How to Incorporate Denim Into Your Style

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Pictured above: Custom Chelsea Boot in Cognac paired with Dark Indigo Japanese Selvedge Denim

During the last century, no fabric has had a success quite like Denim. It became widely used as work wear because of its practicality and durability, and has since become popular when movie stars like Marlon Brando and James Dean made denim fashionable. Now it is an essential part of most wardrobes. 

Denim can be tricky because there are so many options. This is a short guide for those who wish to combine the inherent coolness of denim with their own elegant style.

Image credits: Men's Style Pro wearing the 3DM X MSP - Field Grain Leather Boots - Dark Brown Grain

As with anything else, the more we learn the more we can appreciate. 

Denim is a cotton twill fabric and takes it name from its city of origin Nîmes when people described the cloth as being “from Nîmes” which is “De Nîmes” in French. 

Raw denim is a very strong fabric which is why it was used for jeans for manual labour. The clothes were quite heavy and rigid, which became unnecessary and uncomfortable when denim became fashionable. 

Therefore different treatments were introduced to make jeans more wearable. Lighter denim fabrics were developed and methods of stone washing made the jeans softer.

Today, raw denim is the easiest to dress up whereas stonewashed denim is considered more casual as it sometimes also has a hard patina and torn holes.

The indigo blue raw denim is the most classic colour, and is key in getting the classic look. Another indicator of denim quality is the selvedge. When fabrics are woven there is a “self edge” that is strong and holds the fabric together. With high quality jeans, this selvedge is utilised to make the jeans stronger, by integrating this reinforcement in the construction. Denim enthusiasts also often have a preference for Japanese denim, because some of the best artisanal jeans are created there.

Once you have chosen the right pair of jeans, they are quite easy to dress up to get a smart look.

If you seek simplicity, you can always incarnate the James Dean sprit and pair your blue jeans with a simple t-shirt and a vintage watch. It is also an option to get a pair of black jeans and wear them with Chelsea boots for an evening outfit.

Denim is great when the weather gets colder and works very well with knitwear. Try them out with a chunky shawl lapel cardigan or a cashmere crewneck with a white Oxford shirt underneath. This is the perfect look for a weekend away in the country side with your favorite autumn boots.

Finally denim is great to pair with other strong textures like tweed, flannel or denim. You could try a classic pair of jeans and brown derbys paired with a grey flannel shirt and a suede jacket. Perhaps you want to wear a tweed blazer with your selvedge jeans and suede boots to look like a modern country gentleman.

Whatever style you prefer, it is worth learning more about this versatile and interesting fabric. Denim will never be as formal as a woven wool, but it can be the perfect combination of cool and smart if you choose the right shoes and accessories.

Image credits: Men's Style Pro wearing the 3DM X MSP - Field Grain Leather Boots - Dark Brown Grain

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