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How To Style Bleached Denim

Posted on August 29 2019

I could talk about denim forever and never get bored. My inner-dialogue is littered with thoughts of denim and I wear my favourite pair of jeans at least twice a week. 

When news broke at our Beyond Retro press office that we would be releasing a line of limited edition Label bleached denim, I knew I had to have them. 

I thought about all the ways I could wear them, how to dress them up and dress them down, how the inherent laissez-faire attitude of the jeans would allow me to spill pasta sauce down my lap and pass it off as a “look”.

Which, in turn, got me thinking about the history of bleach denim; all the times in pop culture history bleach denim has come in and out of fashion, who wore it first and who wore it best, the style buffet that was birthed as a result of it.

So, without further ado, to celebrate our Label Bleach Denim which you can find in-store now and online soon, here is Beyond Retro’s history of bleached denim!


Don’t forget to shop our amazing denim range too. 

The 80s Are Back

Bleached denim in all its interpretations, from tie-dye to acid wash, is largely associated with the 1980s. The era of shoulder pads, crimped hair and neon colours gets a bad rep but nearly every trend associated with the decade has come back into fashion as of late.

Without it, we wouldn’t have some of our favourite trends of the season, like high-cut bikini bottoms, athleisure wear and OTT proportions. It seems only natural then, for bleached denim to be the next 1980s import! For a period of time, bleached denim was inescapable, making its way onto jeans, skirts, jackets, hats and more!

Bleached denim looks like it was pulled straight out of the Stranger Things Wardrobe department, which is exactly why we love it. Every street style queen and Instagram baddie in the next few months will be wearing the trend, mark my words!

Chloe Resort Collection, 2019.

Bleached Denim on The Runway

Everyone has worn bleach denim at some point in their life. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration. Everyone who has been fashion conscious since the 1980s has worn bleach denim at some point in their life.

Everyone, from Madonna to Lady Gaga, from Katy Perry to Kanye West, has sported some variation of this trend. Pop stars are prone to test out the craziest of trends, so perhaps in order to convince you that bleached denim, is in fact, very very cool, we should consult the high fashion runways.

Bleach denim first resurfaced during Gucci's 2017 Resort collection, it was quickly followed MSGM's lookbook. 

The trend was a hard sell, but then it began appearing on celebrities like Gigi Hadid and Margot Robbie. Gucci's 2019 Resort collection bought even more bleach denim to the forefront, with Isabel Marant, Miu Miu and Chloe all including it in their runway collections.

How To Wear Bleached Denim

Bleached denim should not intimidate you; You should intimidate bleached denim. There is a wondrous world of bleached denim out there, and introducing the item into your wardrobe is the perfect antidote to nearly-the-end-of-summer-blues.

  1. Go Western 

Make like Katy Perry and go for a western-inspired outfit with your bleached denim. A delightful combination of two of the most popular trends of the past season, Katy pairs her bleached jeans with a baby pink fringe leather jacket and white cowboy boots. 

Fringed Suede Jacket. 

  1. Go Casual

Denim is the most casual of the casual fabrics. Our love affair with denim has gone so far that there is now a cult-like devotion to it, with users on twitter even advocating for sleeping in jeans. 

If you think of your outfit as a recipe, then denim can be seen as the onion or garlic, a staple that every dish needs. Denim is so effortlessly cool that it looks perfect when thrown together with just about anything you have in your wardrobe. Gigi Hadid nailed the casual denim trend, pairing her acid wash jeans with a white-tank, yellow boots and matching sunglasses. 

High-Waist Acid Wash Jeans. 

  1. Go Full Glam


Shailene Woodley can teach us a thing or two about how to dress denim up. Seen here in a high-waist pair of acid wash jeans, she nods to the decade that made them, styling hers with kitten heels and a velvet wrap-top with oversized proportions. 

Label Velvet Wrap Top.

If you’ve enjoyed learning about bleached denim, you can read more 1980s flavoured content on our blog, starting with our Stranger Things Style GuideDon't forget you can also follow us on Pinterest for regularly updated trend boards and vintage style inspiration!   

Words Chardonnay West

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