The denim on denim trend hasn’t gone mainstream for a reason: it’s hard to commit to that much denim in one outfit. For many, and this is generally the case with my clients, wearing a denim jacket with a pair of jeans can feel overly masculine, stiff, cowboy-esque, hard-edged or matchy-matchy. This is especially the case when the wash of the denim jacket and jeans are very similar.
Here are some super fashionable examples of the look:
That said, most of my clients will wear a version of what I call denim on denim lite. There are three main versions of the look. Combine a denim jacket with a pair of jeans in a different wash of blue denim (either lighter or darker). Pair blue denim with white, grey or black denim. Or wear a mixed media denim jacket with jeans. In all three cases, you’ll break up the expanse of blue denim, creating a less matchy-matchy combination.
Blue Denim Jacket with Different Wash Blue Jeans
The collection shows a blue denim jacket combined with a pair of jeans in a different shade of blue. The pairing can be subtle or high contrast. Patterned denim and acid wash denim add a textural dimension to the outfit. Wearing a denim jacket in a non-classic silhouette — like a bomber, trapeze style or blazer — puts even more distance between the outfit and a hardcore denim on denim look.
Blue Denim with White, Black or Grey Denim
Combining blue denim with white, grey or black denim is even less match-matchy and the most common with my clients. By all means wear a white or black denim jacket with pair of blue jeans. Create a low or high contrast between the two items of denim. The collection below contains many such combinations.
Mixed Media Denim Jacket with Jeans
A mixed media denim jacket incorporates a second fabric like leather, tweed, waxed denim, faux fur, shearling, fringe or terry cloth. Again, the additional fabric breaks up the expanse of denim. Wear blue, black, white, grey or coloured jeans on the bottom.
Layering a neutral top with denim on denim lite is a slam dunk because it creates a chic tonal effect, and draws attention away from the denim. Adding a top in colour or bold pattern tends to highlight the matchy-matchy top and bottom, which is not a bad thing if that’s your preference.
Over the years my own preferences for the denim on denim look have changed. I used to wear black jeans with a blue denim jacket in the ‘90s. Then I went off the denim on denim trend completely for a while, feeling it was too masculine and stiff. But I changed my mind a few years ago and now enjoy wearing a blue mixed media denim jacket with a white top and white jeans. I’ve also developed a liking for combinations of the same wash blue denim in one outfit after I saw many people sporting this look in Amsterdam. My increased fondness for denim on denim lite was the catalyst to purchasing a fourth denim jacket while travelling last month.
The powder blue darling with white buttons has proved to be even more versatile than I thought. I wear it with white, medium blue and light blue denim. I’ve enjoyed wearing it in the outfit below most of all. A soft tonal combination of white and light blue.
Over to you. Do you wear denim on denim lite? If so, how do you like to combine your denim top and bottom? Or is the combination too much denim no matter how you slice it?