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Mon 29th Jan 2024

The Rise of Stone Washed Denim

Looking for clothes with character? Stone washed denim has an ever-popular faded appearance which has found a place in our hearts. A striking fashion trend from the mid twentieth century which is still alive and kicking today, the distinctive patterns and unique features of stonewashed denim create fashion with flair and comfort. No compromises    

What is Stone Washed Denim?

A popular manufacturing process often used on denim garments, stone washing offers a new item of clothing a vintage, worn-in appearance.

To achieve this sought-after effect, garments and large pumice stones are placed into industrial washing machines. As the drum rotates, the pumice stones ride up and tumble down onto the fabric. The stones act as an abradant, scraping the dye from the fabric and producing the faded look. The effect comes into its own when the fabric dries and is unlikely to be uniform from one item to another. The degree of fading varies, depending mainly on the washing time, the weight and size of the stones, and the size of the load.

We all know how rigid and stiff our jeans are when washed, right? Every single one of us has tried pulling them on fresh from the dryer and faced the struggle head on. The benefit of stone washing jeans is that it gives a new denim garment a softer feel.

When Did Stone Wash Denim Arrive on the Scene?


With so many people and companies claiming to have invented stone washed denim, it’s difficult to say when it entered the fashion world. The Great Western Garment Company, who became better known as Levi Strauss & Co, were credited for pioneering stone washing in the 1950s. In the 1970s, inventor Claude Blankiet also claimed that the idea was his.

The Rise of the Trend  


Stone washing set the stage for the development of acid wash jeans which stormed popular culture in the 1960s. Surfers and hippies prized their classic Levi 501 jeans and wore them for so many years that the appearance of their jeans began to change. Regular exposure to salt water gave them a sought-after worn appearance.

The look of the jeans sported by the surfers made a lasting impression, so much so that they resurfaced in the 80s. This time round, they were embraced by punk rockers who splashed bleach on denim jackets and jeans to create a mottled, faded effect otherwise known as ‘snow wash’. It didn’t take long for fashion houses to recognise the prominence of acid wash jeans. Newly manufactured snow wash jeans were dubbed ‘pre-washed’ and introduced to the market by Guess Jeans back in 1981. Its roots in the punk rock scene were soon forgotten and, instead, stone washed denim became a style of its own.

The stone washing process has come a long way since the practice of tumbling jeans, pumice stones and bleach in a washing machine. The acid washing technique was refined and patented in 1986 by the Rifle Jeans company before the new process was industrialised later that year. Modern stone washing ditches the bleach in favour of Potassium Permanganate, encouraging a more natural worn look which is kinder to the cotton fibres.  

What to Wear with Stone Washed Denim


Stone washed denim has made quite the comeback since it was popularised in the 1970’s. If you’re excited to encourage the resurgence of this definitive style, keep it simple. Stone wash denim is a feature in itself.

Forget what you know about double denim. Denim on denim is a great option if pairing raw denim with stone wash. When teaming stone wash jeans with a denim jacket, simply remember to find a jacket which is several shades darker. On warmer days, if you want to leave the jacket at home, try the classic combination of a simple white camisole underneath a short sleeve shirt.

What Colour Goes Well with Stone Washed Denim?


The hue of washed blue denim goes well with contrasting colours such as light green, white, navy, black or light grey. Throwing a tan jacket into the mix wouldn’t go amiss either. Bright handbags and shoes help to bring a dash of colour back into your outfit.

Here at Simply Be, we love stone wash denim. Are you daydreaming about denim too? Not only do we have stone washed denim jeans for your collection, we also have super stylish denim jackets, shorts, shirts and all things denim for you to pick from. Right now, we are loving the borg collar trucker jacket and the denim belted shirt dress. Why not embrace your feminine side this spring and revive your love for stone wash with stylish pieces from the Simply Be collection?

What to Wear with Stonewashed Jeans


The queens of versatility, stone wash jeans are wardrobe royalty. Style them up with a sparkly top or dress them down with your comfy knits and they’ll never fail to complete the look. Our stone washed jeans feature stretch denim which is soft to the touch, so you can be sure of comfort from the moment you pull them on until the second you fling them off at the end of the day.

Planning your outfit for a big night out, shopping, or brunch with the ladies? Whatever the occasion, your stone wash jeans can come too! Dig out your fave bodysuit, pair of heels, and a leather jacket to upgrade from day to night.

Are boyfriend jeans your go-to essential for casual days or do you prefer high waisted mom jeans for sophisticated style? From ripped jeans to cropped wide leg denim, we have your favourite style of stone washed jeans ready and raring to go. 

How to Wear Stone Washed Denim Jackets


You can pull off a denim jacket with pretty much any outfit. Put simply, your wardrobe is not complete without a go-to denim jacket, especially if it sets you apart from the crowd. Ripped denim is always a great look so watch out for this if you want something a little quirkier than the rest.

Wear your stone washed denim jacket over a floral dress with colourful canvas shoes, flats or ankle boots to get the most out of your summer collection. Bring out the denim jacket to cover a loose t-shirt when it’s a little chilly and complete the look with distressed skinny jeans or wear it over a colourful jumper and heads will turn wherever you go. When you’re heading to the beach, the shops or out for a woodland walk with your furry friend, grab your stone washed denim jacket and you simply can’t go wrong. 

What to Wear with Stone Washed Denim Shorts


Going on an exotic holiday or heading down to the festival fields with your besties this year? Stone washed denim shorts are a true summer essential. Offering the comfort of jeans and the freedom of shorts, it’s a no-brainer. Our stone wash denim shorts should be first to land in the suitcase. Stretch denim ensures true relaxation, so whether you plan to unwind in the garden, hit the beaches or go exploring, pair them with trainers or sandals and your denim shorts are ready to go.

Team your denim shorts with trendy tops and the right accessories to up your game. Off the shoulder tops complement denim shorts perfectly and keep the style looking fresh.  Lightweight tops are a great choice, especially if they feature a trendy print, or you might prefer a button-down shirt which can be tucked into your shorts or knotted at the navel for effortless cool.   

How to Wear a Stone Washed Denim Pinafore


A stone wash denim dress is a flattering wardrobe staple no woman should be without. Finding its way back into the spotlight, the revamped pinafore is a nod to the 90’s with a modern twist. Not sure how to style your new pinafore? Perfect for every season and occasion, you can dress it up and down taking it from casual to chic.

Make it yours with simple accompaniments for your denim pinafore dress, teaming it with your best roll neck jumper, a tailored shirt, or a figure-skimming t-shirt in your favourite colour. Think high necklines and sleeves to enhance the look – the best part is that you may already own just what you need. Plus, having somewhere to put everyday essentials is so handy!

Feel stylish yet comfortable as you relax into the stretch denim for a casual and cosy look. Why not jazz it up with a zany pair of tights? 

How to Style Stone Washed Denim Dungaree Shorts


An old childhood favourite experiencing a deserved resurgence, that’s right, denim dungarees are back! So comfortable and easy to wear, classic stone washed dungaree shorts have resurrected our nostalgia for the 90s.

There’s no such thing as too many pockets and denim dungaree shorts don’t go without. Breast pockets will be a life saver, we’re sure of it. One thing’s for certain, contemporary stretch denim dungarees offer both comfort and style throughout spring and summer. All you need is a t-shirt and trainers and your daytime outfit is sorted.

Looking to upgrade your look from daytime to evening? Pair your shorts with a blouse or white shirt, canvas shoes or heeled sandals, and a leather jacket for a meal or trip to the cinema. 

Planning your spring to summer wardrobe? Start with essentials such as jeans, shorts and jackets and the rest will follow. Here at Simply Be, we’re armed with an amazing collection of plus size stone wash denim to be proud of and we’re ready to take whatever the season throws at us. The question is, are you? Browse our range of stone wash denim today and we’ll smash 2022 together.