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PRIMER STYLE GUIDE: DENIM ON DENIM

Feb 12, 2017

When it comes to denim: anything and everything goes.  As everyone knows, denim goes with any and everything. That said, one of the most obvious –– and, at the same time, cautiously avoided –– denim pairings is the infamous denim on denim, “Canadian Tuxedo.” We know, imagery of early-2000s red carpets and MTV scenes evokes a reflexive recoil at anti-nostalgic remembrances of monochromatic style mishaps and monstrosities, but fashion has evolved and with it, the evolution of denim on denim style. A few style guide notes for consideration before your first (or next) take on the Canadian Tux.

Double on Denim Style Guide

Style & Fit

Quality, proportion, and coloration are fundamental to styling denim, and double- denim is no different. Denim’s legacy resides in its sheer durability, utility, and style. To invoke a truly authentic   denim-conscious style, look no further than the inherent quality of the fabric. Make sure you wear jeans that are crafted to withstand the everyday wear-and-tear that gives your denim it’s signature distress and fade over time.

When styling denim on denim, each piece should be of the utmost quality, so be open to pairing new and old pieces. Contrast is key, so embrace your wardrobe’s full lineage and bridge the worlds of vintage and contemporary with certainty.

First and last rule of denim: fit is fit

Fit can’t be underestimated anytime you’re talking about denim. It’s the first thing to focus on, and when you’re pairing two pieces of denim together you want to make sure they’re both appropriately proportioned. Skinny jeans should pair with a slim fitted shirt. Likewise, you wouldn’t want to wear a cropped denim jacket with a low-rise jean. The proportions need to be in tandem.

When most people think of the “Canadian Tuxedo,” the instant knee-jerk reaction stems from visualizing a tacky pairing overstating denim’s naturally understated appeal by pushing too far into a hyper-mayonnaise aesthetic. The solution to break from the stereotypical faux-pas is to simply embrace denim’s endless color palette. Pick and pair from the wide reaches of fits, washes, and tones to collect a style unique in its definition within inherent similarity.

Balance & Juxtaposition

Double-denim comes with the looming possibility of aesthetic monotony, the key to a look that consolidates without confining to the overall balance by way of contrast. Denim’s appeal is rooted in its transcendental capacity to work across the living spectrum of style, so the framework is well-established for denim on denim. The tension is finding a way to maintain the standard without diverging too far into a chaotic mess when balancing color and proportion:  define, don’t over-differentiate, and complement don’t carbon-copy. When in doubt, keep it all in sartorial stride.

How to Wear

Denim Jacket

Hers

Focus on slim and form-fitting with an eye on contrast and balance. Enhance your silhouette, highlighting tone and figure. Break beyond the stereotypical Canadian Tux monotone by defining your specific look with attention to form-over-fabric –– limited bulk lends to bolder looks. Add character to the minimalist denim palette with strong or subtle accessories, be open to experimenting with statement pieces without exaggerating with the full slate. Dress up to denim on denim to bring undertoned regal to traditional rugged rebellion, or dress down to bring simple style to rogue fashion.

Denim Jacket


His

Silhouette is still central while stock and structure are pillar-and-post for styling denim essentials with a focus on squared masculine frames –– times two when pairing the fabric with itself. Contrast and juxtaposition for balance: whether that translates to slim-fit jeans and a heavier denim jacket, a pair of raw denim boot-cuts and a distressed Oxford, or dark-wash jeans with a stone-wash jacket. Denim on denim should project minimalist with life, a stylized creative standard, tailor-made to reflect effortless precision.

Uni

Think cool, considered, collected: understated and understood, with exhibited self-awareness over self-importance. Let the style speak to the silhouette, wear denim pieces that are structured to afford room to breathe and space to move –– let the fit sit with you and not suffocate. Effortless cognizance is always essential.

How to Pair

Denim Jacket

Hers

Whether you’re trying out a seamless first-look, or looking for a denim on denim mainstay pairing to last, keep it simple with subtle notes to versatility and detail. Pair coated skinny-leg jeans with a vintage indigo denim blouse to contrast denim textures and tones. Add a black blazer to leverage utility with a transitional mid-tempo style, versatile enough to go low-key casual or business contemporary. Finish the look with a pair of suede black loafer flats (leather depending on the weather), and accessorize with a statement piece or simple cross-body bag for a defined take on denim-denim.

Denim Jacket

His

No-fail noir; partner a pair of black skinny-slim leg denim jeans with a crew neck tee, and a charcoal denim jacket to top-off a minimalist Angeleno collarless take on the Canadian Tuxedo. Lace up a set of two-tone leather designer trainers, and finish off the look with a statement timepiece and square-framed black sunglasses for a proper clean edge aesthetic.

Uni

Simplicity is the standard, no-fail, no matter what the aesthetic. When in need of a go-to mainstay pair raw dark-wash denim jeans with a V-Neck tee, and medium vintage indigo denim jacket. If you’re experimenting with denim-and-denim for the first time, this look is a steady standard to test proportions and fit before delving into true double-denim rebellion. Dark-wash goes with everything, and the right V-Neck shirt will add definition to the overall style, while focusing on the detailed contours of your collarbone. Complete the look with a pair of leather boots, designer bandana neck piece, silver-rimmed aviators, and leather cuff or timepiece for understated rogue appeal.

The primer is in place, the next step is to take the first in the rest of your double-denim lifestyle.

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