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Who’s Afraid of Double Denim?

Leave it to the Parisians to ace the “Canadian tuxedo.” Taking to Instagram recently with a series of street-style posts, the French photographer Ludovic Pieterson (@thestylearchivist) posted a reel titled “How people style total denim in Paris” and proved beyond any reasonable doubt that a style last in favor during the Rolling Stones’ “Voodoo Lounge” tour was back.

Fashion savants, of course, have been proclaiming the return of “double denim” for some time, predicting, with the bland assurance of carnival fortune tellers, that the future lies ahead. Yet, suddenly, in look after look, there was the proof: full denim outfits worn with theme-and-variation twists on a classic get-up comprising a denim trucker jacket and bluejeans, captured by Mr. Pieterson in seemingly every possible wash, permutation and silhouette.

Surely the best of these belonged to an anonymous man caught striding around a corner on the Right Bank, smack in the middle of the city’s old financial district, wearing aviator shades, an indigo four-pocket jacket that hit right at the waistline and some mid-blue jeans so crisp they could probably stand on their own. With the denim he wore a sharp white spread-collar shirt and a neatly knotted necktie. Possibly it was a Gallic touch too much that he had accessorized the look with a baguette tucked under one arm.

The next time naysayers cluck that the suit is dead, his is the image I’ll point to, with the admonishment that, four centuries into its evolution, the foolproof combination of jacket and trousers in matching fabrics seems as vital as ever.

One thing that time and recent events have altered is our relationship to the formality of traditional suiting and, for that matter, to formality itself. “Effortless is the new take on ‘I don’t care,’” the stylist Mark Avery said one recent morning from London. “Purposeful but casual,” he added, is the logical alternative to the schlumpiness of hoodies and sweats that dominated the early pandemic years.

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