Manamorphosis: Double Denim Is Fashion’s Greatest Dare

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There was a time when wearing double denim was a fashion faux pas. Even when big celebrities would attempt to pull it off, it’d come across like some sort of jean-fueled nightmare presented to us by Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake at the 2001 American Music Awards. Thankfully, the “Canadian tuxedo” ceases to be the daunting nightmare of yesteryear and is finally making its comeback.

When done right, denim-on-denim is an effortless look that’s totally American and not Canadian. However, the tools to pull it off aren’t ingrained in our collective fashion psyches. Just ask Britney and Justin. Without the tools to understand how to really pull off double-denim, the former pop power couple looked like a country music joke.

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The Basics

To pull off double-denim, simplicity is key. One of the reasons the Britney and Justin denim outfit went over so poorly is that it was overdone and in the same shade. Doing denim-on-denim doesn’t mean wear every piece of denim you own. It means knowing how to pair your layered denim.

One of the easiest ways to do this is layering a denim button-up like Levi’s Standard Barstow Denim Snap Up Shirt with a white T-shirt underneath and a pair of black jeans. The shirt doesn’t need to be white, it can be any basic color, but white really offsets the denim-on-denim.

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Going All Out

If you’re going to wear all denim, which you can, just don’t do it in the same shade of denim. You can wear a light denim shirt with a dark denim jacket and pair that with distressed black denim jeans like Qazel Vorrlon Slim Fit Black Distressed Skinny Jeans. What you want to keep in mind is that your top and bottom half should contrast. As long as you remember this, you’ll nail denim-on-denim without looking like farmer John.

What will distinguish your outfit are the accessories you choose to add to it after you’ve layered your denim. A brightly-colored scarf like this Plum Feathers Scarf in red will add a pop of color and break up the rest of the denim. This puts the focus back on you. Plus, a little pop of color always helps to bring an outfit together without overpowering it.

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You Write The Rules

The thing about fashion is it’s about taking risks. Denim-on-denim can be an effortless way for men to pull together some of the most versatile pieces they own. However, when layering denim, it’s a good idea to make sure your pieces are tailored so you don’t look frumpy.

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Also, double-denim should never be worn to a fancy event. The Canadian tuxedo is widely mocked because denim isn’t acceptable at a black-tie event. Just circle back to Britney and Justin if you’re ever questioning what you’re wearing when it comes to layering denim. If it’s all the same shade, you’re wearing it to a cocktail party, or you’re literally matching your date in the same shade — it’s probably not going to work.

Will you be layering your denim-on-denim look this winter? What tips and tricks do you use for making your look work? Let us know in the comments!