Jean Styles: Wash, Color and Cut

Jeans are the wardrobe staple that never dates, and even if a certain cut happens to go out of style, it still ends up coming back (hello mom jeans). Blue denim jeans are everyone’s favorite casual pant that pair well with everything, can adapt to any wardrobe, and come in so many different cuts and colors. Read on for our guide to washes and jean styles to stay up to date and educated in the world of denim.


colors of light and dark denim washes jean styles
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1. Bleach Wash

Bleach wash jeans have been heavily faded. It’s easily recognized as a really light, washed out denim that was created by adding just a tiny amount of bleach to the rinse cycle to create that stand-out color.

Pair with: anything and everything. Pastels, neutrals, mid tones, and brighter colors look amazing with bleach washes (maybe avoid neon though. Tan booties or white tennies really compliment the light denim color while still letting the jeans be the star of the show.

2. Light Wash

Light washes go through a similar process as dark and mid washes, except with extra rinses to wash our more of the dye. Light washes may appear a tad bluer than bleach washes. Avoid wearing bleach or light wash jeans as office casual. These colors can come off a little too casual and slightly worn out for the office.

Pair with: pastels, neutrals, mid tones, and brights. Our personal favorite: pair light wash jeans with a burgundy top.

3. Mid Wash

Mid wash jean styles fall right between light and dark wash and undergoes less rinsing than light wash, but more than dark wash to give it that mid-blue feel.

Pair with: grey, brown, black, and white. One color you can never go wrong with when wearing any color of denim: white.White tee-shirts look amazing with all denim washes and make for a classic outfit, plus they’re so easy to style!

4. Dark Wash

Dark jean styles are slightly bluer than rinse wash but definitely darker than a mid wash. These babies should be a staple in your closet. Pair dark wash denim with neutrals. Avoid washing dark denim very often, as well as in hot water as the color will fade faster.

Pair with: white, tan, or a contrasting blue for a nice effect. Dark washes also look amazing with reds, greens, and pinks.

5. Rinse Wash

Rinse wash is the darkest denim you can get before black or grey. The dye is only rinsed out enough to make the denim wearable and help the color stop running. These jean styles are becoming more popular and can add great contrast to your outfit.

Pair with: whites, creams, and other light colors to create a good contrast and really show off the clean look of the denim. Avoid wearing with black as neither color will stand out or work well together.

6. Black/Grey Wash

Black and grey denim undergo a similar dying process as traditional blue denim, just using different shades of dye. Black denim is a neutral and matches. Like dark wash denim, avoid washing black and grey in hot water so the color lasts longer.

Pair with: pretty much any shade in your closet (except maybe navy). Try pairing with mustard, red, or white for a bit of contrast.


jean styles boyfriend, skinny, boot cut, high wasited
Bella Ella Boutique | Pinterest | American Eagle | Hello Fashion

Cuts and Styles

1. Distressed Denim

Distressed denim is no longer a sign of worn out jeans in need of replacing. Distressed jeans come in a wide variety of styles, from knee slits to shredded holes to gaping holes. Add a pair of distressed denim to your wardrobe to mix things up. Try adding a pair of slit knees, distressed thighs, or raw edge finish to your closet!

2. Mom Jeans

Mom jeans are back! High waisted, hip hugging, slightly baggy denim is in style once again! Pair with your favorite crop top or tee and your converse for your next trip to the farmers market. If this is one of those denim styles that seems intimidating to you, get one and try it out! You never know, they could become your new favorite jeans.

3. Boyfriend

Boyfriend jeans are supposed to look and feel like the jeans you’d borrow (okay, most likely steal) from your boyfriend. They’ve got a relaxed fit, straight leg, and look amazing with a little cuff at the bottom. They’re basically the opposite of skinny jeans and are supposed to look a little big and loose. Throw on boyfriend jeans for casual events like a farmers market or grocery shopping.

4. Boot Cut

Boot cut and straight leg denim styles are practically cousins. A boot cut jean normally tapers to the knee and then slightly flares out to accommodate a boot. Straight leg jeans are the same, but don’t flare at the knee and instead remains the same width all the way to the ankles. Obviously, pair boot cut jeans with your favorite pair of boots.

5. Skinny

Everybody loves skinny jeans. They have a pretty snug, tight fit from the waist to the ankle. Remember, the best skinny jeans have some stretch to them. Wear them with sneakers, cuff them for booties, or tuck into boots and let those long socks peak out! Also, play with the length; have a pair of longer skinnies so you can cuff them with booties, and get a pair that just comes to the ankle to dress up with some heels.

6. Jeggings/Denim Leggings

Okay, these aren’t always technically denim but they look like it and are 10x’s comfier than denim. Jeggings are jeans that have a lot of stretch to them and may feel more like fabric than actual denim. They are usually almost skin-tight and fit like your favorite pair of leggings. Wear like you would wear skinny jeans!

7. High waisted

High waisted jeans are a living testament that style always comes full circle. These jeans were very popular with women in the 40’s, 50’s and 80’s, and have made their comeback again! They sit higher on the waist and look amazing with a button up tucked in at the front.


Whether you love skinny jeans, swear off jeggings, or want to try mid wash colored jeans, we hope you learned a little something about jean styles and are ready to try something new. Our go-to wash and style combo: black skinny jeans. What’s your favorite combo? Leave it in the comments below.

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