underscored best denim jackets

This article is part of Spring Fashion Month, where we’re breaking down your must-have fashion pieces for the next few months. From denim jackets to comfy sandals, we’re asking editors, influencers and experts about the go-to pieces they wear through spring and beyond.

There are few spring staples that have as much perennial wear-potential as a good denim jacket. Similar to your go-to moto leather jacket or a great trench, a denim jacket can be one of the most useful and stylish layers to reach for as soon as the weather turns from winter to spring.

No matter if you’re looking for a traditional non-stretch cotton denim jacket, a cropped style that gives your high-waist pants a moment to shine or a vest with a little more layering potential, the best denim jackets aren’t hard to find. Even more, you don’t have to opt for traditional blue denim. “A black denim jacket is a wardrobe must,” says NYC-based stylist Desiree Miranda. “You can get that effortless ‘off-duty cool-girl’ look by pairing it with black jeans or leather pants and a white or striped shirt underneath.”

Luckily, you don’t have to drop a ton of cash on the traditional staple to find one that’s stylish and warm. We turned to the experts — editors, stylists and influencers that try on hundreds of new items a month — to find the best denim jackets under $100 for spring. Ahead, 20 of the best ones to shop.

“I absolutely love the wash of this jacket,” says influencer Raeann Langas, who recently moved from LA to NYC. “I would wear it as a top paired with dark-wash denim with a long coat layered over top.”

“I’m really particular with my denim jackets — the shape is so important!” says Indya Brown, a stylist and editor. “I tend to go for shorter or cropped lengths since most of my pants are high-waist, so the proportions look really intentional and fun.”

“The Levi’s Premium ‘90s Trucker Jacket is a timeless and comfortable shape, which means both dressy and casual ensembles become imbued with effortless coolness,” says influencer Mandy Madden Kelley, who also owns jewelry brand Pagerie. “What makes it so special is its versatility — it looks equally great styled over a floaty dress, or paired with skinny jeans and sneakers for a streetwear look. Indeed, the jacket only improves with wear, showing age in the form of fading, torn threads and unique fades that no two pieces have in common. The combination of the classic design, durable material and the fact that it goes with almost anything makes this an essential addition to any wardrobe."

“I always find inspiration from that classic California 1970s aesthetic,” says recent LA-to-NYC transplant Kathryn Zahorak. “I blame it on growing up in the Golden State. I love a bit masculine oversized fit for a jacket. Stiff dark wash denim. Love pairing with vintage Levi’s or bold maxi dress.”

“This one from Topshop’s collection at Nordstrom is a perfect staple and the slightly cropped look is sure to be a flattering style on all body types," says Miranda.

Surely you’ve seen the denim vest’s comeback on your feed recently — and this pick from influencer and entrepreneur Alyssa Coscarelli is also a favorite of my own. Layer it atop a tee for a casual vibe, or on its own for a night out.

"The Short Denim Jacket from Cider is my new obsession,” says Muntea Carmina, an influencer in Romania who goes by @carminamnt. “An essential addition to your wardrobe. I love the unique design that you don’t see everyday,” says Carmina, who would pair this jacket with “a denim crop top, black cargo pants and Dr. Martens boots.”

Influencer Pauline Leclercq, who goes by the handle @honeypopi, says she loves “a classic, oversized and dark=colored denim jacket to change from the classic denim jacket. I see this one with a long skirt and a pair of gazelles or samba, and a classic white shirt."

Nail the ’00s revival that’s all over Instagram and TikTok 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 has a beautiful distressed denim wash that can be worn year-round. It’s the perfect oversized fit but doesn’t look baggy. In addition, it’s versatile and can be dressed up or down. It’s a great piece if you’re trying to build a capsule wardrobe at an affordable price.”

“This oversized dark denim blue jacket from H&M is such an easy piece to use for transitional weather going from fall to winter and spring to summer,” says Miranda. “Oversized denim jackets are great for when you want to add another piece, and not be to “over done,” use over athleisure for a fun day look.”

This zip-up denim jacket is made from thick-spun denim, lending it the telltale vintage look that you’ve seen all over your feed.

“I also love an oversized silhouette like this denim jacket from Topshop,” says Brown. “It's dark denim with a balloon shape and altogether looks super expensive.”

“I love Everlane denim because it's reliable and affordable,” says Abby Price, founder of Shop Abbode. “I wear this light wash style constantly,”

LA-based Influencer and model Loren Thompson loves this white-wash denim jacket from Revolve because it’s perfect for transitional weather.

“I generally prefer a bomber style but I love the way this dark wash jacket goes with everything,” says Coscarelli.

A favorite of influencers from LA to NYC, Azalea Wang makes separates and accessories that feel like one-of-a-kind pieces for the every day. This cropped jacket is no exception.

Leclercq also recommends “a denim crop jacket to go with all your looks—especially over a long dress on summer nights.”

“Cropped denim jackets are so versatile, this is what you can use over your summer dresses or skirt outfits in the spring,” says Miranda. “Additionally, it’s so easy to throw on a over casual look. This one from Abercrombie is a great option, being primarily cotton and with a little elastane to be extra comfortable.”

One of Amazon’s top-rated denim jackets is also an influencer favorite: This sherpa-lined denim style from Levi’s.