Every Well-dressed Man I Know Seems to Own My Favorite Denim Shirt (2024)

this thing's incredible

By David Notis

Every Well-dressed Man I Know Seems to Own My Favorite Denim Shirt (1)

Photo: Courtesy of the retailer.

I wouldn’t say I’m the biggest J.Crew fan. For certain basics, it’s great. The clothes are priced well and they somehow almost always seem to find a reason to have a 30-percent-off sale. The trade-off though is that since a lot of its stuff is so generally appealing (and on sale), there’s a high probability you’ll end up wearing the same thing as someone else. But when I think about the best clothing purchase I’ve ever made, in terms of value, it has to be this J.Crew denim shirt.

I first spotted it about four years ago, while browsing the J.Crew men’s shop in Soho, where the shirt immediately stood out among the sea of chambray and gingham. I’m very tactile when I’m shopping; I tend to run my hands over clothes, and this felt substantial and a little vintage-y — between the exposed stitching, the dark wash, and the heavier denim fabric, it seemed like someone turned a pair of Levi’s 501s into a shirt. I wasn’t sure how I would wear it, but it was 30 percent off so I bought it. Needless to say, I’m glad I did.

When I wear it I feel like I’m channeling some sort of ’90s Jay Leno dad energy, but in a good way. Although it’s vintage-looking, it’s cut in a contemporary style so it’s still slim and form-fitting and cropped enough to wear untucked. I get compliments pretty much every time I wear it — and I wear it a lot, because it’s the ideal shirt for days when I want to dress up a bit, but not look too formal or generic. Neither too business casual nor too casual casual, the shirt hits a sartorial sweet spot. The dark wash and trim fit give it a dressier feel, but it’s still a denim shirt, so you look like you’re dressing up even though you aren’t really. It’s great for dates, nice restaurants, plays, or pretty much any situation when I’m not totally sure of the dress code. I even wore it to my job interview for the Strategist.

A funny thing that’s happened since I began wearing the shirt is I’ve started noticing it on a small group of guys with very specific — and in my opinion, very good — taste. You know how you always have that one friend whose style you want to copy? Well that friend of mine also has the shirt, and ever since we both wore it to the same party, I’ve taken to texting him in advance when I know we’re going to be in the same place: “FYI, I’m wearing THE SHIRT.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, the shirt has a few fans here at the Strategist, too. I was wearing it at the office one day and our senior editor Anthony Rotunno asked me about it; turns out he has it, too. As does our Resident Cool Guy Chris Black (who is wearing it in this picture). It’s like a denim shirt secret society.

J.Crew calls it “midweight” which I think is accurate. It’s not quite heavy enough to be an overshirt, but I’ve definitely worn it open over a T-shirt when it’s too cool out for short sleeves but too warm for a jacket. I think it’s probably at its best layered under a light jacket, but there are lots of options. If the slim fit sounds too trim for you, the shirt also comes in classic and tall cuts, too. J.Crew actually stopped carrying the shirt soon after I bought it, because I would look for it in store and online to no avail. But now, somehow, this fall, it’s back. The latest iteration of the shirt, I should note, isn’t exactly the same as mine, but it’s almost identical. I say this after going into a J.Crew store last week to see — and touch — the shirt, and confirming that the denim is the same heavy-but-not-too-heavy weight. The only discernible difference is that mine has that orangey stitching you see on Levi’s, whereas the new one has white stitching. In some ways I actually like the white better, because it’s a little more subtle. I’m a little worried the denim shirt mafia will be mad at me for sharing this with the world, but I feel like it’s my journalistic duty now that it’s back in stock. And right now, of course, you can get it on sale.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.


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Every Well-dressed Man I Know Seems to Own My Favorite Shirt
Every Well-dressed Man I Know Seems to Own My Favorite Denim Shirt (2024)


Which color denim shirt is best? ›

Denim shirts can come in all colours, but are most popular in standard indigo-wash colours. Choosing the right colour depends on the rest of your outfit and, to an extent, the formality of the event you're wearing it to. Navy wash (indigo) is the classic denim colour.

Are denim shirts in style for men? ›

The classic denim shirt matching jeans with denim-on-denim look is making a comeback, and it's hotter than ever! Pair your denim shirt with your favorite jeans and you're ready to hit the streets in style. The key is to choose a different shade of denim for different type of jeans, preferably a darker tone.

What color pants to wear with a denim shirt? ›

Denim shirts can be paired with various coloured jeans . You can go with dark blue or navy denims pairing it with your light blue denim shirt. You can wear black denims as well pairing it with your light blue denim shirt.

What are the big three denim brands? ›

Of course, there're way more important years and facts than just 10 about Levi's, Lee and Wrangler, but let's start highlighting just 10 of them. 10 important years of the three American denim brands that are also known as the Big 3.

What is the most successful denim brand? ›

Levi's. There's a reason Levi's jeans are worn by princesses, editors and Hollywood stars alike. Its cult 501s are without doubt the most famous denim style in the world, having been worn by everyone from a 1990s Winona Ryder to James Dean to Diana, Princess of Wales.

Should you tuck in a denim shirt? ›

Because it's a heavier fabric it creates that annoying muffin top around the top of your jeans/chinos. So just tucking the front in will avoid this. A tucked-in denim shirt creates a polished and well-structured look, which can be ideal for formal or semi-formal occasions.

Who makes the best denim western shirt? ›

The Best Western Shirts Hit List
  • The Authentic Pick: Wrangler Rodeo "Ben" Western Snap Shirt, $90.
  • The Budget Pick: Levi's Barstow Western Denim Shirt, $ 80 $54.
  • The 9-to-5 Pick: J.Crew Secret Wash Cotton Poplin Western Shirt, $98.
  • The Rough-and-Tough Pick: Wythe Moleskin Pearl Snap Shirt, $188.
Jan 26, 2024

How can you tell if denim is high quality? ›

Look for Durable Stitching

One of the best details to examine when trying to determine jeans' quality is the stitching around the hems, pockets, and side seams. The best stitching is visibly heavy so it's less likely to pull, split, or unravel under stress.

What to pair with a denim shirt? ›

A denim shirt looks great when paired with simple, classic pieces like black or blue jeans or a denim skirt. This is a great go-to outfit for everyday wear or casual events. 2- Dress it up with heels. A denim shirt can also be dressed up for a night out or a special occasion.

What pants go with denim shirt men? ›

For a casual look, pair it with dark-colored jeans or chinos. Light Denim Shirt: A light denim shirt is perfect for summer, and you can pair it with white jeans or chinos for a fresh and crisp look. For a casual look, pair it with blue jeans or shorts.

What jacket to wear with denim shirt men? ›

Opt for a blazer with a modern or slightly relaxed fit to complement the casual feel of the denim shirt.

How to wear a denim shirt in 2024? ›

Layer a white tank top underneath an open denim shirt to break up a matching top and jeans. Then, add a blazer and boots from the same color family like brown and taupe as pictured in this look. While denim shirts are most often styled with casual looks, opt for a polished skirt and add a pair of polished heels.

Which brand shirt is best quality? ›

  • List of Top Most Best Shirt Brands In India in 2024. This article makes it simpler and easier for you to search for the best brand shirts for men with detailed descriptions. ...
  • Peter England Shirt Brand In India 2024. ...
  • Levi's Brand Shirts. ...
  • Arrow Shirt Brand In India. ...
  • Raymond. ...
  • Jack and Jones. ...
  • Allen Solly. ...
  • Tommy Hilfiger.
Jan 10, 2024

What brand denim shirt does Ina Garten wear? ›

Garten held one of her signature button-down denim shirts from Talbots on a hanger off to the side.

What is high quality denim called? ›

Selvedge denim is known for its high quality and durability, woven on traditional shuttle looms. It is often recognized by the iconic red or white edge visible when the jeans are cuffed. This denim is a favorite among denim aficionados for its classic look and robust feel.


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