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4 Ways to Wear Light Wash Jeans | Men’s Outfit Ideas

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If you’re wondering whether or not you can pull off light wash jeans – and how exactly you should wear them – these three outfit ideas will help. Big thanks to Mott & Bow for sponsoring this video!

Light wash denim has gone in and out of vogue for a long time. If you’re old enough to remember the 1980s, the term “light wash” probably conjures up images of slim, hip-hugging acid wash jeans. Can you smell the hairspray? If, like me, you grew up in the 90s, you probably picture grunge rock stars like Kurt Cobain wearing relaxed fit “dad jeans” and flannel button ups.

But, believe it or not, light wash denim is the original denim, which means it’s been around for over 150 years. It may not always be trending, but it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Maybe it has something to do with a resurgence of 90s era style, but light wash jeans have made a huge comeback over the past couple of years.

Most guys understand that a pair of fitted, dark wash, non-distressed jeans is one of the most important men’s wardrobe staples. But many men don’t wear lighter wash jeans, either because they don’t know how, or they just don’t own a pair. Personally, I love lighter colored denim. I think it’s a nice departure from the ubiquitous dark wash, and it allows us shorter guys to create some very flattering outfits that just aren’t possible with dark pants.

How, you ask? Well, if you want to look taller, you should avoid cutting yourself in half visually with contrast. This means that you couldn’t really wear a light colored shirt with dark wash jeans. It creates a stark line between your top and bottom halves. You could just stick with darker colored tops, but that really limits your choices. Lighter colors on top look great with lighter jeans, though, because together they create a streamlined look that elongates your figure.

With that in mind, here are three outfit ideas for light wash jeans, in order of formality – outfits start at

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  1. Ramiro Caicedo

    I had look # 4 in my trip to Ecuador. My blazer was handy to carry my passport, wallet, and cell phone. I had a crew neck sweater, and light brown brogues. Next time I can wear loafers or boots (to make easier and faster take out and inn shoes at the airports). Excellent video as always Brock

  2. Thomas C

    My lightest jeans are (or were) Unbranded raws with over two years of wear. I think lighter wash (or very worn raws) look great with a very white t shirt.

    Also, this video could be titled “How to fit in for your trip to Connecticut.”

  3. James Vincent

    Nice video. Just like you i am starting to wear them, they go great with lighter tops. As a short guy dark jeans with a lighter top can chop me in half making me look even smaller. Keep up the good work!

  4. Curtiss Wu

    Great video again! Have never worn light wash jeans in a more formal way before, but loving these outfits, especially the second and third ones. May possibly need hemming, but Levi’s 511 and 510 fit me great!

  5. Everett Darden

    Have a few pair of light and medium wash jeans, and until now have struggled with how to wear them. Like the look with the green jacket (which I have one), and really like the last look with the blazer. Will definitely be putting those in play. Thanks

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