How to Style Faded Jeans for Spring

how to style faded jeans for spring by wardrobe oxygen

After sharing my article on the top three denim trends for 2021, many felt they couldn't see faded jeans on themselves or in their wardrobe and wanted tips on how to style faded jeans for spring.

I have a faded jeans review coming soon with me modeling a few styles, but in the meantime, I hope these collages will inspire you to see how a different wash of denim can actually fit into a variety of personal style aesthetics!

As always, the majority of the items featured are available in extended sizes (at least to size 18, though many are available up to 22+) and a range of price points. Below each collage are links to the exact items and a gallery of the items with their non-sale prices (prices may be lower if a retailer is having a promotion).

I wanted this to be… realistic. Items that would be worn now, with our more casual lifestyle, pieces that can transition from now into warmer months, but still be stylish next fall. Shoes that are comfortable and accessories that add interest to wardrobe staples.

Choosing simpler pieces, I hope these looks can be created with items already existing in your closet, pieces purchased from resale sites, or from thrift and consignment shops.

Inspiration for How to Style Faded Jeans

spring 2021 fashion

Spring Neutrals:
spotted camera bag | cardigan sweater | floral bandana | plaid boyfriend blazer | wristlet | jeans | hat | earrings | bracelet | sunglasses | suede mules | white sandals | tan stripe shirt

Keeping it classic and neutral, this collection takes wardrobe staples like Breton stripes and plaid blazers and gives it a weekend getaway vibe with relaxed faded jeans, Birkenstock sandals, and light neutral shoes and accessories.

how to style faded relaxed jeans

Black with Bold for Spring:
cashmere t-shirt | sunglasses | bandana | leather jacket | silver link necklace | silver earrings | jeans | belt bag | sneakers | white sandals | long cardigan

No need to stray from your favorite black pieces in your closet, faded jeans look great with black and bold colors. The key is to keep things relaxed and light so it doesn't feel '80s Lita Ford. Switch out the boots for a pair of Birks or even some old-school Vans. Add texture and pattern with accessories… keep your hands free with a belt bag big enough to hold your essentials and a bandana-style scarf can add mega style to wardrobe staples.

lavender spring trend

Watercolor Brights for Spring:
cashmere sweater | jeans | sunglasses | bag | suede loafers |sneakers | striped top | trench coat | earrings | belt | Apple watch strap

If your style leans more classic, a pair of faded jeans in a straight cut with a bit of distressing will give a modern touch to your wardrobe. While you may be used to crisp denim, a pair of vintage, even with a hole, will actually look more stylish than a pristine pair of faded jeans. The lighter wash will make watercolor brights like orchid, lime, and mango pop.

how to style faded jeans for spring

Sporty Boho for Spring:
birth year t-shirt | sweater | jeans | clogs | scarf | rose gold sandals | necklace | trench coat | sunglasses | earrings

When wearing baggy jeans, ensure the waist fits properly. Balance the volume with tucked in and shorter tops, but continue that volume in details such as sleeves and sturdier footwear. Soft neutrals and brushed gold will add elegance to faded denim.

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17 Comments

  1. Stargeek
    March 17, 2021 / 3:37 pm

    I am a young 63ish who loves the faded jean look and doesn’t act my age:) I hunt men’s baggy Levi’s on Ebay in different styles n washes for a great price point. Looking for ways to incorporate fun & out if the box spring & summertime looks. My best tip is never looking like you tried.

  2. March 7, 2021 / 1:40 pm

    Your spring neutrals palette is perfect for me! I have the perfect pair of shoes … under my desk at my office, where I probably won’t be back at until June? July?

    “The key is to keep things relaxed and light so it doesn’t feel ’80s Lita Ford”
    I cackled. I love you so much!

  3. Robyn
    March 6, 2021 / 7:45 am

    I love faded but not ripped jeans. What I’m having a hard time with is finding some that aren’t so high rise. I’m short waisted and the jeans end up near the band of my bra. The only mid rise I can find are in skinny jeans which I no longer wear.

  4. Book Goddess
    March 5, 2021 / 4:03 pm

    Thank you for this article! I have three pairs of light/faded jeans. I usually wear them with navy or red but these are great suggestions. As it happens, two of the pairs are monochrome prints – one stars and one floral. The third pair has floral embroidery. Wondering if these have gone out of style during the pandemic….

  5. Rebecca
    March 5, 2021 / 11:05 am

    Love a lot of these suggestions and am thinking about how what I already own could work. But just not sure about the faded jeans themselves—I’ve always felt they make me look larger than dark washes do. Interested to see your review of the Madewells.

  6. Joanne
    March 5, 2021 / 3:00 am

    Love the looks especially Spring Neutrals and Sporty Boho! But try as I might, I just cannot get my head around actually paying for jeans with holes ripped in them!

  7. Joy Anzalone
    March 4, 2021 / 10:48 pm

    I just bought a pair of light washed jeans and love the inspiration. Thank you!

  8. Susan G
    March 4, 2021 / 6:56 pm

    Can’t choose a favorite. These are all so FUN! We need more fun, yes?

  9. Lee
    March 4, 2021 / 1:23 pm

    I love every single look you created, but the lavender sweater is my favorite! I’ve been looking for one and almost bought a merino wool version from J Crew, but I live in the South, so I know sweaters are just not that practical for very long in the spring here. Anyway, if I decide to pick up a pair of faded jeans, I feel like these are all great ways to pair them. You really are so good at this!

    • Leu2500
      March 4, 2021 / 4:13 pm

      Check out J Jill. They have some lightweight sweaters.

      • Lee
        March 4, 2021 / 4:38 pm

        Thanks! I’ve ordered a really pretty linen one; hoping it gets here soon.

  10. Allison
    March 4, 2021 / 12:56 pm

    I picked up a pair of mom jeans at my teenager’s insistence sometime pre-COVID, maybe fall of 2019. Faded denim, less stretch, straight leg, high waist, ankle crop, yep the whole shebang. I love your suggestions of what to wear with them. I’ve really enjoyed mine with dark clothing all year long. The light denim freshens up the look and keeps me from feeling like a summertime goth. (That’s the kid’s look these days, not mine!)

  11. Rita K
    March 4, 2021 / 11:13 am

    I love this post and it gives me so many ideas and options to update my look. You are the BEST!!!

  12. Jen
    March 4, 2021 / 10:30 am

    Thank you for taking the time to put posts like this together. I love seeing the whole “look” and an explanation of why it works. Thank you!

  13. Carly
    March 4, 2021 / 10:05 am

    Inspired by you, I tried a pair of faded jeans…they felt like an old friend! I paired them with a striped tee & sweater blazer so I feel extra fashionable since it is a look similar to the one you recommended! Thanks for giving me the confidence to try something new! (I should say they were faded…but skinny jeans. Baby steps.)

  14. Marie
    March 4, 2021 / 8:29 am

    I love posts like this. More often than not, I feel like my outfits are boring to me. I love seeing different ways of putting together basic items such as a pair of jeans or what not. This takes me out of my “rut”. Love it and thanks for posting.

  15. Karen
    March 4, 2021 / 6:45 am

    That top grouping, spring neutrals, has my name all over it!

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