How to Wear Double Denim

double denim with jacket

Today we’re going to talk about something that’s very close to my heart: denim. In college I had “denim week,” during which I would wear a Canadian tuxedo every day for a week, once a year. I’ll cover three outfits in this post, including tips to ease you into double denim if it’s not your thing or amp it up if you’re already a denim lover.

Outfit #1: Easing In

Packing for a weekend getaway

Use different washes: If you’re apprehensive about wearing double denim, start with two articles of clothing with different washes, like dark jeans with a light chambray shirt, or a deep blue denim dress with a light-wash jacket. One caveat: that’s different washes, not different colors, so black jeans with a chambray shirt doesn’t count as double denim. Here, I’m wearing light wash jeans with a medium-wash denim jacket.

Break it up: Choose one non-denim item of clothing to add visual interest to the outfit, especially if you’re not ready to go full-on denvelope. I prefer neutrals or warm colors like pink and orange for this since anything blue or purple blends into the denim. Something patterned really adds a pop to the outfit, so here I’m wearing a white floral sweatshirt.

Accessorize: During denim week I would wear all of my boldest shoes and jewelry, since the denim backdrop lets colorful or architectural accessories shine. Here, I’ve accessorized with two layered gold necklaces and lavender Converses.

Outfit #2: Amp It Up

double denim with shorts and shirt

Experiment with similar washes: Already comfortable with double denim? Take it up a notch by wearing two articles of clothing with similar washes, like these light-wash shorts and this light-wash shirt. You might also try a medium-wash button-front skirt and denim jacket.

Mix and Match Your Style: Here, my non-denim piece is a delicate, lacy tank top. I accessorized with modern sneakers and cool sunglasses, instead of girly sandals and delicate jewelry, to mix up the vibe. Other interesting pairings are tough combat boots with glamorous statement earrings or a preppy houndstooth blazer with sleek white sneakers.

Play with proportion: Denim-on-denim outfits give me an opportunity to create new silhouettes, like the long-sleeved collared shirt layered over a tank top and shorts here. You can create new silhouettes since you wouldn’t have worn the items together normally. Try the look of an oversized denim jacket with cropped skinny jeans or a blousy collared shirt under a denim bustier.

Outfit #3: Seal the Denvelope

double denim with jacket

Go for it: Comfortable wearing more than one piece of denim at a time? Try a complete denim-on-denim outfit of pieces in similar washes, like this chambray shirt and medium-wash jeans. Break out your wildest denim pieces, like overalls with a chambray shirt or a denim vest buttoned up as a shirt with jeans.

Choose a look: For full denim-on-denim, I like to choose a theme to make the outfit look purposeful. In the outfit above, I thought “art director on a photo shoot.” Your theme will help you choose accessories and styling, like the loafers and leather jacket here to create a comfortable but edgy vibe, and the untucked shirt with cuffed sleeves.

Play with your wardrobe: Now that you’re wearing items in a similar wash, you can create the illusion of one piece of clothing out of several. A loose sleeveless denim shirt, tucked into belted loose denim shorts, has the outline of a romper. A denim bustier worn over a loose denim shirtdress has the look of a fit-and-flare dress.

Would you wear any of these outfits? How do you wear denim on denim? Let me know in the comments!

4 thoughts on “How to Wear Double Denim

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