How to Wear Faded Jeans: 5 Days, 5 Ways

How to Wear Faded Jeans: 5 Days, 5 Ways

A new look at a tried and true classic
faded jeans outfits for guys

By Gabi Meyers | Last Updated: Jan 16 2024 | 4 min read

To be clear, there’s never a bad time for a perfectly crisp pair of dark rinse, selvedge denim. But sometimes, you just wanna switch things up. Enter: Your favorite, most beat-up, worn-in faded jeans.

You know the pair. The insides have rubbed soft from repeated wear. They’re tight in all the right places but have given you a little more room to breathe in others. You may have even worn a few holes in the back pocket from shoving your wallet in there.

These jeans have become a part of your life, and you’ve had a visible impact on theirs as well.

What are faded jeans?

Now, you may be thinking in horror, “Is Gabi endorsing the male counterpart to the mom jean?!”

No, I’m not.

When I say faded jeans, that could mean the jeans you’ve had so long the color has literally faded. OR, it could be a pair of light wash jeans – jeans that come in a very lightblue color.

Yes, dark-rinse denim will always (ALWAYS) look good. But right now? If you’re even putting pants on at all, then you want to look and feel your most casual and comfortable.

The key to keeping faded or light wash jeans out of dad jean territory is a slimmer fit.

For that, a slim-fitting, washed-out pair of jeans will seamlessly fit into every outfit built around your favorite selvedge pair, but with a Bruce Springsteen in the ’80s kind of vibe.

No pant will ever look nor feel as effortlessly casual cool as a lived in, washed out pair of jeans.

How to wear faded jeans five ways:

faded jeans with sport coat

You’re encouraged to keep your outfit laid-back when wearing faded jeans, but not sloppy.

For work or a date, pair yours with a t-shirt and blazer like Westley Dimagiba to feel comfortable while looking totally fresh.

man in green cardigan and light wash jeans

Take notes on this deceptively simple outfit worn by Lapheal Sterling.

The faded jeans are in a more roomy cut, which is very “in” right now. And while he could have gone with a sweatshirt, or t-shirt on its own, he topped things off with a classic cardigan, elevating the overall effect.

As for the finishing touches? Our team loves the cross-body bag, subtle jewelry, and blindingly white sneakers.


Nick Urteaga, the creator behind Coastal Flicks, shows that you can embrace light colors all over in this cheery, casual outfit.

The sherpa overshirt adds visual interest to the outfit. And the cuffed pant hitting right at a pair of sneakers that match his tee? The perfect finishing touch.

men's jeans and a blazer outfit

Dadcore done right. And in an all-over slimmer silhouette than what you probably saw your own pops wearing back in the day.

This outfit, on Denny Balmaceda, feels both super-trendy and a total throwback vibe, all mixed into one look. Not for the faint of heart, but if you’re ready to get out of your fashion comfort zone, then take this ironic business casual combo for a spin.

t-shirt and light jeans outfit

Yes, you can tuck your t-shirt into your faded jeans, like digital creator Loren Fizer did here!

I love how he’s flashing ankle, but not really because he’s wearing (totally on-trend) white tube socks underneath.

Looking for more men’s style inspiration?

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Gabi Meyers went from Team SG's first-ever intern to a trusted fashion editor and stylist. She currently lives in Chicago with a very cute dog.