Finding White Jeans That Aren’t Preppy: I Tried On 6 From Gap, FRAME, rag & bone, & Re/Done


I’ve recently decided that THIS is going to be my summer of white jeans. It’s like my spin on the coastal-grandmother trend…but more coastal, less grandmother. My style isn’t really that preppy (except for my J.Crew habit and — inexplicably — seersucker), so if I were to point to one item that SCREAMS preppy it’s—

—wait. It’s actually a Lily Pulitzer dress. Or maybe penny loafers. Or those stupid fabric belts with whales on them. Or those pink chino man-shorts embroidered with lobsters.

BUT AFTER ALL OF THAT…it would be white jeans. A cornerstone of an East Coast prepster’s summer wardrobe.

I say this with a certain amount of confidence, since Mike and I spent a few years living on Philadelphia’s Main Line. We moved there when Pax was just a baby, and I remember finding myself surprised on date night when I, dressed in artfully ripped jeans, was surrounded by a sea of white-denim-clad-women. “Ohhhhh…” I thought to myself. “I’m only Northern Michigan preppy.”

That East Coast prep is a whole other level. And now I understand the assignment: ride or die, white jeans.

The Mission: Not-Too-Preppy White Jeans With A Little Edginess (Try-On)

So, why my fixation on white jeans now? Well…they’re…fun. White jeans can be playful when paired with graphic tees, absolutely dead chic in a monochromatic moment, and almost mod with a black tank top (think: Jackie O.).

And I’m finding that I’m most comfortable in white jeans that are a little distressed, or maybe in a nontraditional shape (like flares), or have cool details (like contrast stitching or big cuffs or patch pockets). These unique twists help keep my white-jeans outfits feeling more like me, and less like I’m playing dress-up in Lily Pulizter’s closet.

So. Here are 6 pairs of white jeans that hit that not-too-preppy mark. And I’m showing them in rough order, best to worst.

1. Gap High-Rise Cheeky Straight Jeans

Gap jeans (size 27 short)

OK, so, Gap wins the day. While the Cheeky Straight jeans aren’t the softest of the bunch, nor the thickest, they’re both soft and thick enough…and currently on sale for $40. The straight-leg style is great, and the distressing is perfect — not too much, but just enough to be impactful. These are decidedly un-fussy white jeans, and I LOVE them.

Gap's cheeky straight jeans are decidedly un-fussy white jeans, & I LOVE them.

Gap jeans (size 27 short)

FIT NOTES: These white jeans come in short, regular and long inseam lengths, as well as petite (runs shorter and tighter than short) and tall sizing (runs longer than long). I’m wearing a size 27 regular, short length. I found that the petite 27s were a little shorter (which I didn’t mind) but ran almost a full size smaller. If I went with petite sizing, I’d go up a full size.

PLUS-SIZE OPTIONS: While these jeans do go up to a size 35 (roughly a 14), Gap doesn’t actually have plus sizes. But if you like the look, Good American’s Good Icon Cropped Jeans come with a ripped knee and white wash that are pretty amazing, up to size 26 plus (and currently on sale).

2. rag & bone Casey High-Rise Flared Leg Jeans

rag & bone jeans (size 26)

Gahhhh, these rag & bone flare jeans are so freaking cool and ridiculously soft. The rise is nice and high, there’s cool black stitching on the button closure, and the fabric is thick and comfortable. This flare is perfectly executed in such a way that I can crop these without fear of losing the vibe.

This flare of these rag & bone jeans is executed in such a way that I can crop these without fear of losing the vibe.

rag & bone jeans (size 26)

FIT NOTES: These white flare jeans run big, so I’m going with a 26 here. The inseam length, for you tall gals, is a whopping 35 inches (THIRTY-FIVE FREAKING INCHES). Rag & bone jeans only go up to a size 32.

PLUS-SIZE OPTIONS: I tried to find some plus-size alternatives that have both that same silhouette AND super-comfy fabric construction, and the closest I could come are J.Crew’s Skinny Flare Jeans (up to size 37, has 1% stretch) or SPANX’s flare jeans in white (up to 3X, suuuper-stretchy). But neither have that really high waist.

3. RE/DONE ’70s High-Rise Bootcut Crop Jeans

RE/DONE jeans (size 27)

These white bootcut jeans from RE/DONE are another really comfortable, really well-made pair of jeans. The fabric is thick and soft, and holds me in nicely. The cropped bootcut has a kicky, boyish shape that’s a nice offset to the feminine, preppy color.

VIDEO: To see how these RE/DONE jeans really fit, I made an IG Reel.

The inseam of these white bootcut jeans from RE/DONE is officially listed as 27"...but I think they're a bit longer than that.

RE/DONE jeans (size 27)

FIT NOTES: Fit is TTS, and goes to size 32. This silhouette works full length OR cropped, so these bootcut jeans are pretty foolproof for different heights. The inseam is officially listed as 27 inches…but I think they’re actually a bit longer than that.

PLUS-SIZE OPTIONS: Good American’s Good Legs Crop Mini Boots are a dead ringer, just with a slightly lower rise. They go up to size 26 plus.

4. FRAME High-Rise Wide-Leg Rolled Jeans

FRAME jeans (size 27)

I honestly can’t decide if FRAME’s High-Rise Wide-Leg Rolled Jeans are a swing and a miss…or if I love them. I do love that they’re ivory rather than true white, and the contrast stitching is amazing. They have a vintage look and feel, and the big cuffs make my heart beat fast. That said…I’m 99% sure the big cuff needs to be cropped, and that might be more tailoring than I’m willing to do (I’m 5’3″).

Unlike most FRAME jeans, these white wide-legs actually do run TTS.

FRAME jeans (size 27)

FIT NOTES: Unlike most FRAME jeans, these white wide-legs actually do run TTS. Inseam is 29 inches, and these jeans go up to a size 32.

PLUS-SIZE OPTIONS: Abercrombie makes ivory jeans with slightly contrasting stitching. Buy them in a longer inseam to get the big cuff.

5. Gap High-Rise ’70s Flare Jeans

Gap jeans (size 27 short)

Gap’s High-Rise ’70s Flare Jeans are beloved by TME editors and readers alike, and I totally get it. That said…I wanted them to have a slightly higher rise. On my body, they’re just OK.

These white '70s flare jeans from Gap go up to size 33, have inseams of short, regular + long, as well as full petite + tall sizes.

Gap jeans (size 27 short)

FIT NOTES: It might just be the mid-rise, but I wish I had tried these Gap flare jeans in one size up. They go up to size 33, have inseams of short, regular and long, as well as full petite and tall sizes.

PLUS-SIZE OPTIONS: If you head over Anthropologie, Maeve makes white patch-pocket jeans with a cropped bootcut shape, higher rise, and…overall sailor vibes? Oh, wow — I think I like these better. Also in straight, tall, petite and plus sizes. Sooooo good.

6. FRAME Triple Binding High-Rise Stretch Wide-Leg Jeans

FRAME jeans (size 27)

I didn’t like these white wide-leg jeans from FRAME. Not only were they not *quite* high enough, but they were also too snug and, erhm…uncomfortable in the nether region. Sigh.

FIT NOTES: Goes up to size 32, inseam is a whopping 34 inches (great for long legs).

PLUS SIZE OPTIONS: Good American’s Good Waist Palazzo Jeans are available in both white and Bone. This is such a solid style — the whole team loves them. Actually…we did a GA Palazzo Jeans team try-on a couple of years ago, and wait — Kat & Jess both tried on the white! Here ya go:

Good American’s Good Waist Palazzo Jeans

Gahhhh, so cute. They win.