Andy Warhol was famously quoted as saying “I want to die with my blue jeans on.” After all, what’s not to love to death about denim? It’s expressive, sexy, simple and looks great on (nearly) everyone. Originally the choice of cowboys and working folk, jeans were appropriated by 60s counter-culture before gradually establishing themselves as a universal wardrobe essential. We can all agree that denim is a must, yet nothing seems more divisive in Britain than questions surrounding the modishness of double denim (clearly nobody gives a toss about Brexit anymore).
Many who have embraced the trend are well aware of the stigma attached to such a decision; many Brits regard the ‘Canadian tuxedo’, as it’s known across the pond, about as trendy as socks and sandals. Yet as influencers have shown in recent months, double denim is set to be the gift that keeps on giving.
So why does a double dose of denim cause us so much anxiety? Perhaps the self-conscious British psyche fears regressing back to the days of tasteless 90s grunge. For many, double-d is a dark chapter in the story of fashion that should be consigned, alongside velour tracksuits and frosted tips, to the ash heap of history. Although we maintain a warm nostalgia for past fads, we are often wary of repeating them. Surely this justifies a more contemporary style of double denim as opposed to its complete abandonment! Whilst poorly matched and ill-fitting denim adorned with diamantes or studs is naturally hard to swallow, a more nuanced and tasteful ‘Canadian tux’ is very much on trend.
On the continent, we seem one of the last nations to embrace the style; apparently Germans don’t always wear lederhosen. Having visited Berlin, Rome and Prague in the last year, I can confirm that double denim is very much alive and well among Europe’s young cosmopolitan elite. Seemingly, a spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of double denim (if only Marx had written fashion!). If we want to keep up with our progressive European counterparts, it looks like we’re going to have to bite the bullet. Or leave…
However, that’s not to say there aren’t rules! Firstly, the denim must be an exact colour match or alternatively the trousers should be distinctly darker than the jacket. Double denim needs to be deliberate to look good – rather than looking like you can’t be bothered to do the laundry or got dressed without the lights on. Secondly, the jeans and jacket should be relatively plain. Intense acid wash, studs, big rips, and diamantes are far too garish and, quite frankly, tacky. Double denim is quite enough of a statement without looking like you’ve joined the Sex Pistols. Finally, and arguably most importantly, double denim has to be worn with confidence.
In the last few months Gigi Hadid, as might be expected, has shown a classy take on double denim that is both chic and exciting. Effortlessly combining high-waisted jeans with flattering crops, Gigi has hurled double denim back into the limelight. Meanwhile, Nick Jonas’ ill-matching (and ill-fitting) double denim was brash and aesthetically unpleasant. Clearly a statement no one’s ready to hear. Then, lest we ever forget, there’s Justin and Britney…need I say more?
Get it right, and the rewards are obvious. Double denim, worn well, looks good. Denim jackets are comfy, practical, and don’t deserve to be neglected for fear of being unfashionable. They give a rugged and youthful look that is unfailingly trendy. Likewise, double denim is such an obvious statement it imbues the wearer with a quiet confidence that can only be a good thing. As I always say: double the denim, double the confidence.
So there we go: it’s the dream team. Next time you spot that denim jacket that hasn’t seen the light of day for years, match it with the right jeans and you’re bound to have a better day because of it. Double denim is back on trend and it’s here to stay. A quick (slightly ominous) warning: get it wrong and you look like you’re about to go chasing rabbits with Lennie and George. Get it right and you not only look great, you feel great. Perhaps if Mr Warhol were still alive (if you’ll pardon the morbidity), he might have thought about doubling up his denim before he passed.