Quick, close your eyes and picture the ideal pair of jeans…
Ah, there they are.
Just the right length. Perfectly broken in. Ready for anything. And if your imagination isn’t broken, these dream jeans are the easiest, breeziest shade of light wash, just begging to be unleashed upon your warm weather shenanigans.
Allow us to step in and make your faux dream a reality with our picks for the best light wash jeans money and impeccable taste can buy. Light wash jeans are the epitome of casual cool and, if worn with confidence, can be pulled off in countless ways. We’ll unpack some of those ways, plus break down several of the styles you can look for in a pair of these summer-ready jeans.
Okay, you can open your eyes now.
Our Top Picks
No wheels were reinvented in the making of these jeans. But that’s sort of the point when it comes to jeans, right? They’re one of your most relied-upon garments. You love them, and the best pairs will love you back for years. And although you’ve never shied away from a splurge here and there, you also know a good bargain when you see one.
The Vintage No. 1 from A Day’s March (this was the first jeans model they ever created) checks all of those boxes in the light wash jeans category. This Italian-denim workhorse should be considered a staple in your closet, especially during the spring and summer months.
Material: Cotton | Sizes Available: 29” – 36” | Inseam: 30” – 34”
We see you, Frank. You too, Oak. You’ve really outdone yourselves this time with this impossibly eye-pleasing pair of jeans that are all but guaranteed to land you some compliments. These best men’s light wash jeans are partially made of recycled cotton, and a hint of elastane boosts the comfort quotient with just the right amount of stretch.
But the best part might be the color. Frank and Oak went with a blanket sky blue note here and never looked back. Show up to brunch in these and turn heads. Hit the dog park and get more attention than Clark (if your dog’s name isn’t Clark, it should be).
Anyway, you get the point—these are statement-making jeans.
Material: Cotton, Recycled Cotton, Elastane | Sizes Available: 28”x32” – 38”x34” | Inseam: Unavailable
While they’re not for everyone, pre-distressed jeans can help put a subtle exclamation point on your casual-cool look. Too many rips, and you’re trying too hard. Not enough, and why even bother?
Closed meets you in the middle with their Cooper jeans featuring not-so-subtle knee holes, and a few other distress points further up the leg of the Italian denim. Each pair of these light wash jeans is different and has unique distress designs. Feel free to think of them as denim snowflakes. Which would be a great title for a holiday country song, but that’s beside the point.
Material: Recycled & Organic Cotton | Sizes Available: 27”x30” – 38”x32” | Inseam: 28’’-36’’
These refreshingly light jeans from Levi’s are a throwback to early 90s skate culture. If that means nothing to you, fear not. Even if you didn’t grow up wearing puka shell necklaces or flannel button-downs around your waist, you’ll still be able to appreciate the crisp coziness of this pair of light wash jeans.
For this entry on our list of best light wash jeans, Levi’s went with classic styling, a straight leg, and a whisper of elastane for added stretch. So yes, they’re still more than ready for a day at the skate park should you choose to partake. And yes, we just said “whisper.”
Material: Cotton, 1% Elastane | Sizes Available: 29”x30” – 40”x34” | Inseam: 30” – 38”
Not all of the best men’s light wash jeans smack you in the face with their… washed-ness. Sometimes all you need is a touch—just a touch—of sun in your denim to get the breezy vibes across. To achieve this noblest of sartorial effects, look no further than
Cut from Italian denim and made of organic cotton, these jeans are form meets function incarnate. They’re dark but also light. Casual, but also ready for after-work cocktails at a place that wasn’t supposed to be as nice as it is. Get ‘em is basically what we’re saying.
Material: Organic Cotton | Sizes Available: 28”x30” – 36” – 34” | Inseam: Unavailable
Oh hello, Levi’s. Nice to unsurprisingly see you again on our list of the best light wash jeans for men. What’s that? Yes, we love hummus. Which… interesting off-topic question, but we should probably move on.
Here we have a handsome pair of boot-cut jeans with an interestingly mid-high rise reminiscent of 70s denim. Though these Levi’s-strong jeans are made with boots in mind, you could easily pull off lower profile footwear and an easy breezy summer look thanks to its light wash and implied laidback vibes.
Material: Cotton, 1% Elastane | Sizes Available: 29”x30” – 38” – 34” | Inseam: 30” – 38”
Asos may not be the first brand that springs to mind when you think of staple brands for your closet, but don’t sleep on them. If you’re looking for a well-constructed, reliable pair of light wash jeans for men at a price you can feel good about, here they are.
This is standard, light wash denim at its finest and most basic. The baggy cut makes them ideal for street sports (you know… street sports) or for putting on a walking-along-the-boardwalk clinic. If that’s not a thing, it should definitely be a thing.
Material: Cotton | Sizes Available: 26”x30” – 38”x38” | Inseam: Unavailable
Though Wax is billing this pair as “mid-wash,” they definitely fit the light wash bill with their laidback sky-blue aesthetic. One of the things we like about them is that they don’t make a mockery out of the whole “slim fit” thing. While other pairs with a similar designation may as well be painted on, Wax’s take has plenty of breathing room from waist to ankle.
Team them up with a t-shirt by day or a casual button-down or henley on those brisk early spring evenings. We’ll also accept, “or with literally any other piece of clothing except for maybe an ascot.”
Material: Cotton | Sizes Available: 28” – 38” | Inseam: Unavailable
If you’ve ever dreamed of wearing a pair of jeans pored over by a curated group of denim-obsessed craftspeople in North Carolina, consider this your lucky day.
The light wash colorway of the Jones is a rough and tumble (in the most elevated way imaginable) pair of jeans that are bound to be with you for years.
Material: Cotton | Sizes Available: 28”x34” – 38” – 34” | Inseam: Unavailable
You may or may not have an already impressive stable of denim specimens in your closet waiting to welcome this splurge-worthy offering from Brioni. If so, congratulations. If not, welcome to the first day of the rest of your jeans-related life.
Steeped in Italian sartorial tradition, these best men’s light wash jeans are about as luxurious as it gets for a style that calls salty breezes and brunch patios home. But if you happen to appreciate the finer things in life and have an eye for detail (and we have a hunch you do), we trust you’ll appreciate the craftsmanship that went into this pair of jeans.
Material: Cotton | Sizes Available: 32” – 42” | Inseam: Unavailable
What To Look For In Light Wash Jeans
The best men’s light wash jeans are chameleons of the sartorial world—wear them with the right top, and you can pretty much be dressed appropriately anywhere. That said, nothing sticks out like a sore thumb more than an ill-fitting pair. If you can’t hone in on the perfect fit in a store, familiarize yourself with the brand’s online size guide to help you find a pair that fits like a glove.
If you’re looking for the best light wash jeans for men, you know it’s a pretty specific look—spring and summer vibes abound. But a darker shade of light wash can be dressed up a bit more, and a color that’s somewhere in between is more versatile. Knowing what works best and where will help you pull off the right look in your denim.
Boot cut. Skinny. Baggy. Ripped. There’s no shortage of styles to choose from for your light wash jeans. As ever, consider your lifestyle and where you’ll be wearing your jeans the most, then customize a style around that.
Your style is your style, and you should pair your best light wash jeans with whatever you think works best. That said, any garment adjacent to this style of denim should meet them where they are (which is preferably at a beach bar in French Polynesia).
A few truths are universal with this summer staple—you can never go wrong with a crisp white t-shirt or a casual flannel for cooler summer nights. But most importantly, whatever you choose to wear with your light wash jeans, keep it casual.
Light wash jeans create a casual look achieved by washing the denim until most of the indigo is gone. The result is a laidback pair of jeans that pair well with good times and plenty of sunshine.
The best light wash jeans are all about easygoing vibes. Stick to crisp white t-shirts or neutral colors. If you’re adding a henley or button-down as a second layer, feel free to go a bit bolder with the colors—just remember to keep the palette summer-friendly.