Tailored Denim (Not Jeans)

April 6th, 2015

Jeans and denim are not the same thing. Jeans are a style of pant that can be made from just about any fabric. Denim is a specific type of fabric, specifically; a sturdy cotton warped-faced twill.

Denim comes in many different weights and textures, including some that can be tailored into sport coats, suits, dress shirts and even ties. Combining the casual nature of denim cloth with the formality of tailored clothing usually produces a very wearable and versatile garment.

To illustrate this point, here are some tailored denim pieces from my personal wardrobe.

    The Denim Suit


    What I love about this denim suit is that I don’t have to be careful with it. If it gets scuffed, or wrinkled, or a little dirty – it’s all good. Just like a go-to pair of jeans, each piece of this suit is going to look great with some wear and tear. I’m looking forward to breaking it in some more overt the years.


    The Denim Shirt


    A cutaway collar shirt is usually reserved for more formal occasions, but this denim cloth makes it perfect for a smart weekend outfit as well. I’ve worn this shirt with ties, with sweat pants, with just about anything.




    • Hopsack jacket
    • Denim spread collar shirt by Alara
    • Navy leather belt by Hugo Boss Selection
    • White denim jeans by Helmut Lang
    • Navy perforated tassel loafers by Scarpe di Bianco

    The Denim Tie


    A denim fabric, in the right weight, is the perfect cloth to get a sturdy drape and hold a perfect dimple.



    Denim on Denim


    The old rule of “never wearing denim with denim” has long been shot down. Forget the Canadian Tuxedo, a denim shirt & tie in different shades/weights offers a great texture play that is sharp without being overly formal or delicate.




    • Denim spread collar shirt by Alara
    • Denim tie by General Knot & Co.
    • “Warwick” Single monkstrap loafers by Allen Edmonds

    The Real “Canadian Tuxedo”


    Finally, speaking of the Canadian Tuxedo, I styled my main man Jelani Johnson in all three of the denim pieces featured in this article. Denim on denim on denim – to show that it’s not always about the concept, it’s about the execution.



      Thanks, as always, for reading.

      Yours in style,

      Dan Trepanier 

      Shop Custom Menswear Made in America


      Take me to the Shop

      • http://ledebonnaire.tumblr.com/ Juan Zara

        @tsbmen:disqus Any info on the fabric on that Black Lapel piece? I just got a Belvest sportcoat in that exact same fabric, and would love to know the manufacturer. I’d assume Black Lapel provided you with details when you chose it for your blazer. Please let me know!

      • http://ledebonnaire.tumblr.com/ Juan Zara

        Dan, any info on the fabric on that Black Lapel piece? I just got a Belvest sportcoat in that exact same fabric and would love to know the manufacturer. I suppose Black Lapel provided you with details when you chose it for your sportcoat. Please let me know!

      • ignatious joseph

        “Sports meet classic”

        • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier


      • Jeanscuffed

        Great post Dan, I’ve been waiting to read this all day! I had a question about the Alara denim shirt. Did you have any alterations done after the purchase. I’ve been meaning to get the same shirt and was torn between the Small and Medium. With me being 5’8″/155lb I wanted to get the Small, but I checked the site and the Medium’s neck size is just right.

        Also, the outfit you have with the denim shirt and tie with the sportcoat is flawless! I like how you paired it with the single monks. They pop without being too much overkill like a dub monk would.

        • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

          I’m wearing the Medium, and I had the midsection taken in quite a bit. I would suggest the Small for you, for sure. Thanks for your continued support C, excited to bring you our next level of content, and our new line!

      • Franklin

        Dan….big question! What circumference are your pant openings on the denim suit?

        I’m also 6’2 and with your height, they look perfect!!



        • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

          16″ player!

          • Franklin

            Thanks Dan! I know people probably say this a lot but living in NYC and working at an investment bank, your site alone has helped me elevate my game. Now only if I could save enough to invest in MAB suiting, I’d be set!

      • Miguel

        I love to wear Denim Jackets in the summer but when buying one, it must be unstructured, thing I learned on AOS so it could be breath better and not make sweat.

        I owe a couple of Jean shirts, one with a spread collar, I’ll find myself a denim tie and play with it, really like the outfits.

        • TO

          As in you have unstructured denim sport coats? Where did you get em Miguel??

      • facelessghost

        That denim suit is like the one in the Daniel Torjman profile–much better than I would expect if someone simply described it to me.

      • TO

        I had no idea that tie in the photo of you in the phone was denim! I remember asking how you got such an awesome dimple, now it makes sense.

        I have had the thought too recently- can’t a bespoke suit maker create one a version of “5-pocket trousers made of denim” so as to get the correct fit and avoid the tight
        thigh jean epidemic?? How close
        can it look to regular jeans?

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