There’s nothing quite like breaking out my favorite jean jacket on the first cool day of autumn — especially after months of suffering through summer’s soaring temperatures and swamp-like humidity waves. By nature, the protean fabric goes with virtually everything, but the combination I keep coming back to is denim-on-denim. It’s an easy uniform to throw on when I’m feeling uninspired by everything else in my closet — plus, there are endless ways to reinvent the evergreen Canadian tuxedo.
“Jeans are naturally such a versatile styling piece, which makes them a core staple in everyone's closet,” says Sonia Mosseri, co-founder and creative director of New York-based denim brand Still Here. Of all the ways one can wear dungaree material, Mosseri prefers to keep things simple with a white T-shirt and jeans; or, if she’s putting multiple denim pieces together, she’ll combine similar washes for a clean and sophisticated look. Personally, though, I like adding extra dimension to my outfits with a mix of fabric treatments (light, dark, acid rinse, etc.) and textured elements like fringe and patchwork — it’s all about personal preference.
Head-to-toe denim, of course, is not a new idea. Celebrities have been wearing the look for decades: Elvis Presley went for a jeans and a matching button-down to film his 1968 comeback special on NBC; in the late 1970s, iconic punk rocker Debbie Harry wore a faded straight leg silhouette with a dark wash cropped jacket to perform onstage with her band, Blondie. The look evolved into more of a grungy mainstream trend when the ‘90s and early aughts rolled around (see: Drew Barrymore’s oversized topper and matching distressed jeans look at the premiere for Toy Soldiers in 1991), and a decade later, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake sported their infamous coordinating Canadian tuxedos on the red carpet for the 2001 American Music Awards. Today, the coolest of cool girls, from Gigi Hadid to Dakota Johnson, are all still putting their own spin on the timeless pairing.
In short: There’s no wrong way to style your favorite denim duds. But if you’re looking for some fresh ideas, I’ve gathered six foolproof ones ahead.
I’m a sucker for a color wash denim, like this lilac coordinating set spotted on a London Fashion Week attendee outside the Spring/Summer 2024 shows. The dreamy purple hue looks like it floated down from a cloud at sunset, and the cropped fit is just the right amount of bare skin for transitional weather.
Patterns are an easy way to shake up an otherwise standard denim combination. Take a cue from this look, and try an oversized logo print jacket styled with Bermuda shorts, a fun rhinestone shoe, and a coordinating tote to top it off.
TikTok influencer Tanya Ravichandran rocks matching washed out denim with a zip-up jacket and dual-waist, low-rise midi skirt. I love how she’s added in two belts to accentuate the design details of her waistband — the result is one part functional, one part fashionable.
This mahogany set plays into the quiet luxury aesthetic — and paired with neutral-toned accessories like a cream-colored bag and polished mules, it exudes sophistication.
Denim comes in so many fun forms — from ripped to frayed and fringe to patchwork — so why not take advantage? Mixed and matched properly, different washes and finishes make an outfit feel more thoughtful.
OK, hear me out: This outfit may be centered around a denim jacket and blue jeans, but the subtle additional of embellishment (grommets and rhinestones) make it anything but average. The mini Chanel crossbody adorned with a rosette on the strap (and the bandana) takes things to the next level.