Denim is a staple in most wardrobes, and rightly so. It has many uses, is a hard-wearing fabric, and can be dressed up or down (to a certain extent). As far as cost per wear goes, most people get the maximum value from their favourite jeans.
It’s likely that you’ve noticed denim comes in a wide variety of washes—ranging from extremely light to the deepest of blues.
Blue, along with all the cool colours (green, blue/green, blue, blue/violet) are receding colours – they appear to go away from you and they provide a good backdrop. These receding colours create an illusion, making the darker element seem smaller and allowing focus in other areas. This is why dark jeans are often referred to as sliming.
How to Choose the Right Denim For Your Colouring
Whatever palette you have (from whatever system it comes from), there will be some denim colours that are better than others and that has to do with your ideal value.
Your ideal value is the overall lightness or darkness (technical word for that is value) of your skin, hair and eyes. For the most complementary denim colour, you should match the value of your denim to your ideal value.
Dark Wash Denim
Dark non-distressed denim is considered the dressiest shade of jeans. These indigo blues tend to be cooler sorts of blues and they fit better with cooler palettes.
You can find warmer versions of dark denim with a yellow undertone.
Darker washes are brighter; more intense and solid in their colour and are best suited to those people with dark palettes.
Mid Wash Denim
The medium shades of denim go with almost everything but have the more casual vibe. Mid denims these are very easy to wear particularly if you are a medium or lighter person and tends to suit both warm and cool colouring. They are a practical jeans colour that doesn’t show much dirt.
You need to be careful with fading on mid-blue denim. It’s important to check that the jeans you choose are faded in all the right places.
Light Wash Denim
Light wash denim is perfect for a summery look or dressing down any outfit!
Light wash could go either way – some a slightly cool, some have a hint to warmth. It’s great for a lighter palette. The colour tends to be muted so it’s better for those with muted, soft, smoky coloring than those with bright coloring. Muted colors always recede so even though they’re a bit lighter, they still have some receding qualities.
Really light, almost white wash
Really light jeans are almost white and they tend to be a little bit cooler. Very pale or white jeans of any kind are not the easiest to wear if you are curvy. They often make individuals look wider than they really are, because of the light colour, so make sure they fit perfectly.
How to Identify the Undertone of Denim
Denim’s come in warm and cool blues and it’s easy to identify which is which.
- Cool denim has a violet-blue cast, or a more whitish look.
- Warm denim has a yellow undertone and looks a little more teal (and definitely not purple).
You’ll want to select a denim that is in the same undertone as your own colouring. If you’re not sure of your colours or undertone get a personal colour analysis online here.
Coloured denim is a fun fashion trend, but buy cheaply as it won’t be the longest-lasting trend. The brighter the colour of the jeans the more you will find wearing a top in a neutral colour works best, so your outfit is not too overwhelming. Choose a colour that suits your colouring too – so not too bright if you suit a more muted or smoky palette.
How to Change the Colour of Your Jeans
Got a pair of jeans that are too cool for your warm palette? Want to change how they look? Whether it’s just to warm up the blue (or cool it down) or to completely change the colour?
Overdyeing denim jeans is a little different than overdyeing a pair of “twill” jeans (what white jeans are usually made from). There is a distinct difference in the actual weave of real denim and the edgy look of overdyed real denim is fabulous! For more tips on overdying jeans, check out this guest post by Ms MakeItOver Bernadette Lis
I never really considered denim washes as an important piece to finding the most flattering things for our coloring. That was really interesting to read. I have denim in basically every style and wash they come in because I am a bit of a denim addict. I do agree that certain washes have very different purposes in our denim wardrobes. Thanks for linking with me.