There's no doubt that double denim is one of the most divisive menswear moves. However, when done properly, the pairing of two denim items – aka the Canadian tuxedo – can have some serious sartorial impact. There's a certain suaveness to it that recalls the glamour of old-school Americana – Steve McQueen, James Dean and Elvis Presley were big fans of the look and pulled it off with aplomb – combined with a touch of rugged Western style and even a hint of the '70s punk aesthetic.
Before you dive head first into the trend and wind up looking like Justin Timberlake circa 2001, there are a few tips and tricks you'll need to follow in order to nail the look. Whether you're a double denim sceptic who needs some convincing or simply after a bit of inspiration, our ultimate guide to pulling off double denim has everything you need to know in order to make the style work for you.
Table of Contents
- How to wear double denim in 2023
- 10 denim pieces to buy in 2023
How to wear double denim in 2023
Balance the shades
An easy rule of thumb when doubling up on denim is to keep the washes a couple of shades apart. Denim comes in a huge variety of washes, so choose your shades wisely. We recommend a darker shade on the bottom and a lighter one up top – dark charcoal jeans and an indigo blue denim jacket, for example. If you're going to wear a light shade of denim on the bottom and a darker one up top, ensure the wash you choose for your top half isn't too much darker. Try teaming ecru denim jeans with a light wash denim jacket for a summer-ready casual look.
Think outside the box when it comes to washes
As classic as an all-blue double denim look is, you're certainly not restricted to blue hues. In fact, broadening your colour palette can help to break up your look and reduce the impact of full-on double denim. Grey, charcoal, white and cream are all timeless hues that you could experiment with, or try a different colour altogether. A red denim jacket would pair nicely with indigo jeans and a plain white tee, or dark green jeans would balance out an ecru denim chore jacket, while offering a contemporary take on workwear style.
It's not just washes that you need to consider. Think about the textures of denim you want to wear and how they'll work together. Try teaming a pair of heavy selvedge denim jeans with a lightweight jacket or light wash denim shirt. The combination of raw denim with classic denim is a fail-safe look that will add some interest to your ensemble.
The fit of your clothes is always important, but even more so when you're taking a sartorial risk like combining denim items. Avoid super-skinny or baggy jeans and opt for something that falls in the middle. Slim fit jeans are a safe and flattering choice that will pair well with a boxy denim jacket, while jeans with a relaxed fit will balance out a more fitted jacket. Play with proportions to find a silhouette that works with your body shape.
Keep the rest of your outfit classic
You're already making something of a statement with a double denim ensemble, so keep the rest of your outfit relatively pared back. Plain white trainers and a shirt or tee will do the trick. Or take things up a notch with the addition of a pair of Derby shoes. If you're going to accessorise, do so with minimalist jewellery, a premium leather tote bag, a plain baseball cap or some retro-inspired sunnies. Simple as that.
Think beyond jeans and jacket
It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking double denim means a pair of denim jeans and a trucker jacket – it's the most popular double denim combination and the true meaning of 'Canadian tuxedo'. However, feel free to experiment with different denim items. You could try integrating small amounts of denim in the form of a baseball cap, tote bag or trainers, or . In the summer months, ditch the jeans for a pair of denim shorts. Wear them with high-top canvas trainers, a plain white tee and a lightweight denim jacket for effortless weekend style.
10 denim pieces to buy in 2023
ASKET The Raw Denim Jacket
Stockholm based label ASKET presents its take on the classic trucker jacket. This pared-back version is crafted from the brand's signature Japanese raw denim in organic cotton and features a fully lined black interior, hidden side pockets and recycled metal hardware.
Velasca Posada Texan Denim Shirt
Channel old school Western style in this denim shirt from Italian label Velasca. With buffalo horn effect buttons and a pointed shirt yoke, it oozes Americana appeal.
non Relaxed Jean
London-based label non creates selvedge denim jeans that are easier on the environment and made to last, using a combination of organic and recycled cotton. This pair gets our pick for its flattering mid-rise and comfy relaxed fit.
Forét Denim Home Shorts
For casual cool and ultimate comfort all summer long, we're eyeing up these denim shorts from Forét. Made from 100% organic cotton, they feature a handy drawstring waistband. Simply add a Cuban collar shirt and minimalist trainers.
ISTO. Everyday Denim Jeans
Made using denim from renowned Italian denim supplier Candiani, these black jeans by ISTO. are built to stand the test of time. As their name suggests, they're ideal for everyday wear, whether with an overshirt and Derby shoes for a business-casual look, or sneakers and a tee on the weekend.
Luca Faloni Denim Shirt
Renowned Italian menswear label Luca Faloni stays true to its ethos of simple staples made well with this elegant denim shirt. Made in Northern Italy using premium cotton, it boasts a soft handle and a vintage-style wash.
Wax London Trucker Jacket
This workwear-inspired trucker jacket from Wax London will give your ensemble a subtle injection of utilitarian style, thanks to its boxy fit and oversized patch pockets. Team with the brand's matching Carpenter Jeans for a fresh take on double denim.
Axel Arigato Strike Denim Jacket
Hit the bowling alley in style wearing Axel Arigato's denim Strike Jacket. The leather patch and signature ‘Arigato’ hardware make it a playful twist on a classic.
Closed Springdale Relaxed Jeans
German label Closed specialises in denim, so who better to go to for a new pair of jeans. This season we have our eye on the Springdale Relaxed Jeans, made from Italian open weave denim and part of Closed's sustainable denim collection.