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It’s fall time, meaning we’re all busting out those heavier-but-not-quite-puffy jackets to keep us warm. As most of us know, some of the more popular ones happen to be denim, with guys slipping one over a sweatshirt for both style and substance. Here’s the thing, though, not all guys know how to wear denim, and we’re here to help that.

Look, we all wish we could be Justin Timberlake, who rocks the whole denim look better than most people. He blends worn down pieces with fitted pieces to perfection, and has become a fashion icon for that reason. But, again, not all of us can have that kind of luck wearing denim.

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DETROIT, we’re here…

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For those guys who might struggle finding the right jean jacket, the perfect pair of jeans or can’t quite convince himself to buy a denim shirt, here’s your ultimate guide to understanding how you can look great in denim. Yes, it really is possible — so take that, J-Timbo.

How to wear denim shirts

The most important thing to remember when it comes to wearing a denim shirt is keeping it slim, making sure it fits tight around the shoulders and naturally hugs the sides of your torso. When it comes to color, go with what you think works best with other pieces of clothing in your closet, as a denim shirt can be super versatile when you complement it with shirts and/or pants. For instance, rather than button the shirt up and wear it solo, down be afraid to wear a dark graphic tee underneath and keep the denim shirt open. When you match this with khakis or lightly toned pants, you’re looking more casual and trendy.

What kind of jeans should I get?

Guys absolutely hate shopping for jeans — and it’s not hard to understand why. Not only does it require actually trying pants on, as so many brands have different size charts and fit differently, but also because of the various cuts. To put it bluntly, no two jeans are ever the same. So, what kind of jeans should you get? It’s up to you on preference in terms of cut — like skinny, straight, boot, etc. — but make sure you have a purpose for the cut you choose. For example, a boot cut jean is OK if you’re planning on going hiking and need to slip them over, you know, a boot, but aren’t the greatest choice when you’re trying to pair them with a fitted shirt while going to a bar with some buddies. Unfortunately, not all jeans can be versatile for all occasions, so go in with a mindset on where you’ll be wearing them.

Can I pull off a denim jacket?

Yes, you absolutely can pull off a denim jacket, it just takes confidence to wear it — and a little bit of understanding of when to wear it. Again, not everyone can look as cool as Justin Timberlake in denim, but you can at least try your best. When it comes to denim jackets, that means finding the appropriate cut for your body frame, and making sure it fits you right. Wearing a denim jacket is an attitude, so make sure you avoid  a wash that doesn’t fit your natural style, as well as pairing it with pants and shoes/boots that can complete the outfit. Denim jackets should be used for certain looks, not necessarily everyday use, remember that.

Is it ever OK to layer denim together?

We know most guys are afraid of going all Canadian tuxedo by wearing denim on denim, but it’s absolutely OK to layer denim — just make sure you know the rules. That means that, if you’re wearing a dark washed denim jacket, the shirt underneath is a lighter wash. The same goes for the jean color, as the top and bottom should never be the exact same color. One of the best looks is a lighter jean jacket with black jeans and some boots. Want to talk about looking like a badass? That’s it. Don’t be afraid to layer denim together, but work your way up to it so not to feel uncomfortable when trying to pull it off. Again, it takes a seasoned vet to wear so much denim and make it look good.

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