I am here today to discuss something I never thought I’d be endorsing following the Britney/Justin debacle of c.2001: the Canadian Tuxedo. It’s happening. Stay tuned for next week when I voyage to Wisconsin to learn how to milk a cow and find the best sale on Crocs.
It wasn’t until I sat down to write this post that I thought about how bizarre it is that we call it a “Canadian Tuxedo”. I have met as many as four Canadians in all my years as a wise world traveller and never once did any one of them profess an affinity for all-over denim. For beer, poutine, and Justin Trudeau, yes. But it has been my experience that the vast majority of people I see regularly donning this getup are either a) American fashion bloggers or b) Americans at Walmart.
So where does the name come from?
Well, because I am a journalist committed to bringing you the hard-hitting facts (click here for my Bachelor recaps, they have been nominated for a Pulitzer if by “nominated” you mean “made fun of” and by “Pulitzer” you mean “by my mother”), I did some light Googling. This is what I found:
Bing Crosby was once upon a time denied entrance into a Canadian hotel, having committed the fatal atrocity of daring to wear denim on denim. Levi Strauss & Co., as in the manufacturer of everyone’s favourite camel toe-breeding mom jean, found out about this outrage and made Bing a legitimate tuxedo made out of denim. He proceeded to wear it proudly, thereby giving birth to the “Canadian Tuxedo”. Even though neither Bing Crosby nor Levi Strauss & Co. are Canadian.
What a shit story. I was expecting more drama. Or at least a real Canadian protagonist.
Whatever the history, for better or for worse we are here today in the midst of a few decades-long obsession with this affront to the good Canadian name. Right now, I say for better (but check back with me in a few weeks; love is fickle) because even though denim-on-denim has the potential to look terribly trashy, when done right it’s a no-brainer uniform type of trend that can be dressed down or even -yes, Britney- dressed up with a killer pair of $hoez (the saucy cousins of your average, run-of-the-mill “shoes”).
The key is to mix and match. Choose contrasting shades of denim and play around with various silhouettes; a boxier cropped denim jacket pairs well with lighter wash skinny jeans. To avoid looking like you’ve bathed in the material, break it up with a neckerchief, statement belt, or bold $hoe. It would also be cool to layer different types of denim (a denim shirt! under a denim jacket!).
Or don’t. The Canadian Tuxedo was not invented by actual Canadians, so nothing is sacred anymore. You do you.
Need more inspo? Here are some of my favourite looks I’ve pulled from Old Faithful (Pinterest) for your enjoyment.
All images taken from my Pinterest.