What to Wear with Jeans: Outfit Ideas for Every Color and Wash

May 9, 2018 by Rebecca Carhart

There’s a reason why a great pair of blue jeans is an essential wardrobe staple. It is easy to put together casual outfits with jeans – you probably already have a classic combo featuring your favorite pair of jeans that you tend to reach for over and over again. But if you are looking for ways to breathe new life into your denim collection, rotate in a rental pair or two to amp things up.

The key to an elevated denim outfit is finding stylish on-trend items that compliment the wash of your jeans. A pair of light wash jeans tends to look more flattering when paired with a darker top, and there’s nothing chicer than a sleek black pair of jeans worn with a crisp white shirt.

To help you determine what looks best with each wash of jeans, we’ve come up outfit ideas for every must-have color and wash of jeans this season. Whether you want to dress up a pair of dark blue jeans or figure out what to pair with pastel colored denim, try these fresh and fashionable styling ideas.

1. What to Wear with White Jeans: Summertime Vibes

TOP: ALEXIS, JEANS: J BRAND, CHOKER: GORJANA

Nothing says summertime like a pair of classic white jeans. Once the warm weather hits, you’ll want nothing more than to ditch winter’s blues and opt for a white pair of skinny jeans. Take things to the next level with a hit favorite – the off-the-shoulder top. Bonus points if you choose a cold-shoulder blouse with stripes to add a nautical twist. Wear the stylish pairing with flat sandals during the day and when you are ready to transition for a night on the town, simply swap the sandals for a pair of lace-up heels. Layer on several dainty necklaces for an elegant touch.

2. What to Wear with Black Jeans: Modern with a Fun Twist

TOP: NHA KHANH, JEANS: HUDSON, EARRINGS: MARNI ACCESSORIES

To achieve a streamlined coordinated ensemble in a black and white color scheme, first, grab a pair of basic black jeans. They can be straight leg, skinny or even boot-cut, whatever silhouette you feel best in! Next, grab a silky white blouse. If you want to achieve a high-fashion look, choose a top that features ruffled bell-sleeves for a modern twist. Accessorize with a simple black clutch and a pair of strappy heels. Add a pop of color with a bold earring.

3. What to Wear with Dark Blue Jeans: Sleek and Chic

BLOUSE: MOTHER OF PEARL, JEANS: KENDALL + KYLIE, CLUTCH: REBECCA MINKOFF ACCESSORIES

When wearing a pair of dark wash blue jeans, why not offset them with bright colors? High-waisted jeans in a darker tone are great as they will elongate your legs. Wear them with a bold silk button-up blouse that will really pop against the dark wash jeans. Define your waist by tucking the top into just the front of your jeans. Leaving the back of the shirt untucked will keep the look more casual and laid-back. Accessorize with an oversized white envelope clutch, stacked rings and a stylish pair of slides.

4. What to Wear with Light Blue Jeans: Casual Off-Duty Style

TOP: CUPCAKES AND CASHMERE, JEANS: CURRENT/ELLIOTT, BAG: CLARE V.

Lighter wash jeans typically have a more casual feel than the others, but that doesn’t mean they have to look basic. For a stylish day off, elevate your comfiest pair of distressed light wash jeans with a sleek fitted top. Opt for a shirt with smocking detail – it’s one of summer’s biggest trends to watch. A cute woven bag will add a summery touch to the cool off-duty look. Complete the ensemble with your favorite pair of sunnies and sandals.

5. What to Wear with Colored Jeans: Bright and Cheerful

SUNGLASSES: ELIZABETH AND JAMES ACCESSORIES, TOP: ELIZABETH AND JAMES, JEANS: TIBI

Colored jeans are probably the trickiest option to style, especially when it comes to pastel shades. For a modern take on the trend, try a high-waisted wide-leg jean in a pretty lavender color. Balance out the feminine hue with a dark navy crop top. The cropped silhouette will offset the high-waist trousers and show off your waist at the same time. Finish the look off with a cross body bag and trendy mules.

6. How to Wear Denim on Denim: Not your Average Canadian Tuxedo

TOP: DEREK LAM, JEANS: CITIZENS OF HUMANITY, BAG: KATE SPADE NEW YORK ACCESSORIES

Now that we’ve broken down what to wear with all the different denim washes, you may be wondering how to pair two of them together. No longer a fashion faux pas, double denim is one of the hottest trends of the season. The easiest way to wear denim on denim is to mix and match different washes as it helps create a balanced look. Pair a classic pair of blue jeans with a denim top in a much lighter wash. Break up the blue jean laden ensemble by grabbing a bright red bag for a bold finish.