How To: White Jeans

We seem to have reached a place where most guys are comfortable wearing white jeans.  Maybe not to work, but definitely in social settings.  The fashion-forward crowd has been on board for quite some time, which is usually the case, but as the trend becomes accepted by the general population, let’s re-center ourselves.

Wearing white jeans is actually pretty easy.  It’s a great spring/summer/early fall look that is casual but dressy, and can be styled in a few ways.  There are a few pitfalls to avoid to keep your look masculine.  Done well, white jeans project confidence and style and are timeless.

The Jeans:

My go-to is a pair of well-tailored Levi’s 501s.  You can usually find these pretty easily at a reasonable price, then spend a little money getting them tailored.  Not too tight, but not loose, and very little break (if any).  I rarely wear socks with these jeans, and showing off a little ankle is liberating.

If you like a little stretch in your jeans, then you can go straight to the 511s, which are already cut slim.

Beyond that, just about every brand carries white, like Gap and Rag and Bone, and there are some Selvedge options as well.  99% of pulling off white jeans is ensuring that the fit is right.  If too loose, you look frumpy.  If too tight, it looks like you’ve borrowed your wife’s jeans.  Your shoes should be dressy, as not to throw off the outfit.  White jeans aren’t ‘athleisure’.

According to Robby Miller of Miller Brothers: “I think white jeans are cool with a simple knit shirt and maybe a ribbon d-ring belt. Also, they look great with a cotton or linen unconstructed navy blazer and a tan suede driving moc. The key is for everything else to be pretty neutral and let the jean be the focal point.”

Looks:

The Standard white jeans look is the same as with anything else.  Pair them with a solid blue oxford, a blue or green sport coat, a good belt, and a pair of loafers (no socks).  You really can’t go wrong here.  The white jeans are really just additive, and you will look like you know what you are doing.

Details: J. Press Blue OCBD  |  Traveler Navy Boucle Sport Coat  |  Levi’s White 501s  |  Alden Milkshake Tassel Loafers  |  Accenti Alligator Belt

The Argentinian white jeans look is Polo centered.  Pair them with a gingham sport shirt, a La Matera polo belt, and suede boots (chukka or Chelsea will do).  This look is great for a day party, so include a great pair of sunglasses to round it off.  And if the day party includes a horse, you’ll be dressed the part.  The boots look may be a bit strong in the warm summer months, so save those for early Spring or in the Fall.

Details: Brooks Brothers Gingham Shirt  |  White Levi’s 501s  |  Persol 3019s Sunglasses  |  La Matera Azulo Belt  |  Loake Kempton Chukka Boots

The Casual Friday white jeans look takes advantage of a polo shirt.  This is the ‘happy hour to dinner date’ look – pair white jeans with a darker polo shirt, a leather belt (cool buckle), and bit loafers.  A good watch will round out the look.  Have a beer at happy hour, then a vodka tonic at dinner.  Neither will ruin your jeans if you spill.

Details: Boast Solid Court Polo  |  White Levi’s 501s  |  Rolex GMT Master  |  Matthias Kaupermann Needlepoint Belt  |  Salvatore Ferragamo Crown Bit Loafers

Are you on the white jeans train?  How do you like to wear them?

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6 Comments

  1. WAL
    07/16/2018 / 7:58 AM

    Absolutely. Got my white 501s at Sid Mashburn in Houston four years ago. Have been one of my summer staples ever since. Also perfect for recent trips to Cuba, Mexico, etc.

  2. Nem
    07/16/2018 / 8:27 AM

    Excellent post.  I’ll add that Sid Mashburn’s slim straight five pocket jeans in white and/or natural denim are great choices.  They require zero tailoring right off the shelf.  The Levi’s 511 is a touch slimmer, but work well as you noted.  I work in a casual office environment and at least once a week wear white denim jeans.  For those not quite ready for arctic white, head over to Best Made Company and try their Standard Five Pocket Pant in sand for a light daily 5-pocket option.  J. Crew’s 770 fit jeans come in wheat and white too.  As you can tell, I am a fan of the white/off-white jean pretty much year ’round.

  3. Trip
    07/16/2018 / 3:27 PM

    Solid post.

  4. JEP
    07/16/2018 / 7:00 PM

    Huge fan and daily office wearer of wheat colored jeans in Spring/ Summer/ Fall.  Move to stone in the winter. White is strictly for social…but part of that is because wearing  white jeans in NYC can be too aggressive – JEP.

    • NSG
      07/18/2018 / 12:29 AM

      I was totally going to rock the Casual Friday black polo with white jeans and needlepoint belt on my trip to NYC Friday, but now I’m second guessing myself… save white jeans for the Hamptons instead? 

  5. 07/17/2018 / 3:59 PM

    34 Heritage has a great pair of white jeans with their touch of stretch built in.

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