Light-Wash Denim: Trickier Than I Thought


Raise your hand if you are SICK of winter. *raises both hands*

I have been in head-to-toe black for weeks now (mixing it up with the occasional chestnut-colored UGGs), hiding from the cold weather as best I can. Is there really any other way to escape a rut like this besides some good old fashioned shopping? No. The answer is no. Well, maybe a trip to Cancun. But for now, let’s stay in budget with new jeans. Light-wash, fresh, Spring denim, if we wanna get specific here.

I’m going to be upfront: light-wash denim did not scare me. Some of my teammates were definitely hesitant about covering the trend but if anything, I was looking forward to this – until I got to the dressing room.

Maybe it was the lighting, maybe it was the mirrors, maybe I had too much for breakfast that day but something was very wrong with me + light wash denim. But I can promise that there is a silver lining to this sad, sad, story. A happy ending even. So read on.

FRAME Forever Karlie Flare Jeans

FRAME Forever Karlie Flare Jeans – When I saw these online, I thought i had found the holy grail of light wash jeans. Light? check. High waisted? Check. FLARED? Check. Sounds like a dream pair of denim to me. But much to my chagrin, these are intended for the TALLEST of girls (read: at least 5’10”). I’m 5’8″/ 5’8 and 1/2″ on a good day and these were wayyy too long. Not even heels could save them. The fit otherwise? Amazing. The material was soft. The color was great for me (although darker than pictured online as you can see above) As much as I love these, I couldn’t bring myself to get them hemmed. Something about 23 years of jeans fitting just fine as-is makes me not want to start altering now. *Note – I’m barefoot in the pictures above and below.

Articles of Society Sarah Skinny

Articles of Society Sarah Skinny – Another pair that are not nearly as light in person vs. online. These have cute bleach splatters at the bottom that give them a little something interested but overall these jeans were just “eh” to me. Something about this lighter wash (which I’ve gotten before) seems to accentuate any lumps or bumps. This may sound bizarre, but I especially didn’t like how my knees looked in these. Fit was true to size and this denim was VERY soft.

AG The Farrah High Waist Crop Skinny Jeans

AG The Farrah High Waist Crop Skinny Jeans – This wasn’t my first rodeo with AG’s. If you’re Shana’s friend, she has at one point or another charmed you into the magic of AG Jeans. The girl’s not wrong. I love mine and that’s why I was so excited to try these. This pair was pretty thick to the touch, more denim-y if you will, but still super soft. Very pretty color in person, too. The only downfall? The butt! Not cute on me. Otherwise, these were comfy and nicely made.

In MY mind, I’m usually looking much more like I do in those FRAME’s (above) than these. Here’s hoping.

Levi’s 712 Slim Mid-Rise

Levi’s 712 Slim Mid-Rise – Baby’s first Levi’s. I’ve been wanting a pair for awhile now, but never got around to trying them on. And the team agrees, try yours on. In my experience these were true to size but Levi’s tend to have NO stretch. I couldn’t even get the brand’s 505c‘s zippered or buttoned (again, could have been my breakfast decisions but doubtful). These had a nice rise and were pretty comfortable. I’ve tried comfier, though. I don’t know if i’ll be converting to Levi’s any time soon BUT the price is right.

The Pair I Brought Home – McGuire Valetta Mid-Rise Slim Straight Jeans

Mcguire Valetta Mid-Rise Slim Straight Jeans – Now on SALE! These were the winners for a few reasons. They’re comfortable and they fit for sure. But, they bring a little more to the table than the rest with those front seams and raw hem. I’m not a ripped jeans kind of girl. I usually won’t wear any with holes in the legs. So to keep things interesting, these are just right. Also true to size. These could work with a chunkier heel (as shown) OR flats/sandals. Love.

Outfit Details

Mcguire Valetta Mid-Rise Slim Straight Jeans – love ’em. Now on sale!

Deletta Striped and Ruched Top – reviews on this complain that you can’t really wear it with a regular bra but I’ve had no problem. Maybe go for one with a thinner strap, if anything.

Rowan Sandal – very comfy..i’ve already worn them walking around all day long.

Banana Republic Belted Cotton Trench – probably my favorite jacket. Now on sale!!

All in all, none of these light-wash jeans were horrible. Maybe I exaggerated. But at the same time, I wanted out of this winter rut with something unique and fun. Plain old light-wash skinnies just didn’t do it for me. BUT if they did it for you..

Shop The Pairs I Tried




  1. I have been loving this series! Thank you all so much for trying out so much denim for the rest of us, and especially for including side-by-side comparisons of the jeans you tried versus how they look on sellers’ websites. (The color differences! Wow.) It really, really helps give a sense of how they’ll fit in real life.

  2. Oh my…the Karlies have a 38 inch inseam! You have MADE MY DAY, and yes, I’m 5’10”. I think I need to try the McGuire Valettas too…

  3. The flares are amazing on you. I have a pair of FRAME flares and love them (FRAME is such a well-made brand). The big downside is having to wear heels with them, so I only wear on dressier occasions.

    Love the pair you chose though!

  4. McGuires are my absolute fave!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Mrs. Robinson boyfriend fit. They do run a bit big, so I did a size down. I even ordered my normal size when I was pregnant because they are just so soft and cozy! FRAME denim is another go to, but I have to cut or hem almost every pair (5’3– #shortgirlprobs). They are just a good, flattering fit! You totally need those flares, bc Hello AWESOME Booty!! LOL

  5. I bought the Frames and LOVE them. Yes, they are long. I am investing in having them hemmed. But they make my legs go on for days, tuck in my little mama pooch, and are so comfortable. Thank you Gwen for introducing me to this brand. And, as a side note, I think you should buy them!

Leave a Reply