The Denim Shirt: Just as Clutch as Those Selvedge Jeans

A proper denim shirt sets the tone for a complete wardrobe.

Selvedge. Raw. Rope dye. Chain stitching. Just a few terms that help define the premium denim game. A world that embraces high quality raw materials, skilled craftsmanship, and a deep respect for tradition. All for the greater good of creating jeans meant to stay fresh for decades.

Why? Because as good denim ages, it develops personality, and each distinct fade ends up symbolizing one’s lifestyle and character, proving the importance of the world of indigo. And this appreciation sets the tone to re-revitalize the iconic denim shirt, which although has been around for over a century, is only now starting to prove its relevance in the modern menswear game.

Is this elevated work wear? Or maybe just a garment that defines rugged elegance.

Once exclusively reserved for hardened railroad workers and cowboys, this timeless garment has evolved into a menswear staple that drips versatility. And with the help of high fashion, it’s been elevated to the premium level of casual wear, as music icons, Hollywood elites, and even well-known CEO’s have each offered their interpretation on how to tastefully wear it.

Is this elevated work wear? Could be. Or maybe just a garment that defines rugged elegance, even though most of us may choose to wear one while relaxing on the terrace, holding a latte, and sporting some polished Carmina Chelsea Boots.

Like a majority of menswear staples though, it’s a simple garment, as the details can expose the quality and determine if it’s a premium version that deserves top shelf space. And whether it’s the classic western style shirt or the more refined and super versatile chambray, a well-made denim shirt is clutch and a necessary tool for the modern menswear aficionado.

Just like a pair of jeans. It’s all in the details.

Just like a pair of jeans. It’s all in the details.

The western style, which is thicker, rougher, and made from a pure denim fabric, is all about embracing the signature bourbon-infused cowboy look that was once so relevant. Just like in a pair of jeans, the fabric is made using a traditional twill weave construction, making for a shirt with a rugged exterior, but ideal for pairing with some matching jeans and some scuffed Red Wing boots.

It may not fly so well at a fine dining establishment, but it does create an iconic vintage look that definitely gets a pass at the next Sundance Film Fest.

And then there is the ultra refined chambray shirt, which ultimately, is the denim shirt necessary in today’s world of making moves. The chambray is woven like a traditional button up and has a more soft and lightweight feel. It still possesses the zen-like indigo-centric look of denim, but is much more on the comfortable tip and blends with whatever outfit the occasion calls for.

And it almost shines, making it an ideal get up for that next meeting with some kambucha sipping Silicon Valley VC’s.

The chambray is woven like a traditional button-up and is the ultimate denim shirt in the world of making moves.

In today’s menswear world, what makes the denim shirt so clutch is first, it’s versatility as a garment, but more importantly, the culture that it embodies. With its work wear heritage and distinct design, it carries a super unique swagger, creating a silhouette meant to be bold while carrying the aura of indigo to the bone.

And this is what’s needed in today’s world of the modern hustle. To be bold. Confident. Unique. A little rough, but still elegant and respectful.

From layering it under a sharp looking blazer, to pairing it with some crisp chinos, or to the ultimate double denim (with contrasting colors, of course), it’s a clutch garment and should never be slept on. With the continuing evolution in menswear, where brands are focusing on elevating the basics, the denim shirt falls right into a groove and is just as appropriate in a plush 2019 Porsche as it is in a garage-modded cafe racer. And just like that chilled glass of dank Belgian Amber Ale, that’s serious versatility.


Aslan Moini