Layering Denim on Denim: Rules to Guide You

Everyone loves a good pair of jeans, and if you follow the denim on denim rules, you can get the same comfortable, casual feeling throughout your ensemble. Once wildly popular, in recent years layered denim has taken a hit, in part because so many people struggle to do it the right way.

While jeans may be casual, planning a look around denim can take as much attention as with any other garment. Let’s take a look at how to style denim on denim to create a unique look that gets noticed for the right reasons.

A man wearing denim-on-denim layers walking down a street

What To Understand About Fashion Rules

All fashion advice, including denim on denim rules, has exceptions. These can be based on time of year, a particular pattern or color, or even just how your body’s shape, size, or skin tone work with a given garment. These tips should all be taken as guidelines that, once you are comfortable using them, let you push the boundaries to create some great new looks all your own. That’s half the fun of perfecting your style.

A man rides a motorcycle with denim jeans and denim vest

The Basic Rules Of Denim On Denim

When learning how to style denim on denim, there are three main factors: the color or wash of your pieces, the cut of your garments, and the warp and weft of the articles you’re using. These three qualities combine to create the look of a single piece of denim, and getting a good layered look relies on you understanding how they work together. Here are a few of the more important denim on denim rules:

  • Don’t Be Monochromatic. Avoid wearing a single-color-only outfit. If you’re wearing dark wash pants, choose a lighter wash shirt or jacket. Whether you’re wearing the top or tying it around your waist, make sure there is a noticeable visual distinction in the colors involved. This is one of the most important denim on denim rules to follow. If you have to use denim pieces that are all the same color, make sure they are separated by a different colored piece of clothing. As an example, you can get away with a light wash jacket and pants of the same color if it’s broken up by a bright red t-shirt that splits them visually.
  • Keep Your Cuts Complementary. Many of the denim on denim rules are based around not having your denim styles clash with each other, and the cut of a garment is often overlooked in avoiding couture conflict. In general, form-fitting garments look better with other form-fitting garments, and looser fits need accompanying pieces that also look loose and casual. For ladies, skinny jeans can look great with an accompanying bolero, while a looser denim jacket keeps things fun and free with a pair of straight leg jeans. For guys, a more fitted jacket works with your skinny jeans, and a roomier jacket or coat can provide the casual ruggedness to match up with a pair of straight leg or relaxed fit pants.
  • Use Patterns And Weave To Set The Tone. Distressed and urban denim can create hip looks, and if you’re curious about how to layer these types of bold denim, the right material can help. A coarse or loose weave, for example, can give distressed denim an industrial or “street” look, while a tighter weave can dress a pair of distressed jeans up into a fun pair of casual pants. By varying your accompanying pieces, you can get more from a single signature garment.
  • Keep Your Layers Within Reason. Denim on denim rules don’t just cover outfits with two distinct denim garments. You can create an entire look with three, four, or more different denim elements, but the more denim you add, the more important it is to understand how to style denim on denim properly.

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Order your signature jeans to create a denim on denim look that rules from Xabi Jeans today.