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Get down with denim

January 18th, 2011 No Comments

Photos via GAS Jeans Spring/Summer 2011 Runway

MR NOTE:  I love double denim on men!  It’s actually not a hard look to adopt and Andrew gives you great tips on how to do it.  The trend has been around for a year now on the coasts, so people won’t think you’re crazy.  Go for it!

— Andrew Woj, The Straight Guy Stylist

Recently, when visiting Denver, I joked how everyone in the “Mile High” wears all denim, all the time.  Then I got to thinking, could I do it?  I was skeptical that cowboy casual could be transformed into something more sophisticated and styled, but then I saw some of the guys I look up to pulling out their own all-denim ensembles, plus it’s been trending on runways like crazy.  A denim outfit is really easy, the part that is a little more challenging is accessorizing.  Here are my tips on putting together an outfit that is fit for everything from parties to weekends in the park.

Basic guidelines for mixing denim:

  1. Do not color match your denim.  Make sure that your top and bottom remain clearly separate by pairing different shades and washes of denim.  For example, pair a darker jean with a lighter denim work shirt, similar to a chambray.  These shirts can be found everywhere from American Eagle to J.Crew if you don’t feel like spending more on a higher-end version.
  2. Keep everything fitted.  Baggy and ill-fitted shirts and jeans will make an all-denim outfit look sloppy.  This is especially important when you pick out your bottoms: go for something with a straight leg.  The closer to the body, the cleaner the look.  I prefer a raw or selvage denim because it has a more rigid texture that molds to your body the more you wear it.  It also contrasts well with the softness of the shirt.
  3. Let your shoes speak.  Since everything else in the outfit is blending together, let your shoes have a little fun.  In the fall and spring, try a pair of moccasins or bright driving shoes.  During the winter, lace up a pair of work boots and maybe tuck your pants leg in.  In the summer, wear a crisp white sneaker.
  4. Don’t be afraid of accessories.  I’m a firm believer in a few good accessories for men.  Show some personal style with your choice of watch or bracelet.  Perhaps you’ll even experiment with a ring or necklace.
  5. It’s all about the details.  You’re comfortable rolling up your sleeves, why not go for the leg? A rolled cuff on your jeans and a coordinated belt go a long way and have the ability to take denim from West Virginia to the Upper West Side.

Watch me now!

Here is my all-denim look.  I’ve paired a chambray button down from Gap with a pair of Levi’s 511 jeans.  The dark wash of the jean makes the lightness of the shirt pop and avoids a “matchy” look.

To complete the look I picked out a few accessories including a wooden bead bracelet a friend brought back from Africa and slipped on a pair of vintage oxford shoes from my favorite Philly vintage spot, SAZZ.

Beware of the trend:

Denim is trending but unfortunately, it’s not all-inclusive.  You’ll still want to avoid jean jackets and most colored denim.  The power of blue denim should not be messed with: it makes the outfit work because it’s comfortable, relaxed, and sublte.

If you try out your own denim head to toe, snap a picture and send it to andrew@morethanmary.com – I’d love to see how you’re making the trend work for yourself!

Note: I apologize for the quality of the pictures… Living alone is great when it comes to having your own space, but terrible when it’s time to blog about your outfits!