When Even Your Denim Wears Denim

When Even Your Denim Wears Denim

Cap Shape 101 Reading When Even Your Denim Wears Denim 5 minutes

Do you have moments that live in legend in your own mind?

I was at a trade show in Las Vegas years ago. Crystalized in my mind amid the repetitive sameness of athleisure, truly terrible five dollar scarves from China, white dividers, and grey carpet there was a living god of denim. There, in a glorious layering of denim, all of perfect workwear heritage, was a muscular Japanese man of middle age who exuded so much coolness that I didn’t just admire his look, I wanted to be him. He wore the Vintage Leather Spitfire from New York Hat so I mentioned him to Laura when I stopped by her booth to order. She knew exactly who I was talking about and told me that they’d been selling to him for years, and yes, he is incredibly cool.

I’ve had a love affair with Japanese denim culture for years. They make most Americans look like they don’t even know what a #denimhead is (my neighbor runs a vintage shop, Feathers, down the street. Janet knows her goods but one day a couple of Japanese men came in and one of them bought a vintage Levi jacket, insisting on paying several times over her asking price because of what it would cost in Japan) and supported US heritage denim factory L.C. King  when their domestic business was drying up. I’m know for my patched and repatched jeans. A few years ago I did a store window with denim jackets and even though I sold and gave away somewhere around two dozen of them I still have an excessive number at home. Despite all this, I always had an aversion to the Canadian tuxedo until I saw that man in Las Vegas. All of a sudden, I understood that I’d been thinking about how to wear denim on denim all wrong.

Japanese denim culture

Like many people, I thought that you needed to match your denims to wear them together. The exact opposite is true – mixing washes and textures is the key to a good double denim look. Denim on denim is all about effortless cool - light chambray button up with medium wash jeans; boxy jacket with a white or graphic t-shirt with straight leg jeans; denim vest with a patterned button up and distressed jeans (the outfit my former employee Emily wore to her first interview and I very nearly hired her on the spot just for the fit, but what really sealed the deal was listening to her talk to a customer about his hot dog cart for twenty minutes). Admittedly I have a blazer cut denim jacket that I wear with close-to-matching jeans for a denim suit look, breaking the mixing rule. What can I say - rules are made to be broken.

denim on denim jeans as a turban

We've had a weird coincidence this season - and I'm not talking about the number of days more than one of us has shown up in the denim tuxedo. I put together a denim and denim-inspired collection for the store only to learn from my social media manager after I published our denim collection and she, not knowing I had made a collection, made a post about denim the same day. I don’t pay much attention to trends but a quick scan of fashion blogs tells me that denim is extra on trend this season.

The collection started when we unboxed Fifty-Fiftya beautifully textured straw fedora with denim woven through it. Krissy immediately fell in love and, because she couldn't stop thinking about it, came back after work to get one. Despite temperatures easily in felt hat season range, she's been sporting it most days. When Jane came in, she immediately started scheming about how to put a liner in one for her fine hair (I strongly advised against this since the weave is so open, but she's undoubtedly going to figure out a really stylish solution. Few things stop Jane and her hat addiction). Debra fell over herself with delight that we had it in a full size range but went for the Denim Beret instead since she realized we were running the risk of all showing up at work in the same hat all summer. So we pulled together all of our favorite denim pieces like the Denim Patchwork Bucket and the Denim Spitfire – the denim version of the leather hat the man in Las Vegas wore. Get ready for new and ever better denim on denim on denim looks from us all season long. 

P.S. Some of my favorite denim social media accounts are Overall Days, Pink Ployd, Denim Dudes, Dry Bones OsakaDry Bones Tokyo, and Kapital Global (largely responsible for my infatuation with smiley faces).

a beautifully textured black straw fedora with denim woven through it

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