A Style Guide for Wearing Bleached Denim
There’s a reason why jeans have been considered a fashion staple for decades. The best jeans are comfortable, versatile, and lend an effortlessly cool, laid-back feel to any outfit. You can dress them up or down easily depending on the tops, shoes, and accessories you pair them with. And best of all, jeans are made in so many different cuts, fits, and washes that there’s something out there for everyone, no matter their style or body type, which is why we love them here!
While dark-wash denim is considered a timeless classic, bleached denim has been making a real comeback lately—and it’s not hard to see why. Light wash jeans provide a breezy contrast to the sleek, polished look of dark indigo denim. The slightly faded appearance makes even brand-new bleached jeans look pleasingly lived-in, with just a hint of wear. In a word, bleached denim is an apt fashion choice for those who want to look great without giving off the impression that they’re trying too hard.
If you’re new to the bleached denim craze or looking for new ways to style your favorite light wash jeans, you’ve come to the right place. The following helpful tips and ideas will help you carry off this trend like a pro:
Pay Attention to the Fit
When it comes to bleached jeans, getting the fit right is even more important than it is with dark-wash denim. Like any other light-colored garment, bleached denim will highlight everything—which means there’s no hiding an unflattering fit. Pants that squeeze you uncomfortably at the waistline or bunch loosely around the ankles will look even dumpier in a light wash. Hence, it’s worth taking the time to find a pair of bleached jeans that fits you well and also getting them tailored if necessary.
Slim-fit or tapered bootcut jeans are fairly safe and flattering cuts that most people will be able to pull off, as long as they fit. Not too tight or too loose as this will be highlighted with light fabric.
If you’re confident enough in your figure to go super skinny, you can invest in some quality denim leggings for a more modern take on bleached denim, as these wont squeeze you too much. And if you prefer to go the other way and lean hard into the retro look, mom jeans, flare jeans, and other baggier silhouettes (like the popular 90’s fits) will be your best friend. Think carefully about what cuts work for your body and for the types of looks you want to pull off, and you’ll find the perfect pair of bleached jeans in no time.
Embrace the Casual Vibe
Light-wash jeans are extremely casual, which is one of the reasons they’re such a staple of warm-weather wardrobes. They’re the ideal choice of bottoms if what you’re aiming for is a relaxed, easygoing, off-duty sort of ensemble. Thus, they’ll pair well with simple casual tops like T-shirts, tank tops, and oversized cardigans. Loose, slouchy button-downs are also a great choice if you’re aiming for a preppier look that’s not too put-together.
Light neutral tones like white, tan, and beige complement light wash jeans, and this combination of colors looks especially good for a casual outfit. You’ll get the sort of outfit that calls to mind long summer days of strolling along in the sun, feeling the breeze on your face, without a care in the world.
Go Soft and Feminine
Bleached jeans in soft shades of light blue or gray will complement dainty, feminine tops well. Match them with ruffles, puff sleeves, bows, or flowy silhouettes for a pretty warm-weather outfit you can wear anywhere. And don’t be afraid to reach for tops in vibrant colors or eye-catching patterns, as your jeans will be low-key enough to let these details shine front and center.
Dress Up Your Jeans
Although light-wash denim is the height of casual, choosing dressier pieces for the rest of your outfit can expertly elevate a pair of bleached jeans. Besides your choice of top, it’s equally important to consider your shoes and accessories carefully when you’re trying to work bleached denim into a dressy outfit. Heels and dainty jewelry work well if you’re angling for a feminine look, while structured outerwear like blazers and leather jackets can give your outfit a bit more edge.
One important thing to bear in mind if you’re trying to achieve this look is that you’ll want to approach similar levels of dressiness with your top and shoes to offset the casual feel of your jeans. Try not to match a more formal top with casual shoes, or vice versa, as doing so will just make your outfit feel unbalanced.
Contrast the Light Wash with Darker Tones
Dark colors like dark gray, navy, and full black are excellent for taking a pair of bleached denims into the fall and winter seasons. Because darker clothing tends to be more common overall during the cold months, you’re more likely to see other people in dark blue or even black jeans. Completing an otherwise dark-colored outfit with bleached jeans can provide an unexpected pop of brightness that makes you stand out from the crowd. Navy and bleached light blue work wonderfully well.
Though its light, bright hues might seem intimidating at first, you’ll soon find that bleached denim is wonderfully flexible. Invest in a pair of light jeans you love, and you can wear them year-round with all sorts of outfits.