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Here's the Funny History Behind Double Denim

Here's the Funny History Behind Double Denim
People also call it "Canadian tuxedo" for a reason.

"Double denim" is now a pretty common term, rolling off the tongues of cool kids and classicists alike as if it wasn't considered serious faux pas just over a decade ago. Pasts considered, did you know that the rather tricky look was first dubbed "Canadian tuxedo"? Tune in for a slice of sartorial history, kids. Classes commence! 

Ironically, the Canadian tuxedo is an American invention through and through. The moniker stems from just a day in Vancouver (one of Canada's main cities, so there you have it), when world-renowned crooner Bing Crosby was refused entrance into a hotel because of his outfit: head-to-toe denim. For era-appropriate context, note that back then, it was frowned upon to appear at upscale establishments wearing anything less than evening finery.


Word spread fast, far, and wide, all the way to the ears of jean genius Levi Strauss himself. As a hilariously sassy solution, the famous American brand designed an actual denim tuxedo for Bing, complete with a built-in corsage made of those tiny red Levi's label tabs you can find sewn into your 501s even today. The saltiest, funniest part? The jacket's inside was emblazoned with the words 'Message to Hotel Staff'. We're yelling.

The company officially presented it to him at the 1951 Silver State Stampede in Elko, Nevada. Bing was so amused by the tux that he went on to wear it to countless press events and performances; fashion, in turn, spun it into a look. That's proof nodding to the style set's obsession with defiance, we're guessing! Goes to show that if you're ever snubbed somewhere, hold your head high—you just might end up becoming a fashion statement.

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