From raw denim to faded, there's a wash for every occasion and stylish guy's wardrobe
Everyone has their favourite fit and go-to-brand when it comes to jeans. Ditto for washes — and rightly so, there are lots of different options and they’re all nuanced and particular, so you can find the pairs that tickle the right amount of your fancy. We’ve grouped them into three ranges and helped you make styling them up (or down) a lot easier with this winter’s most popular must-haves.
Light washes: cool and casual
Straight out of the 90s and back by popular demand, light blue washes can lie anywhere between white, grey and soft pastel blue. This doesn’t only make them great for summer (all-white parties and braais, anyone?), but super appropriate for casual outfits, too. They’ll pair well with bright florals, stripes and dark colours and really pop. For winter, wear them with your go-to sweats: colour block sweaters, hoodies and even track tops and windbreakers and complete the retro look with a pair of low-top sneakers.
Mid washes: versatile mainstays
If you’re more concerned with making investments as opposed to chasing trends, mid washes are for you. While they aren’t necessarily smarter, they’re timeless, don’t have to be washed as much as lighter jeans do and you'll get more mileage out of them by wearing them all year long. Mid washes usually have some whiskering, fading or distressing, and look best in slim or skinny fits. Take them out on the town this season with boots (utility or Chelsea styles are great), a check shirt and a denim jacket or parka.
Dark washes: made for smart dressing
For the functional dresser looking for something that’ll take you from day to night, season to season and trend to trend with ease, darker washes are your best bet. They range from dark blue to deep indigo. Selvedge jeans tend to fall into this bracket, so you know you’re making a good choice. Dark jeans don’t need to be washed as much as the colour will run and they’ll fade a lot quicker, weakening the fabric faster too (just ask art director and denimhead Tshepo Mogorosi, who only washes his jeans once a year). You can take a workwear-inspired approach and wear them with check shirts, denim jackets, parkas and boots, or smarten them up for a formal occasion with a shirt, tie, tweed blazer and brogues.