How to Wear Light Wash Jeans (Men)

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How to Wear Light Wash Jeans (Men)

Here I’m talking about how to wear light wash jeans for men.

Lighter wash and medium wash jeans are really fashionable right now, as you may have seen.

But maybe you don’t know how to wear them or don’t have any yet. So, I’m just going to talk about how to wear lighter wash jeans and show you some outfit samples.

For a long time, light wash denim has been in and out of style.

If you grew up in the 1980s, acid wash jeans and huge hair come to mind, and you can almost smell the hairspray right now.

If you grew up in the 1990s like me, you probably think of Grunge Rock and Kurt Cobain and flannel shirts.

I’m not sure why it’s so popular at the moment. Perhaps it has something to do with the revival of 90s fashion.

Lighter jeans appeal to me since they allow you to experiment with a wider color palette in your wardrobe, and especially for shorter guys, you don’t have to just wear dark colors anymore.

I know we’re usually told that dark colors slim you down and make you appear taller, but there are times when you just want to wear lighter hues.

Rather than dark wash jeans, a lighter color shirt looks better with lighter wash jeans. Because if you’re a shorter guy, you’ll want to minimize the horizontal contrast that visually divides you in half.

How to Wear Light Wash Jeans

With that in mind, here are four examples of outfits that feature medium to light wash jeans, organized by formality.

Let’s start with the most casual.

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Style 1

Lighter jeans are ideal for producing casual, laid-back looks that are quite fresh.

For instance, a light gray t-shirt and a navy hoodie with lighter skinny jeans that fit like slim jeans. Then there’s a pair of sneakers to finish off the look. You could wear whichever sneakers you chose here, including New Balance, Adidas, and Converse.

This is a simple, fresh casual dress that is ideal for weekend errands. It is very casual. It isn’t fit for work or any other situation. However, this dress is really comfortable and casual, and I adore it.

Style 2

Swap a t-shirt for a polo if you want to take things up a level in terms of formality while still keeping things casual.

A light gray polo, for example, from Peter Manning. Swap a nylon windbreaker for the hoodie, which is slightly more formal than a hoodie but still a fairly casual garment. Then swap to gray suede chukka boots to replace the sneakers.

Again, this is a very casual, extremely comfortable, and easy to wear outfit, but it has a somewhat sharper look than the first very casual outfit.

This is still most likely a weekend look. Wear it for going out, running errands, and other such activities.

Style 3

In terms of formality, we’re taking it up a notch.

Let’s swap the polo with a heathered white button-up shirt. Then, under an olive field jacket, wear a navy blue light quilted vest, and swap the gray suede boots with tan Chelsea boots, which are a touch more formal and dressier than chukka boots.

These are colors that can be used in many situations. I have quite a few in my closet. This outfit is pretty simple to put together, and it’s still a casual outfit, but it’s a step up.

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This is something you could wear on a date. Unless you work in a really casual setting, you probably wouldn’t wear this to work.

How to Style Light Wash Jeans Men

Style 4

The last outfit is a little dressier, and I know some people ask if lighter wash jeans can be dressed up, and the answer is yes, to some extent.

The first time I saw someone really nailing the dressed-up lighter washed denim look, I was blown away.

Slim cut, light wash jeans, a white Oxford, cotton button-down, a bespoke sport coat, and olive suede loafers completed his ensemble.

It just looks so fresh, and everything fits so well, and it reminded me that lighter wash denim can certainly be dressed up, and I want to give it a go.

I wore a white button-up shirt from Jack’s Everett, which has a contrast placket, which is a wonderful little accent. Then came jeans, a pair of Jay Butler perforated loafers with a matching belt, and a Gant Rugger sport coat.

The coat has no shoulder padding and is completely on-line. It has the appearance of a cardigan rather than a blazer or sport coat. It’s clearly a summer garment, and I love how casual it is. I’ve cuffed the sleeves just a smidgeon.

It’s a little dressier, but it’s still very casual, very laid-back, it feels very effortless, it’s really comfy, and it’s ideal for casual Fridays or if you work in a casual office and want to dress it up a little bit.

What you’re doing here is just adopting a work casual ensemble and substituting lighter wash jeans for the trousers, such as wool trousers.

It simply gives the entire ensemble a different vibe, a much more laid-back casual vibe, which I really like.

About Light Wash Jeans

The benefits of light wash denim are numerous.

This type of denim is less stiff and has a more forgiving quality than dark-wash jeans.

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They also look great with a variety of colors and textures. Since they are lighter than dark-wash jeans, they pair well with a range of sweaters, as well as neutral or black boots.

Another benefit is that light-wash denim is versatile. This type of denim is suitable for any season, making them the ideal garment to wear no matter the season.

Whether you’re wearing them in the summer or the spring, light-wash jeans are a good choice for everyday styling. The light color of these denims complements most colors.

Unlike dark-washed denim, light-wash denim goes with anything. Its neutral tone serves as a grounding base for bright colors and lends a slightly airy effect to darker hues.

It also complements bright colors well and adds a crisp feel to a more sophisticated outfit. To ensure a great fit and the best possible look, make sure the denim is in excellent condition.

How to Style Light Wash Jeans (Men)


  • Christopher

    Christopher has 9+ years of experience as a creative fashion designer who stays current with the latest trends.

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