Double denim redux: the art of the Canadian tuxedo

Double denim redux: the art of the Canadian tuxedo

Nail those baby blues

Text: Yeong Sassall

Image: Getty Images
Image: Twitter
Image: Abdel Abdulai

Once the punchline of a bad noughties fashion joke, double denim has now catapulted into the modern style vernacular - but proceed with caution, says David Smiedt

So, you think you know your stuff? You know that denim got its name because the fabric originally hailed from the French city of Nimes - or in the local parlance de Nimes. You know that Levi's 501s were so named because they originally had 501 copper rivets - and (bonus point) the one at crotch was eventually removed because it was found to efficiently conduct the heat of campfires which California gold miners congregated around of an evening.

Now before you be brushing off your shoulders hip-hop back-up dancer style, it should be pointed out that you don't really know denim until you've mastered doubling it.

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Double denim can either rock the room or be disastrous. Case in point - in 2001, 2001! - then couple Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake wore matching stonewashed denim outfits to an awards ceremony. Today, 14 years later, if you type their names into Google, the first suggestion the search engine gives you is "Britney Spears Justin Timberlake denim".

The look was so horrendo, it eventually drew its own form of weird affection with Katy Perry doing a tongue in cheek homage at the 2014 MTV VMAs and Ryan Reynolds photoshopping he and Blake's faces into the image in March this year.

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Double denim redux: the art of the Canadian tuxedo (фото 1)

Okay, we've all had a laugh at the expense of fabulously wealthy celebs who still get it wrong from time to hilarious time. But Buro is all about positivity. So how do you get it right?

There is one of two ways. The easiest is playing with texture, washes, colour or all three. For example, say you've gone for the ripped acid-washed jeans, you might want to top it off with the bleached-out denim shirt. (A quick note on the whole ripped business: while it looks tres sexuale - okay it's not a real phrase but we like it - on women, guys need to display some restraint. Mainly because it doesn't make them appear rock'n'roll, it more often makes them seem like a roadie for a third-rate Bon Jovi cover band.) Alternatively, black and blue denim work extremely well together for men and women, especially if one is weathered and the other is crispy selvedge new - we are talking about the denim here, not the people. The key words to remember are contrast and complementary.

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Double denim redux: the art of the Canadian tuxedo (фото 2)

But as you'll recall, two modes of double denim were mentioned a few paragraphs ago. The second is a lot trickier to master. We're talking the matching top/jacket and jeans. If your mental alarm bells are ringing at the very concept, listen to them and adopt the brace position. To make this work, a very specific blend of components are required. The first is that the two fabrics need to be exactly the same colour and wash. Close enough is not good enough. You'll look like one of those carnies manning the Tilt-A-Whirl at a regional fete.


The second factor is attitude: you need to own this like you paid for it in cash - yeah mofos it's double d, deal with it.

Whichever jean path you wish to travel, remember that a few well-chosen accessories will break up the look and carry it over the line. A vintage tee under an unbuttoned denim shirt paired with jeans is a great weekend look, while a bright belt will can add a colourful pop that lifts the look from 1950s prison movie to Sartorialist.

In other words, there's nothing to fear from double denim. Played right, it's a look that will make you stand out for reasons beyond just knowing that it got its name because the fabric originally hailed from the French city of Nimes - or in the local parlance de Nimes.

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