How To Wear Denim With Denim Shoes Without It Being Weird

Covering the entire spectrum of fashion, denim can be found in the high spaces of haute-couture, to the most basic, good old-fashioned pair of jeans. And as one of fashion's most versatile textiles, denim can be used to materialize a great multitude of garments, from jackets, shirts, and pants, to accessories such as hats, bags, and even shoes. One of the biggest trends in fashion as of late is denim-on-denim shoes. Celebrities such as Megan Fox and Emily Ratajkowski wore full denim to Paris Fashion Week in September 2022; Dakota Johnson wore a full denim ensemble to the Sundance Film Festival in January 2023; and Julia Fox has rocked riveting denim looks more times than we can count. But styling denim on denim is an art; when done right, it just looks right, and when done wrong, it just looks, well, weird. 

When you want to take your double-denim looks up a notch, wearing denim with denim shoes is one way to do it. Here, we've gathered some styling notes for when you want to flaunt the look and look good doing it. 

Denim pumps punch up the fit

Denim pumps can be a super playful way to take a casual fabric and give it some serious style. TikTok user Lola (@lolakhnt) styles a pair of pointy-toe, slingback denim pumps from Mango in her TikTok video. She wears a pair of baggy, light-wash cargo jeans, and throws on a simple, black-and-white striped sweater. After she slips on the heels, which feature a silver bow detail, she throws on a leather jacket and accessorizes with a silver metallic shoulder bag. We appreciate how all of the hardware is matching, from the details on the jacket, to the shoes, and finally tied together with the bag. For this look, Lola chooses to match her denim jeans to the same wash as her denim shoes, streamlining the denim, and heightening the contrast in other elements of her outfit. This way the outfit looks balanced, and the denim on denim feels intuitive, rather than forced. 

Mix and match denim washes

Perhaps you are looking for a less precise way to wear denim on denim instead of two, perfectly matched shades of blue. Wearing blue denim with black denim can slightly soften the look, while still remaining cohesive. TikToker Lucia Liu (@luseeyalu) rocks this look in her TikTok video. She first tries to wear a pair of heeled, denim tall boots with a black turtleneck tucked into light-wash denim shorts. She realizes that the look does not work; each piece is competing with the other. Then, she swaps out the light-wash shorts for a black of black denim shorts, and the look is transformed. She completes the look with a black jacket. Wearing black on black pulls together any outfit — and wearing black denim with blue denim is a subtle, yet sophisticated way to keep the denim thread going. The result is a stylish look that could be perfect for a day-to-night transition. 

Keep the cool with denim sneakers

Denim sneakers are another super cool way to wear denim with denim. The added bonus is that denim sneakers are durable and cleanable. TikTok user Kris (@krismarieerrington) shows off her denim kicks in a TikTok video. Kris wears a pair of denim, high-top Converse that feature two different washes of denim: a light and ultra-light wash. She then puts on a pair of medium-wash denim flare pants, and an almost matching, medium-wash denim button-down shirt. The result is a denim-on-denim-on-denim look that does not feel overwhelmingly so. How does she pull it off? 

Because blue denim is considered a neutral, wearing a denim top and denim pants together, especially when they match in tone and wash, is much like pairing two neutral colors together. This is why the look still feels fresh. And because the denim shoes are a super-light wash, you can treat them almost as though they were white. 

Elevate with denim platforms

Another denim shoe we are super into is the denim platform heel. Platform heels have something of a retro feel vibe to them, and paired with denim fabric, we get a seriously '70s style. One fashion TikToker (@coexvstin) demonstrates how to update denim platforms into a modern, denim-on-denim look in her TikTok video. The denim platforms feature multiple washes of patchwork denim, are open-toe, and have a block heel, perfect for the spring and summer months. She decides to style them with another 70s-inspired piece: a collared, denim jumpsuit that is just slightly lighter in tone than the heels. Then, she adds her signature pop of orange with an orange shoulder bag and orange aviator sunglasses. The final look is modern, while pulling fashion cues from past eras. 

Make it a cool DIY

Another way to incorporate denim shoes into your wardrobe is to make them yourself! DIY fashion is the perfect way to express your fashion vision, and these denim boots are just one super chic idea to consider. One TikTok user (@negronibianca) demonstrates how in her TikTok video. First, take a pair of straight-leg, flare-leg, or bootcut jeans — ideally not your favorite ones — and cut them at about mid-thigh. You will be left with two, denim sleeves. Then, grab your favorite pair of knee-high boots, and slip the denim sleeves over the boot shaft, with the cut ends at the bottom. Simply tuck the sleeves into your boot to hold them in place, and there you have it; you have turned a pair of bootcut jeans, into literal boots. The best part of this look is that you have now created a super stylish two-piece denim set. Wear the boots with your new pair of shorts, and the look is guaranteed to match, considering it was cut from the same cloth! There are so many ways to express yourself through denim, do not be afraid to experiment with what feels good to you.