5 Ways Any Guy Can Wear White Jeans This Summer
If there’s one piece of clothing you spend a lot of time thinking about, it’s probably your jeans. There are plenty of questions you probably ask yourself when shopping for the perfect pair of jeans. What cut, and how do you like them to fit you? Raw or selvedge or both? How should you roll or cuff them? And the perennial question for summer: Despite your misgivings (or your clumsiness around anything with a high potential to stain), can you pull off a pair of white jeans?
The answer is simple. Just about any guy can wear white jeans. The key is knowing how and when to wear them, and how to build an outfit around them. Ready to get up to speed on the easiest ways to pull them off? Then check out the style secrets we swear by when opting for a lighter pair of denim than our usual blues and blacks.
1. Look for a slim fit
While the same could be said of any pair of jeans, nailing the fit is crucial to wearing white denim well. Choose a trim fit that flatters your body and doesn’t leave you with excess fabric through the legs or at the ankles. But on the other side of the coin, make sure that you aren’t going too skinny; there’s a line between a flattering slim fit and an ill-advised skinny jean, and you’ll know when you’ve crossed it.
To test the waters with a new pair of white jeans, opt for something simple and casual for your first outing. A pair of slim-fit white jeans, like Ralph Lauren’s Sullivan jean, is easy to pair with a striped tee like the custom-fit striped t-shirt. If the weather calls for it, add a light jacket or even a soft cardigan, like this navy blue shawl-collar style. The ensemble nods to classic, nautical style, while keeping things simple and low-pressure for a casual outing or a weekend errand.
2. Start with contrast
The first day you choose to wear a pair of white jeans is not the day you should also wear your whitest button-front shirt or break out the lightweight ivory sweatshirt you’ve been saving for a breezy spring day. Opt instead for a shirt or a sweater that offers a bit of contrast: anything from a light grey sweater to a dark blue denim shirt to a classic blue oxford topped with a neutral linen blazer. Because white denim will draw attention by itself, it’s often best to opt for classic tops and jackets, and to try out the neutral pieces you love most.
To try your hand at styling a pair of white jeans, start simple by beginning with neutrals. Style a pair of jeans, like AMI’s slim-fit style, with one of the simple blue oxfords you undoubtedly have in your closet. (If you’re looking for a new one, J.Crew’s cotton oxford shirt is an excellent choice.) You can add a grey sweater or blazer on top, and we’re partial to Paul Smith’s slim-fitting linen blazer for an ensemble that’ll look sharp at dinner or even at a casual meeting.
3. Try the monochrome look
It’s not a look that everyone can pull off, but if you’ve been itching to try an all-white look, there are a few ways to wear it successfully. However, if you don’t want to look like you’re a member of a cult (or headed to the beach for a round of ill-advised family portraits), we’d recommend adding a contrasting layer on top. Pair a white button-front shirt with a tan or navy blazer, or pair a white tee with a denim jacket for a new twist on the double-denim uniform.
Our favorite iteration of the look may be one that combines a rugged pair of white jeans, like Ralph Lauren’s slim-straight jeans, with a trim white shirt and a lightweight but luxurious cardigan, like this slim-fitting grey cashmere style.
4. Choose your footwear wisely
For the ultimate warm-weather look, pair your white jeans with summery shoes, like navy canvas sneakers, tan desert boots, or brown loafers or double monks. The key, whether you’re dressing up your white jeans with a blazer or keeping things casual with a simple tee, is to wear something that’s intended for warm weather. (For instance, it’s a bad idea to wear heavy, wintery work boots with your white jeans.)
When wearing white jeans, like NN07’s trim white pair, keep your shoes streamlined and minimal. Dries Van Noten’s suede desert boots, for instance, are rugged and well-constructed, but light enough to pair with white jeans, and perhaps a classic utility shirt like Tom Ford’s cotton-twill style.
5. Keep them clean, or embrace the lived-in look
With a pair of white jeans, you’re either going to have to fastidiously avoid drips and splatters in order to keep them clean, and quickly clean off spots and smears, or give up that game before you’ve started. If you appreciate the workwear look, you can probably pull off a pair of white jeans that’s splattered with paint or patinated with dirt. This pair of denim isn’t one you’ll pair with a blazer for a dinner date; instead, you’ll want to wear this pair with your most lived-in chambray or utility shirt.
To style a lived-in pair of white jeans (or a pristine new pair like the Ace from Acne Studios), add a cotton chambray shirt like J.Crew’s workwear-inspired version. If the wind is cold or the evening chilly, top the ensemble with a field jacket like Sandro’s classic army-green model.