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Double denim, teasingly referred to as the ‘Canadian tuxedo’ has often been ridiculed and playfully jibed as the theme of dress-up parties. In 2001, Justin and Britney won themselves a permanent place in fashion history with their questionable-yet-endearing matching all-denim patchwork outfits.
However, thanks to a few uber-chic celebrities, denim-on-denim is back with a vengeance. Layered denim can be one of the most in-style ways to pack a fashion punch, asserting yourself as a master of street style.
While our inspiration here comes from some of the world’s top supermodels, anyone can wear denim on denim as long as you choose a fit and silhouette that flatters your unique and gorgeous bod.
Read on for our guide for styling denim on denim…on denim.
Country-chic: skinny jeans, a slim-line denim shirt, and booties
Celebrity inspiration: it would have been impossible to complete this article without spotlighting Gigi Hadid, one of the most prolific denim-on-denim wearers. While there are many Gigi looks to choose from, we love her classic denim shirt with skinny jeans look. She was snapped wearing dark denim skinny jeans, a paler denim shirt in a slim fit, and reflective sunglasses.
- Go for contrasting denim tones such as a pale denim jean with an indigo shirt, or vice versa
- A slimline shirt keeps the look fresh and sleek, cutting a feminine silhouette
- If skinny jeans are a no-go for you, swap them out for boot cut, straight cut, or even wide-leg styles to even out your proportions and make your legs extra long
- To accent the onslaught of blue, add a tan leather belt to the jeans
- If blue-on-blue isn’t your thing, try a pale denim shirt
- For casual daywear, white sneakers are ideal (as Gigi proves), but for more formal wear or for going out, strappy heels are a great way to sweeten the look and provide a cool contrast to the rough-and-tough denim
Sexy meets tough: ripped jeans, a short crop, and a roomy denim jacket
Celebrity inspiration: Bella Hadid has perfected the art of making the double denim trend equal parts sexy and fashion-forward, time after time. One of our favorite Bella looks was when she rocked a short black crop top, ripped baggy jeans, and an oversized denim jacket.
Note: for extra inspiration, check out the images of her wearing a matching 3-piece denim set including a fitted bustier or the time she wore a skin-tight denim jumpsuit.
- Play to your comfort zone and choose a crop that makes you comfortable, whether it’s showing your entire tummy or just a sliver of skin
- Make sure the jeans are on the baggier side, in a boyfriend style that sits higher on the hip or waist. This creates the slouchy street style look we’re going for
- Try a roomy, oversized denim jacket that can be worn off the shoulder or tied around the waist if the day heats up
- If bulky jackets aren’t your thing, you could try a long-line denim duster coat or even a long-line denim shirt worn open over your crop
70’s glam: flared jeans, sleeveless denim shirt, leather belt, and heels
Celebrity inspiration: If we’re showcasing Gigi and Bella, we’ve got to give Kendall Jenner some love, too, as she’s equally as adept in the art of denim-on-denim fashion moments.
We love how Kendall wears flared or wide-leg jeans, reminding the world just how flattering and always-cool this 70s staple is. Sure, you could pair them with a basic tank or tee, but why do that when you can layer your denim and wear a sleeveless denim shirt?
- Find a sleeveless denim shirt with raw edges around the shoulders, with a long enough hemline that it can be neatly tucked into jeans
- High-waisted flares are best as they elongate the legs and preserve the classic 70s style without veering into the dreaded 00s low-rise territory
- For nighttime sexiness, unbutton the top few buttons and wear a long-line lace bralette peeking underneath
- Break up the denim by adding a neutral-toned leather belt
- To go “out-out”, try a pair of embellished heels to add femme flair, or heeled ankle boots to follow on with the country-chic vibe
How to Style Denim Dresses
What comes to mind when you think of a 1980s denim dress? Acid wash with shoulder pads, voluminous sleeves, and a dropped waist? Or maybe a tiered ruffle skirt and double-breasted buttons?
Eek. However, the denim dress can be a versatile and stylish piece when styled with modern flair.
The denim dress can and should be a wardrobe staple in your 2020 fashion forecast…and we’ll show you how to make it work day after day. Take a seat and explore our guide for how to style denim dresses, complete with inspo from our favorite fashion heroes and the decades that inspire them.
We’ve got ideas to suit the four key denim dress styles: the shirt dress, the wiggle dress, the shift dress, and the overall dress.
The denim shirt dress and tan belt: 1970s earth-tones
Celebrity inspiration: Kate Bosworth always serves excellent 70s-inspired street style with flared jeans, oversized sunglasses, and a carefree sense of chic.
Kate often styles her denim with earth-toned leather in the form of shoes, bags, or belts. A denim shirt dress styled with a tan belt and leather boots is the perfect way to embrace the trend for everyday wear.
- Any tan leather belt works, especially if it’s on the thinner side, or even braided in true bohemian style
- Accessorize the look with classic gold hoop earrings and a tan leather satchel bag
- For cooler months, add a pair of tights and knee-high leather boots
- To take it from casual to “let’s go out!” add a bright red lip and swap your boots for a pair of heeled pumps or strappy sandals
The denim pencil dress and heels: 1950s wiggle
Celebrity inspiration: If you haven’t seen Jennifer Lopez’s new Guess campaign, you must! In the image below she rocks a tight, sleeveless denim dress that hugs her insanely gorgeous body.
She serves super-powered 1950s wiggle style with a little 90s flair with her nude makeup. This is how to style the denim pencil dress.
- Halter-neck styles with ruched or gathered busts are extra flattering and serve super bombshell style
- If you’re a little uneasy about rocking a figure-hugging dress, make yourself more comfortable by wearing firm shapewear underneath, and opt for thick, sturdy denim
- To tone down the sex appeal, layer the dress with a long blazer or even an open menswear-style shirt
- For the ultimate “going out” outfit, style with heeled pumps or T-bar heels, a red lip, and voluminous hair
- For a more pared-down style for Fall and Winter, layer with opaque tights, heeled boots, and long-line cardigan or duster coat
The denim shift dress and boots: 1960s mod
Celebrity inspiration: Alexa Chung is hands down the Queen of denim street style. Her lithe and Twiggy-like figure means she can serve 1960s style like the best.
We especially love how she styles shift dresses with such incredible simplicity, all the while looking the epitome of chic.
- Start with your denim shift and a pair of knee-high leather boots (heeled, if possible!)
- Sparingly add accessories to build up the look, such as a fedora or stetson hat, or a bold-toned silk scarf tied around the neck
- For Fall and Winter, copy Alexa and try a pair of pale-hued tights in a textured pattern, ankle boots, and a long-sleeved tee under your shift (if it is sleeveless)
- For true 1960 style, try thick black eyelashes and pale pastel lips
The denim overall dress and tank or t-shirt: 1990s cute
Celebrity inspiration: if there’s a closet we’d love to raid, it’s Taylor Swift’s! Taylor’s street style is so varied and always makes a statement, whether it’s bohemian hippy or French chic.
However, one our our favourite outfits was a sweet little denim overall dress layered with a simple red tank and sneakers. She looked so fresh, Spring-ready, and relaxed. Let’s copy our girl Taylor.
- Go with the seasons! For Spring and Summer, layer the dress with a tank or crop, for Fall and Winter, layer with a long-sleeved tee or even a plaid shirt
- Make the outfit your own by accessorizing with layered gold necklaces, hoop earrings, or a choker necklace for true 80s reminiscence
- For a casual stroll to the shop, go for your trusty sneakers or trainers
- To elevate the look to going-out levels, choose heeled ankle booties or pumps, and layer a metallic lurex long-sleeved tee underneath
- Tie a plaid shirt around the waist for extra layering and contrasting tones (extra points if you can rock a skateboard)