Well, I Guess This Formerly Hated Denim Trend Is Officially a Thing

Admit it, there are just some denim trends that you love to hate on. We already know that nothing gets people more divided than a good old controversial jean trend, and at some point, everyone decided to unanimously hate on acid-wash jeans. It's not the jeans' fault that they're so tricky to wear, but hey, there's a fine line between acid wash that's done right and acid wash that makes you look like you're wearing an '80s Halloween costume. So it's not hard to see why people avoided the denim trend for so long, but with the emergence of all things '80s lately, it was only a matter of time until acid wash started bubbling up again.

On the F/W 19 runways, Proenza Schouler and Givenchy were among the designers to include acid-wash pieces in their collections, a surefire sign that it's becoming a thing. We've even spotted it on some of the most trend-forward influencers on Instagram and, ahem, Hailey Bieber was testing it out as early as last fall. So now more than ever, acid wash feels a lot less fear-inducing and a lot more approachable for 2019.

Ahead, we're charting the trend's path from runway to Instagram and, soon enough, your shopping cart. Keep reading to see and shop all the best acid-wash jeans and then go tell a friend that the denim trend is back.

Acid-Wash Denim on the F/W 19 Runways

Designers leaned into the '80s trend with pieces like button-front jackets, exaggerated cinched waists, and strong-shouldered silhouettes that gave a nod to the decade's OTT style.


Proenza Schouler F/W 19
(Image credit: Getty Images)


Balmain F/W 19
(Image credit: Getty Images)


Givenchy F/W 19
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Celebs Who've Tested Out the Trend

When we started spotting the A-list crowd in acid-wash jeans, that's when we knew it was legitimately a thing. 


(Image credit: Backgrid)

WHO: Hailey Bieber


(Image credit: Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Image)

WHO: Shailene Woodley


(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Amazon)

WHO: Dua Lipa


(Image credit: Melodie Jeng/Getty Images)

WHO: Giorgia Tordini

Fashion Girls Wearing the Trend on Instagram

In the world of fashion Instagram, only the most trend-forward crowd has been testing out acid-wash denim as of late. Their cool outfits prove that it goes way beyond a pair of jeans—they're making acid-wash jackets, jumpsuits, and denim skirts look cool as hell.

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Style Tip: A cinched jacket makes the tricky denim trend a touch more approachable.

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Style Tip: Acid wash naturally evokes a rebellious, punk vibe so choose more structured pieces like a blazer to bring the denim trend into 2019.

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Style Tip: Weirdly enough, a jumpsuit is the easiest way to pull off the trend.

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Style Tip: If all-black everything is your MO, try out darker acid washes.

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Style Tip: Wardrobe basics are the perfect way to anchor an acid-wash piece.

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Style Tip: Pretty accessories downplay the denim's punk feel.

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Style Tip: Tie-dye and acid wash. Think about it.

Shop the Best Acid-Wash Jeans

Acid wash isn't the only divisive denim trend that's coming back. Next, see bootcut jeans.

Senior Editor

Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.