Double Denim. Hit Or Miss?

Frazer Lough
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Denim is a material that has been around for years, and jeans are a must have in every man, woman and child’s wardrobe, purely because of their practicality. With the various cuts that we can purchase, they can help create the silhouette that suits you best.

Back in 1873 when the first pair of blue denim jeans were patented, I doubt Levi Strauss realised just what he had created. Making something that started off as a fabric used on the trousers of workmen in the American West into something the everyday person can wear day in day out was a stroke of genius. The fact that they were what cowboys wore in those Westerns helped make jeans increasingly popular in the 20th century. Jeans are something that you can buy to make any outfit, and while they are never necessarily a trend on their own, they are without doubt a fashion necessity.

When partnered with the denim jacket, the double denim trend can be seen on the runway from time to time. As soon as it steps out onto the catwalk or the highstreet it evokes a divisive partisan reaction amongst denim wearers. Many people out there believe double denim should be avoided at all costs. “Never trust a man in double denim.” Why is this?

Denim jackets can be worn with most other items of clothing, in the correct way of course. So why not with something made from the same fabric? After all, it doesn’t look set to disappear this Spring/Summer. The reason people dislike double denim is usually down to the fact they think of late 90s/early 00s double denim, a time when Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake took to the red carpet in matching denim outfits, a horrifying image indeed.

Double denim is a trend that has been around for decades and is slowly coming back to the forefront. This is because there are now rules that apply to wearing this look. The majority of the time it is all down to the shade of denim, whether you’re pairing your jeans with a denim jacket or shirt, get the shading wrong and it will look like you need to be transported back a decade and a half. The pairing of some dark denim jeans with a lighter jacket or shirt works well however, due to the contrast it creates, so for me that is the best look to go for. You can even go a shade or two lighter in your contrast, showing off a dark grey jacket or shirt, paired with some black skinny jeans in a classic look.

Sometimes though the contrast can go drastically wrong. If shopping on the hight street for your denim jacket or shirt, instead of going down the Levi route, you are exposed to many more options, with mix acid print in with both jeans and jackets and some jackets sporting the ubiquitous Aztec print. In this instance acid denim on acid denim is something fits firmly into the faux pas category. As well as this we are no longer confined to typical colours that denim comes in, I’ve seen jackers ranging from purple to yellow and green to red. When going with denim that is like this it can be tricky but again it is about making sure you are pairing pieces that either match or contrast well together. There are a number of other rules that should be adhered to, but the basic and vital one is contrast the shades of denim, usually with the darker shade going on the bottom.

It’s all about the individual preference when it comes to denim on denim, as it will never be to everyone’s taste. It’s even slated on primetime TV every week, with Jessie J trying to dissuade contestants on The Voice from choosing Danny as a mentor due to the fact that he can be seen sporting denim on denim frequently. For some individuals, using the same shade of denim works and this simply goes back to an individual’s style, much like the idea of torn denim.  I personally avoid using the same shade of denim because it is something that I unfortunately don’t pull off and to be honest, I am fairly grateful for that.

Double denim is a hit amongst many because it brings a bit of edge to your outfit, makes a statement, and is sure to get heads turning when you walk down the street. In my eyes however, it is only a fashion faux pas to many because they have all too often seen it done badly. If we get double denim right we can easily change this opinion. So whether you think it is a trend we should all embrace or whether it needs to be sent back to the 90s, I think most would agree that the world isn’t quite ready for triple denim just yet.

About Frazer Lough

A 19 year old Linguistics student, hailing from the great city of Newcastle. Technically a Geordie, definitely Northern.