Denim jeans have been a staple in many wardrobes since its inception as utilitarian workwear in America in the ’60s. Over the last several decades, fashion designers have reinterpreted the humble jeans in many ways—namely in terms of silhouette (bell-bottoms and skinny-cut), treatment (acid-wash), texture (ripped jeans) and even colours.
Today, the humble denim trousers have become more of a fashion commodity, worn by the people from all walks of life, than a uniform reserved exclusively for blue-collar workers.
It has also become socially acceptable to turn up to an event wearing jeans—provided it’s the right cut, fit and colour. As a general rule of thumb, darker shades are reserved for more formal settings and lighter colours for more casual situations. The exception to this rule, however, are a pair of white denim jeans. When styled right, it can elevate an already sophisticated outfit and make you look like you know exactly what you’re doing.
Below, we’ve rounded up our favourite iterations of white jeans, complete with tips on how to style them and where to buy them.
1. The Canadian Tuxedo
This is a no-brainer, really. Take the concept of a traditional Canadian Tuxedo—blue denim jeans and jacket—and do it with in white instead. The versatility of the colour white makes it incredibly easy to put your own spin on the outfit.
Wear it with a neon yellow T-shirt and chunky sneakers to up your street cred. Or go the opposite and pair it with a neutral-coloured turtleneck and leather loafers as a nod to preparatory style.
The trick is finding pieces that fit you right—neither too loose nor tight. And you’re definitely going to want to get your jeans altered if it’s too long. Another great way to wear this look is through pieces with contrast stitching. What started out as a form of transparency by exposing threads by Maison Margiela has now become a full-on style trend adopted by many high-street brands as well.
It’s these little details that’ll elevate your look.
White Slim-Fit Denim Jeans
Contrast Stitch Straight Leg Jeans
2. The Elevated Staple
Give your indigo-dyed denim a break, and opt for elevated yet pared-back white jeans instead. You can still wear it with your favourite shirts, T-shirts and muscle tees and look pulled together.
Depending on your style and footwear choice, go with a straight- or skinny-cut—they’re the most versatile silhouettes. But if you find your shoe collection comprising mainly of boots, then definitely opt for a boot-cut. It’ll accentuate your legs, especially if you’ve put in time at the gym. And if you’re so inclined, cropped jeans also make for a good pairing with loafers. Wide-legged pants are more relaxed and work well with sneakers of all pedigree.
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Wide-leg Textured Jeans
3. Semi-formal Suiting
Swapping out your tailored pants for a well-fitted pair of white jeans is a contemporary cool way to add flair to your suited looks. From camel to navy and even plaids, white jeans complement all kinds of blazers and outerwear. Show off your proclivity for prints with a gingham or Prince of Wales checked blazer over a plain white T-shirt.