Why the Canadian Tuxedo Is the Perfect Style Detox


There’s a common adage you hear about great masters in their fields: the Michelin-starred chef who, after a long day composing gastronomical wonders in the kitchen, comes home craving the simplicity of a grilled cheese; the musical genius who listens to nothing but white noise anywhere outside of the studio. No one would ever mistake me for a great master of anything, but even I—your humble middle-of-the-road menswear blogger—sometimes need a mental vacation from thinking about clothes after the endless hours of internet garm-wrangling I put in everyday. About every six months or so, I’ll open my closet in the morning and instantly feel like Rocky in the 14th round, bleary-eyed and overmatched and unable to piece together even a half-decent fit. I can’t see nothing. You gotta dress me, Mick! In those instances, I’ve come to rely on a uniform that helps me realign my sartorial chakras: denim-on-denim.

Dennis Hopper during the filming of The Last Movie, 1971.

Everett Collection

That’s right, the Canadian Tuxedo. When I first stumbled into this semi-regular habit a couple of years back, it was completely subconscious: every day for a week or so, without really thinking about it, I’d pull on my trusty 501s with my even-trust-ier trucker jacket, plucked for a pittance from the Club Monaco sale rack more than a decade ago in college and put through absolute hell ever since. What peculiar forces had drawn me to double denim, exactly? Perhaps it was a comforting nod to my roots north of the border, or a small tribute to the decades of style gods who have donned it before me: your Marvins, your Hoppers, your Meryls, your Kermits. But mostly, I think, I leaned on it for its quiet functionality. No matter what you wear underneath—a plain tee or a freaky camp shirt, a hoodie or a polo—there’s a purpose-driven clarity to pairing jeans and a jean jacket. A few days of palate-cleansing indigo, and I’m right back ready to furiously stunt on the world like post-baseball Mike.

Bob Marley in London, July  24, 1975. 

Michael Putland / Getty Images

Michael Douglas during the filming of Napoleon and Samantha, 1972.

Getty Images

Lately, I’ve taken to calling these occasional denim-heavy stretches my Style Detoxes. Even if you aren’t as enamored with the rugged ease of all-jean-everything as I am, it’s a useful practice to adopt from time to time. The next time you wake up sick of all your own clothes, too weary to decide what to wear, go with your gut and throw on something effortless and innocuous. Then wear it again, and again, and again, and again—à la Doug from Doug—until you’re ready to return to getting dressed with fresh eyes and renewed intention.

Eric Clapton and John Lennon perform in Wembley, December 11, 1968.

Getty Images

Princess Diana with her sons in Lech, Austria, March 30, 1993.

Tim Graham / Getty Images

Maybe your Style Detox is wearing head-to-toe white like Andrew W.K. or head-to-toe black like a Chelsea gallerist. Maybe it’s the perfect tracksuit or the perfect suit-suit. Whatever you land on, I’ll be floating above it all in my dungaree-induced meditative trance. If you’d like to join me, here are a handful of hard-wearing ways to do just that.

Levi’s 501 original shrink-to-fit jeans

Tough to beat the brand that invented the look.

Uniqlo U cotton trucker jacket

Uniqlo U regular fit jeans

Christophe Lemaire brings his artful Parisian eye to an all-American ensemble.

Oni Denim 16oz natural indigo jean jacket

Oni Denim 16oz natural indigo neat straight jeans

Ready to see what all the hype is about over Japanese denim? Let this gorgeous slubby set be your introduction.

A.P.C. New Standard jeans

The label that introduced you to raw denim does the whole stonewash thing better than most, too.

Everlane relaxed 4-way stretch organic jean

Rockstar-ify your Canadian Tuxedo with a little pitch black denim.

Todd Snyder stretch denim jacket

Todd Snyder slim fit selvedge jean

Trashed like a perfect thrift store find, minus the impossible-to-wash-out thrift store smell.



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