At least according to your Style Guide author, there aren’t many areas where a great pair of dark blue denim won’t fit in. Yet, as temperatures warm up and we start to get fully into spring, there’s just something that feels right about lightening up, letting go and …. dare I say it … shelving your sturdy selvedge denim in favor of slim light wash denim. OK, there — I said it. If you normally stick with inky blue dark denim, it’s going to feel a bit odd reaching for a pair that’s both lighter in weight and lighter in color. Rest assured, though –reaching for light wash denim doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style points, fit or affordability. In fact, swapping in light wash denim in place of dark blue denim is a style move that’s easy to pull off when paired with classic spring (or summer) essentials. Be it teaming a pair of light wash denim with your favorite leather jacket or rocking them alongside refined suede Chelsea boots and a marled henley, you still get nearly the same versatility compared to classic dark blue denim. If that sounds like something you’re interested in, I’ve got just the #menswear shopping list for you. Let me know what you think in the comments, and drop me a line on The Style Guide Facebook page if ever you’ve got a question.
#1. Nudie Jeans Grim Tim — $226
Right out of the gate, we’re recommending you go with a higher-than-average quality pair of denim — hence, the higher price tag. After all, if you’re only going to start with one pair of light wash denim, why not make it something eye-catching, unique and sharp, like the Grim Tim? Ya dig? These jeans are made from organic fibers and feature two percent stretch, in addition to a unique “Salty Summer” wash that’s practically begging to be worn on spring break or better yet, an upcoming summer road trip.
Leave it to your favorite menswear designer — or rather, my favorite menswear designer — to craft a pair of light wash denim that actually toes the line between dark and light. This pair is an easy-to-wear, high-quality and yes, super-pricey way to dip your toes into the pool that is expertly faded denim. And while we all love a crisp pair of dark blue selvedge denim, a lighter wash is sometimes the way to go — and there’s no question that you could stil wear the Todd Snyder Medium Indigo Wash Selvedge with everything from a khaki blazer to a slim pocket tee.
We’re back to what you might call a true pair of light wash denim for entry No. 3 in our latest Online Shopping Picks list. It should come as no surprise that as the menswear calendar continues to roll on, Abercrombie and Fitch gets better and better. From cold weather picks like the brand’s Chamois Shirt to spring-friendly pieces like these tailored light wash jeans, A&F really is turning into a one-stop shop. Know that they also offer Straight and Slim fits in a variety of denim washes — again, they’re a one-stop shop!
#4. Nudie Jeans Lean Dean — $200
As first seen in this site’s feature on how to dress for the NCAA Tournament, the Nudie Jeans Lean Dean makes an appearance on this list that’s rightfully deserved. Featuring unique design touches — like orange stitching and copper trims — this particular pair favors a less extreme wash than the Grim Tim, yet it’s still a striking pair of light wash denim in its own right. The Lean Dean also features one percent stretch and a tailored fit; try these guys with a slim black leather jacket for a bit of throwback style as you head to your next rock concert.
#5. Old Navy Built-In Flex Slim Jeans — $38
It’s hard to argue with a slim, well-fitting and nicely priced pair of denim from a reliable standby like Old Navy — right? The brand’s styling potential has improved markedly over the years, and if you want a pair of denim that works with a broken-in pocket tee or a casual polo, this is the pair for you. They’d also look just right atop classic chukka sneakers and, say, a tough leather jacket this spring. Again, you’re doing just fine if you pick these up.
Although at first it might feel odd trading in your trusty dark blue denim for light wash denim — as we discussed at the start of the post — it’s actually a style switch that can pay dividends. In terms of unique looks and easygoing wearability, light wash denim takes the cake. The lighter weight and lighter color are practically made for spring (and summer!), and you still get tremendous fit and excellent quality — particularly if you snag a pair like the lauded Nudie Jeans Grim Tim or the Nudie Jeans Lean Dean. Plus, plenty of affordability is in the mix, too — just look at the price point on that Old Navy denim. Now, narrowing down any list can be difficult, so I’d urge you to hit me up on Twitter if you need your questions on light wash denim answered. Until then, let’s prep for spring in style — shall we?
See you out there,