Reconsidering denim

I don’t own blue jeans. Not a single pair.

Denim was purged from my wardrobe a decade ago as an act of sartorial self-righteousness. Back then, as today, jeans were everywhere. Just look around you. Chances are, almost everyone is wearing them. With that in mind, I bucked the trend like a religious zealot.

But I’ve mellowed with age. I still don’t own jeans and wish more men would open themselves up to different options, but I’ve learned to appreciate denim for what it is: an historically rich, texturally lovely fabric. And true denim is elegantly simple: cotton warp threads died with indigo, which doesn’t penetrate all the way through—thus the eventual fading—woven usually 3 over 1 white weft thread—thus the lighter-hued reverse side.

And while I don’t have jeans, denim recently re-entered my wardrobe via this MAROL button-down shirt.


If you are not a #menswear follower you may not know that denim shirts are having a moment right now. A big moment. Much like jeans in the rest of the world, in the menswear sphere it seems that everyone is wearing denim shirts. But this isn’t the heavy denim usually used for trousers. Instead, following the same process as traditional denim, finer threads are woven into a lightweight shirting. Shirting that has a lovely, textured colour that fades subtly over time.


This shirt is made of Loro Piana denim shirting, an 8½ ounce, 100% cotton fabric. It is darker than the traditional light blue dress shirt, so I wouldn’t wear it with a more formal suit and tie. However, the dusty blue colour (and superior craftsmanship) makes it ultra versatile: I wear it on its own or with a casual jacket or suit, usually open-collared. And after about a half dozen washings and pressings, the fading around the collar edges adds a lovely natural sprezz to the shirt.


Now, if I can find myself a great pair of full rise jeans, I might finally give in. Just don’t expect to see me in a Canadian Tuxedo.

My thanks to Bo Yang for the photography and Saint Crispin’s of the Americas for the use of their showroom. And full disclosure: while I do work for MAROL, this post is not sponsored and the shirt was purchased.