How to Wear Denim on Denim : Men’s Outfit

Either wondered how you can pull off wearing denim with denim? Do you have a favourite pair of jeans and a denim shirt that you love, but you’ve never been brave enough to wear them together? It’s time to push your fears aside and embrace the double denim trend!

How to Wear Denim on Denim : Men's Outfit : Fashion |

When many men think of double denim they think of the fashion mistakes of the 1970’s, the Canadian tuxedo and, in my case, the musical stylings of Shakin’ Stevens.

There’s nothing new about the popularity of double denim; Elvis Priestly wore it with aplomb in the 1950s but it lost its appeal in the 1980s.
How to Wear Denim on Denim : Men's Outfit : Fashion |

Now, however, double denim is back and it’s everywhere! From the runway to the high street, and on the backs of every A-list celebrity in between, this is the one trend that every man should and can get right this year.

Here are our top tips for styling out this trickiest of 2018 trends so that you can wear denim on denim and look great:

Choose Contrasting Washes

One of the main and most important rules for wearing denim on denim is that the two pieces you choose should never be of the exact same wash. Contrasting your top and bottom pieces is essential.

One of the safest ways to work double denim is to pair pieces in shades of black and blue, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t wear two blue denim pieces together: you just have to ensure that one piece is at least two shades darker than the other.

How to Wear Denim on Denim : Men's Outfit : Fashion |

Indigo jeans paired with a stone wash denim jacket is a great way to work double blues. The most flattering way to wear this combination is to pair darker pants with a lighter top, however if you have a chunkier upper body you may wish to reverse this and wear the darker colour up top.

Wearing two denim pieces that are the same colour and weight can risk looking too matchy matchy, and may even make it appear that you are wearing a one piece, such as a boiler suit. Choose your colours wisely.

On the subject of colour, don’t pair your double denim with bright and bold pieces and patterns, particularly if you’re new to the trend. This is a look best teamed with clean classic pieces and colours, such as a plain black, white or navy blue tee.

How to Wear Denim on Denim : Men's Outfit : Fashion | https://www.royalfashionist.comIf you do feel that your outfit needs an injection of pattern then look to Breton stripe tees and sweaters in neutral shades. Traditional plait is also a great pattern to pair with two different shades of denim, and is the perfect choice if you feel the need to add an injection of colour.

Pick Pieces Wisely

Double denim is a trend that should be limited to key pieces, such as jeans, shirts and jackets. Keep the denim on your body, and avoid denim accessories at all costs.

How to Wear Denim on Denim : Men's Outfit : Fashion | https://www.royalfashionist.comDenim accessories went out of vogue twenty years ago, so leave them in the past where they belong. That means that denim back packs, baseball capes or trilbies, and even denim bow ties should all be avoided.

Keep your outfit simple and keep it clean and minimal to make this low key, fashion-forward look work. When picking your denim pieces the fit is key: loose fitting double denim can look dates and is not particularly flattering.

The fit of your jeans is a personal choice: whilst skinny jeans are incredibly popular right now, if skinny jeans simply don’t suit you then look for straight legged jeans or even a narrow fitting boot cut (ideal for giving balance to particularly broad shoulders).

When it comes to wearing denim up top, a great rule of thumb is that your jacket should be fitted enough so you can do it up, but short enough that it rests on your hips. This will allow you to wear a longer line shirt underneath, creating a border of material that will separate the two denim layers, making them much easier to wear.

Distress Your Denim

One of this season’s hottest denim trends is distressed denim: jeans with patches, panels and oversized rips and tears are all over both the runway and the high street. The distressed denim options are literally endless, and you certainly won’t struggle to find pieces to tap into this trend.

How to Wear Denim on Denim : Men's Outfit : Fashion | https://www.royalfashionist.comBut if you don’t want to invest in new jeans, or you already have a pair of jeans that you love and that fit you perfectly, then why not distress them at home? This is one trend that is incredibly easy to DIY. Here’s how:

-Gather your tools! You should already have most of these things lying around the house. Look for scissors, sandpaper, tweezers and a stanley knife.

-Rub the sandpaper across the denim to create rough distressed panels. The best places to position these are where wear would naturally occur: the pockets (front and rear), the knees, and the hem are all great places to start.

-If you want to create tears and slashes in your jeans then you will need to use the stanley knife. The best places to position these cuts are on the knees and thighs. Try on your jeans and use a sharpie to draw lines exactly where you would like the cuts to appear, then remove your jeans to cut along the lines as precisely as possible.

How to Wear Denim on Denim : Men's Outfit : Fashion |

-Take your scissors and use them to fray around the lines where you have added your cuts. Tease out any loose threads with the scissors to create a more natural and authentic distressed feel.

-Want to create small, bullet-style holes around the pockets of your jeans? This is the perfect time to bring out your tweezers! This is precision work that will take a little patience but use your tweezers to pick small, perfectly positioned holes in your denim.

It may seem time-consuming and labour intensive, but one of the main benefits of customising your own distressed denim is that you can design them to your own specific requirements.

If your knee slashes are never perfectly positioned on your knees then this is the idea way to get them exactly where you want them, and on a tight budget too. It’s a win-win situation.

Keep it Casual

I cannot emphasise this point enough: denim is NOT formalwear! There’s no such thing as a denim suit (and if such a thing does exist then it should be burnt immediately) so don’t be tricked into thinking that because you are wearing the same fabric top and bottom you can wear it to a formal occasion. You can’t.

How to Wear Denim on Denim : Men's Outfit : Fashion | https://www.royalfashionist.comJustin and Britney did a lot of damage to the double denim concept by making this mistake.  Which physically burns my retinas: What were they thinking? If you have a formal occasion, or a red carpet event, to go to then leave the denim at home.

Double denim is best worn for casual and semi-casual occasions. It looks great as part of a fashion-forward weekend look. Will definitely impress on a low key first date. And will even turn heads in your favourite bar on a Saturday night. For occasions more formal than this? Leave the double denim at home, where it belongs.

How Not To Wear Double Denim

Has the thought of looking like Justin Timberlake circa 2001 put you off the idea of wearing double denim all together? There’s no need to be afraid of double denim, you just have to be careful about the pieces that you choose.

How to Wear Denim on Denim : Men's Outfit : Fashion | https://www.royalfashionist.comHere are some more rules to help you pull off the double denim trend with style:

  • Don’t wear a denim boilersuit or denim overalls, unless you’re a farmer, factory worker, or male model. This is a very tricky look to pull off outside of a work wear environment, and can look a little too try-hard and hipster. Unless you’re aiming to be a star of instagram, give this micro trend a miss.
  • Don’t wear just one shade of denim from head to toe. There are almost endless shades of denim available, so shop around and ensure that the pieces you choose are in distinctly different colours and shades.
  • As well as thinking about the colour of your denim, you should also consider its weight. Lightweight denim is best suited to your upper body, so choose to wear heavier pieces below the belt and lighter pieces above it.
  • Think carefully about the proportions of the outfit that you put together. If you want to wear relaxed jeans then ensure you pair it with a fitted jacket, whilst skinny or fitted jeans can be worn with either a fitted or oversized jacket.
  • Finally, don’t forget about coloured denim. This is a great way to break up the blue and inject some excitement and vibrancy into your outfit. But if you do choose coloured denim, only wear one coloured piece at a time.

Be True to You

Wearing double denim is just like wearing an on trend outfit: even if the style takes you out of your comfort zone, it’s still important to be true to your fashion personality.

How to Wear Denim on Denim : Men's Outfit : Fashion | https://www.royalfashionist.comIf you have a clean, simple and preppy style aesthetic then wear indigo and light wash denim with a white crew neck tee and a pair of Converse sneakers. Add a simple tan belt and a low key backpack to finish the look.

Like to look a little more edgy and fashion-forward? Enjoy having all eyes on you when you experiment with new trends? Then why not embellish your denim. Choose a jacket with patches, patchwork panels, and other eye grabbing details.

This will give your double denim outfit a visual point of difference and ensure you stand out from the crowd. Rocky embellished denim jackets look great paired with black or grey jeans to create a blending colour effect.

Happy to wear any colour as long as its black? Black is universally flattering, and many men dislike straying far from their favourite shade. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t still get on board with the double denim trend.

Black denim on black denim looks best in slim fitting styles. Choose a jacket that falls on or above your hip line and pair with your favourite skinny jeans. If you don’t want to break up the colour at all, this will look good with a black v neck tee, but it will look great with a grey marl one to create a level of unexpected colour separation.

Whatever style you choose, and whatever your fashion personality, there is the perfect approach to double denim for you. You just have to experiment and explore all of the options available to find the one that suits you best.

Triple Threat

Finally, if you feel you’ve completely mastered the double denim trend and want to move things up another notch, why not experiment with the triple denim trend?

This is a trend that certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted, and triple denim goes against every denim trend that the fashion industry has promoted for the last decade. But actually, if you wear it right then this is a trend that can look completely amazing!

How to Wear Denim on Denim : Men's Outfit : Fashion | https://www.royalfashionist.comSo what exactly is triple denim? It’s simple really: pair your favourite jeans with a denim jacket and a denim shirt. The result is a look that is overwhelming denim and generally, overwhelmingly blue.

Once again, black denim is a great way to wear this trend is your cautious about wearing three different shades of blue in one outfit, but don’t automatically shy away from the blue. It might take a little more effort to get it right, but the risk is definitely worth the reward!

This is a great way to show off your favourite premium denim brands. The key to making the triple denim look work is to choose the right accessories. We love high end tan leather paired with rich blue denim to really make the colours pop.

Keep up the coordination of your outfit by ensuring that your belt matches your shoes, ensuring that your outfit is sleek, clean, and bang on trend.


We just love denim: what’s not to love about your favourite comfy jeans? Denim is our go to solution for almost every occasion, and double denim means double the fun!

We understand that many men are frightened of the double denim trend, but it really isn’t a look to shy away from. In fact, it can be surprisingly easy to wear! Just keep the rest of your outfit simple, wear high quality minimal accessories, and you’re good to go.

The best thing about experimenting with the double denim trend is that anyone can try it. We all have a pair of jeans in our wardrobe, and most of us have either a denim jacket, denim shirt (or both) hanging inside as well.

That means it would cost you anything to experiment by putting these pieces together and seeing if it’s a new season trend that will work for you.

Need a little more inspiration? Look to David Beckham. He is the ultimate celebrity ambassador for the double denim trend, and no one wears it better than he does! Barely a day passes where we don’t see another example of Mr Beckham layering his denim in new and exciting ways.

Give it a try. After all, what have you got to lose?

Tor Brierley is a writer and editor from the UK whose love of writing about fashion has taken her all over the world. With a passion for tailoring, Tor often looks to menswear for inspiration, and believes that fashion should be accessible to everyone. Tor has three main obsessions: red lipstick, her kids, and finding the perfect leather jacket.

Royal Fashionist

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