There was the ignominy of wearing them when they were brand new, the pain of waiting for them to fade, the way you’d sleep in them, boil them, beat the living daylights out of them to get them to look like you’d ridden a rodeo in them. Honestly, jeans-wise, we’ve got it easy now, what with all those ready-made holes, creases, fades and strategically positioned fraying.
However, as liberating as double denim may sound, approach with caution. Remember in 2001 when Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake turned up at the American Music Awards together, she in that denim bustier halterneck and maxi-skirt thing, he in that ’70s-style Huggy Bear denim suit? There is irony and then there is irony, and Britney, Heather Locklear and Cher in the ’90s – these are very much the looks you don’t want to be Google Imaging for inspiration.
Instead, look to the likes of Charlize Theron, Miranda Kerr or
the perennially stylish Alexa Chung. Note the way the denim shirt is always a different shade to the jeans, the way it is paired with, if not a heel, then a very pretty, feminine flat.
As I write this, I'm looking wistfully at a picture of one of those maddening 'It' girls (probably a New Yorker) who always gets photographed coming out of the fashion shows: dip-dyed, unbrushed hair, naturally; a vintage navy quilt and gilt Chanel bag; white stilettos; faded-indigo boyfriend jeans; pale-blue denim shirt (not overly fitted, certainly not oversized); navy gabardine trench casually slung around her shoulders, keeping it all on tone. That's the way to do it at any age.
Mind you, if you've got the legs, the tan and the tenacity, you could also do said shirt (Current/Elliott has the perfect one, to be paired at other times with unmatchy, matchy jeans) with a pair of cut-off shorts. Maybe with the shirt's top button done up, though, because Daisy from the Dukes of Hazzard is categorically not whose look you are trying to channel right now.
Double denim isn't just for post-fashion-show posing or off-duty styling – it's gone all lady this season, too. Look at the sea of denim that was on the Miu Miu SS13 runway. Dark as dark can be, in pure indigo with 'chewed' collars and cuffs, but in super-tailored separates, such as tunic tops and pencil skirts. Mrs Prada paired it with '50s-ish stilettos and short Roman Holiday-style bangs for a look that was beyond feminine.
I don't know what The Savoy Hotel in London's current policy on denim is, but they'd be hard pressed to turn you away (as I once was, dressed in jeans) looking as elegant in double denim as this.
how to wear
Team shades of denim with bold
accessories to update the look
A slim fit adds elegance to the utility classic.
Turn-ups reveal a feminine flash of ankle.
The '80s style gives a polished finish.
“Double denim isn’t just for post-fashion-show POSING or OFF-DUTY styling – it’s gone all LADY this season, too”