Jeans above, jeans below, jeans everywhere! The denim-on-denim trend is back


Just look at the Spring/Summer collections of fashion brands, many of which are messing up the denim uniform look. Photo composite (from let): Takuya Morikawa, Craig Green, Bianca Saunders

Jeans above, jeans below, jeans as far as the eye can see: The 1960s double denim trend is making its biggest comeback yet, going by this year's fashion lines.

With colours, washes and styles all being mixed, this time it's anything but a denim uniform.

Like many fashion trends these days, the latest is not exactly new, and Marilyn Monroe made it popular back in 1960 on the film set of the film The Misfits.

What we're talking about is the controversial pairing of jeans down below with a jeans jacket up top. Since then, it's made several high-profile appearances, but only now does it look set to make a major comeback.

Over 20 years ago, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake did a denim-duet while presenting the 2001 American Music Awards.

He wore a hat, jacket and trousers all in denim, she a denim dress and a small handbag in denim look.

After that, things became quiet with what fashion mags like Vogue call the double denim, jeans-on-jeans or denim-on-denim look.

But now, according to Madeline Dangmann, style editor at Glamour magazine, "double denim is totally in again".

For proof, just look at the Spring/Summer collections of fashion brands, many of which are messing up the denim uniform look with different colours and washes.

Recent examples are British-Jamaican designer Bianca Saunders' denim blouson together with jeans with twisted seams, or Japanese designer Takuya Morikawa's jeans shirt in Western look.

British fashion designer Craig Green has come up with a sleeveless denim-tanktop to go with loose-fitting jeans.

As to women's fashions, labels like Bally and the Swedish brand NA-KD are also showing double-denim combined outfits featuring an oversized shirt or a denim tube-top along with jeans trousers.

Read more: Long gloves are fashionable again, but who's really wearing them?

The Italian label Blumarine combines an oversized jeans shirt serving as a mini over a baggy jeans trousers – in other words a triple-denim combo.

"Denim-on-denim simply means that many jeans colours and jeans pieces are mixed together," says personal stylist Maria Hans.

"Whereas in the past they said that one item was sufficient, today they mix it up to achieve an all-over look."

And although denim-on-denim is more a retro-trend, this spring there are also some new facets to be discovered.

Hans says this can been seen in a wild mixture of different washings.

"This means that you have perhaps a light-blue shirt on top and dark-blue pants below," she says, a playful style of the jeans-on-jeans look which in the past was less popular.

"Then, the jeans colours had to fit exactly together," Hans said. "Now, this rule is more or less gone."

Also, the mix works not only in combination with various denim items.

"What you see, among others, is the trend of mixing differing qualities in a single clothing item," says designer Susanne Delling, who creates bespoke jeans on request.

"This means for example white jeans with a black hip pocket or blue jeans with black inlays which are wedged into the inside leg seam."

It's a trend that Hans has also observed.

"Now you have two different washings and mostly one is lighter than the other," she says. "Naturally, some interesting mixtures thereby emerge."

You can wear these pieces without any further ado with another denim item, she adds.

Delling has this recommendation: "I would combine stone-washed blue jeans with black applications with a black jeans jacket and simple white shirt."

In spite of the high-contrast colour combination, "this creates a casual new look with a harmonious over-all picture".

As to the cuts that are combined, one thing in particular stands out Delling says – which is, width is in demand.

This applies to jeans trousers just as much as to jeans jackets.

While ultimately, all types of jeans – from straight leg types to flared with a slight flare to slim fit – are permanently present, jeans with a loose baggy look will be all the rage in 2023.

This will especially be so "in the younger and more fashionable market", the designer says.

The jeans feature wider legs and patch pockets on the thighs in a worker style.

"In addition, there's the latest trend in terms of fit: Slowly, there's going to be more hip shown."

For those who are now asking how the newest trend fits for everyday wear, personal stylist Hans has this tip – just try it out.

She recommends going out with the jeans you want to combine, such as the denim trousers that are already well worn, and then trying out possible combinations in the shop.

A plain white shirt goes well, for example, with an extra-wide denim jacket. And for something more chic, try a white denim jacket instead of a blue one.

For style editor Madeline Dangmann, the combinations of denim shirt and jeans trousers, or a denim dress with a jeans jacket, will assure a "pretty look" in the spring and summer seasons. And practical at the same time.

Read more: Menswear taking centre stage, as the fashion industry shifts its focus to guys

"You look dressed up, but you can still sit down on a bench in the park without having to worry," she says.

"You can also combine denim shirts with denim trousers and then put a jumper over them to create a break."

Generally speaking, where so much denim meets, a little splash of colour does little harm, for example on the feet.

Hans says that "shoes and accessories also like to have a colour, so that it looks a bit lively. It doesn't have to be black. It can be red, it can be colourful".

As to an extra-wide denim combination, Hans advises a feminine accent – for example, with pointed ballerinas or pumps.

"Of course you can also wear sneakers. But then you have to be aware that it's a sporty look." – dpa

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!

Next In Style

'Boyfriend blush' is the makeup trend to try out if you want a healthy glow
Beat the heat and look cool with these hot weather fashion must-haves
Corsets seen as couture: These luxury undergarments are for the ultra wealthy
Rizzing it on the riviera: 2024 Cannes Film Festival red carpet highlights
Beach waves, short cuts, bobs: A look at this season's favoured hairstyles
Shopping for luxury fragrances? Why not ask a teenage boy for advice?
Can this fashion house take advantage of its 'Britishness' to rise to the top?
The nitty gritty on why it’s so hard to track the fashion industry’s emissions
Workout, but make it fashion? Enter the 'pink pilates princess' trend
Go big or go home? How one fashion house is doubling down on minimalism instead

Others Also Read