Light Wash Denim Done Right

Four designers take on the classic stonewash jean with perfectly casual results

All images of Britney and JT’s infamous denim-on-denim outfits and Zack Morris references aside, light-wash denim is in vogue yet again—though this time around it’s simply more about easy summer style. While last spring saw some solid stonewash offerings from the likes of Han Kjobenhavn and even Supreme, many designers took the year to refine their aesthetic to avoid to full-on dad jeans and lean more toward a great thrift shop find. The following four pairs of light wash jeans strike the balance of casual sophistication with a nod to vintage appeal.

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Levi’s Vintage Clothing

What better place to start than the originator of jeans: Levi’s. The LVC 1967 505 Jean in “Millerick” wash is a real standout, both in terms of style and construction. Recreated from a 1967 pattern, the pair features a “Big E” red tab on the right rear pocket and a slim-straight fit that lacks taper below the knee. Though the faux tears seem to be replicated almost exactly on each pair, the selvedge denim is unique enough—and pricey enough—to assume you won’t likely run into someone else wearing the same pair. Find the LVC 1967 505 jean from the Hickoree’s for $234.

Wrangler Australia

Staying one step ahead of their North American counterparts, Wrangler Australia has undergone a more fashionable rebrand in recent years. The general look lands somewhere between bogan workwear and downtown rock’n’roller—each of which is only amplified when worn head to toe. In this case though, the Stomper Jeans in sky blue are more relaxed, delivering a nice mellow surfer vibe. The slim, skinny fit is made manageable with 2% elastane construction, while rip and repair details add a bit of personality to the denim. Find more info from Wrangler, where they sell for $160 AUD.

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Patrik Ervell

It’s easy to say $290 is a silly price to pay for a pair of jeans that look fresh out of a 1995 Eddie Bauer catalog, but you’d be ignoring the superior construction and refined style of these particular Patrik Ervell jeans in doing so. The light stonewash jeans are made of 14oz selvedge denim with historic shuttle looms. Antique copper hardware rounds out the classic look. Visit Patrik Ervell online for a closer look.


Swedish fashion retailer COS has been outfitting the greater European design community for a while now. And the simple, modern wears have recently been made available online in the US. The azure blue jeans are a nice, casual pair for the season. A slim, carrot-cut gives the jeans a nice tapered fit while matte metal hardware keeps the styling lowkey. Check COS online where they sell for $115.

Images courtesy of respective brands