Hello loyal readers, it’s been a while! How have you all been? Enough with the small talk, you are here for one reason and that is fashion. As you may of noticed I have taken an extended break from doing what I love, and that is writing articles for this great site. This is because I have been secretly redesigning parts of the site and planning new and exciting features for it. It has taken a while and is still very much a work in progress, but I am sure the end result will all be worth it as we become even more interactive and hopefully easier to use. My writing team have done an excellent job of covering all the new trends and collections in my absence, so I hope you have been as impressed with them as I am.
With that out of the way, I want to cast your gaze toward what I feel is an essential item for this Spring/Summer… the denim shirt. As you may have read on this site, the denim shirt has become increasingly popular in the fashion circles towards the end of 2009 and now right into 2010 as many of the catwalk previews heavily featured denim for S/S 10 (check out the D&G show below for example). I personally picked up on the trend early last year and fell in love with the new types of denim shirt. No longer do you have to be a stereotypical cowboy as there are so many styles, washes and types of denim shirts around. Whether you are looking for something light and ‘airy’ like a chambray/cotton mix or something thick and heavy to use as an oversized jacket, you will find it within the highstreet and designer collections this year.
This new versatility in the denim shirt is what has made it essential. In the look book today you will find casual looks, formal looks, and relaxed formal looks as I show you how you can mix it with items already in your wardrobe. We need to be aware of the double denim basics throughout the article, but like I have mentioned, there are more washes than ever to mix and different cuts which can give off a very different aura depending on how you use them. By the end of the article I hope to have you all convinced that this is a look you can own this year.
These particular shots were from the D&G campaign for this year:
Below I have showcased some of the newest denim shirts available so you can take a quick glance at some of the best online right now in different price ranges. Some of these shirts will actually be used below in the look book, so hopefully you will find a style which suits you. Remember that really light cotton shirts can still have a ‘denim’ look/wash about them. These are the types of shirts you want to use when going for a more formal denim look.
For the look book, I have picked shirts that I think work well to achieve the overall look we are going for. However this doesn’t mean that my choice is the final one, you can easily refer back to this section and choose your particular favourite to substitute in.
In my other look books I would put together outfits based on my personal preference and try to modify them to fit current trends. This was more like me telling you that the items will mix together well and you having to believe me. However I find that it is always beneficial to actually SEE an outfit put together before you go to buy the pieces, and so this time I have taken inspiration from celebrity looks and editorial shoots from the major publications.
Below you will find a collection of four outfits that we are going to recreate today. They are all very different and in my eyes are all PERFECT for this Spring/Summer. The inspiration has been taken from Details Magazine, GQ online editorial and a Beckham outfit for all of you who love our 2nd best dressed male of 2009.
So here are the looks we are going to achieve in this article:
Look 1 – Channing Tatum in Details Magazine
So we are working our way from the top left picture clockwise for the sake of this article. First up we have Channing Tatum in his latest Details magazine photo shoot. This is a great casual denim shirt look with a twist. The twist being that they have used grey coloured chinos in this photo shoot which is a great alternative to jeans and are really set to take off this year with the fashion elite. It also totally negates the problem of having to mix your denim washes, which is a key rule to stick to with double denim.
The reason I love this look is that it is so relaxed and can be used on the weekend out and about shopping or in the beer garden, but you could also walk into a bar later in the evening and still look great. In the day I would rock it like Channing does, open shirt in a light summer wash, plain white tee underneath, key statement watch in a bold colour (like tan leather), and then throw on a pair of low cut leather converse to round out the relaxed but smart look. You may even want to mix in the Rayban Wayfarers or some aviators just to really pull the outfit together for a hot and bright (I wish) Spring/Summer day.
No belt is necessary with this look, but you could again add a nice skinny tan belt if you wanted to make sure the little details were covered. I would personally match the belt to your watch strap should you choose to wear one. For the white tee, everyone has this sitting at home but I personally love the scoop and v-neck cuts as it just gives that something extra to the outfit and means that if you choose to button up the shirt, your tee is not sticking out the top too.
This is where the versatility comes into this outfit… in the day rock it with the sleeves rolled up and open, exposing your plain tee underneath, but as the night draws in and you fancy a drink in town, you can button the shirt up, and rock a much smarter look. It still works in a smart casual environment because the chinos add a formal edge, and if you did rock the belt as well you could tuck the shirt in (or do a lazy tuck like Beckham often does, with just one side loosely tucked in showing part of the belt).
So to get the look:
Look 2 – GQ Editorial for Spring/Summer Looks
I LOVE this outfit from the GQ look book as it smartens up the denim shirt whilst still adding some flair and a quirky edge. This time we are looking at a well put together relaxed formal look using the denim shirt. I would imagine to get the great slim line cut we are going to be looking at a lighter denim material than what we used in the first look above. I would personally always pick a chambray or light denim when going for a formal look OR when mixing a denim shirt with a tie or bowtie.
This time we picked a denim shirt bluey/grey tones. This makes it easy to find a darker navy cardigan which gives the contrast in layers between the shirt and the knitwear. I love the shirt buttoned to the top because it really just smartens up the whole look and you do not need to do anything else (like add a tie) in order to make it work.
Black or brown trousers will work with this look, and I would slim fit them to give you that fashion forward edge and clean lines. Mix in a simple brown leather belt and shoes and you have a look that will work on dress down Fridays at the office, going out for drinks and everything else in-between. I put in the suede washed brogues because they are right on trend still and also gives your outfit some textured appearance at the top (herringbone print) and bottom of the outfit.
The item that catches my eye within this outfit however HAS to be the hat. Luke wrote a great hat guide a few weeks ago that everyone should check out, because using a hat as an accessory really sets you apart if you do it correctly. This time we pick the grey herringbone gentleman’s flat cap, and because the colour is so distinct compared to the rest of the outfit, it makes it a real focal point. Great job by the guys at GQ and one that would be very easy to replicate:
Look 3 – GQ Editorial for Spring/Summer Looks
Again from the GQ look book, this outfit doesn’t actually feature a denim shirt, but it is a great formal look for Spring/Summer which has a definite French Riveira/Preppy appeal that I think is going to be massive. This is a really simple outfit they have created but what makes it stand out is the colouring of it and contrast between each items.
Again this time because we are pairing the denim shirt with a tie, I think we need a lightweight version that will keep the slim lines throughout and not add much bulk to the frame. Try and use a nice light blue/grey or even pastel wash if you can get your hands on one, because the contrast with the light grey blazer is the key.
The bottom half is simple but a real statement. Beige or off white trousers really do give off that preppy vibe and is where the focus of the outfit is. You do not often see this colouring within trousers over here in the UK, probably something to do with the weather, but a lot of it is down to men not having the confidence to pull it off. You shouldn’t feel like this now though as you can see an image of how GREAT this outfit looks on someone else already. Believe me if you can pull off white/cream trousers, you are going to be light years ahead of about 99% of the male population. Like I said, it is a bold statement, but get it right and you come across as a confident and well dressed male.
The key here is also the accessories. We are going to be using a plain brown leather belt to keep the mid-section simple and just add that cut-off contrast to the top and bottom half. Mix in the brown brogues (huge at the end of last year) and the brown shaded tie, and you have consistent colours linking the whole outfit together. Perfect for formal days, you could easily get away with this look at work in most open minded places:
Look 4 – Beckham Casual Look
This is a look that I loved when I first saw it, and I know a lot of readers felt the same as they were all asking for a denim shirt similar to the one he is rocking in this image. You do not need to exactly colour match to get this outfit right though. The reason it works is because the denim shirt is a light blue wash whilst he kept his jeans a very dark indigo (almost black) wash to get the contrast. It just makes the shirt stand out even more and just shows what is the key to rocking double denim. I have picked the denim shirt by Burton above to make this outfit. There is also another great hooded version very similar to the shirt Beckham is wearing in the ASOS section which could be even better in this look due to it’s casual appeareance.
Again it is a relaxed look, but this time he goes smart casual by using the dark jeans and black belt, and loosely tucking the shirt into his jeans (the loose tuck I mentioned earlier is a staple for him). Again we go with the plain white v-neck underneath the shirt to add contrast, and he has hung his classic sunglasses in the middle which just adds another little something to his layering.
Thrown in the oversized black beanie hat (matches belt and jeans) and the light coloured rucksack, to really round out a look that will set you apart from the other casual looks you see around town each weekend. This would be a great look for university/college students as well who have the need to carry a bag in the Spring/Summer months. I have thrown in the Superga mid-tops in this look as I think they are a staple trainer that everyone should own and are relatively inexpensive:
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