4 Ways to Wear Light Wash Jeans | Men's Outfit Ideas (2023)


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

▪ Jeans → rstyle.me/n/ctme4qn4v6
▪ T-shirt → fave.co/2gFGtDF
▪ Hoodie → fave.co/2wHbRIO
▪ Sneakers → geni.us/NfggAU
▪ Jeans → rstyle.me/n/ctme4qn4v6
▪ Polo → fave.co/2x1I4v8
▪ Windbreaker → rstyle.me/n/ctme77n4v6
▪ Chukkas → rstyle.me/n/ctme8hn4v6
▪ Watch → geni.us/UWI8
▪ Jeans → rstyle.me/n/ctme4qn4v6
▪ Shirt → sold out
▪ Boots → fave.co/2xqGZwp
▪ Jacket → fave.co/2wHltU4
▪ Watch → geni.us/zQItM
▪ Jeans → rstyle.me/n/ctme4qn4v6
▪ Shirt → fave.co/2xq3z82
▪ Loafers → fave.co/2xqGdiA
▪ Jacket → fave.co/2gFdobA

▪ 5 Ways to Dress Taller → youtu.be/BqoC9S09zLo
▪ 7 Best Color Combos → youtu.be/hCH4pVNniFY

▪ Shirt → sold out
▪ Watch → geni.us/zQItM

▪ Canon T6i → geni.us/4kSX
▪ Laptop → fave.co/2hgKaDF
▪ Laptop stand → fave.co/2vQwBj3
▪ Lens #1 (50mm) → geni.us/OiE9
▪ Lens #2 (10-18mm) → geni.us/qgGQckE
▪ Lens #3 (24mm) → geni.us/x61A
▪ Lav mic → geni.us/ZBlvGh
▪ Desk mic → geni.us/wCdS7t2

YOUTUBE MUSIC → goo.gl/UhwtMb

▪ Free E-Books → mdst.mn/guide-pack
▪ Premium Guide → mdst.mn/tmmsg

▪ Podcast → fave.co/2vej94M
▪ Instagram → www.instagram.com/modestmanstyle/
▪ Twitter → twitter.com/modestmanstyle
▪ Facebook → www.facebook.com/modestmanblog/
▪ Private Group → www.facebook.com/groups/modestmen

Contains affiliate links // Stay stylish!


What's up guys! Brock here from The Modest Man.

Today, we're talking about how to wear light wash jeans.

Okay! So.

You have probably noticed that lighter wash and medium wash jeans are pretty popular right, now.

But, maybe you're not sure how to wear them.

Maybe you don't own a pair yet.

So, I'm, going to show you some example outfits and we're just going to talk about how to wear lighter, wash jeans, especially as a shorter man., Okay! Big, thanks to Mott & Bow, for sponsoring this video, for hooking me up with a pair of their lighter, wash jeans to use as an example.

If you've been following The Modest Man for a while, then chances are, you've already seen me wearing Mott & Bow jeans.

I've had a pair of their darker wash jeans for a couple years now, and they are some of my favorites.

Mott & Bow is a relatively young brand, but they've really exploded in popularity and I.

Think there's a couple reasons behind that.

Number one.

Their jeans are incredibly comfortable, and personally, I, like jeans, that are very comfortable right out of the box, and Mott & Bow jeans, definitely fit the bill.

Number two, I, like jeans, that are durable, that are gonna last for a long time.


They have to be made well from you, know, quality, materials., Three, I.

Think Mott & Bow offers a lot of value.

You know since they're, an online direct consumer, company.

They, don't have retail stores and stuff like that to kind of inflate the margin, so you're, not paying for the label or anything like that., And then.

The final thing: that's kind of cool about Mott & Bow, that I haven't seen other brands do is.

When you're ordering, you can actually order two sizes, and then it return the one that doesn't fit, using a prepaid, label.

For example.

If you don't know, if you're a size, 28 or size 30, you can order both and then just return, the one that doesn't fit.

So, there's a discount and a link down in the description.

If you haven't checked out, Mott & Bow yet, be sure to do that., Okay! Light, wash denim has gone in and out of vogue for a very long time.


If you grew up in the 80s, you know, you probably picture like acid, wash jeans and big hair, and you can probably smell the hairspray right, now.

If you're like me, and you grew up in the 90s, you probably think of like Grunge Rock and like Kurt, Cobain and flannel shirts and I.

Don't know why it's extra popular right, now., You know.

Maybe it has something to do with the kind of resurgence of 90s style.

I, really like lighter jeans, because it allows you to use a whole different, color palette in your wardrobe, and especially for shorter guys.

You don't have to just wear dark colors, anymore., You, know, I know we're always told that dark colors are slimming and dark colors make you look taller, but sometimes.

You want to wear lighter colors like this shirt for example.


It looks better with lighter wash jeans rather than dark, wash jeans because as a shorter guy, you want to reduce that horizontal contrast that kind of cuts you in half visually.

So, with that in mind.

Here are four example: outfits featuring medium to light, wash jeans and will go in order of formality.

So, starting with the most casual.

Lighter jeans are perfect for creating casual, laid-back, very fresh kind of outfits.

For example, a lighter t-shirt, in this case, just a light gray t-shirt and a hoodie, a navy hoodie.

These lighter jeans from Mott & Bow in their skinny fit, which kind of fit like slim, fit on me, and then a pair of my favorite sneakers, the Onitsuka Tigers.

You could wear whatever sneakers you wanted.

Here, you know, New, Balance, Adidas, Converse, whatever.


This is just kind of a fresh casual outfit, perfect for running errands on the weekends.

You know.

It is very, very casual.

So, you know.

It's not appropriate for work or anything like that., But, very comfy, very casual and you know, I love this kind of outfit.

Okay! If.

You want to step things up.

One notch in terms of formality, but still keep things pretty casual.

You can swap a t-shirt out for a polo.

In this case, it's light gray polo from Peter Manning.

I've swapped, the hoodie out for a nylon windbreaker, which again is just a little more formal than a hoodie, but still a very casual jacket and then swapped, the sneakers out for gray, suede, chukka, boots., So, again very casual, very comfy, easy to wear outfit, but it looks just a little sharper than that.

First super casual, outfit.

So, you know.

This is still probably a weekend: outfit.

You, know, wear it for going out or running errands or stuff like that.

Okay! So, stepping things up, one more notch in formality.

I have swapped the polo out for a button-up shirt., It's kind of like a heathered, white button-up shirt and then wearing a navy blue light.

Quilted vest, under a olive field jacket, and then swapped, the gray suede boots out for tan chelsea boots, which are just a little more formal, little dressier than chukka boots.


These are versatile.


I have a lot of them in my wardrobe.


It's very easy to put together this outfit, and this is just.

You know, still a casual outfit, but one step, up.


You could wear this for.

You know going out., Probably, wouldn't wear this to work.

Unless you work in a very casual environment.

And, then the last outfit we'll look at is a little dressier, and I know some people, wonder if you can actually dress up lighter wash jeans and the answer is yeah.

You definitely can, to an extent.


Remember the first time I saw somebody really nailing the dressed up, lighter washed denim look.

It was Tanner.


Tanner was wearing these slim fit, light wash jeans.

Oddly enough, there were also from Mott & Bow cause I.

Remember asking him because I just loved the way they looked, and he was wearing a white Oxford, cotton button-down, a custom sport coat and then these olive suede, loafers.

It just looks so fresh and everything fit really well.

And that's when I remember thinking okay, you can definitely dress up lighter wash denim and I want to try that.

So, here, I'm wearing a white button-up shirt from Jack's Everett, and it's got that contrast, placket, which is kind of a nice little detail.

The Mott & Bow jeans, a pair of perforated loafers from Jay Butler, with a matching belt and then a Gant Rugger sport, coat.

It's, totally on lines.

No shoulder padding.

It almost wears like a cardigan more than like a blazer or a sport.


It's, definitely like a warmer weather, piece and I, just really like it, because it's so casual.

I've got the sleeves cuffed, just a tiny bit and then I've swapped out my Wayfarer style sunglasses for some navy aviators from Warby Parker.

So, it's a little dressier, but it's still kind of casual, still very laid-back.

You know.

It feels very effortless, it's very comfortable, and this would be perfect.

For, you know, casual Fridays, or if you work in a casual workplace, you know.

If you want to dress it up a little bit., What, you're kind of doing here, is you're just taking like a business, casual outfit and you're, just swapping out the trousers, like wool trousers or something for lighter, wash jeans.


It just gives the whole outfit like a different vibe, like a much more, like laid back casual vibe and I personally, really really like it.

Okay!, So, I'd love to hear from you.

Do, you wear light wash jeans? Do.

You have any? Do, you like wearing them? Are you confused about how to wear them? Did this help? If.

You have any questions about lighter, wash jeans or Mott & Bow.

Please let me know down in a comments and until next time, stay stylish!.


What color t-shirt goes with light wash jeans? ›

Light blue jeans mostly favor neutral or light-colored shirts. White and grey are the two most suitable colors for a light blue jeans combination. You can also try on some of the dark blue shades or black colored shirts with your light blue jeans.

Do light wash jeans go with everything? ›

The easy answer is, you can wear anything you want! Every color looks great with light wash jeans. Try these: bold colors.

Are light wash jeans in style 2023? ›

Lived-in medium and light denim washes have been dominant for the last several years, but we're seeing more dark-wash denim for spring 2023. The deeper wash adds an element of polish and sophistication that make these jeans the perfect piece for transitioning from day to night.

What color shoes go with light wash jeans? ›

Best Shoe Colors for White/Cream Jeans
Jeans ColorPreferable Shoe Colors
Medium-Light or Mid-Wash JeansLight-to-medium brown, beige, burnt or bright orange, white, black, or light grey shoes
Lighter or Stonewashed JeansLight colors like beige, white, tan, and light brown Dark colors like navy, purple and red shoes.
4 more rows
Jun 14, 2022

What time of year should you wear light wash jeans? ›

Yes, you can wear light wash all year long!

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.

Do light jeans go with dark clothes? ›

And black looks great with light wash jeans as well. This outfit is one of my all-time favorites. Light wash jeans also look amazing with light neutrals like white, khaki, and camel.

When can you wear light wash jeans? ›

Light wash jeans are a staple in the spring and summer, but how do they work in the winter? Here are a couple of tips to style them during the colder months. I love my light wash jeans, but typically only reach for them during the warmer months.

What color shoes to wear with jeans? ›

The Best Colour Footwear to Pair with Jeans

Most colours of shoes will work white denim and we especially prefer darker colours like black, brown, and navy.

What color jeans are most flattering? ›

Darker-colored jeans are helpful to smooth bulges while lengthening the silhouette. In order to achieve a stylish look, though, it's better to opt for hues that have a slight variation in color (washed-black jeans or dark grey ones are nicer and more versatile than black-beyond-any-doubt ones).

Can you wash light jeans with other clothes? ›

You can wash most jeans with other dark-colored clothes, though some manufacturers will recommend washing jeans separately. Follow the care instructions on your jeans. Never wash jeans with whites or other light colors. Turn them inside out and zip up any zippers, which can snag onto other clothes.

What is the trend for jeans 2023? ›


Style Notes: If you invested in a pair of trending wide-leg jeans last year, rest assured this is no flash-in-the-pan buy; wide-leg denim is here to stay for 2023. The clue is in the name. Look for classic shades of blue to make this silhouette feel its most refined.

What style jeans will never go out of style? ›

There are many jeans styles to choose from today, but skinny jeans are a modern staple that fits and flatters so well it's not going anywhere. Discover more about how this denim style gained popularity and why it's an enduring favorite, plus get expert tips on how to get the chicest looks with your skinny jeans.

Can you wear light wash jeans with black shoes? ›

If you're going to wear black shoes with jeans, we recommend that the jeans be dark. Light denim will take to black shoes, but a lighter-colored shoe will work better. Also, keep this combination to the evening hours.

What to wear with light wash grey jeans? ›

Wear your light grey jeans with a light blue or white shirt for an office-accommodating outfit. The standard go-to would be a navy blue or dark blue blazer layering a dress shirt. Your footwear choices ought to be restricted to leather shoes or brogues unless you have choice to go for loafers as casuals to work.

How do you style light wash jeans in the winter? ›

Play With Color

The quickest way to a winter-appropriate ensemble is to reach for hues that are on-trend for the season. Top your light wash jeans with rich tones like mustard, burgundy and teal for an instant fall-feel. Don't be afraid to mix two bold colors together, after all, the sun is setting way too early.

What month do you stop wearing white jeans? ›

How long after Labor Day can you wear white? The rule states that after Labor Day, white should be retired from your wardrobe. Then once Memorial Day rolls around in May, the gates are re-opened.

When should I stop wearing white jeans? ›

The old-fashioned decree bans us from wearing white during the winter and spring, from Labor Day in September till May Day (another day designated to celebrate workers' rights). One popular theory dates back to the early 1900s.

How many times should you wear new jeans before washing? ›

"Denim is a thick fabric (unlike your average T-shirt) so you can get away with more wears between washes. We recommend washing after 10 or so wears—or whenever jeans smell stale or unpleasant.

Are light jeans too casual? ›

Business casual jeans are acceptable in a range of colors or shades—from dark to light, but are safer when they aren't distressed. No visible distressing.

Can you mix light and dark jeans? ›

Separate light and dark jeans.

You may think that it's safe to wash all your jeans together in one load but do so and the extra dye often put on dark denim to make it look dark can transfer to light-colored fabrics. It's best to wash and dry them in separate loads.

What is the most versatile color of jeans? ›

The classic dark blue jeans are the most versatile pair of jeans you'll ever own. Dress it up with a sports jacket, button down shirt and a pair of brown dress shoes or dress them down completely with a t-shirt and sneakers. The dark blue jeans can be styled in many different ways to suit several occasions.

Are light wash jeans casual? ›

This type is at least two shades lighter than medium-wash jeans. It's the go-to pick for the summer and casual events. It's not advised to wear light wash denim to work or formal events. However, it's picture-perfect when you pair medium straight-leg jeans with a tank top, a white t-shirt, or a casual graphic tee.

What do you wear with light blue? ›

The colors that pair well with light blue include:
  • Dusty rose.
  • Peach.
  • Lavender.
  • Lilac.
  • Navy blue.
  • Midnight blue.
  • White.
  • Cream.

What color shirt goes with dark wash jeans? ›

Here's the best part: with dark was jeans, you can wear pretty much any color t-shirt you like. Want to keep things simple and understated? Go with white, black or grey.

Which color jeans goes with everything? ›

The Most Versatile Color Jeans

The goal is for jeans to be the canvas, not the subject of the painting. Dark indigo is the most versatile color, but dark blue, dark grey, and black can work as well.

Do sneakers look good with jeans? ›

As cute as sandals and boots can look with jeans, we're here to remind you that comfortable sneakers can really top off a denim ensemble. Especially if you do a lot of walking in your jeans (or even just running errands), your best bet in terms of comfort, stability, and support is a good pair of sneaks.

Which color shoes go with everything? ›

Neutral-hued shoes are fantastic because they go with anything, including all colors, patterns, and prints. In this case, it's best to stick to basics like black, white, cream, beige, brown, and gray, or switch things up and choose navy, which, yes, is considered neutral, too. Why are neutral colors best for traveling?

Which Colour jeans look attractive? ›

I love a good pair of black jeans and they're almost as vital to your wardrobe as dark indigo jeans. They have a little bit of a rocker vibe to them and look great for nighttime occasions. You can never go wrong with a pair of black jeans, a white or grey shirt, and a pair of sneakers or boots.

What kind of shirt should you wear with jeans? ›

Shopping for Shirts to Wear With Jeans

Look for button-downs or a peplum style. High-waisted jeans look fabulous with cropped tops and shirts that are tucked in (so, no side darts). A boot-cut jean wears well with a button-down, slim fit top that's untucked (so, yes to side darts here).

Can I wear long tops with jeans? ›

The floral trend is always the highlight during summer, so be trendy, formal and chic in this indo-western outfit with a matching pair of juttis, kolhapuris or wedges. A long top with jeans is a fashion statement that can work out beautifully for all the tall and lovely, ladies!

Can you wear black with light wash jeans? ›

And black looks great with light wash jeans as well. This outfit is one of my all-time favorites. Light wash jeans also look amazing with light neutrals like white, khaki, and camel.

Do light jeans go with dark shoes? ›

Light denim will take to black shoes, but a lighter-colored shoe will work better. Also, keep this combination to the evening hours.

Is it OK to wear two different shades of denim? ›

Although you may be leery about wearing different types of denim together, it's perfectly fine to mix shades occasionally.

How do you wear light wash jeans in the fall? ›

Top your light wash jeans with rich tones like mustard, burgundy and teal for an instant fall-feel. Don't be afraid to mix two bold colors together, after all, the sun is setting way too early.

How many days can you wear jeans without washing them? ›

"There is one rule to washing your jeans: Do it as seldom as possible to preserve their shape, quality, and color. This is especially true when it comes to dry denim, which gets its good looks and personality by wearing—not washing. I advise you to wash jeans only after 12 or so wears (turned inside out).

Should you wash jeans buttoned or unbuttoned? ›

Unlike zippers, garments with buttons should be left open before bouncing around in your machine. They're more delicate, so leaving buttons undone will put less stress on the threads and help them last longer.

Can you mix jeans with shirts? ›

Mixing denser fabrics with lighter or more delicate ones, like jeans in with a light T-shirt, can wear out the lighter or more delicate clothing quicker and easier from the constant friction and rubbing together with the harder and denser fabrics. This is why jeans should be washed separately.

Can I wash jeans with hoodies? ›

"It's typically best to wash at least your denim separately, especially away from delicate fabrics," explains Jennifer Ahoni, a Senior Scientist of Fabric Care at Procter & Gamble, noting that jeans' zippers can rub up against other fabrics (especially knits!) and damage them.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Aracelis Kilback

Last Updated: 02/11/2023

Views: 5273

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (64 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Aracelis Kilback

Birthday: 1994-11-22

Address: Apt. 895 30151 Green Plain, Lake Mariela, RI 98141

Phone: +5992291857476

Job: Legal Officer

Hobby: LARPing, role-playing games, Slacklining, Reading, Inline skating, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Dance

Introduction: My name is Aracelis Kilback, I am a nice, gentle, agreeable, joyous, attractive, combative, gifted person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.