The Spring Denim Upgrade

Lighter blue rinses, relaxed fits and warmer weather go hand in hand

March 14, 2024 12:18 pm
A Collage of Spring Denim Selects
A Collage of Spring Denim Selects
Nudie Jeans, Ralph Lauren, Todd Snyder, Versace

I appreciate indigo-dyed, raw selvage denim for its unique ability to mold to the body over time, creating individualized creases with each movement. Heavier-ounce dark blue denim generally works best in the fall and winter, offering extra heft in colder temperatures. As spring approaches, a lighter blue wash resonates with the season and exudes easy-going, versatile, warmer-weather vibes. The resurgence of ’90s everything is still going strong; many denim companies’ mood boards feature images of Kurt Cobain in a light wash, or young Johnny Depp and Luke Perry avoiding paparazzi in the same style. Whether paired with hi-top white sneakers or white socks and chunky loafers, light-mid blue denim gives a nostalgic yet contemporary feel that speaks to our current fashion climate.

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The fit or cut is half the game when determining the look you’re going for. A straight leg provides a classic, balanced fit, gently tapering down through the calf and ankle. Slim-fit jeans (not skinny) offer a fitted top and a straight line through the knee, providing a form-fitting aesthetic without excessive tightness. A relaxed fit suits those favoring comfort, tailored for larger thighs; conversely, it’s a solid choice for those wanting a baggy vibe on a slimmer frame. Stylishly resurging, bootcut jeans shed previous associations and inject flair into an outfit. Voluminous wide-leg jeans give ample room throughout, providing a spacious silhouette. The latter two are best worn with unwavering confidence and an innate style sense. You can do it if you want.

With jeans, a tailored cut will never go out of style, but guys are now openly embracing fits they may not have considered before. Now is an opportune moment to experiment with different jean cuts, particularly in a lighter wash that reflects the approaching ease of spring. Here are 11 mid-light blue jeans in various fits to consider.

Alex Mill crafts stylish essentials that most guys want to wear, with a focus on simplicity. They recently introduced their first men’s jeans, aptly named “The One Jean.” This singular straight-leg silhouette is available in three washes, with the medium indigo offering a faded blue with just the right amount of vintage charm.

The Levi’s 501 might be the most iconic straight-leg jeans of all time. Since 1873, they have never gone out of style, and they never will. This signature fit is available in a variety of washes, but the medium blue wash hits the right tone that feels nostalgic yet current.

These Bally five-pocket blue jeans exude ’70s chic. The flared bootcuts, not too exaggerated and slim on the thighs, are best worn by those with a slender frame. Pair them with retro sneakers and a tucked-in T-shirt for a summer look that radiates retro vibes.

The slim-fit jeans from Todd Snyder are not skinny but tailored with some give at the top and room through the thigh. The wash is a handsome medium indigo color, with sanding and whiskering offering just the right amount of distressing. With its classic fit and selvage fabric, these jeans can be worn all day, every day.

Leave it to the French house Givenchy to perfect the luxury wide-leg silhouette. These voluminous jeans are meticulously washed and faded, resulting in a vintage-inspired “cracked” effect. Subtle details include logo-engraved silver-tone rivets at the back, and buttoned tabs inside the waistband allow for customizable fit adjustments.

Mott & Bow entered the denim scene in 2014, offering high-quality and stylish denim for men in various cuts and styles. Currently, I’m rocking the Benson jean, a classic looser fit that runs straight from the hip to the leg opening. This jean is exceptionally soft, featuring a hint of stretch and a handsome light blue rinse.

Dyed with indigo and hand-sanded, these Ralph Lauren jeans are crafted to replicate the authentic, well-worn appearance of denim, reminiscent of styles from Ralph’s archives. The mid-blue jeans feature a vintage-inspired silhouette, sitting higher at the waist with an elongated rise and a straight leg.

Headquartered in Gothenburg, Nudie Jeans has been a specialist in premium denim since the early 2000s. They were pioneers in the skinny jeans movement and maintain a dedicated base today, including artists, rockers and creatives. Pair these straight-leg, light-rinse tapered jeans with white socks and chunky loafers or sneakers.

These relaxed-fit jeans from Mavi are great for a more athletic build, providing additional room around the thigh and a straighter leg with spaciousness throughout. Made with Tencel and recycled cotton, they offer breathability and a soft touch, complemented by added stretch for all-day flexibility.

Pleated jeans? Absolutely. These light blue, Italian-made jeans from Hed Mayner prove that pleats are not just for chinos or dress trousers. In a voluminous cut, they pair well with oversized spring coats or fitted T-shirts. Pulling these off requires innate style and confidence, but the effort will be well worth it.

The handsome mid-blue rinse on these Versace five-pocket jeans is a satisfying nod to the ’90s yet speaks to our current times. Crafted in a straight, relaxed fit, they are made in Italy and feature the iconic Medusa Biggie emblem at the pocket, Medusa hardware and a leather logo patch.

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