Can a material specifically designed for heavy-duty work be part of a casual-chic outfit these days?
The answer is yes, as we are talking about denim, a versatile fabric and one that is always trending with a long history behind it.
Denim originated in Europe: the name “denim” comes from the city of Nimes, in the south of France where an unusual indigo blue fabric was produced and used for work garments. Likewise, sailors and dockworkers in Genoa wore denim overalls, and it is from the French expression “bleu de Gênes” that the words “blue jeans” stem. In the second half of the Nineteenth Century, the fabric was introduced to America thanks to Levi Strauss who used it to produce trousers for miners and gold diggers. Precisely because of its particular resistance, denim became the main material used for work overalls, up until the beginning of the Twentieth Century when, it became the casual fabric par excellence, after being worn by stars like James Dean, Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley.
After the garment’s initial transformation into jeans, we are now living through its second metamorphosis at the dawn of the twenty-first century: denim is no longer just casual, but lends itself to be matched with more classic items of clothing, like suits. In particular, it is the man's denim shirt which, together with a suit, creates an original combination, one that is classic, but not overly so.
Wearing the denim shirt with a suit means displaying an anti-conventional style as well as a versatile one, thanks to the creation of a harmonious contrast.
Matching the denim shirt with a suit means principally choosing the right item of clothing: the shirt must be light and fitted. A slim fit is preferable while, as far as the collar is concerned, the button down is ideal as it is openly casual and as such, in contrast with the jacket.
The suit should be selected on the basis of the colour of the shirt. Generally speaking, you can't go wrong with a dark blue, grey and light brown or cream suit. Pinstripe is best avoided as it is too elegant.
The combination of denim shirt and suit is ideal for any season: it goes extremely well with tweed and flannel in the winter, as well as linen and cotton in the summer.
As far as the tie is concerned, we recommend a plain colour rather than patterned and unusual motifs because they can be hard to match with denim.
This kind of casual-chic outfit can be selected for any occasion that requires a look that is neither excessively classic and elegant, nor overtly casual or sporty. There are so many occasions and one of these is a business meeting that is not overly formal or in a young, creative environment. In this case, the denim shirt returns to its roots as a “work garment” only this time in a completely new, more sophisticated role.
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