The days of highlighted mullets and Kirk Cameron may be long gone, but the 80s and 90s have made a huge comeback in the hallowed world of fashion. While Summer 2014 has seen the resurgence of a number of past fashion trends, bleached, stonewashed and distressed denim is by far the most popular and polarizing. First hitting its peak in the 80s, bleached and acid-washed denim became synonymous with the decade, with its popularity extending well into the early 90s. Everyone from rock stars to teen heartthrobs were seen sporting the instantly recognizable look, and like many a celeb, it’s staging a comeback. Part of its recent resurgence could easily be attributed to the newfound love for the era from whence it came amongst the who’s-who of the hipper-than-hip, but it’s also because there’s a desire for denim that is different than the over processed or dark rinse jeans that have become commonplace. A number of brands and designers including Saint Laurent, Burberry, BLK DNM, Band Of Outsiders, Sandro and J.Crew have embraced bleached denim and updated the look, resulting in jeans that are much lighter and more comfortable than ever before. With slim fits and a range of colors that go beyond the typical bleached out blue — designers have incorporated white and gray hues in to the mix — the laid back, worn in vibe they give off is perfectly suited for summer. Think of them as boyfriend jeans that are actually for the boyfriend. However you opt to wear them, whether it’s casually with a white tee or contrasting denim western shirt or dressed up with an unstructured blazer, this is one trend you definitely don’t want to miss, so read on to learn how to look cool in the hottest denim of the summer!

– Daniella DiRienzo