Fall/Winter Fashion

What to Wear with Light Wash Jeans this Fall

Light wash jeans are trending, and I don’t see that letting up this fall, so I thought I’d do a post about what to wear with light wash jeans. Most of the jeans in my closet at the moment are mid to light wash, and I really love how they pair with light neutrals, as well as pastels and brights.

What to Wear with Light Wash Jeans This Fall

What to Wear with Light Wash Jeans

Here are some of my favorite outfits with light wash jeans and why they work.

#1. Light Neutrals

What to Wear with Light Wash Jeans: Light Neutrals

I paired these light wash bootcut jeans with a white tee and a beige utility jacket with a subtle cheetah print, and to keep it looking more like fall than spring, I added cognac boots and an olive green bag.

What to Wear with Light Wash Jeans: Light Neutrals

Unfortunately, this jacket is low inventory, but it’s on a great sale if you can find your size. I have my usual small, but the arms run a tad short, so I like to cuff them.

I love the combination of the warm cognac against the cool light wash denim, but they’re not so high contrast in color tone that they look out of place.

What to Wear with Light Wash Jeans: Cognac Boots

This is an easy out fit to replicate with different pieces. Just take the color combination, and incorporate whatever you have in your closet. If you don’t have cognac or olive green to work with, any other light neutral accessories will look just as good.

What to Wear with Light Wash Jeans: Light Neutrals

This second look also incorporates light neutrals — but this time, I went with grey and white.

What to Wear with Light Wash Jeans: Grey and White

These are the same bootcut jeans, this time paired with a grey turtleneck sweater vest and white booties. Look how amazing these light wash jeans look paired with white boots!

I know white boots seem kind of out there, but with the low contrast of the light was jeans, they suddenly don’t look quite so stark. These are the Marc Fisher Gadri booties from the #NSale. They’re comfortable and good quality, and the Western-inspired styling is very on trend right now.

I also have the Paige Lia booties in the white sitting in my bedroom. They’re a great lower-heeled option, but since I already wore these outdoors, and I can’t justify two new pairs of white booties, I guess I’m keeping these. Anyway, I just wanted to give these a shout-out, because they really are so good.

Adding a light grey sweater on top keeps the look cohesive, and I added the stripe Tory Burch crossbody in light color tones to complement the look. I hate to feature a sweater that’s sold out, but any light grey sweater or t-shirt would work with this look. I often wear a light grey t-shirt with light wash jeans and sneakers or sandals during the summertime.

What to Wear with Light Wash Jeans: Grey and White

#2. Darker Shades of Blue

What to Wear with Light Wash Jeans: Darker Shades of Blue

When you want a little more contrast, pairing light wash jeans with a darker blue top is a really pleasing combination. I often wear a navy top or sweater with light was jeans, but in this case, I went with a bolder peacock blue.

Again, I hate linking items that are sold out, but I just didn’t have a lot of luck this year with my #NSale choices! All of my favorites sold out super fast. This sweater is the Vince short sleeve wool blend sweater, and it is so luxe and chic! I hope they restock after the sale.

In this case, I’m wearing the Mother Insiders (also low inventory, but this pair is fully stocked, and this LOFT pair is a similar style and color, just without the distressing.)

I opted to go with a light neutral shoe on the bottom for this outfit. Notice how the light rosy-beige sandal sort of blends in with my skin tone, which visually elongates the line of the leg. And because the jeans are also a light color tone, the whole lower 2/3 of my body looks long and lean.

But a bootie also works with this outfit. I love these Vince Camuto Welland Booties in the Tortilla Suede with all of my light wash jeans.

#3. A Contrasting Color

What to Wear with Light Wash Jeans: Contrasting Colors

I’ve shown this outfit quite a bit already this season, but it illustrates so many great points! A few weeks ago, I featured this look in a post about how to wear crop flare jeans with boots this fall, but I also love how the  light wash jeans pair with a bold color like this grass green cardigan.

I kept the rest of the outfit neutral, with a white tee and taupe booties.

What to Wear with Light Wash Jeans: Bold Colors

#4. White or Cream

What to Wear with Light Wash Jeans: White and Cognac

There’s no better color combination for summer, in my opinion, than light wash denim and white. Earlier this summer, I paired these 7FAM boyfriend jeans with a classic white tee and neutral sandals.

What to Wear with Light Wash Jeans: White and Cognac

The accessories in this outfit are decidedly summer, and I love how the straw tote with cognac leather trim coordinates with the cognac leather sandals, but you can easily take this look into fall by swapping out the sandals for booties and adding a lightweight jacket.

I sort of did that here, although I went with a dressier sandal rather than a fall booties, but you get the idea!

What to Wear with Light Wash Jeans: White and Cream

Here’s a more wintry look with a similar color combo. This outfit combines light wash skinny jeans with a cream sweater and taupe moto jacket.

What to Wear with Light Wash Jeans: Cream and Taupe

Unfortunately, both of these pieces are discontinued, but you may be able to shop your closet to recreate this look.

#5. Blush Pink

What to Wear with Light Wash Jeans: Blush Pink

I wish I’d thought to photograph this outfit, or one like it, but this is the best example I have with items currently in stock.

Blush pink is trending again this fall, and it is probably my favorite color to pair with light wash  jeans. This Vince crewneck sweater is a gorgeous closet basic that you can wear so many ways this fall and winter, and Nordstrom just dropped this lower priced alternative. It’s this year’s version of the Halogen cashmere crew that has been a staple in their fall/winter inventory for several years.

These kick crop jeans are from LOFT — they’re a nice lower-priced alternative to my favorite Mother Insiders — and these booties are from Zappo’s. This color is called Almond Suede, and it’s such a nice pairing with light wash jeans.

By pairing jeans and boots in low-contrast colors, you create a long, lean leg line rather than chopping it up with high-contrast colors.

I hope this post was helpful! Are you a fan of light wash jeans for fall?

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photos: Alison Cornell

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25 thoughts on “What to Wear with Light Wash Jeans this Fall

  1. Great post! I’ve been trying to figure out how to incorporate my blacks and dark green tops and sweaters into the lighter jeans and wasn’t loving the combinations. I think, for me, the answer is to continue to wear the dark colors with the darker jeans but put a couple of outfits together that include lighter tops. I can see I need a pair of suede boots in the brown family, though. I am loving the look of the white boots, too! Thanks, Jo-Lynne. Great post.

  2. Thanks for all of the suggestions and beautiful pics for examples. I ordered the loft jeans and also a top you shared from yesterday’s fall top guide.

  3. Great post! I love light wash denim and you gave some great inspiration.
    I’m wondering about the loft jeans and that 11 1/2 waist. Usually 10 1/2 is my sweet spot. Can you speak to the waist comfort level on the loft ones?

  4. I have 2 pair of light wash jeans. One pair has a little distressing and the other doesn’t. Thank you for these suggestions on how to wear them into the Fall. I think I have most of what I need to create most of these looks!

  5. Hi Jo-Lynne: Awesome post and suggestions as always! I am drooling over several pieces here, and have added several to my Nordstrom bag! 😂 I especially love the moto jackets and gorgeous neutral boots. These pieces will incorporate nicely with what I already own, and will be go to pieces for a long time. ALWAYS love your style and outfit tips! Thank you! – Sue

  6. Hey there, THANK YOU for this post! I’m a dark jeans girl through and through, but bought my first light pair and have really been struggling with what to wear with them outside of a white tee…I LOVE the Wayf turtleneck sweater that is sold out…what I like about it is that it is actually a turtleneck and not a mockneck and I love the sleeves, they look almost capped. Can you think of another sweater vest that fits these check boxes??

    1. I know exactly what you mean, and no, i haven’t been able to find anything similar. I’m crossing my fingers and toes and hoping they restock after the sale is over. It’s still affordable, even at full price, and such a cute sweater.

  7. Great post. You look so cute in all the outfits. I have one pair of light wash jeans and still looking for a style that looks good on me in any wash jean. Still struggling with the new styles. I’m shorter, so a lot of the crop ones look a weird length on me. I’m excited for you about the concert tonight. You work hard and I know getting a child ready for college and all the emotions that go with that, can be draining. Like you said this will be good for you and nice break from responsibility etc. Have a great time and Happy Anniversary(and b’day). Our area is starting to get more cases of covid and thinking of mask recommendation/mandate again, so not many concert etc. going on here. I still wear a mask inside grocery stores and shopping etc. but not outside. Just wondering what our Fall/Winter is going to be. God is in control is what I focus on.

  8. Thanks for this post – gives me more options for fall than I thought. I’m a very pale person and easily overwhelmed by deep colors, so these will be “go to” looks for me this fall.

  9. Wow–just got done reading article InStyle re: light colored jeans, vests, and pink for this winter. Your post is spot on! Bought pair of Madewell Vintage HW in light wash this summer and love them. Frustrated trying to find my size in dark wash up-dated silhouette for winter during Nordy sale–giving up on sale!!!! However, you just solved my problem. Tons of ideas in this post I can put together from my closet with my Madewell jeans. Now ready for winter– in Florida no less!! Thanks so much! Happy anniversary and happy birthday and happy time at concert!

  10. I just can’t do the white boots…Looks cute on others, but all I can think of is my 70’s go go boots and Pat Boone!

  11. This is a wonderful post! I love all the ideas / colour suggestions for light wash jeans. I have been hesitant about buying light wash jeans because I wasn’t sure if they would fit in my wardrobe. Now I know they will! Thanks, Jo-Lynne! I hope your concert experience went well.

  12. Hi Jo-Lynne! Would you consider creating a post about what to wear to a concert? It has been years since I have attended an outdoor concert, but I’m supposed to attend one in a couple weeks and would love to have some ideas! I would also appreciate hearing your thoughts on what to wear when attending indoor concerts/performances as well (provided it will be safe to attend those in the future!) Thank you for considering!

    1. Sure, that’s a good post topic! For your outdoor concert this summer, I wouldn’t overthink it. Everyone was dressed pretty casually on Friday night. I wore my pink tie dye tank and the light wash Mother Insiders with the embellished Dole Vita slides.

  13. I love my light wash jeans and plan to wear them right into fall and winter. This is a great post and your tips are spot on!

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