Denim daddy
// Cheetah Powers

Once a look rocked only by bikers, Albertans, and gay dads, denim-on-denim, a.k.a The Canadian Tuxedo, is taking the fashion world by storm. Most of you are probably still a little skeptical, but I can confidently say that this is a trend I wholeheartedly endorse. Denim is a hard-wearing fabric with a richly textured history; it looks good on everyone; and it's cheap and easy to find at your local thrift store. Rocking a great all-denim ensemble looks rugged and brings to mind virile images of conquering the Wild West – not to mention that it's also hilarious.

But why, you may ask, is this look, once so reviled, now the hottest thing on the streets? Well, Dan Savage of Savage Love once said that going all-denim was the soft-core version of going all-leather. Unless you're Lady Gaga or a subscriber to Cuir magazine, going all-leather does nothing but make everyone around you uncomfortable, as Tobias Funke famously proved in Arrested Development. So, duh, go all-denim. Not only will it make you look slimmer and more fashion-forward, if done right, you'll also become a stain-repelling machine capable of stopping dirt with a mere glance of your rugged visage.

The best part about putting together your own denim sandwich is the thrill of the challenge. There's something fun about spitting in the face of every fashion rule ever and coming out looking totally sharp in the end.

Naturally, there are a few things I would avoid unless you want to look like you're on your way to a Tim McGraw concert. Make sure that you're mixing several shades of denim – light blue with dark, or, better yet, black or coloured denim. Conversely, try matching your denim pieces exactly if you've got some self-confidence – the effect will be like a tall pillar of stonewashed awesomeness. Whatever you do, don't wear a top and bottom only slightly different washes of denim apart, because then you'll just look like someone's dad at the PNE. The look wants to look deliberate, not like you get dressed in the dark.

As far as the rest of your outfit goes, stick with the classics. A fresh white tee or crisp dress shirt, with the sleeves rolled, is the perfect balance of class and sass that will make people want to have sex with you. Stick with a classic shoe in cognac brown or black. Suede, shearling, leather, canvas, and wool – natural fabrics play up your blues best. For the bitches, florals and lace will also look sharp, just avoid anything too folk-y unless you're going line dancing.

You should also bling out! You can get DIY pyramid studs in silver, gold, and a range of finishes from sewing supply stores or online places like Etsy.com. Cover your country-ass denim jacket in glittery pentagrams and sew a giant patch of Justin Bieber on the back of that shit! Denim-on-denim, after all, is a pretty big joke anyway so you might as well go all out. Just remember: if you find yourself being approached by a lot of burly, leather-clad men, you're doing it right.

Cheetah Powers is a long-time hoarder and lover of fabulous clothes. She believes that a truly stylin' outfit should always be affordable, universal, and easy to pee in.

//Cheetah Powers, columnist
//Author illustration

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