How To Wear Double Denim

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How To Wear Double Denim For Men & Women

Double denim is a trend that has been around for decades and it’s one that wont be going anywhere anytime soon. So many people think that double denim or denim on denim, whichever you prefer to call it, is an absolute no no, however, when it’s done right, it can look amazing! Having worked in the denim industry for over 7 years and lived with an ever growing denim obsession, double denim is one of my favourite combinations. I even take it as far as triple denim, as long as the washes and fits are working with each other.

Double denim is worn by so many celebrities, bloggers and models, but is favoured mainly by the likes of Zac Efron, David Beckham and Kanye West for the boys, proving that guys with all different types of style can pull it off, and loved by ladies like Rihanna, Olivia Palermo, Ashley Tisdale and the Kardashian’s, again showing that anyone can make it work! The trick for getting denim on denim right is all in the pieces you choose. Nobody wants to look like they just stepped straight out of the 80’s or 90’s as an updated feel is a must have for any trend. So, that’s why I have put this post together, outlining the basics and general rules of double denim and how to make it work, for both men and women!

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The Main Rules for Denim on Denim

When it comes to double denim, less isn’t more in my opinion. If you are wanting to try out this trend and are unsure on how to style it, it’s actually really easy!

The basic rule of thumb for denim on denim is making sure that the washes and colours are completely different from each other. This means pairing a light washed blue denim jacket or shirt with dark blue, black or grey jeans. You can do it the other way around with dark washes on top and lighter on the bottom, but I find that it looks better the first way as darker colours are more slimming on the bottom, creating a much nicer illusion to your proportions.

To cover another basic, you want to make sure that your pieces fit you perfectly. Pairing together a really baggy pair of jeans and an ill fitting shirt is not a good look, neither is the combination of a baggy denim jacket and bad fitting jeans. The key here is making sure your jean are slim or skinny and your shirt, jacket or vest is fitted. You need to make sure the cuts are slim, especially on the legs. I don’t think double denim ever looks good with really loose jeans, it’s much more suited to skinny fits.

So, these are the basic rules for getting that perfect double denim look and these work for both the men and women, you can’t really go wrong when following these, you are almost guaranteed to get it right. For those looking to elevate the denim on denim look to another level and make it a bit more interesting, I’ve also added some more tips below, split into sections for each gender and lots of photos for you to use as inspiration when creating your own looks.

SHOP-DENIM-SHOPBOP

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Double Denim For Women

Double denim for women comes with a lot more options than it does for men, for example, you can wear so many different combinations! Denim shirts, jackets and vests can go really well with skinny jeans, denim shorts, skinny flares and even denim skirts. You can wear denim shirts with dungarees or even layer denim vests over chambray dresses! The combinations are endless. If you want to go for a triple denim look, you can even pair your skinny jeans and denim jacket with a fitted denim shirt underneath, making sure that the washes are different of course.

If you want to try something a little more on trend for this season, you can do double denim by tying a denim shirt around your waist so it falls over your skinny jeans or shorts, this works really well and it’s a great way to incorporate more denim into your look. This even works for dungarees or overalls, just tie the shirt around your waist and it creates a completely different energy. It’s sort of a throwback to the 90’s as those trends are coming back around, but in a more modern and updated way, it’s also much more muted and less overpowering.

If you want to try double denim but you only have shades that are similar in colour, then one of the main ways you can make this work without looking dated is in the accessories. Try wearing a printed jumper/sweater under your denim jacket and some bold shoes, or layer on lots of jewellery, carry a big bag and wear some sunglasses or a hat. The important thing is mixing up the denim with other fabrics and colour, drawing the attention away from the block one colour denim. Layering over a coat or smart blazer also brings another classy element to double denim so it doesn’t always have to look casual.

If I am wearing double denim, my absolute must have combinations are grey skinny jeans with a light blue denim shirt, vest or jacket. This always works because the lighter blue mixed with grey denim is a colour palette made in heaven! They complement each other incredibly well and look perfect! If you don’t have grey skinny jeans, dark blue works just as well, just make sure your other denim on top is really light!

Double denim can even be experimented with more by trying out prints or bright colours. You can wear denim in all different colours, as long as they go together, but you might want to stay away from the bold primary colours unless you know what you are doing as the last thing you want to look like is a children’s TV presenter! You could try white skinny jeans with a blue denim shirt, or even blue skinny jeans with a coloured denim jacket. I’ve worn tie-dye double denim combinations before as well as floral print jeans or acid wash mixtures!

SHOP-DENIM-ASOS

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Double Denim For Men

When it comes to double denim for the guys, there aren’t as many options or pairings as there are for the ladies, however, I think double denim on men can look even better than it does on women! It can have quite a strong and dominant vibe to it, which is perfect. Denim on denim for men is mostly worn in the form of skinny jeans with a denim jacket or shirt. You can also wear a denim vest if you are going for that rocker look, mixing in some plaids too, and like I mentioned above for the ladies, even tying a denim shirt around your waist, just to add that little bit of extra denim to your outfit.

Obviously guys don’t generally wear skirts or dresses, so those options are out, but I also don’t recommend double denim with shorts, there’s something about the proportions that just don’t look right, so my main advice would be sticking to just the skinny jeans on the bottom, in grey, black or dark blue and pairing them with a lighter washed jacket or shirt on top. Again though, make sure everything is really well fitted so that it looks as good as it can!

I apply the same rules for the men as I do the women in terms of wanting to wear double denim in similar washes, so if you don’t want to mix up your blue shades, put a printed sweater on underneath your jacket, have some bolder shoes, throw on some sunglasses, even a backpack, just anything you can think of to add some colour to the outfit and break up the wall of denim. It’s incredibly important so that you don’t look dated! Beanies and scarves are a great way of adding more texture too!

Denim jackets with fleece lining add texture and difference to the outfit on their own, which is why the pairing of the lighter Levi’s shearling jacket with lighter jeans on Zac Efron below works so well. Don’t forget though, make sure all of your pieces fit you well. As long as everything is slim, structured and fitted, you can pretty much get away with anything!

SHOP-DENIM-EAST-DANE

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So, these are my tips for all of you on creating a fantastic double denim outfit. One that looks chic or stylish and not too overdone. Ladies, you can shop all of your denim pieces online at Shopbop and guys, why not try East Dane! They both have great selections! If you want a cheaper option, ASOS is a great alternative. How many of you adore the double denim trend and can’t get enough of it? I would also love to know how you wear it too! Comment and let me know!

SHOP-DENIM-REVOLVE

29 Comments

  1. June 24, 2014 / 11:22 pm

    Love this post! That Guess photo is really unbelievable…the denim…the hair. Perfection.

    xx

    • June 25, 2014 / 1:20 am

      Thank you! I know! When I first saw it last year, I fell in love with it and I knew I should use it as the main image for this post! It’s amazing!

  2. Raj Gohil
    October 4, 2014 / 8:30 pm

    Love This Post!

    Thanks Lorna, Good Work!

    • October 4, 2014 / 9:21 pm

      Thank you!

  3. Delphine
    December 4, 2014 / 11:24 pm

    This really helped me…thanks Lorna

    • December 4, 2014 / 11:46 pm

      You are very welcome!

  4. September 22, 2015 / 6:42 am

    Very nice post.i really love these all double denim patterns and styles.

    These are looks like trendy jeans.

    Thanks for these great denim ideas.

  5. November 23, 2015 / 4:49 pm

    Great post with superb images! And It comes to washes here is my theory.

    Washes are something that I can’t delve deep into due to the fact that they are purely about personal preference.

    What one person thinks is amazing, another may not like and vice verse. But what I will mention is how some washes can be flattering and how others can give the impression you are bigger than you are.

  6. Salami Adedayo
    December 10, 2015 / 12:16 am

    Wow, the info was so comprehensive and it gave me a worthwhile reading. Keep it Up.

  7. Ashwin Dewan
    December 25, 2015 / 8:27 pm

    Wow. I wish I had come across this post earlier. Really helpful. I always make sure I wear my black 501 with my denim shirts and glad that I was not violating the double denim rule.

    Again, good work. Appreciate the research and thought behind this post.

    • December 26, 2015 / 9:41 pm

      Really glad you found it helpful!

  8. January 6, 2016 / 4:24 am

    If double denim colors for all bottom and top is different then it make sense to style otherwise its just a garage dress and fel like working in workshop look

  9. April 7, 2016 / 10:42 am

    Great photos! I’d agree the ‘double denim’ look isn’t a great one unless you choose washes wisely. Nice to see some of the combinations here.

    • April 7, 2016 / 11:10 am

      Glad you like it!

  10. June 9, 2016 / 6:05 am

    My height is 5.5 and am wearing a denim which is in ‘S’ size so please can u tell me it suits me coz it feel its too short for me like how ladies wear it

    • June 9, 2016 / 11:04 am

      Hi Ratan, I’m not quite sure what you mean by size S, do you mean leg length? Where do the leg openings hit you on your legs?

  11. June 9, 2016 / 1:03 pm

    Wonderful tips on wearing denim for both men and women. I am totally new to this style as I saw some of my friends having such style so I thought it might a good idea of I give it a try. Luckily I found your article and I am more confident now at making this experience with myself 🙂 .

    • June 10, 2016 / 2:04 am

      So glad you found it helpful and love to wear double denim now 🙂

  12. Paul
    June 23, 2016 / 3:33 pm

    Double Denim! How about Triple Denim! I often wear matching denim jeans, shirt and jacket! I just love being denim clad!

    • June 23, 2016 / 4:59 pm

      Yeah, we have a post on triple denim too! It’s something I wear often.

  13. anusua
    July 27, 2016 / 12:53 pm

    Will all these tricks fit for a short hieghted girl …m 5’1″ …or it would look bad

  14. anusua
    July 27, 2016 / 12:56 pm

    Will all these tricks fit for a short heighted girl …m 5’1″ …or it cwould look bad

    • July 27, 2016 / 5:06 pm

      Of course, double denim can work on anyone no matter their height, just depends how you style it!

  15. August 31, 2016 / 4:08 am

    Love these tips and hints for wearing double denim. Beautiful style images too.

  16. Maan upadhayay
    October 16, 2016 / 11:21 am

    Lorna thanks its amazing post nd helpful
    i love it

    • October 16, 2016 / 11:32 am

      You’re welcome!

  17. priyank
    October 21, 2016 / 7:59 pm

    Hi,
    Is it good to wear navy blue denim shirt with black jeans??
    Or faded blue jeans?

    • October 25, 2016 / 2:05 am

      I think both would work very well! Black jeans with the shirt will be smarter, fades blue will be more casual.

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