Light wash jeans and lavender TiBi blouse

Light Wash Jeans are VERY “In”…

Consider this post another page from the chronicles of The Wardrobe Consultant private clients… Lately, light wash jeans have been showing up on the shopping list of many of our clients. It’s mostly newer clients because we started sprinkling lighter washes into the wardrobes of our on-going clientele back in 2018. However, when we first make the suggestion, the questions are often the same. Maybe you’ll relate…

But, is light wash in?
Does light wash match? I think it’s hard to wear.
But will light wash make my, you fill in the blank (butt, thighs, stomach, calves) look big?
Can I wear a light wash in the winter?

The answers are YES, YES, NO and YES! In that order.

Light wash denim is an easy update

It doesn’t matter what style jean you favor, straight, skinny, boyfriend, paper bag, wedgie – they all come in a light wash option. And adding that lighter color to your jean repertoire is a quick and easy wardrobe update. And who doesn’t like quick and easy, right??

Now, let’s take each question/hesitation and address them one by one…

Yes, a Light wash is totally in.

With all fashion, the pendulum swings from one extreme to the other – back in the day it was all acid wash, then dark wash and now the light is in again. Seeing the variation in the denim and catching the undertones are a lot of the elements that give an outfit depth and character. A light wash feels less stuffy than a solid dark. It gives the casual vibe without needing to have holes and a lot of distressing, so it’s particularly good for women of a certain age that feel uncomfortable wearing ripped up denim.

Yes, Light wash matches everything!

In fact, I’d even argue it goes with more than a dark wash. A light wash denim flows effortlessly with your other neutrals like black, white and grey. BUT it also plays so nicely with your nudes, creams, camels, and pastels too. Those colors can often look too tonally different when paired with dark denim. And you know those nude booties sitting in your closet? Denim in a light wash are their BFF. They look amazeballs together! White sneakers too – they play really well with lighter jeans.

No, they will not make you look bigger on the bottom!

Unlike a white jean that can sometimes be challenging to wear, (Ummm, hello panty lines and cellulite). Jeans in a light wash are still denim and therefore are more forgiving because of the heft in the fabric. Also, the light wash can visually help balance your upper and lower body in a proportional way.

Yes, you can wear light wash all year long!

100%! This denim wash is a nice alternative to white in the summer (and it’s typically pretty comfortable because it’s prewashed and soft). And in the winter it looks perfect with chunky knits in neutral colors and luggage colored boots. I also love pairing light denim with black leather to soften the look.

Light Wash Jeans at All Price Points

So are you team light wash? Or are you a tried and true dark wash girl? Comment and let me know…


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Photo: Karolina Ciepiel

Thank you to Saks Fifth Ave (Beachwood) for a super fun NYFW event and the talented Rachel Myong Christian for the illustration.

Outfit details: Top (my color is old but there are some stunning colors available this season) All of the pieces in this outfit are OLD – like many years old. Jeans circa 2014, Belt circa 1999, Necklace circa 2012, Shoes circa 2001. So totally not linkable – sorry! But it does go to show good pieces are always in fashion.


Cleveland-based personal stylist and fashion blogger.

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