Light Wash Jeans Are The Underrated Denim Trend Finally Getting Some Attention

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If you've got a pair of light wash jeans that are collecting dust in your dresser drawer or you simply have a dream of creating the perfect 'fit around some light denim, your day has come. Light wash jeans are having a moment, and you're gonna want to be prepared for this trend this upcoming season. Light wash jeans have a lighter, airier, more laidback feel, and this is a perfect match for the upcoming warmer months.


Jean trends are all over the place at the moment, and this means that there are so many options when it comes to fit and style. This is great for everyone because it's easier than ever to find jeans that fit your personal style while still being on trend. As a result, we think this is great timing for the light wash jean renaissance, because these days, there's way more than just one way to rock an ensemble with lighter jeans. We've got all our favorite ways to rock the look, no matter what your denim preferences may be.

Classic casual

There's no outfit quite as classic as jeans and a t-shirt, and light wash denim is a perfect match for this look. To have this go-to ensemble on hand as we move into the warmer months, you'll need a pair of comfortable straight or wide leg jeans. And, remember: when we say comfortable, we mean comfortable. If you're investing in a pair of everyday light wash denim, make sure it's a bit roomy, so it's actually something you want to grab regularly. The rise you choose is up to you, but you'll want to style them according to what you pick to make sure that your proportions are on point.


When it comes to graphic tees to pair with your jeans, opt for fitted t-shirts or ones that are baggy and cropped. You can always tie up or crop old, oversized tees for that extra comfy, vintage-inspired look that is sure to be a go-to all summer long. 


Joggers are not what most of us usually think of when it comes to jeans, of course, but as far as light wash denim goes, this style is a surprisingly great option to have in your closet. Joggers have a slightly sportier, more laidback vibe than regular jeans, and they're equipped with elastic around the ankles that are often paired with a drawstring waist. Thanks to their adjustable, slouchy nature, they tend to be superior when it comes to the ever-important comfortability factor. 


Like all jeans, denim joggers come in plenty of options that can work for different occasions. You can opt for a high rise pair like these ones, which could be paired with a crop top and a pair of sneakers. You could also try some lower rise, distressed joggers like this pair, which are basically like the jeans version of sweatpants. And, who wouldn't want that as an option in their closet? While denim joggers may not be the most versatile pair of jeans you own, they're definitely worth having for certain ensembles. 

Light wash does not have to equal casual

Most of us tend to think of light wash denim as something that's always super casual and just gets thrown on with sneakers when it's time to run errands. This misconception has kept light wash jeans pigeonholed for a long time and thought of as something that can never be fashionable or elevated. That's all changing these days, however, and we're seeing just how versatile light wash denim can really be. You no longer have to pull out your darker wash jeans when you want to look a bit more dressed up. Instead, you need a pair of light wash, straight leg jeans that fits you perfectly. After that, it's all about the styling. 


This light wash jeans and white tee pairing could have looked great with a pair of white sneakers and a cardigan. Yet, when a few pieces are swapped out for a bold blazer, a skinny belt, and some heeled sandals, suddenly this look is totally elevated, and it looks much chicer and summertime friendly than it would had the jeans been a darker wash. 

Pair high rise with crop tops

Crop tops and oversized pants are a summer outfit dream for those of us who love playing with proportion. This just so happens to work perfectly with the light wash denim trend, since high-wasted and light wash is a foolproof combination when it comes to choosing cute jeans for the spring and summer months. Most of us know that high rise pants look perfect with crop tops since they emphasize your waist and give you an instant outfit with great proportions. The next step to making this pairing work is choosing wide leg denim. According to the VP of women's design at AYR, Brigette Deshais, "Bigger bottoms just feel so cool for spring because you can wear them with feminine or fitted tops and strike a really nice balance," per The Zoe Report. Wider-legged pants balance out the small, sleek top perfectly and can help you to stay cool in the summer sun without feeling extra exposed. 


Investing in a nice pair of high-waisted light wash jeans like these Levis is one of the best wardrobe staples you can have for the coming months. You can swap different crop tops and shoes in and out to totally change the vibe of your ensemble while always staying cute and on-trend. 

Denim on denim is 'in'

We know; we know — the Canadian tuxedo is notoriously controversial. But, denim-on-denim has come a long way since the early aughts. The key to this look is, of course, all about how you style it. But, it just so happens that denim-on-denim tends to look lighter, less overwhelming, and a bit less cowboy-chic when done in a light wash. Furthermore, you should think a lot about fit when trying this trend. If you have an oversized denim jacket, opt for something fitted underneath and a straighter leg, more tapered jean. If you have wide leg, baggy jeans, go for a cropped denim jacket or a tied-up denim shirt.


And, as surprising as it might be, you can wear denim with denim shoes without it being weird – plus, this gives you a whole new way to rock the denim-on-denim trend. How cool would these JW PEI mule sandals look peeking out from underneath the hem of some light wash jeans? 

Make low rise work with balance

"There's been such an evolution lately, especially when it comes to the rise of a jean, which has been exciting to see," design director of AGOLDE, Erin Meehan told The Zoe Report. "While high rises are still so flattering and relevant, we're seeing low rises continuing to uptrend." Yes — low rise jeans are still very much 'in,' but since their return, they've made just as many enemies as they have fans. While low rise pants are definitely on-trend at the moment, that doesn't mean that they're the only option if this look is totally not your style. Yet, if you're looking to make your foray into the world of low rise jeans, sporting them in a light wash is a great way to do it. 


Once again, balance is key to making this style work. Low rise will tend to look best with slightly longer crop tops. If you choose to pair low rise jeans with a super cropped top, balancing this out with baggy, wide leg jeans and a long-sleeve crop top are great ways to make this silhouette feel on-trend and put-together. To many folks' surprise, cargo jeans are also 'in,' and when worn in a light wash and low rise, this style can be utterly cool. 

Distressed is best

Ripped jeans are basically always cool — especially when the warm weather sets in. There's something about a light wash that goes perfectly with distressing, as it complements the effortless vibes perfectly. Of course, there are tons of different types of distressed jeans that can fit plenty of different aesthetics, whether you want to look beachy and laidback or try out the 2023 indie sleaze trend


Pair high rise distressed jeans like this pair with a crochet crop top and some sandals for a sweet, summery ensemble, or style a lower rise pair like these with a tank and booties for a night out. Like light wash jeans in general, light wash distressed denim no longer needs to be designated for super casual occasions only. Light wash distressed jeans can be dressed up just as easily as other styles; they'll just add a little bit more edginess to your look than a fully in-tact pair.

Embrace the mom jeans

We all know that loose denim is 'in,' and we need to prepare for skinny jeans not coming back. There's really no better or easier way to do this than with mom jeans. Some of us who grew up in the skinny jean generation just can't wrap our heads around the added bulk of wider leg jeans. If you can relate to this, a mom jean is a great solution for you. Mom jeans are high-waisted but have a relaxed fit throughout, with a leg that tapers in slightly toward the ankle to give a bit of shape. Mom jeans in a light wash give off a classic look and are perfect when paired with sneakers or sandals and a simple tank top, fitted tee, or button-down shirt. 


Because of the relaxed nature of mom jeans, they do have the potential to look dated or add too much extra volume to your silhouette. Consequently, you should aim to style the ensemble with balanced proportions by choosing fitted tops, crop tops, or bodysuits.