Fall Do or Don’t: Denim on denim

Denim on denim is having a moment. I keep spotting beautiful women pairing denim shirts with jeans, and they look incredibly chic. Who would have thought?! The trick seems to be wearing the softest chambray shirt you can find, which makes the look feel effortless (versus stiff).

Thoughts? Would you wear this?

P.S. Jordan suggests adding red shoes, which is a cute idea!

(Photos from Stockholm Street Style and The Sartorialist)

  1. I don’t like denim on denim. Cord on cord is a huge style no no for me too. BUT the chambray w/ black jeans looks great … (I suppose its more of a colour thing then fabric match) … which is good to see because I have a chambray shirt and have failed to find bottoms to go with it.pakistani shirt

  2. Denim is my favorite. They have some great collection. Jeans like denim or Momotaro Jeans so popular among people for their quality and attractive look.

  3. It is a dress that most teenage girls like to wear to school and college. When paired with the kind of top and shoes that suit the best with your style, these give a decent and attractive look. Red skinny jeans are quite in fashion nowadays. However, always be careful while picking jeans for yourself – – Not all jeans are meant for all body shapes. Search Here

  4. Very interesting many thanks, I presume your readers would likely want more reviews along these lines continue the great effort.Urban Styles

  5. I love this blog!

  6. I wasn’t sure, but I tried it and liked it. I wore a lighter jean shirt with white polka dots from Gap and darker wash jeans with gold accessories…and I’m not anywhere near a model’s size, but they fit right so it looked right. I say yes!

  7. Canadian tuxedo all day baby!

  8. Nicole C. says...

    I love all of these outfits. I really want the jeans in picture two.

  9. Definite do! I paired my denim on denim look with polka dotted shoes!

  10. Anonymous says...

    Absolutely, you MUST! This is coming straight from Levi’s HQ, btw :)

  11. I love the denim shirt with a short jean :-)

  12. Are we still having this debate? LOL These women make it look amazing, of course. As everyone else said, it has to be done right and sadly on the right people. I think the only way I could pull it off is with colored or printed denim.

  13. Not so much…of course the exception for me is when it’s really dark denim paired with very light denim. Otherwise (to me) it screams bad 70’s! And I’m a retro faaaaannnnn(addict) !

  14. Alaina says...

    I’m from Toronto, Canada. We usually refer to the denim on denim look as the “Canadian Tuxedo”. Seriously, google it!

  15. I am loving this look. A lot. It oozes the coolness I wish I could bottle up and drink on a daily basis.

  16. yep yep. i would totally rock the denim on denim.

  17. The look is actually called the “Canadian tuxedo”!

  18. Anonymous says...

    yes! this is a definite do! … i do denim on denim constantly and love it.

  19. Oh, yes I would!!

  20. This has been my summer uniform. Either a light blue chambray button up tunic with dark denim shorts or a white chambray button up with any type of denim pants or shorts. And always red lipstick. :)

  21. Oooh! I am wild about the Crystal Marquis bracelet in Bright Coral! The mint, coral and periwinkle jewels look like candy! I also love the bubble earrings in neon azalea, what a fun pop of color that would be peeking through my dark hair. What versatile, affordable, beautiful jewelry!

  22. Anonymous says...

    WHO made the jeans on girl #2?? WHERE can you buy them? Love them. Seriously.

  23. I do this all the time and love it! Its an easy staple slash uniform for me – and it effortlessly travels from work to play.

  24. At First this trend reminded me of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake’s matching denim ensembles but the more I see it and the pictures you showed, perhaps I might be swayed. I like the dark jeans with light denim chambray.

  25. Big fan! i’ve been looking for the perfect fit chambray top. any suggestions? I also love to move away from really dark denim this fall.

  26. I could never pull it off.. especially the light blue denim on denim.. I am not too excited about the whole trend in general.

  27. This is a year-round MUST. Denim on denim is classic, put together yet easy, and always a cool look.

  28. KJ – I just saw some at Target that were affordable and soft!

  29. I’m pretty sure that if you look like any of these girls you can wear whatever the hell you want and it’ll look amazing. If only we all had long skinny legs and perfect hair. Sigh.

  30. KJ says...

    Anyone have a great recco for a Chambray shirt? I’m looking for something soft, fitted, and long in length. Seems easy enough, but must be a tall order as I haven’t been able to find the PERFECT one. If anyone has a suggestion, I’d love to hear it :)

  31. I like light chambray mixed with dark jeans, but am very picky about any other iteration. The first look is absolute perfection!

  32. Love this look! Especially the soft chambray with dark structured denim on the bottom!

    X, Allison

  33. these ladies look amazing in everything i’m sure, but all i can think of is the 80’s and i couldn’t wear it then :)

  34. You mean the Canadian tuxedo?? Its my go-to comfy outfit. I wear it with cut offs and a very, very pale blue denim oxford. perfection.

  35. this was practically my uniform in college (painting major) especially with pencil black jeans and a pair of worn in brown cowboy boots, i don’t dress like this for the ‘professional world’ now, but do wear a denim shirt with a j.crew black pencil skirt to work. i love denim on denim and it seems like you’ll always be in style with some people, and out of style with others, but if you can pull it off it doesn’t even matter. and red lipstick looks great with it too :)

  36. Anonymous says...

    No, no denim suits please.

    P.S. Is that Jane Goodall?

  37. I remember dressing like that in high school (middle school, maybe?). I’m not going back. Looks cute on other people, though.

  38. denim on different color denim is totally ok, like blue and black..and blue&blue combos certainly look nice on these girls but in reality..

  39. Definitely do, the first girl is just gorgeous.

  40. I especially love the second picture. The denim trousers they’re just wonderful with that denim shirt.

  41. stunning photos and really good blog! Plus for you.. Have a nice day, lady :)


  42. My husband always calls it the ‘Canadian tuxedo’ look, but I love it. I’m partial to it more when the denims are contrasting shades, as opposed to it looking like the same shade from top to bottom.

  43. Some of the comments above are hilarious! I will be laughing at “Texas Tuxedo” and “denimdenimdenim” all day.

  44. Lovely in theory, but I just keep thinking of this awkward family photo we took in the early 90s, where everyone wore denim shirts with denim pants, and then the photographer (wait for it…) added a *denim background* to make the look complete. Ack! That photograph has haunted me away from denim shirts ever since…I don’t think I can do it.

  45. Tai says...

    Oh no way. I could never pull this off. As a matter of fact I’ve never owned a chambray shirt and I don’t think I ever will. The way they fall just doesn’t work for my body.

  46. Is it just me, or did the beginning of this post about Jason’s “mildly inappropriate” party get deleted?

    And this look is too hard to pull off and barely looks good on model-types, so I say it’s a Don’t for the 99%.

  47. stunning,love it,love it…the fashion is just so awesome,love the images…love your blog xo

  48. Yes!! I always loved this combo and am already wearing it as a summer trend. Have no doubt I also will on fall.

    P.S. Everytime I see this top photo, I wish I was a red :)

  49. For me the jury is out. Not sure if I’m down or not..hmm…definitely worth trying though. I think I would have to spice it up with some dope accessories :)

    xoxo, Elle

  50. If it’s executed into looking effortlessly cool (like all the example you chose) then definite do. But only if

  51. I definitely do this. I have a medium shade “denim” shirt actually made of 100% lyocell so it’s RIDICulously comfortable and I pair it with a dark denim. They play off of each other nicely.

    Try BURGUNDY shoes.

  52. I wouldn’t wear it because i think it looks blah

  53. I was about to say no until I saw the third picture.

  54. I really dig this type of denim-on-denim look, but I think I would have a really hard time pulling it off without looking like an extra from Urban Cowboy :-)

  55. I would definitely wear that. Would I look as great as the models? No…

  56. The canadian tuxedo? Noooo way. That’s one of those seasonal trends we will all look back on and hang our heads in shame. No need to jump on board:)

  57. I love the look! But so far I’ve only been able to pull off a chambray shirt with black denim skinny jeans. I think I need to build up my courage and try the other looks!!

  58. Do. Tried it for the first time this week with a light, overwashed long-sleeve on top and some darker jeans. Felt effortless…

  59. I’m doing this right now!

  60. it’s not for me but i think others can totally pull it off! :)

  61. I am fairly certain I couldn’t pull off denim on denim. Perhaps denim and leggings.

  62. I’ve worn denim on denim twice this week already! Dark denim vest and light washed straight legs on Monday. Then today a Chambray button down turned crop top paired with flairs!

  63. This looks good on the models but I don’t think I could pull it off. I can see my daughter wearing this though, not the bell bottoms, but the last outfit. She’s a trend setter. Please stop by my blog and help me come up with a good name for my new painting of a woman in red! Thanks so much!

  64. I live in Nashville. This is nothing new.

  65. I wear my dark skinny jeans with my jcrew selvedge chambray shirt all the time! sometimes just by themselves with some bangles and earrings and cute shoes, or sometiems I pop a bright yellow cableknit sweater over the top of the chambray when I’m chilly. I think it’s cute :)

  66. I love it best when they are a little different!

  67. Yes I am loving this especially the double denim, done right it looks fab!

  68. Pretty sure the real trick is to look like one of those babes … but yeah, sure, in theory. ;-)

  69. I’m a fan of the shirt with denim shorts, and maybe some cute oxfords or Jack Purcells. Probably wouldn’t do it with regular jeans, as it would be too much denim head to toe for me!

  70. Ah yes, the “denim suit.” No thanks. Chambray with non-blue denim can work but otherwise – definitely not for me! There is really no fabric on earth that I love enough to wear as top/bottom separates.

    To me it’s the same concept of ‘balance’ as the loose top/fitted bottom v. fitted top/loose bottom thing. Tight one-pieces and loose one-pieces can look fine but generally, pairing separates of the same kind ends up looking…strange. Some things just make sense.

    Same fabrics top and bottom feels like of like the sartorial equivalent of burning the candle at both ends. Listen to your grandparents: you can’t do it! Well, you can do it; but in most cases, you are better off not.

  71. i like the first and last look but the 2nd seems a little too denim-y… i wouldnt wear a denim shirt and then flared denim jeans. that would be too much for me :)

  72. I was looking at some of the other blogs on your rotating links section. Some of them are really great but I just have to compliment you on how personalized, consistent, and witty your blog is. Still my favorite!

  73. The canadian tuxedo is one of my FAVORITE things in life. So good!

    I’m glad you posted this!

  74. I think it’s a do. Could most women pull of the middle or last look-maybe not. I do adore black denim with lighter shades of denim though- so easy and classic. :) If you can rock the look of any denim with denim, then do it. It’s definitely chic if you’re wearing the right shades paired with a flattering style.

  75. I’m on the fence with this one. If done right, it could work…not sure I’d wear it, though.

  76. Alex says...

    I think you need to do a separate post called “Do or Don’t: The ZZ Top Beard With Samurai Bun?” My guy’s eye perspective can’t see anything but the insanely-haired dude in the bottom shot.

  77. Anonymous says...

    I think it depends.

    I agree about the soft chambray shirt… I have tried (sort of as a joke) to layer a stiff denim jacket (which frankly, I just can’t pull off anyway) over jeans, and it looked hilariously bad.

    But I think another key, in most cases, is wearing two contrasting shades of denim. And, the usual rule of pairing something flowy or big with something close to the body also usually applies. (Thus, the denim/chambray tunic over skinny dark denim leggings works.) Of course there are exceptions, as you show, although even in those cases there is either a lot of skin (shorts) or the look is still quite fitted mid-body.

    …And it never hurts to be gorgeous and chic to begin with! (That is, some people can pull off anything. Take these looks and put them on certain other people with different faces and/or body types and they would look horrible. The same goes for anything, I guess.)

  78. Definite do! I think it’s a great combination.

  79. This has been my go to look for easy breezy weekends here in PNW. American Apparel makes a great unisex chambray shirt in the most perfect color denim that I have on heavy rotation. This look is a total DO!

    *I also love the photo of Lucy Chadwick’s, & her effortless style.

  80. This comment has been removed by the author.

  81. Totally! Denim is a staple, i don’t think it ever goes “out”.

  82. YES! Do it! I love mixing my gray wash chambray blouse with dark denim, white denim, color denim, etc! It’s so great and has a very american vibe!

  83. that woman in the middle is personifying everything I aspire to in style

  84. Much better than the denim-on-denim look of the 80s/90s, AKA the Canadian Tuxedo.

  85. DO! i love doing this, i’m sort of upset it’s caught on though. denim all the way!

  86. Been doing this for years and haven’t stopped. Denim for eva!

  87. This comment has been removed by the author.

  88. Anonymous says...

    This trend has been coming around again and again since the 60’s. If done right it’s great.

  89. I love the whole look of the red-haired girl.

  90. Thinking about it, I wear chambray and denim several times weekly. I saw one reader noticed it seemed sloppy to her. Possibly a style worn by a certain age group (I am 39), though less worn as one gets older. I feel comfortable in denim and comfortable doesn’t have to mean sloppy.

  91. it’s a do!! do do do!!!!!!!! the most chic, american, comfortable, and flattering thing that you can wear is denim. why not double it?!

  92. I don’t mind denim w/ denim if they are two different denims (dark vs light) but when they start getting to similar washes/shades than it’s still just too much in my opinion.

  93. yes!!! so yes. as long as they are not mom jeans and a mom denim jacket or something. it’s got to look like it was effortlessly on purpose, not a clueless mistake.

  94. I’m not a fan of JOJO (the jean on jean offense, as my mister calls it), but chambray and jean may be a different story…especially if the colors aren’t too similar.

  95. Style trends change so quickly. I’ve been seeing a lot of denim on denim over the summer, but I think the trend may die out once Autumn really gets its juices flowing. I’m on the fence about the whole thing. The top pic is the only combination I’d do. I think they only way the whole combination works is if you pick two different color denim (darker wash on the bottoms!)

  96. I would! And in fact, I do all the time! I like to play not just with the textures and weights, but also with the proportions, either a bit oversized button-down with skinny jeans or a more fitted top, half-tucked even, over boyfriend jeans. So easy, so comfy, so cool.

  97. Yes! I love , love, love denim on denim. It’s so chic. If you’re nervous to try, wear two very different shades of denim ( like pic #1) , so it’s not so “denim tuxedo”.

  98. I think denim on denim works really well when there is a contrast in color like the black jeans with the chambray shirt in the first photo. White jeans would look great too. But for the second and third photos, I would add a pop of color in the accessories – bag, shoes, etc. The similar denim colors and neutral accessories fall a little flat.

  99. The trick is to wear very different weights and colors of denim…and also be stunningly gorgeous!

  100. This is a 100% DO for me for all seasons! I love denim on denim and definitely don’t think you need to limit this look to just the fall season!

  101. I don’t like it… it reminds me of early 90s fashions. Not hot.

    The people in the photos are model types and don’t even look good. On a ‘real’ person who doesn’t know exactly how to construct the look and who isn’t super thin it would look extra weird IMO.

  102. Anonymous says...

    I guess the rule is technically if the denim colors don’t match, then it’s okay. Yes?

    But honestly, I think it’s all in the attitude of how you wear it. Own the look — and you’ll look smashing :)

  103. The lady in the 1st photo looks divine. And Carolyn Bessette could have pulled it off nicely. Not too many others, I’m thinking.

  104. We always called it a “jeans tuxedo” and I’ve always dreamed of having a real tuxedo made out of denim :)

  105. sometimes… I love the second one the bestest with the dark dark denim jeans. The last one is awesome, too.

  106. I think its a lot easier when the denim are totally different shades. And a chambray shirt goes with, literally, everything.

  107. Do! It’s also known as the Canadian Tuxedo. :) I love the idea of pairing it with red shoes…I’ve also seen it paired with a red statement necklace. Very cute.

  108. Anonymous says...

    If done well (I.e., top picture) it is great but most of the time I think it is done poorly. I have never been able to do it well. I just end up looking like a not cool middle age frump.

  109. It’s a very sloppy look to me. Red shoes might help the feet, but I really don’t find this look appealing. Sorry. I love denim. Love chambray as well, but not put together as in these looks.

  110. I would absolutely wear this look! In fact, I already have that first outfit pinned :)

  111. I hope it’s yes, because I’ve been doing it! Ha.
    I do however have a very soft chambray shirt and I only wear it with dark denim. I think color difference is key.

  112. I’ve always heard of denim on denim referred to as a “Texas Tuxedo.” Even though I AM from Texas, it’s still a no for me.

  113. Laura F. says...

    This is definitely a trend I picked up on when I was in Paris about a year ago! Those French – ahead of the fashion curve.

  114. This is so funny, my husband and I raise this question all the time-weird, right? He says no, no, no. I say Yes, if it is done right. I even showed him last months Glamour featuring denim or denim. He just doesn’t buy it. That raises the next question…who do you dress for? :)

  115. i agree that the shirt MUST be super floppy…. and “look” effortless and chic, instead of like a middle-aged texas man.

    also, your title reminds me of the CHEESIEST joke:

    Q: what do mario and luigi like to wear?
    A: denimdenimdenim (to the tune of the level 2 music from the original mario brothers game..)

    cheeseball joke, i know, but i can’t help but laugh!!

    cheers :D

  116. Yes! I already do this, and will definitely be continuing into the fall!

  117. These images make look great but for me it just doesn’t work.

  118. Oh, I don’t like denim on denim. Cord on cord is a huge style no no for me too. BUT the chambray w/ black jeans looks great … (I suppose its more of a colour thing then fabric match) … which is good to see because I have a chambray shirt and have failed to find bottoms to go with it.

  119. Fine unless the shirt is done with that trendy half tuck (half in, half out). That bugs me.

  120. If u look like one of these girls, then definitely yes!

  121. If u look like one of these girls, then definitely yes!

  122. Definitely a do! I love this look. The key is to wear two different shades of denim. Even the top pic really works because the chambray looks so incredibly soft and creates a nice balance against the wide-legger jeans on the bottom.

  123. i love how chambray shirts make a great coverup in the warmer months & transition so well into the colder months.

  124. I think the key is *soft* denim – nothing too rigid (read: 80s).

  125. I totally would! I have yet to find a good chambray top though. My boobs are much bigger than a size 0 model. TMI? I should have been invited to that party.


  126. love them it-me-not so much! love the party theme though!

  127. I am in no way cool enough to pull this look off, unfortunately, unless, like in the second picture, the bottoms are a totally different color!

  128. meredith melling (top pic) looks good in anything!