White jeans used to be reserved only for the preppy set on weekend in the Hamptons or Italians on the Riviera but much has changed in the world of fashion. Lighter denim, and in particular white denim, seems to be a refreshing and modern alternative to deep indigo or black denim. So forget everything you thought you knew about white jeans, they have now become a staple in every man’s wardrobe. But these bottoms are not always easy to pull off. Get ’em right and you are cool as Steve McQueen. Get ’em wrong and you are…we’ll let’s not go there.
Here are some basics rules to consider:
1. Select a slim fit
Like everything in menswear, fit is the most important thing to consider. White jeans are not traditionally the friends of the heavier man, as they make big thighs and calves look even bigger. But we think any man can pull off this trend if they are opt for a slimmer fit. Too much excess fabric makes white denim look extra sloppy. Too tight and whatever unsightly bulges you’re hiding underneath will be all the more apparent. See, we told you white denim could be tricky. So keep it clean and fitted with a slim cut that should be hemmed to sit just above the shoe. A little ankle baring is okay too.
2. Better blocking
A pair of white jeans look their best when they paired in high contrast; top your outfit with a bold colour such as red or black or even navy. Colour blocking, an age old trick I am sure you have all mastered, helps draw the eye upward, which, in many cases, makes you look taller (and slimmer). Yes, this means avoid an all white outfit unless you are headed to a white party (but do people still attend white parties?). White jeans offer the perfect way to rock the double-denim trend in the warmer months – just add a fresh white T-shirt and a blue denim jacket.
3. Keep it clean
Nothing looks worse than dirty white denim. The impact of white denim comes from their pristine crispness; these guys needs to stay seriously clean. The slightest spot, smear or smudge will render them a sartorial mess to say the least, so no wiping your hands on your thighs, no sitting on the grass (have you ever tried to get grass stains out of white?), and make sure that napkin is firmly in position when you eat. Too much work? Then leave them on the store shelf.
4. Clever footwear
If you’ve jumped onto this trend and bought a pair of brilliant white jeans, you’ll want to make sure your shoe choice doesn’t ruin the whole look. Many stylists will tell you to stick to a driving shoe in a soft tan or even a pair of boat shoes. But those rules are meant for the past – you can wear them with almost any shoe of choice including almost any pair of cool fashion forward sneakers. My only rule: stay away from white dress shoes with white denim. If you want to go all white then opt of for a pair of plimsolls or Stan Smiths.
5. Wear em Proudly
This is a must for any man trying out a new trend – make sure you feel confident while wearing it. This doesn’t mean you have to look cocky while doing so. But if you think you look good, then other people are more likely to agree.
Feature Photo c/o GQ