Out of the Blue Come the Many Ways You Can Mix Denim Items


Newt Gingrich and Ted Kennedy. Tom Arnold and Roseanne. Dark blue denim and faded blue denim. Which of these pairs can be seen together in public?

Although you may be leery about wearing different types of denim together, it’s perfectly fine to mix shades occasionally. Problems occur, however, when some women try to match their denims.

“It’s very difficult to match two different types of denim clothing, unless they’re cut from the same dye lot,” says Stephanie Grani of Stephania in San Juan Capistrano. “For that reason, many women choose contrasts, mixing an indigo, a dark blue denim with a light blue, which looks great.”

Having a shirt or jacket that perfectly matches the shade of your jeans may be a shade unrealistic.


“Since it’s casual wear, I don’t think it should be an exact match,” says clothing designer Ellen Corcoran of Yorba Linda. “Denim is a unique fabric. It takes on a look of its own. It’s the only piece of clothing you’ll own that looks better as it ages, fades and develops its own particular wrinkles.”

Since there are several processes that create varying shades in denim, it’s considered fashionable to wear clothing of varying colors.

With acid, stone and ice washing of denim, everything from the color to the thickness of the fabric changes. It would probably be considered a rarity if you found jeans and a shirt that were a perfect match color-wise.

Try to mix no more than two shades. “I’d wear the lighter color under the darker color,” Grani says. “Maybe an indigo jacket with a faded blue denim shirt.”


Since modern denim is no longer restricted to the color blue and comes in tones of green, black and red among others, you may have a problem figuring out if different colors work together.

“Black denim really goes with most everything,” Corcoran says.

If you have white jeans in the closet waiting for the summer equinox before you pull them off the hanger, now’s probably the time to give them a good look. If you last wore them at the Labor Day bash, they may have a guacamole stain you missed when you put them away. Stains need to be washed out as soon as possible. The word for the day: pre-soak.

When it’s time to wear them, white, like black, goes with any color denim. “Except, remember that colors are seasonal,” Corcoran says. “You should be wearing pastel denims in spring and summer. Black, of course, is year round.”