White jeans: the definitive guide to the coolest denim style of all

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Grace Cook
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White jeans are the new denim hero that we want to wear all season long. Don’t be put off by their hard-to-pull-off reputation, the latest styles are as effortlessly easy to wear as they are eternally cool. 

For years, our denim drawers haven’t been formally updated. Silhouettes change here and there — skinny jeans gave way to straight leg jeans,while 70s style cropped flares recently made a comeback — but rarely has the mid wash blue hue been overhauled. But what started last season as a trickle has come full force: white trousers have become white jeans, and this summer off-white and ecru shades are the only palette of denim to be seen in. 

We know what you’re thinking: “white jeans are hard to wear.” But we promise you, they aren’t. They’re as neutral as a denim pair, look effortless chic and coordinate with every piece that’s already in your wardrobe. And there are so many variations on the market right now, there really is a silhouette and a shade for everyone.

There’s a failsafe formula to apply here. 

1. Team boyish-cut jeans with a mannish top, offset by feminine accessories. 

White jeans: the vintage cut

The slouchiness of these jeans (above) is matched by the plaid loose overshirt, which in a crisp blue is a lumberjack take on the classic work shirt that stops it looking sloppy. Add interest with girlish details — instead of wearing this look with sneakers, add a kitten heel in a pop of colour and a cute bag to provide a good balance. And keep hair and make-up to a minimum. 

2. Flip the colour palette on its head. If you normally wear dark trousers, opt for a softer shade of cream in jeans and take the dark tone to your top half. 

White jeans: ecru high waisted denim

A textured top (or a colourful cardigan when autumn arrives — this trend has sticking power) will balance your silhouette and draw attention to your top half. Forest hues like racing green, tobacco and chocolate brown are a winning match for white jeans. But don’t forget to accessorise: a black belt and bag in this look add a biker feel that toughens up the palette. 

3. White jeans are easily worn with trainers – if they’re a lean-cut high waisted silhouette, with cropped hems. 

White jeans: wear with trainers

These jeans (above) are a perfect match for a chunky dad-style sneaker because the fit of them is more akin to a tailored trouser. A flash of ankle offsets the change in hue from white to black — monochrome sneakers work best for this reason here. Casual accessories like a bumbag worn crossbody is ideal for achieving that low-key look — but be sure to balance it with a not-so-slobby top to keep it chic. A loose shirt in a statement stripe worn tied up (or tucked in) is just the ticket. 

Whether you’re looking for a straight leg pair to incorporate into your workwear wardrobe or a wide-legged style that will instantly elevate your look to Scandi street style levels of cool, we’ve found the best white jeans to wear now. 

  • Frame Denim

    Straight leg jeans are the denim trend that fashion editors have fallen in love with. The raw-edged hem on this cropped pair offers a rebellious edge that feels playful enough to wear to brunch but with enough sophistication to take into evening with the addition of a going-out top. 

    Shop Frame Denim Le High straight denim jeans at Harvey Nichols, £215

  • Weekday

    Whan to elevate your wardrobe to new Scandi-street style inspired levels of cool? Then these wide-legged cropped jeans are the pair you’ll want to add to your wardrobe immediately. Style with an oversized collar shirt and a chunky cardigan for a look that would turn heads at Copenhagen Fashion Week. 

    Shop Weekday worker white jeans, £55

  • Mother

    Forget any notions of 70s-sitcom-style bellbottoms, flared jeans are one of the most-wanted denim styles to wear now. Not only do they instantly elongate the legs (standing tall at 5”2, let this fashion writer confirm that flares have my personal short girl seal of approval) but they offer the kind of laidback cool that translates into all your weekend outfits.   

    Shop Mother mid-rise flared jeans at Far Fetch, £282

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