There is someone in my family that has always rocked white jeans: my Dad. Even now, in his mid-Seventies, he looks great in a pair of chalky Levi’s 501s. Maybe it’s something to do with the fact that he usually pairs them with a white Fender Stratocaster and still has the slim physique he had when his band supported the Rolling Stones in the 1960s (true story! I’m not ashamed to brag about it either!). But can’t say I’ve ever felt quite as confident to put on a pair myself.
PHOTOGRAPHY: ZAC FRACKELTON
White jeans are everywhere right now though, so I thought I would give it a shot. Obviously, they’re pretty hard to wear, since the colour isn’t exactly forgiving and I’m really not into the idea of wearing pure white skinnies (Razorlight’s Johnny Borrell circa 2004 is NOT my style icon), so finding the right fit was going to be a bit of a mission. I headed straight to Levi’s as I’m such a fan of the 501 skinny style (which isn’t particularly skinny, FYI, in very much a good way) but the denim wasn’t the heavy weight I was looking for. I’m sure they’d look awesome on someone with longer, slimmer legs than mine, or my Dad, even, but on this occasion they weren’t for me. I’d been recommended a pair in Zara, but I couldn’t find the style and I really wanted to try them on rather than buy online. Then I found this pair, rather surprisingly, from Boden.
Now, full disclosure – Boden gave me this pair to try when I mentioned that I was going to write about white jeans, and I have to say, I am genuinely impressed. At their suggestion, I went up a size to the 12 and these are the petite fit, which I would definitely recommend unless you are very tall; as you can see I’ve still rolled mine up a couple of times to get that all-important flattering ankle exposure (I’m considering chopping them off and letting them fray). They sit nicely around belly-button height and the denim is pretty sturdy – for me this is the most important factor when choosing white jeans as it makes them less prone to those weird leg wrinkles.
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Deciding what to wear your white jeans with is also very tricky. Of course, you could do the classic Breton and Stan Smith combo, but I wanted to try something a little out of my comfort zone: more white. I love this duster coat from Topshop because its length gives me a little more coverage (and therefore confidence!), plus the green stripes add a little colour without making me look like an ice cream. Stripes in general are an excellent pairing with your white jeans, as demonstrated in the examples below.
I’ve seen this pair from Me & Em (right) on other, taller, people, and they look absolutely gorgeous. They are also made from a nice heavy denim, and the shape is lovely and loose (also note the successful Breton + white trainers styling). And excuse the heels in the image from Topshop’s website (left), but I had to include these since the lovely (and petite!) blogger Megan Ellaby recommended them to me on Instagram (she likes them so much she has three pairs). The style is ‘Straight’ and they look fantastic on her – I can’t wait to try a pair myself as I think the fit will work really well for my figure, and I have been very impressed with Topshop’s denim offering this year.
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My white loafers are from GH Bass – inventors of the penny loafer, no less – and they are an absolute dream. They come with a new rubber sole, which makes them even more comfortable than a normal incredibly comfortable GH Bass loafer. White loafers are a handy addition to any wardrobe – they look good with all colours of jeans, and I like to wear them with dresses and skirts, too – so I’ve rounded up a few more pairs I think you will like. There’s something here for every budget.
1.Dune ‘Guilt’ loafers, £75 (dunelondon.com); 2. Gucci ‘Brixton’ loafers, £540 (net-a-porter.com); 3. Kurt Geiger ‘Kenner’ loafers, £149 (kurtgeiger.com); 4. Label Mix/Hudson ‘Hazel’ loafers, £110 (next.co.uk); 5. Office tassel loafers, £69 (office.co.uk); Russell & Bromley ‘Brewster’ loafers, £215 (russellandbromley.co.uk)
As usual, I would love to hear your thoughts. Would you wear white jeans? Is the thought of a red wine spillage too much to cope with?! If you do wear white jeans, how to you wear yours and where do you get them from? Leave comments below!