function. But leave the hoodie unzipped and style a graphic tee underneath that. The look offers depth through plays on texture and combination of color.
6. Bomber Jacket-Dress Up
Like the denim jacket, bombers have some true versatility and transition well to environments where joggers aren’t welcome. But unlike denim jackets, you can rock a bomber to work without anyone raising an eyebrow. To pull this off, try a style more rooted in tradition and neutrality like our Basic Cotton Zip Up Bomber Jacket or Basic Woven Zip Up Bomber Jacket. With less of the flight jacket flourishes, this type of bomber lends itself well to a professional setting. Underneath, throw on a casual woven shirt and a knit tie. Pair this business casual look with some dark, neutral chinos and a funkier dress shoe like a double monkstrap. The look is smart, but takes you far beyond casual.
7. Bomber Jacket-Monochromatic
In the past, we’ve likely directed you to use color in your fall looks and avoid the trap of falling into an all-black routine. But sometimes, it’s okay to leave home in all-black everything. You just have to do it right. Black bombers are sleek and sophisticated like something a young, modern James Bond would wear. Throw on a black sweater, black denim, and black slip-on sneakers with it. The key to making this work is to avoid exact matches with every shade of black. One way to add some texture to your look is by choosing different fabrications for each piece. Black dye takes on a different appearance with each new treatment. So a black bomber made of cotton and polyester will look different than a black wool sweater. If you’re worried about being too dark, throw in a white woven shirt under your sweater for good measure. It breaks up the look without distracting away from your monochromatic goals.
Of all the outerwear pieces described here, hoodies are probably the most functional. Whether you’re looking for an extra layer on your way to the gym or looking to spend your afternoon thrashing at the nearest skate park, hoodies work to your advantage. To pull off a more athletic look, joggers and tailored sweats are the way to go. You want to be comfortable and have the flexibility to move around with ease. This is a look that allows you to do that. Go for a gray hoodie like our Basic Zip Hoodie Jacket and pair it with black joggers. For some added depth, work in a longline tee under your hoodie. Top it off with sneakers and you’re ready to hit the streets.
One huge advantage of hoodies is that you can wear them purely as outerwear or rock them as shirts. Bomber jackets, denim jackets, and vests obviously need some type of layering piece underneath. But, depending on the day, hoodies can stand on their own from a warmth perspective as well as the aesthetic. Just be sure to go after fit. If your hoodie is too baggy, it’ll look like outerwear even if you’re attempting to rock it as a shirt. For the warmer days, try a sleeveless option like our Longline Hooded Muscle Tank Top or a short sleeve pick like our Ripped Zip Longline Short Sleeve Hoodie. If you’re looking to make a statement and avoid the neutral, grab something bold like our Black White Longline Hoodie with High Low Hem or Splatter Varsity Short Sleeve Hoodie. Hoodies are more than capable of standing on their own. You just have to find the right one.
10. Hoodies-the perfect layering piece
Aside from standing their own stylistic ground, hoodies can work in tandem with the other styles of outerwear mentioned here. A major defining characteristic of 1990s style was the lighter or acid wash denim jacket paired back to the hoodie. The look is equal parts skater boy and Saved By The Bell. The great thing about the combo is that you have ultimate warmth without needing a clunky overcoat. And if you get too warm, you can peel off the denim jacket and the hoodie still gives you style points. The same goes for the bomber jacket. But a hoodie looks best with the flight jacket style. The two pieces together evoke the style of an off-duty military pilot. Though each outerwear piece can work in its own right, they all make a powerful team when joining forces.
Fall outerwear is exciting because these pieces work into your style and complement your looks. The colder it gets, the more your coats and jackets become your look. Topcoats, peacoats, and parkas keep you very warm when it really counts, but this happens at the expense of your style. You could be rocking a killer look underneath but no one will know. You have to invest in a coat that you love and commit from the onset because you’ll be wearing it every day.
Bomber jackets, denim jackets, denim vests, and hoodies give you an endless world of options. Instead of feeling bound by cumbersome looks or covering up amazing outfits, they become an active player. And they lend themselves to a series of color, texture, and aesthetic possibility. It’s a shame that fall only lasts a short time because this is the kind style shifting that could really benefit any style lover’s everyday fashion sense.
Regardless of your personal aesthetic, whether you spend the majority of your week in a boardroom, at home, in the skate park, or at the gym, all of these pieces work and adapt to your lifestyle. The bomber jacket is the perfect example. It’s equally at home in a casual look for a quick Starbucks run and a business casual professional look. These pieces prove that streetwear offers so much more value to fashion than simply chasing trend or being comfortable. With a few key outerwear selections, you can fend off the impending cold while simultaneously elevating your personal style to unthinkable new heights.
Whether you prefer the bomber, denim or a hoodie up top, you have a range of styling options that will give you versatility all season long.