Forget about not wearing white after Labor Day. When it comes to jeans, most guys don’t want to wear white on any day. For whatever reason, white jeans have been co-opted by D-bags in Ibiza and bros who think that going to a “white party” is still cool. That has been enough to scare most folks away. Well, it’s time to reclaim the lighter colored denim.
With summer around the corner, you don’t want to be wearing the same heavyweight jeans that were your go-to during the winter. White jeans are a great alternative. They can instantly spruce up a look as simple as a T-shirt and sneakers. But you have to wear right jeans the right way. That’s why we provided five Do’s and Don'ts for wearing white jeans along with three options that will serve you well.
DO: GET THE RIGHT FIT
Fit is everything in menswear. Thankfully we seem to be moving past the days of painted-on denim to a slightly more relaxed style. Still, you don’t want your white jeans to look like raver pants. A slim pair with a little taper below the knee work great in just about any situation. And if they’re a little long, don’t worry. White jeans look better (and a little less stuffy) with the cuffs rolled up.
DON’T: GO FULL WHITE OUT
Remember that scene in Tropic Thunder when Robert Downey Jr. told Ben Stiller, “You never go full retard”? Well, a similar mantra holds true for white jeans. You don’t want to look like an orderly or a ghost by wearing white, and nothing but white. White jeans and a white T-shirt? All good. White jeans, white T-shirt, and white sneakers? No bueno. Keep in mind that colors will pop more against the stark contrast of your jeans, so more muted tones work better. Navy is always a good bet. White jeans are also an opportunity to wear a denim jacket with your jeans without looking like you’re rocking a Canadian tuxedo.
DON’T: SWEAT THE DIRT
Your white jeans are going to get dirty. Deal with it. A little scuff here and there is perfectly fine. Ever notice how cool painters’ pants can look with a few inadvertent streaks on them? Your raw indigo denim takes on its own character after you break it in, and the same is true for your white jeans. You never want to look like you’re trying too hard and a pair of forever pristine jeans sends that message.
DO: FIND THE PERFECT SHOES
White jeans call enough attention to themselves on their own, so there is no need to up the “look at me” factor with some loud shoes. Stick with the classics. For a more casual vibe, you can’t go wrong with a suede Clarks desert boot. As for sneakers, the Converse Jack Purcell and Vans Era are excellent choices. If you want something more formal, a traditional leather or suede penny loafer works great. And if the situation is right, try going without any shoes at all. Just make sure you’re not in the city.
DO: OWN THE LOOK In every style decision, confidence is king but it’s especially true with white jeans since it’s not a look many guys go for. Treat your white jeans the same way you would any other pair of jeans and you will be just fine. If you keep thinking to yourself, “I’m wearing white jeans. I’m wearing white jeans,” you’ll become self-conscious. If you think, “I’m wearing white jeans because it would be pretty weird if I was at this party in my underwear,” you’re overall attitude will follow suit.
Here are 3 pairs of white jeans that fit the bill:
LEVI’S 501 CT
The 501s are pretty damn close to the perfect pair of jeans, but as jeans got slimmer, the 501s didn’t really follow suit. Now Levi’s has come out with its 501 CT jeans. The CT stands for custom tapered and they offer a great fit. The price isn’t too shabby either.
EARNEST SEWN DEAN
These jeans are more of an off-white that may help you ease into wearing white denim. They are already distressed so they look like you’ve had them forever, but the slim fit is completely modern.
RAG & BONE SELVEDGE
There is no reason your white jeans shouldn’t be of the same quality as your other jeans. Rag & Bone uses prized selvedge denim for its pair which means they’ll last for longer than this summer. The oxidized hardware and black stitching around the button also provide a unique contrast.