When we think denim on denim, we get instant flashbacks to the fashion faux pas which was Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake at the 2001 AMAs. Fear not, this guide will teach you all the ways to pull off the double-denim combo
Sometimes referred to as the ‘Canadian tuxedo’ (don’t ask), the denim-on-denim look started off as a trend and slowly became a mainstay. Chic yet casual, tailored yet relaxed, this look is extremely versatile and when done correctly, looks absolutely amazing. Yet, she is a tricky beast to master, one wrong move and you’ll end up bringing back the 90’s… and not in a good way.
If you’ve ever wondered how your favourite Instagram It girls and fashionistas manage to pull off denim-on-denim ensembles with such aplomb, then this guide will show you exactly how to rock the look without looking like a cowboy.
If you’re new to the world of denim-on-denim, ease into it by playing with your colours instead of going full on blue-on-blue right away. Think a chambray shirt with black jeans (paired with a popping pair of heels in bright colours), or the classic blue denim jacket with a pair of white jeans. Once you’re more comfortable rocking double denim, try pairing different hued blues together, like an acid-washed jacket with light-wash denim skirt.
If you’re still a little unsure how to pair 2 item pieces, opt for a full denim jumpsuit instead and create the illusion of denim-on-denim. Look for styles that feature full sleeves and pants, as they tend to look more polished when you pair them with a pair of barely-there sandals.
Style tip: a printed scarf looped around the waist will add a pop of colour to your look and “break up” your upper and lower half, further accentuating the illusion that you are actually wearing separates. Who says denim can’t be office appropriate?
Think an A-line denim skirt with an oversized denim jacket, or wide-legged denim jeans with an oversized chambray shirt tucked in and cinched at the waist with a belt. Keep accessories minimal as you don’t want to look too much, and opt for pieces made of lighter denim so you don’t look as though you’re drowning in all that material.
These days, there’s basically no such thing as plain denim. From distressed to patchwork to deconstructed, denim has taken on a whole new personality, making styling a) a lot more fun and b) easier to avoid looking like a cowboy. Try pairing a colour block denim shirt with distressed denim jeans, or a denim jacket with patches and jeans with stitching detail. The possibilities are endless – don’t be afraid to experiment.
If you’re rocking denim-on-denim, avoid any western-themed accessorising at all costs, unless you are trying to be ironic and are confident you can pull that off. We’re talking bolo ties, cowboy hats, cowboy boots or western style belts. Instead, accessorise with luxe pieces, like structured leather purses, minimalist heels, and statement jewellery to elevate your look.
Denim comes in a mind-boggling variety of washes, from light acid to jet black. Work this variety to your advantage and use different shades to hide or flatter the different parts of your body. As a general rule of thumb, lighter washes will draw attention and make that body part look bigger (so think booty), while darker washes give a slimming effect. Dark denim jeans paired with a light denim top or jacket is generally a universally flattering combination.
This is cute if you’re a kid, but if you’re planning on rocking double denim and be taken seriously, we advise against wearing the same wash of denim. Besides, with so many different washes available, you shouldn’t have to. Think of denim as how you would other fabrics; go classic and pair dark with light washes, or play around with different hues of a light or dark wash for a more monochrome look.