Style: Denim Jackets and Chambray Shirts

secondhand stampede clothing in calgaryWe have tons of denim jackets, vests, and shirts, just in time for stampede! We carry a variety of styles and sizes for men, women, and kids. We have both classic jean jackets and shirts (including vintage “western” wear) as well as contemporary styles.

Denim jackets were first made to be a sturdy work garment and were originally marketed as a “work blouse” that had been created with durability and function in mind. Levi’s was one of the main manufacturers of jeans and other denim products, and they introduced many of the style elements that are now characteristic of the denim jacket. Their versions of the jacket between the 1940s and the 1960s included single-pocket western styles, and the well-known “trucker” jacket that has two pointed pockets. Over time, these durable garments were worn off the job, and gained even more visibility when they were adopted by famous actors and singers, and gradually evolved into the fashion item they are today.

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Children’s bolero-style cropped denim jacket Photo: Urban Thrift

The traditionally-cut denim jacket has a narrow shape through the body and a fit that hits just above the hip. In our men’s section, we have a variety of these jackets, from heavy denim ones to more laid-back and broken in styles. Our women’s and kid’s jackets feature tailored versions of this classic denim jacket, however, they also feature cropped jackets, moto-style jackets, and a variety of other cuts in the denim fabrics.

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For a lighter summer layering option, you can try out chambray shirts. Chambray looks a lot like denim but is a slightly different fabric. It is made from the same type of indigo and white thread, but is woven into a plain weave pattern rather than a twill one. The typical chambray woven shirt was designed as a work shirt, in the same way that most other denim garments were chosen for work wear due to their rugged and durable properties. Its functional shape was also put to use in the military: in the early 1900’s and WWII, chambray work shirts made up part of the Navy’s uniforms.

The cut of today’s chambray shirts is directly inspired by their functional predecessors, which featured a collar, buttoned pockets, and sleeves that were easy to roll up. The fit is generally the same for men and women, with only slight differences in sizing, buttons, and pocket placement. Some chambray shirts for women feature more decorative elements such as lace and accent buttons, and at Urban Thrift we also have chambray dresses in our Stampede wear section.

Our display pieces often pair chambray tops or jean jackets with bottoms of a different colour or material.  Where to buy cowboy clothingA double denim outfit with shades that are too similar can result in what some call the “denim tuxedo” or the “Canadian tuxedo”, because of the matching top and bottoms. One of our favourite fashion stories is about famous “denim tuxedo” look that was literally a custom-made tux. Singer Bing Crosby once showed up at a hotel in denim-on-denim and was almost refused service because his outfit. This is because his outfit wasn’t deemed suitable for the hotel’s formal dress code. When the Levi Strauss company found out about this incident, they made the singer an actual denim tuxedo, complete with a patchwork boutonniere made out of Levi’s trademark red tags. The tux was labeled with a note that stated that the wearer of the denim tux was to be allowed in any hotel, no matter how formal. It was signed by the president of the American Hotel Association.

 Will denim be a part of your stampede style this year?   What do you think of denim-on-denim or the chambray/denim pairing? Let us know what you think through this blog or through Facebook.

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