Jeans and trousers

How to: Wear light-wash jeans

How to: Wear light-wash jeans

We’re always quick to recommend dark indigo jeans as they're so versatile, often looking just as good with a blazer as they do with a t-shirt. But that doesn't mean they're the only jeans worth wearing. 

Light-wash jeans' fading gives them a lived-in feel that's easy and fuss-free—and they can also be softer and more comfortable than dark denim jeans because of the way they're prewashed—so they're perfect for weekends. The trick to wearing them well comes down to highlighting their most obvious quality: their casualness.

Below, Thread stylist Millie Rich shares four tips on how to wear light-wash jeans well.

Photographed: Selected Homme navy Harrington jacket (£32); Research Garments grey sweatshirt (£35); A.P.C blue jeans (£135)

  1. Pair them with casual clothes in neutral colours. "Light-wash jeans will look their best with all the neutral colours you're already used to wearing—and with casual clothes rather than the likes of a blazer or smart leather shoes. The grey sweatshirt and navy jacket in this picture work well; shirts, jumpers and t-shirts in colours like navy, white and black would look good, too."
  2. Look for a pair that's mostly one colour. "Keep things simple with a nice, even pale blue. Most light-wash jeans are a bit more faded down the fronts of the legs than they are elsewhere, but if the colour difference is more than a shade or two it's really eye-catching—and not very flattering."
  3. Go for a slim or straight fit. "Skinny jeans in a light shade can make you look bigger than you are; dark denim is much more forgiving. Slim- or straight-leg lighter-denim jeans are more classic—and much more comfortable. They fit if you have about an inch or two to pinch in the thigh when you're standing up."
  4. Wear light-coloured shoes. "Shoes in lighter shades won't strike too dramatic a contrast with the jeans—again, go for casual over smart. Try grey, white or cream trainers, or light-brown suede desert boots."