Double denim and other trends making a comeback

Double denim, corduroy, a charcoal jacket with black trousers, knitted ties, chambray shirts, tan shoes and the colour burgundy.  What is this 1971?

These things are back in vogue, but if you want them to work, you'll need to follow a few rules.

It might feel like 1971 but worn with any of the above mentioned pieces and it's as fresh as 2011.

Let's start with the cool contrast of the charcoal jacket and black trousers. This is equally impressive in two tone greys as long as you keep the lighter colour on top (not a rule, but a preference).  Pants need to be slim and tapered (think Sammy Davis jnr), jackets need to fit short - this is not a suit.  Add a white shirt and a knitted tie and you've got yourself an outfit.  The guys at Drakes make a great knit tie.

With this outfit, a careful flouting of the rules works well, so a midnight blue tie will work beautifully (black and blue won't do), or opt for the colour of the moment, which is burgundy.  If it reminds you of a school uniform, channel those feelings of disdain as you rock this look as an alternative to the suit.

Double denim.  Crazy, right?  The Canadian Tuxedo of denim jacket and jeans is cool, rugged and ready for resurgence.  Don't ever match them - don't even buy the same brand. Don't have the same kind of denim or treatment. Instead, keep them as distinct as each other and get them fit snug.  Avoid check shirts because even though the Americana mountain men thing still rides high, in the middle of the city the extreme nature of this pairing carries less weight and is more of a look for actual lumberjacks.

An alternative to the denim jacket is the chambray or denim shirt.  This style can be found in just about every wash imaginable at the moment and is hard to fault.  The varying shades of indigo work well off chinos, black jeans and its denim brethren. There are Western cowboy varieties through to stiff, military styles.  Great for when your average poplin shirt is a little boring and played.  This shirt will still get you into the majority of establishments and provide you with a quiet fashionable edge without you really even doing anything different.

Corduroy.  I don't really believe that cords ever left, but for those who do, it's time you saw the benefits of the swishing leg.  Cut like jeans, they are an easily adopted piece, fitting in with your wardrobe like an old friend at a school reunion. Get a pair of boots underneath them and anything from a sweatshirt to a shirt and jacket on top.  This is the perfect extension of yourself and best when worn as a little slice of the seventies in earth tones or muted pastels, if you have the pins for it.

Burgundy.  It's simple, get some - a tie as mentioned above, a sweatshirt or knit, a T-shirt or some cords.  It might feel like 1971 but worn with any of the above mentioned pieces and it's as fresh as 2011.

Tan shoes. Common Projects offer all manner of colours of sneaker, but their tan rough cut play on their Achilles Low style, complete with leather boat shoe type laces, is the shoe for summer.  Buy them if you can.

As always, details are the key. Not everything has to scream, they just have to be right.  Don't cut corners on the key pieces; simply add these to your cycle with a subtle acknowledgement of the changes.

Do you have a denim jacket lurking in the back of your cupboard just waiting for another day in the sun? What do you think of the double denim look?

This article Double denim and other trends making a comeback was originally published in The Sydney Morning Herald.