Distressed Denim Jacket





My hair is so weird…after it gets cut, it freaks out and gets super curly for a few days before settling down and behaving again. It’s in the super curly stage right now, and part of my day is spent picking apart Shirley Temple curls in the mirror while exclaiming across the house to anyone listening, “Look at this! Can you believe this?! It’s gone crazy!”

In other news, I wanted to show you guys this denim jacket from American Eagle Outfitters that made the cut after several other options fell short for one reason or another. My criteria included a petite-friendly fit, medium distressed wash, side welted pockets (the classic pocket style popularized by the Levi’s Trucker jacket), and 100% cotton construction. I wanted it to fit slightly boxy in the torso for that more cool-casual feel, but not so boxy that it looks too wide across the back. This one fit the bill perfectly. The shoulder and arms are nice and fitted, with just a little room at the torso. The cotton is nice and thick, and this particular wash is rumpled and distressed in a perfect shade of blue.

Other options I tried included this Gap one in petite (denim and details were great, but torso was just too boxy & gave that “wide across the back” issue mentioned above), this Kut From The Cloth one in petite (despite stellar reviews, something about the fit of this one felt too mature & “mom jacket” on me), and this other wash from American Eagle Outfitters (similar fit as pictured, but I didn’t like the style of the side pockets).

One caveat of warning…the distressed wash of this jacket has left a lingering smell that some people who are sensitive to scents may not like. I’ve washed it twice, once with vinegar, and the smell is slowly going away. I’m optimistic that after a few more washes it should be gone.

For similar-sized readers, I’m wearing size xxs (online only) in this jacket, and for reference sake you can find my measurements here (along with general sizing tips). It’s measurements (lying flat) are as follows:

Shoulder: 13″
Sleeve: 22.5″
Bust: 15.5″
Waist: 14.5″
Length: 18.5″

— Details —

Jacket American Eagle Outfitters (less distressed version)
Shirt Banana Republic (these linen tees are great!)
Jeans Rag & Bone thanks to Shopbop
Shoes J.Crew (similar)
Handbag Chanel (similar)
Necklace Punch (old) (similar & similar)
Bracelets Downtown L.A.
Belt Linea Pelle (also love this one)
Ring thanks to Tacori

— Altered —

nothing ;)

— Similar —

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  1. says: Cher

    The jacket looks great, Kelly! I’ve been debating whether or not I would actually wear a denim jacket if I got one. It seems like such a classic, but at the same time, I’d feel like I was in 1st year undergrad again. I’m still thinking about it. LOL.

  2. says: Angela

    Totally agree, those linen tees from BR are awesome! Bought the blue, then went back the next day for black and white. I would’ve snagged the grey, too, but I already had a grey basic tee from gap :/ oh well.

    1. says: Alterations Needed

      They are! I also have the white & just ordered the grey stripe on sale. Little tip…don’t put them in the dryer. They shrink sideways & the seams get all twisted. Found that out the hard way. =P

  3. says: caitlyn

    Hi Kelly, I know this post is old but I wanted to let you know that it was really helpful! I am 4’11” / XXSP and the American Eagle denim jacket is exactly what I was looking for! The sleeves are long but I fold them up anyway, and the fit on my body is perfect. I never shopped at AE previously so I didn’t think to look there for a denim jacket. I ended up with the non-distressed version. Thank you so much for this post!

    1. says: Alterations Needed

      Hi Caitlyn! So glad to hear! It really is a great fit, aside from the sleeves, but I do just like you and roll them. =)

  4. says: Roberta

    I just stumbled upon your site – a blessing for petites! I am 55 years old and feel like I’m stuck in junior sizing, although I do like to dress young.

    I know this is from March, but I just got this exact jacket in XS and was wondering if you find it to be a bit snug under the arms/along upper back? It looks great on you, not too long with pants; I’m disappointed it’s not a bit more cropped to wear with sundresses. I am XS in pretty much all denim jackets; in this one, a S is too roomy everywhere else and loses the fitted effect. I am 5’2″, 105, 34A, and seem to straddle the line in this style size wise. It feels like it just fits, not uncomfortable but inhibits range of motion.

    I laughed when you described Kut from the Kloth to be a “Mom jacket”. The style is definitely a preference. I own it in three different washes and find the “sweet” wash (lighter denim) is less mature, my personal favorite. The Levis Authentic Trucker is hands down the best of the bunch you reviewed (junior sizing, not the classic in your link). Perfect for petites. I own the Gap 1969 as well in XSP and agree that it is a boxier fit; the Levis is a closer fit and a bit more cropped.

    Just saw your J Crew light wash – nice! I am currently obsessed with denim jackets which is ironic because I live in AZ… still too warm for a jacket!

    1. Hi Roberta! Thanks for stopping by! To answer your jacket question, I don’t find this jacket to be too snug in the arms and back, but I’m a weirdo and like my jackets snug in those areas, so I prefer it that way! I also have narrow shoulders and thin upper arms, even compared to other petite women my size, so it’s most likely that I’m just not filling those areas out properly. If you’re looking for a shorter denim jacket, try the J.Crew petite ones! But they run even smaller than this AEO one, so size up for sure. The xxsp is snug on me, including the upper arms and across the back. Measurements can be found here: http://www.alterationsneeded.com/2015/06/fit-review-friday-j-crew-denim-jackets-in-size-petite-xxxs-comparison-to-aeo-version.html

      As for the Levis one…I didn’t know they came in juniors! I’d love to have an authentic Levis one, but assumed the sizing wouldn’t work. I’m off to search for it now! Thanks!

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