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How to Look Great in Double Denim

Wearing double denim—more than one article of clothing in this rough-hewn fabric—is the style equivalent of skiing on a double-black diamond. One wrong turn and the wearer can look like an undercover cop from a ’70s TV drama. So to make sure your look avoids that fate and delivers a double shot of rugged cool, we asked Frank, our men’s designer, to reveal a few of his secrets for nailing double denim, plus a favorite
midwinter pick-me-up. 

While some guys like to dress up a jean with a proper dress shoe,
Frank believes that you should leave your brogues behind when wearing a raw, dark denim jacket with dark denim jeans. 

“When it comes to footwear, nothing too elegant,” he says. “You need something very strong to stand up to double denim, so I’d go with one of our new Kenton boots or an Alden® for J.Crew boot. A thick sole
is good.” 

Bonus tip: 

“Another trick is using a navy-and-white striped T-shirt to help the eye transition from the blue of the pants to the shade of a jean jacket.” 
 Frank walks his dog Dutch around Williamsburg while wearing our Wallace & Barnes Japanese denim jacket, slub cotton deck-striped T-shirt, Wallace & Barnes straight raw indigo selvedge jean, and Kenton crepe-sole chukka boots

“Keep your jeans and your denim shirt in the same family. The blues shouldn’t be an exact match, but they should not be at opposite ends of the spectrum either. They need to feel connected. I wouldnt wear a superfaded jean with a superdark indigo shirt,” he says. 

“The contrast between high and low—between rugged and refined—makes for great looks in menswear. This is also true with denim,” says Frank. “Mixing a classic necktie with denim creates a very refined look. Adding an Alden for J.Crew dress shoe is another good way to add some contrast."

 Double denim is a versatile, year-round option, but it also has a certain wintry, rustic comfort to it. Frank’s favorite beef bourguignon recipe is a great companion for when you’re layering denim in those grey midwinter months. 


 M.F.K. Fisher’s Boeuf Bourguignon

 One of Frank's favorite recipes to make on weekends is a classic beef bourguignon, a hearty stew in red wine. While newer chefs have updated this traditional French dish (read: shortened the time and effort it takes to make it), Frank goes straight to the source every time: M.F.K. Fisher’s recipe from “The Cooking of Provincial France,” part of Time-Life’s cult cookbook series from the late 1960s and early 1970s. The way Fisher wrote about food was as appetizing and engrossing as what she cooked. If food writers have a pinup girl, she’s it. 
 Frank prefers to mix it up by pairing his beef bourguignon with a peppery Provençal red instead of a Burgundy. 

3 pounds lean boneless beef chuck
6 parsley sprigs (2 chopped, 4 tied)
1 bay leaf (tied in “bouquet” with 4 parsley sprigs)
2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
¼ cup carrots, finely chopped
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup hot beef stock
2 cups Burgundy wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
¾ pound mushrooms, sliced or quartered
4 tablespoons butter
½ pound lean salt pork
1 quart water
18-24 peeled white onions 

See the photo above from Fisher's book.

Special thanks to La Colombe.
Photographs by Bryan Derballa. 

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TAGS: denim, how to, mens, frank