Acid wash denim needs no introduction if you were a teen or young adult in the late ‘80s. It’s denim that is stone washed in a particular way to create a marbled and mottled effect. Despite the name, no acid is used. The marbled effect is bolder on dark denim, and more subtle on faded denim. Back in the day, we wore acid wash jeans, dungarees, boxy denim jackets and shirts. 

Acid wash denim has been back for a couple of years, but it’s not mainstream at all. It has gained momentum this year but is still quite fringe. Most of the denim washes are blue, but some are black and grey. You’ll find acid wash jeans in just about any style, from jeggings, skinnies and straight legs, to boyfriends and track pant silhouettes. Styles are high, mid and low in the rise. There are also acid wash shorts and denim jackets as seen below.

I like acid wash jeans, especially in faded blue denim because there the effect is softer and prettier. I wore them thirty years ago and would absolutely wear them again. It’s like wearing abstract patterned denim in shades of blue and white, so why not? It’s refreshing to see acid wash jeans that aren’t highly distressed. I would also entertain the idea of an acid wash denim jacket.  

I like acid wash jeans best when they are worn with a black or white top, topper and footwear. As much as I love to wear bright colours, there is something about acid wash that is screaming to be paired with graphic neutrals. It “cleans up” the acid wash if that makes sense. Pairing acid wash with grey is moodier, and works quite well if grey is your neutral. It also looks great with ink blue. 

Here are two fab acid wash jeans outfits I found on Pinterest, in both cases combined with a black and white support act:

Over to you. Would you wear acid wash denim, or does it bring back bad ‘80s memories?

rag & bone Marilyn Crop Jeansrag & bone Stretch Skinny Jeans

rag & bone The Marilyn High Rise Rigid Crop Jeans3.1 Phillip Lim Leather Trimmed Acid Wash Denim Biker Jacket

ASOS CURVE Exclusive Denim Jacket In Acid WashASOS Farleigh High Waist Slim Mom JeansASOS Rivington High Waist-Denim Ankle Grazer Jeggings

Kiva Oversized Acid Wash Denim Jacket

Topshop Moto Holly Acid Wash Denim Shorts