Skip to Content

What do you call a denim blue color?

What do you call a denim blue color?

What do you call a denim blue color?

Denim blue refers to the classic medium blue shade associated with denim jeans. It’s a cool, saturated blue that pairs well with neutral tones like white, grey, tan, and black. Denim blue is versatile and timeless, making it a staple color for clothing, home decor, and more. But what exactly do you call this iconic blue hue? Here’s a closer look at the different names used to describe denim blue.

Common Names for Denim Blue

Some of the most common names used to refer to the medium blue denim color include:

– Denim Blue
– Jean Blue
– Indigo Blue
– Workwear Blue
– Classic Blue
– Faded Blue
– Light Indigo

While there are slight variations, these names all denote a similar medium-light blue with a subtle grayish tint. The color typically falls between a bright royal blue and a navy blue. It’s deep and saturated but also muted and weathered like vintage denim.

Denim Blue Color Codes

In design and branding, denim blue is often identified by specific color codes:

Color System Denim Blue Code
RGB 93, 156, 236
CMYK 61, 34, 0, 7
Pantone Pantone 2925 C

These codes allow designers to select an exact denim blue shade across programs and applications. Some codes will produce a blue that’s slightly brighter or duller depending on the color system used. But they all aim to digitally replicate that familiar denim blue aesthetic.

Denim Blue vs. Indigo

Denim blue is often confused with indigo, since they are both linked to denim jeans. But indigo refers to a deeper, richer blue that looks more purple. Denim blue has a greenish-gray quality while indigo has red undertones.

Historically, denim was dyed with indigo to achieve that signature blue color. But modern synthetic dyes can produce the denim blue look without using real indigo. So today, denim blue is considered a more vibrant, green-tinted blue compared to the darker indigo that was originally used.

Characteristics of Denim Blue

What makes denim blue so recognizable and versatile? Here are some of its defining characteristics:

– Medium-light saturation – Denim blue is deeply saturated but not overly dark. This makes it bold yet wearable.

– Cool undertones – The blue has a subtle cool green/gray tint as opposed to warm red or purple undertones. This gives it a relaxed, laidback vibe.

– Matte finish – Unlike bright shiny blues, denim blue is flat and muted like worn-in denim. The matte quality makes it a neutral backdrop color.

– Distressed look – Fading, whiskering, and fraying effects give denim blue a rustic, imperfect appearance.

– Casual feel – Denim blue evokes a casual weekend or workwear look. It’s an approachable blue for relaxed outfits.

Uses for Denim Blue

Thanks to its versatility, denim blue works beautifully in a wide range of applications:


Denim blue jeans, jackets, shirts, and accessories are wardrobe staples. The color flatters most skin tones. Pair it with lighter washes for a tonal denim look.

Home Decor

Add denim blue accent pillows, throws, rugs or wall art to a neutral room for an extra pop. Paint a denim blue accent wall for character.


Denim blue conveys reliability and authenticity. It’s widely used in lifestyle branding from fashion labels to home goods.

Web Design

Denim blue makes for an easy-on-the-eyes background color. It contrasts nicely with white text and works well with photography.


On product packaging, denim blue reads as laidback, approachable, and artisanal depending on the brand.

Denim Blue Color Palettes

One benefit of denim blue is that it complements so many other colors. Here are some examples of palettes featuring denim blue:

Denim Blue & Cream

This soothing combo pairs denim blue with off-white and cream for a relaxed vibe. Add in metallics like bronze or silver for interest.

Denim Blue & Taupe

Mix denim blue with earthy taupes and mushroom shades. The muted palette embodies cozy casual style.

Denim Blue & Olive Green

Two classic casual colors, denim blue and olive make for an easygoing masculine palette. Gray and maroon also complement the pair.

Denim Blue & Terracotta

For a bold accent palette, blending dusty terracotta orange with denim blue makes the blue pop. Add in pale yellows.

Denim Blue & Blush Pink

Feminine with an edge – the pairing of denim blue and soft blush pink is youthful and romantic.

Tone Variations of Denim Blue

Like any color, denim blue takes on different shades depending on how dark, bright, gray, or warm it appears. Some tone varieties include:

– Light Denim Blue – A faded pale blue, perfect for a worn-in look.

– Bright Denim Blue – Amped up saturation makes this a bold accent blue.

– Dark Denim Blue – Deeper and inkier, closing in on navy blue territory.

– Warm Denim Blue – Subtle brown undertones give this a vintage workwear vibe.

– Cool Denim Blue – With light green-gray notes, this feels more modern and icy.

– Dull Denim Blue – Knocked down with gray and white, this is a hazy, overcast blue.

Denim Blue vs Other Blue Shades

Denim blue is sometimes confused with similar blue hues. How does it compare?

Denim Blue vs Navy

Navy is much darker and deeper than denim blue. Navy reads as a neutral while denim blue has more personality.

Denim Blue vs Royal Blue

Royal blue is brighter and more jewel-toned than the muted denim blue. It has pure blue undertones.

Denim Blue vs Light Blue

Light blue is lighter and brighter, without the gray notes of denim blue. It’s not as weathered.

Denim Blue vs Periwinkle

Periwinkle is lighter and has a violet undertone. Denim blue appears more green in comparison.


With its laidback vibe and versatility, denim blue has secured its status as a true color classic. By any name, from jean blue to workwear blue, the recognizable denim shade works across fashion, decor, branding, and more. It manages to be both ubiquitous yet uniquely distinctive. So next time you come across that familiar denim hue, you’ll know exactly what to call it.