Forget stonewash, white is the jeans colour of choice for the summer season. Here’s how to style it.
For years, our denim drawers haven’t been formally updated. Silhouettes change here and there — skinny gave way to Mom jeans and flood length denims, while 70’s 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 super hard to wear.” But we promise you, they aren’t. They’re as neutral as a denim pair, look super elegant and it’s easy to pair things with them, because, well, every colour goes with white. 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.
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.
A textured top (or knit 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 off-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 sneakers – if they’re a lean-cut high waisted silhouette, with cropped hems.
These jeans (above) are a perfect match for a chunky 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.
You see, all it takes to pull off white jeans is shifting your point of view and nailing the silhouette and shoe combo.
Keep scrolling for the best white jeans to buy now.
With a high waist, a slightly dropped crotch and a loose-cut leg, these white jeans from Zara are the perfect pairing for kitten heels. Swap the baggy shirt for a fitted white T-shirt tucked in to nail the tonal trend.
Zara high rise cropped jeans, £29.99
With sleek combat pockets and a high-waisted silhouette, these Topshop Boutique jeans are a perfect choice for wearing with sneakers. Wear with a simple black tee or roll neck come autumn — and to dress them up, switch the sneakers for backless loafers.
Topshop Boutique jeans, £59
Marks & Spencer
These Mom jeans from Marks & Spencer are a great choice to wear with either sneakers or slides. With a high waist and a loosely tapered leg, they’ll also look great styled with a chunky sweater and boots in the autumn, too.
Marks & Spencer white jeans, £25
A splurge purchase that will prove a reliable wardrobe ally for seasons to come, these Isabel Marant jeans have a super high waistline for a flattering fit and a bootcut hem, making them the perfect pairing for this season’s must-wear cowboy boots. Finish with a rodeo-style belt, naturally.
Isabel Marant high rise jeans, £275 at Selfridges
In a rich creamy hue, these buttery-coloured jeans by Ganni are the perfect pairing for ankle boots and daytime heels. Sitting high on the waist and cut to a wide flared silhouette, pair with a neat top tucked in and a dark brown leather belt to add interest.
Ganni wide leg jeans, £105 at Net-a-Porter
Main image: Getty Images