White Jeans, 4 Ways (Now And Into Fall)

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I’m going out on a limb here, not being born-and-bred New Englander, but I’m willing to bet that white jeans are the cornerstone of any prep enthusiast’s wardrobe.  I mean….for the preppy devotees, there are so many possibilities:  Navy!  Gingham!  Chunky cable-knit sweaters and loafers! Lilly Pulitzer prints!

All of which – don’t get me wrong – are great.  And as I type this, I’m making a mental note:  Find Self a Chunky Cable Knit Sweater.  (This is on my list every year, FYI.  Hard to find a good one, it seems.)  But other than the odd piece or two, head-to-toe preppy isn’t really my thing.  And since I already dabble in gingham and chunky cable knits….white jeans often push me over the edge.

First of all, the white jean thing almost feels too fancy for my taste.  No, not fancy.  Too….put together.  Too…polished – yes!  They’re much too polished for my slightly messy style.

Distressed white jeans are the obvious answer here.  But finding a pair with the right amount of distressing – too little gets lost, too much it feels like I’m trying reallllly hard to Make A Statement In MAH WHITE PANTS (you gotta say that last part in a booming voice while swaggering around the kitchen) – it’s tricky.  Piling on (since we’re going for gold #always), I also want MAH WHITE PANTS (cue booming voice and swagger) to have a slightly looser fit because, white, but also….wait for it….a flattering rear view.

So. To recap:  loose-ish jeans, nice bum, just-right distressing.  In white.  No problem, right???

HAHAHAHA #no

It should surprise no one that I haven’t been wearing a ton of white denim….until recently.  If you follow me on  IG (@shanachristine) you may have noticed that a certain pair of white jeans have made it into my wardrobe rotation.  Rag and Bone, my longtime favs, came out with a pair of Dre’s….in white.

Let’s talk about Dre’s for a second. Rag and Bone Dre’s are one of TME readers’ most favorite pair of jeans.  They’re called “girlfriend jeans” because they are reminiscent of boyfriend jeans, yet are cut slimmer, making them more flattering, and easy to wear.

They’ve got that loose-ish + good bum thing down.

 

Further more, this particular pair of white denim has distressing on each knee (one side more than the other), and a raw step-hem. The result is a pair of white jeans that are ever-so-slightly edgy, and completely on-trend.

I will likely take the step-hem up an inch….once I gather my courage.  (And find the scissors.)  When I do, I’ll do a FB live or live IG story or something – I’ve gotten so many questions about how I hack off my jeans.

White Jeans, White Graphic Tee, Done

So.  How am I wearing these bad boys?  With a graphic tee.  I especially love when the graphic tee is white, so you can capitalize on the monochromatic thing (it makes such a big impact), yet the graphic keeps the vibe casual and irreverent.

Nude sandals don’t distract from the monochromatic theme, and a quirky bag never hurts.  (I’d also wear this with my taupe Minkoff backpack.)

Outfit Details

tee // by And Finally Bruce Springsteen Graphic Tee (now 40% off!)

jeans // rag & bone/JEAN Dre Capri Slim Boyfriend Jean

shoes // Splendid ‘Mason’ Sandal 

bag // Clare V. Bougainvillea Drawstring Pouch

sunnies // Tory Burch Modern-T 54mm Gradient Cat Eye Sunglasses

My Four Favorite Ways To Wear White Jeans

In addition to the white graphic tee, I have three other go-to formulas when it comes to styling white jeans (especially distressed white jeans).

Timeless (Add a Black Top)

There’s something about this combo that’s timeless and chic.  Add giant sunglasses and nude shoes to keep the vibe modern (less matchy-matchy). I love a textured bag (like straw) to warm it up, with bold earrings.

For Fall:  Swap out the pretty blouse for a black turtleneck sweater, and the nude heels for nude booties.

featured items: top | jeans | shoes | bag | earrings

Edgy Monochrome (White Graphic Tee)

I’ve already talked about this ad nauseam, but this combo is still my favorite.  If you don’t have nude sandals (which I reallllly love with this look), you can do black, but either look for a white graphic tee with enough color to feel cohesive, or find really minimalist black sandals.  (Black slides would be really cute, actually.)

For Fall:  Add a trench coat.  Done.


featured items: tee | jeans | backpack | shoes

Nonchalant French Girl (Striped Sweater)

Don’t be afraid to mix tones – it’s the French-girl’s version of monochrome.  The stripes add a dark element that is perfectly grounded by chic black booties. This one comes across a bit rocker in person, even with a floral clutch (you can see a version on my IG)…..

For Fall: This outfit was made for a black leather jacket….or even a denim jacket!

featured items: sweaterjeans | bag | shoes

Rock Chick (Dark Graphic Tee)

The advantage here is that the darker colors in the tee support other shoe choices.  Nude sandals would still look amazing, but you can pair this combo with black booties (to dress it up), or sneakers of your choice.  And a backpack, always.

For Fall:  One can always stick a cool jacket on top….but if it were me, I’d add a long-sleeve tee underneath (as a nod to the 90’s), and use a giant scarf to finish the look.

featured items: tee jeanssneakers | backpack

 

So that’s how I’m styling my whites!  What do you guys do?  Do you love the polished look, or are you always looking for ways to mess things up a bit?  Feel free to share some styling notes in the comments – they’re always so insanely helpful.

xo,

S

A huge thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post!  As you are probably well aware, I could talk denim all. day. long. As always, all thoughts, opinions, and product choices are my own.  And readers, thank you for your continued support.  It doesn’t go unnoticed, and is so very much appreciated.

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About Author

Shana founded The Mom Edit in 2008. She lives with the love of her life (his name’s Mike) and their two crazy boys in downtown Philadelphia. She loves a good styling challenge (her engineering side shows eventually), appreciates kindness, and usually picks scotch over wine, sneakers over stilettos, and denim-underwear, always.

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16 Comments

  1. So, after hearing everyone RAVE about the Rag & Bone Dre jeans…I caved & bought some at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Well, they’ll be going back. I’ve tried 3 sizes and none are comfy. What am I doing wrong? Even in the smallest size, the waist is too big. But the quads are tight, and I feel like I’m constantly hiking them up to avoid a diaper crotch. Am I built wrong? Is this just me? I SO BADLY want to love them (or any girlfriend cut jean!) HELP. I have a proportionately smaller waist & muscular thighs.

    • I have the exact same problem with the Rag and Bone jeans. It makes me sad but alas they just don’t work. I thought about getting the right size for my legs and having the waist taken in because they are such well-designed jeans. I may still do that!

      • Have you tried Loft? They’re not distressed, but they’re skinny and work for bigger thighs and a butt (and a smaller waist). Love them. Thanks to Laura and Rebecca and Nicole for the comments on Rag and Bone. Was thinking about trying them just for the hell of it, but not gonna now…

        • You should still check some out just to see! They are fabulously made jeans, so if they happen to fit you well they are so worth it! It’s a tricky thing this finding the perfect jeans business. It just takes trying on a ton. The Madewell girlfriend jeans I love are majorly different in length from one size to the next, so maybe these white R&B’s are different!

      • I echo Christina’s earlier point – jeans vary so wildly. And I do think the Rag and Bones tend to be love em or hate em.

  2. Shana, your hair looks great – love it!
    Btw, completely agree with the chunky sweater search. I happened to find an amazing one at H&M last year. The first time I wore it, I was walking out of my building to get the kids from school and even my doorman was like “wow, that’s a really nice sweater!” 🙂

  3. Don’t want you to feel alone…while I don’t have that exact issue you mention, Rag and Bone back pockets go so low on me, that they sit just below where my bottom meets my upper thigh…so when I’m standing up straight, there’s an awkward crease. AG’s pockets are up higher and have always been more flattering to my shape. Not every jean works for every girl. I do have a pair of AG white cropped jeans that I love and I’m excited to try a few of these combos with them (never thought about a white concert t!)

  4. I tried a pair last year too. I was shocked. They were the most uncomfortable jeans I’ve ever tried. Huge in waist and tight thighs and low low waist and I have pretty thin legs small hips and a wider waist. Who knows. Oh well!

  5. I bought my white jeans from CAbi. I love the fit and they hold their shape well. I prefer mine with a tunic length tank and a nude sandal or high heeled bootie. Love the rocker tee!! Great new look.

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