Double denim doesn’t have to be relegated to the influencers and style icons of the world. In fact, I think it is one of the most versatile fashion trends out there.
However, the canadian tuxedo (as it is also referred to), is not always an easy thing to master in the beginning. You can sometimes veer, well, wrong.
So to avoid looking like a hodepodge farmers daughter let’s go over some double denim basics.
What is a double denim outfit?
A double denim outfit, also known as a Canadian tuxedo, is simply an outfit that has at least two pieces of denim within it. They don’t necessarily have to be the same wash or color, but two prominent pieces of your look (usually top and bottom) have to be made from denim.
Now, there are many “levels” to wearing denim on denim, if you’re hesitant to try this trend start with the outfit ideas listed below.
How do I start wearing denim on denim?
The easiest way to start with a double denim outfit is with two separate colors of denim. It is usually less of a statement this way and allows you to use what you have in your closet already.
Can you wear two different shades of denim together?
Absolutely! And this is usually the easiest way to start wearing the denim on denim trend. Opt for denim shades that are two shades different than one another for the easiest introduction. For instance you could try a pair of light denim jeans with a dark denim shirt, or a dark denim jacket with white denim jeans. Once you find shades you like, and master your style you can try closer denim shades together.
How to wear double denim
When a fashion trend feels intimidating look towards your style icons and see how they interpret the trend. Next, evaluate what elements will or will not work for your body type.
To begin with double denim try pairing a dark denim wash top with white jeans. Or a light wash denim shirt with black jeans. These outfit ideas are not too “denim” focused and still fit the trend.
In the image above, I am wearing a white denim shacket with black denim bermuda shorts. The washes are vastly different so they don’t appear overwhelming, and both pieces are very trendy right now so it creates an elevated fashion look.
TIP: When you get more comfortable with the Canadian tuxedo you can up your game by pairing these two pieces in the same wash.
Double denim can easily veer into any fashion decade. The above example represents the nineties or early aughts fashion, which is currently a huge fashion trend. When you a pick a specific decade for reference, your entire outfit can become more clear and the trend itself becomes more digestable.
TIP: Check the proportions for the double denim look. You want balance. If this trend is newer to you try an oversized jacket with slim jeans or relaxed jeans with a more cropped jacket. While you can absolutely do two oversized peices together, that should be tackled when you have mastered your body shape and proportionate dressing.
If you want to avoid the 90’s fashion era you could try the double denim look with flares. Flares are incredibly flattering for almost all body types and the slightly cropped denim jacket goes perfectly with them. This is a great look to try with two similar denim washes.
Or, if you’re already a trendsetter, or want to be, check out the 10 day guided fashion challenge to expand your style vocabulary. (hint, by trying double denim you might already be ahead of the curve)
Easy Double Denim Outfits to Try
Here are some easy double denim outfit formulas to get your started with this fashion look.
1. Denim Shirt and Jeans aka The Canadian Tuxedo
Not only is this outfit formula the easiest and most flexible iteration of double denim, you probably already have the items in your closet. Keep the accessories simple and you will get a classic feeling to this look. Avoid denim heels or denim accessories for the most part. This is a great mom-friendly outfit as well!
2. Denim Jacket, Denim shirt, Denim jeans
This look isn’t necessarily harder to pull off, it is just a bit more of a statement. As you can see in this photo I’m wearing three denim pieces in a casual manner. The fact they are all in the same wash is not overwhelming because there is also texture incorporated ( fuzzy sherpa, and details on the jacket). Texture is a great way to balance out an outfit.
3. Denim dress and coat
This double denim outfit idea veers more “adult” or business casual. Just pay attention to your proportions and where your outfit is cinching you.
4. Denim skirt and denim top
Now, there are two ways to do this combo. If you go for a short denim skirt and denim shirt you will automatically be adding a youthful vibe to your outfit (probably not work appropriate, but great for a day activity with friends). And if you go for a longer denim skirt with a denim shirt or top then you could skew it to be business casual with your accessories. (assuming your office allows denim).
5. Denim dress and denim jacket
A denim jacket is a different style than a denim coat. A denim jacket has more casual intentions and when paired with a denim dress can make it daytime appropriate. I love this look for day to evening because it splits the difference and looks effortless and put-together.
Style tips for double denim outfits
1. Avoid garments with too many details or over-embellished pieces. It’s 2021- you don’t need a jacket with 15 million rips or a pair of pants covered in grommets. Specific design details are ok, but keep the other pieces simple to balance the look.
2. if you want to match your washes to each other make sure they don’t have too much going on. In my look, all the denim is a very faded, light denim. It is not too distracting or overwhelming. If you opt for stonewashed, medium denim with worn marks on every piece you are wearing, you will look very outdated. And not in the cool 90’s way. So, keep the denim more streamlined.
3. Don’t be afraid to dress double denim up or down. You would be surprised what a great pair of heeled boots of square toe pumps can do to a Canadian tuxedo. Your accessories dictate, generally speaking, whether or not your look is a day or evening style. Proceed with thought. [ business casual fashion made easy]
4. If double denim seems like too much on its own, add another piece. Adding another piece (especially a textured piece) can make the double denim trend much easier and flexible. Try a wool coat, a blazer, or even a sweater wrapped around your shoulders. And if you want a fun option, you could do a flannel around your waist and just commit to grunge for the day.
5. Pay attention to the which style of jeans you wear and what shoes are paired with them. The ankle junction point is another proportion to watch out for and if you ignore it, it can leave you with an unappealing look. For instance pairing skinny jeans that end right above your ankle with wedge ankle boots that show skin in between will disrupt your eye and lead to a clunky outfit. You want to elongate your body and that doesn’t mean you can’t show ankle or you can’t wear skinny jeans, just try it on in the mirror first and access how it works on YOUR body. What shoes could help emphasize the look instead of drawing too much attention away from the denim focus? The double denim is priority in your look, you don’t necessarily need to pull focus with a clunky shoe transition.
When can I wear double denim?
As I mentioned your accessories will really dictate where you can wear your Canadian tuxedo. If you pair it with a blazer and heeled boots it could work in a business casual setting. If you rock it with statement earrings and heels, it could work for a date. And of course, it’s always great for weekend activities as well.
Wearing denim with denim does not have to be a style meant exclusively for the fashion elite and influencers of the world. And the only way to get better at this fashion trend is to try integrating it into your wardrobe.
Start by attempting an easier iteration of double denim style and you will start to see how it works on your body. From there you can evolve which outfit formulas might work well for your lifestyle.
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Exploring different fashion styles is important to the evolution of your personal style and to use your fashion to communicate your best self. Trying double denim, at any level is a great first step.
Now, go get your Canadian tuxedo vibes on.
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