Julie Rath: This Versatile Wardrobe Item May Surprise You

Just because you’re not a cowboy, doesn’t mean you should ignore the denim shirt. Sure, you can wear a denim shirt on the ranch, but you can also wear it to the office, on a date, out for dinner – just about anywhere. How rugged vs. fine the material is dictates how dressy you can take it. Also, dark rinses read fancier than light ones.

Here are 4 ways to wear a denim shirt in order from casual to dressy:

men's style: denim shirt1) Weathered with pockets. Wear a different shade of denim on bottom for the optimal Canadian tuxedo. If you need help with the “downstairs” portion of the look, here’s my primer on how to find flattering jeans.

men's style tips: denim shirt2) Half-buttoned over a v-neck or henley (tucked or not; only tuck in if you can do so without it looking sloppy). Try a jean-style chino or corduroy on bottom.

men's style advice: denim shirt3) Medium to dark wash with dress pants. Throw on a fun belt to add personality to the look.

men's style advice: denim shirt4) Dark rinse with suit and tie. For continuity, your tie should be textured, like a knit, cotton, wool or cashmere (a dressy silk won’t look right on denim). The dark buttons on this shirt make it dressier than the previous three.

Pulling off the denim shirt can be tricky, and you may not have felt confident going there in the past. But hopefully these outfit ideas inspire you to give it a shot. Denim shirts are an excellent way to add versatility to your wardrobe, and it’s a shame not to do it just because you don’t know how to pull it off. Try it, and let me know how you do!

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