Denim Shirts: An All-Season Staple

Denim is a marvelous thing. It’s a strong, rugged, handsome in a uniquely American way.  That’s why jeans are so popular, and have been such for more than a century and a half.  But of course, there’s more to denim than jeans.  It’s been found in jackets, in coats, even in sport coats, but a common and increasingly more common place to encounter denim is in shirts.  A consequence of the workwear boom of the aughts, denim shirts are more ubiquitous than ever, and a gentleman should strongly consider injecting one into his or her wardrobe.

However, some care must be taken.  Not all shirts are created equal, nor is all denim.  We’ll provide you with a guide to the many options on display, just to power you through the long effort of choosing which shirt is right for you.

Scotch & Soda

A healthy respect for tradition guides this denim shirt, with its heavy fabric and brass buttons.  Remember, denim shirts began as the garment of ranchers and workers.  Their purest form is meant to take as much abuse as their predecessors once did.

Dolce & Gabbana

The kings of Italian luxury feature one of the highest shirts in our price range.  For serious denim heads only, this whopper of a shirt is stone-washed, with a smaller pointed collar and mother of pearl buttons.  This is the sort of shirt a man takes out to high-dollar, low-level events, like a rock concert or the fundraiser of a senator from out West.

Ralph Lauren Black Label Denim

Cool and crisp, this shirt, with its deep sea indigo shade and its slim fit, is more sophisticated than its workwear cousins.  As such, don’t treat it like workwear.  Think of it as more of an alternate lifestyle dress shirt.  It has a point collar- button that up and tie a black knit tie around it, then wear this shirt under a dark gray or navy suit.  People will take notice in the office and around the town.

Burberry Brit

Here’s a horse- or a shirt- of a different color.  The inky darkness of this denim shirt is nearly black, so it’s best employed when your work must be done at night.  Pair it with some dark brown trousers and a pair of boots as you work through the night, letting the mother of pearl buttons flash with the occasional light.  It’s a slim fit, though, so take the next size up.

Brooks Brothers

One of the more reasonably priced items on the list, this shirt still has a few tricks up its sleeve.  It’s a slim fit and a spread collar, making it wearable under a sport coat should you choose.  But its low price range actually opens up its versatility; since it’s still denim, you can beat it up and toss it around, confident that it will take its fair share of punishment.


The lightest of the shirts in our listing, this washed-out shirt has the advantage of being pairable with darker trousers, something most denim shirts cannot do.  Wear it with dark red or burnt orange trousers, or with gray jeans for a contrasting denim look.  It’s an ideal shirt for summer, when the sweltering heat demands lighter, softer shades.


This is the king of denim mountain, a fashion statement, a work of art.  Certain of-the-moment rappers have been known to flit about town with this across their backs, and if they can rock it, so can you.  This is an ideal shirt to try pairing with jeans, but the key is always to make certain that the two denim pieces are of different shades.  It wouldn’t do to spend a grand on a shirt and make it part of a Canadian Tuxedo.

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