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How to Style Denim on Denim for Men
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How to Style Denim on Denim for Men

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The denim on denim debate commences every season: you either love it, or you’re afraid of it.

Despite the controversy, denim on denim endures on the runway and in the closets of fashion connoisseurs. So what is the stance on doubling down? 

When done right, denim on denim can look elevated and fashionable. Below, we'll walk through styling tips for the savvy shopper. We’ll also detail five versatile denim looks suitable for every season and occasion.  

Mastering the Denim on Denim Look for Men

Miners first favored denim on denim during California’s eponymous gold rush. Its durable, hardwearing quality made it the ensemble of choice for harsh working conditions. 

But the look didn’t gain mass appeal until one hundred years later when spandex was introduced to denim manufacturing in the 1980s for more comfortable, form-fitting jeans. 

Today, denim on denim is still the uniform of modern men. The key to mastering it is taking a chameleonic approach. Your denim collection should be variably curated to provide plenty of options for styling. When considering what to wear to a music festival, mixing different denim washes and fits are the current trend.

The Dos and Don’ts of Denim on Denim

Personal style has no boundaries. However, applying tried and tested methods over flash-in-the-pan trends can enhance classic staples. When pairing denim pieces, six basic principles apply: 

  • Do high-contrast shades
  • Do different texture combinations
  • Do experiment with top layers
  • Don’t pair the same wash 
  • Don’t over-accessorize
  • Don’t overthink it

Simple dos and don’ts lay the foundation for denim on denim styling. But the key to achieving a seamless look is handpicking the perfect denim pieces and knowing how to wear them. 

Choosing the Right Denim Pieces

Styling denim on denim for guys is a multifaceted methodology. There are countless options to mix and match where denim is concerned and each one impacts the end result. Choosing the right pieces comes down to four key factors: shade, texture, fit, and cut. 

Selecting Denim Shades and Textures

To determine the right denim shade combinations, conceptualize your denim collection as a color wheel. Consider color relations and how they communicate. This thinking encourages instinctive choices when styling and makes a palette of your pairings:

  • Balance top and bottom As a general rule, darker shades work best on the bottom. Pair dark wash jeans with denim men’s tops cut from a lighter cloth to create balance.
  • Minimize matching Wearing shades that are too similar can produce unwanted results. Matching light wash denim leaves your look feeling blocky, while overuse of dark shades reads too heavy. 
  • Embrace subtly Reach for denim shades with subtle differences. Combine pieces with a degree or two of separation between hues. Classic blue and sky blue work well together while still suggesting disparity and opposition.
  • Go beyond blue Diversify your collection with gray and black denim shades. Match washes here for a cohesive look. These shades are a blank canvas for the creative styler. Pair a pink tee under an all-gray uniform or break up black with blue hues. 

Selecting the right denim shade is the first step to mastering denim on denim fundamentals. But consider texture, too. Texture takes a two-tone look and makes it tangible. Here’s how to harness the technique:

  • Create contrast with the rugged surfaces of selvage or raw denim
  • Lightweight or light-wash denim on top offers depth to your denim look
  • Distressed hemlines and unique features like studs or beads add variety 

There’s no doubt shades and textures draw the eye. But it’s the finer points of your denim outfit that make it. Two essentials define the denim on denim look: fit and cut. 

Fit and Cut Essentials

Fit and cut are just as critical to denim-on-denim dressing as they are for suiting. These key factors determine the essence of your double denim look—where a relaxed fit exudes cool confidence, tailored cuts command attention and communicate fashion authority. Apply this thinking when styling jeans and a denim jacket for an elevated double-denim look.

For Denim Jeans

Jeans are the foundation of every denim on denim look. They determine how you’ll build your denim outfit from the bottom up. When choosing the right denim jeans for you, consider four fundamentals:

  • Length
  • Inseam 
  • Outseam
  • Occasion

For Denim Jackets

Denim jackets are a wardrobe staple when styling the denim on denim. Here are four guiding principles for wearing this top layer:

  • The right denim jacket will hug your shoulder but leave room for movement
  • Sleeves should start at the top of the shoulder and end just beyond the wrist bone
  • Ensure hemlines end at the hips so your belt line is visible
  • Switch between boxy and tailored fits to adapt to any occasion

Styling 5 Denim on Denim Outfits

Whether you’re channeling a laid-back look or leaning into a seasonal approach, there’s a denim look for every instance. The key to doing double denim is adaptability—it’s all about how you style it. When you think “denim on denim men,” expand your vision to include every environment.

Casual Outings

For occasions that call for casual attire, pair an unbuttoned denim shirt over a white or navy tee. Opt for straight fit or relaxed jeans—a little give offers motility when you need it. Style your double denim with white or red sneakers for comfortable contrast. 

Our Everyday II Tee is the perfect base to pair with Straight Every Day Denim. Choose from a variety of washes to cater to your personal preference. 

Concerts or Festivals

Upgrade your denim on denim look with elevated details like beaded embellishments or paneling. Pair with a denim top one shade lighter—A monochromatic look is the optimal canvas for layering and accessorizing. For fashion-forward layers, consider patterned tees or bold base layers.

Adapt your look for any weather with a colorful cardigan or a down vest. Pair with lug sole boots in complementary summer colors for men, like cream or army green. 

City Exploration

When you’re traversing the urban landscape of downtown Manhattan or Chicago, a denim shirt with jeans offers a sharp look. Choose a minimal but elevated boot with a simple sole and lace-up design. Suede or leather harmonizes comfort and style. 


Comfort and versatility are paramount for traveling. A denim shirt tucked into jeans offers a practical ensemble that can easily take you from an airport to sightseeing. Style with your favorite pair of comfortable sneakers. 

Casual Fridays at Work

For a workplace that allows more relaxed attire, pair a tailored denim shirt with darker denim jeans. Dress shoes in brown shades create dimension and warmth. Skinny denim adds a professional air to casual Fridays.

Seasonal Denim on Denim Styles

The double denim look is cross-seasonal at its core. To master this look year-round, adapt your denim on denim staples to each season. Swap out heavy materials and long lengths for breezy bottoms or substantial top layers. 

Summer and Spring Styling

Lightweight denim in soft shades is key to dressing during the fairer seasons. Cut back on length and choose short-sleeved denim shirts and shorts to conform to warmer weather.

Incorporate our Cut Off Denim Shorts into your summer essentials. For streetwear, consider shorts with edgy detailing like our Zipper Baggy Denim Shorts.

Autumn and Winter Looks

Trade in your tee shirt for a warm base layer when the weather cools. Contrasting colorways under a trucker jacket build depth. Or top your double denim with a navy or charcoal gray peacoat.

Pair your double denim look with layering essentials like our Every Day Thermal or Classic Flannel Shirt

Style Denim on Denim Looks For Every Season With mnml

Filter out the noise that usually accompanies the denim on denim debate. Mastering the double denim look is effortless when you consider the details. Before you dress for the day, consider fit, color combination, texture, and occasion

Shop mnml’s latest drops that cater to your personal style preferences. Choose from classic or streetwear denim, to master effortless and elevated double denim looks for every environment.