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What’s Next for Jean Jackets?

Jean jackets are an American wardrobe staple and this spring they’re a blank canvas for personal statements—both style and political.

From emoji-inspired patches to lush floral embroidery, designers have pulled out all the stops to revive jean jackets in recent seasons. Both apparel and textile trade shows have been swathed in embellished jean jackets and sportswear brands have used the trend as an entry point into denim.

The popularity of add-ons like iron-on patches and pins allow consumers to instantly customize their jean jackets. In the U.S., a fierce political climate and the continued fight for gender equality are leading companies like Bando to introduce politically charged pins.

“We have noticed that denim jackets are more so adorned with novelty pins and patches rather than the heavy hardware of before,” said Vanessa Weste, Fashion Snoops Youth Director.

Lourdes Linares, the associate West Coast editor for WGSN, expects the jean jacket trend to evolve this spring with new silhouettes.

“What looks fresh is the reworking and re-tooled silhouettes that we are already seeing in five-pocket denim jeans,” said Linares. “The fascination with denim garments looking ‘refurbished’ will most definitely continue. This trend is already transferring into denim jackets.”

Weste believes the runway will influence shapes. In particular, she said to expect to see more oversized shapes and off-the-shoulder styling similar to what Demna Gvasalia did in his first collection for Balenciaga.

Tractr Jeans Designer Manchun Chung predicts that denim jackets will take on a sportier look. “I think there will be a lot of soft body and various body shapes such as baseball jackets. Worn out and destroyed will also be popular,” said Chung.