The one shirt to up your style game! Think denim

By Melissa Austria

3 outfit collage with denims shirts styled with a blazer

We all know how your jeans are the cornerstone of your wardrobe. You can literally wear jeans every single day, it can take you from the most casual of settings to the most formal (yes a cool dinner jacket with a slim pair of clean black denim beats a bad fitting tuxedo any day).

 A denim shirt can give you that same versatility; it can help smarten up a casual outfit and can help make a business outfit more accessible.

 And in a world of constant virtual calls, a denim shirt should be your go to instead of your white shirt. Why? Because the same reason why you’re not suppose to wear white on TV; it can glare on tv and be too visually overpowering, so the same thing on your computer screen. White also tends to reflect light so your face can end up with a weird face shadow. A denim shirt is also better than your black t-shirt, why? Because A. we are sick of you wearing a black t-shirt on every call and B. black tends to drain the life out of your face.

 But a blue denim shirt is a winner winner, chicken dinner; the color signifies trust and comfort and blue looks great on everyone and on screen as well. Let’s go through all the great ways to wear a denim shirt:

 It’s a great layering piece; unlike the usually dress shirt or t-shirt that is a thin cotton fabric, a denim shirt has more guts and substance. So, on those days when it’s draft in your house or a little nippier outside, the denim shirt teamed up with a sweater or a light weight jacket is the perfect layering combination. Because denim is a sturdy fabric, it can also be the outer layer of an outfit; layer it over a turtleneck or a striped t-shirt. That’s something that you can’t do with any regular dress shirt (well you can, we just don’t like it)


paring a denim shirt with a cardigan


It helps your sweaters go from grandpa to bourgeois. If you want your cardigan or you half zip sweater to have a bit more attitude, a denim shirt can do that. The fabric says I'm brash but the formality of a collared shirt means you’re all business.

Oscar Isaac wearing an elevated casual denim shirt look

It will make your suits and blazers seem less uptight. A dark suit with a white shirt screams I’m the establishment here to take all your money. A dark suit with a denim shirt, means I might work for the establishment but I’m also a rebel; it softens up a suit to make you look more approachable. It also shows that you can think outside the box but you’re still showing respect by wearing a blazer and a collared shirt (yeah pretty crazy that a shirt can say all that) 

Nick Jonas in a suit paired with a denim shirt

 If you want to ramp it up even more put a knit tie with the outfit and you’ll have everyone nodding; he’s smart and casual.

styled outfit with a blazer, tie, and tie bar

A denim shirt goes with everything! From every color to every texture in your closet. We know that guys love wearing blue because it’s so easy to co-ordinate but let’s face it those mid tone blue dress shirts are getting a bit boring. A denim shirt gives you a more interesting shirt to work (the dark the denim shirt the richer the look) and it goes with everything in your closet! All the blues from a midnight navy to the once trending cobalt blue (denim is actually a fresh new way to wear that suit color), to all your light greys to charcoal and of course black.

Tom Ford shows how denim and velvet go great together; softening up the formality of velvet. 

Tom Ford paring his denim shirt with a velvet blazer

But let’s not forget the must have colors for the next few years:  green and brown. Wearing a denim shirt with those colors is a great way to ease them into your wardrobe, the ruggedness of a denim shirt helps make things not seem so “fashion-y”. In fact, a denim is a great shirt to wear with any strong colored or bold blazers to help “ground” them. But worn with green and brown and you’ve got a winning combination.

Using a blue shirt to breakup a green suit

Now for the big question, can you wear denim on denim. Of course you can, it is called the Canadian tuxedo after all, but if you want to do it properly do it either tonally (all dark or all light) or gradiated from darker at the bottom to lighter at the top, reverse it if you’re wearing white jeans. And of course It’d an easy look to pull off if you’re doing colored denim on the bottom.

Now that you're all denim shirt styling masters you can shop our collection of denim heres here. 

how to successfully style a Canadian tuxedo