We know what you’re thinking.
Wearing navy or light blue jeans is easy. Wearing black or brown trousers? Walk in the park. Wearing white pants…a little bit scary.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Welcome to the ultimate guide for white pants – style tips coming right up!
You’ll soon find that wearing white jeans isn’t scary at all, it’s actually very liberating. It’s not just jeans that you can wear in white either, but pretty much any style of trouser. White trousers can be dressed down with a light blue T-Shirt and sneakers or boots for a casual summer evening outfit, or used as part of an all-white tuxedo for you to make an impression at that next big formal dinner. As long as you carefully consider what style of trouser you go for, what you’re wearing on your top half as well as your choice of shoes, then you shouldn’t have any issues at all. Accessories can be taken into account too, as white pants look great with baseball caps and other hats.
In many ways, white pants are easier to work with because they’re basically a blank canvas. Everything goes with white, so color matching isn’t really a feature in the same ways that it is with other pairs of pants. This doesn’t mean that color isn’t important, just that it affects the mood of the overall look rather than being an issue of clashing. Just make sure they stay white – beware grass stains! And yes, you can wear white jeans and other white pants after Labor Day. In winter, they’re easily matched with a trench coat.
What Kinds Of White Pants Are There?
Like any trousers, white pants come in all kinds of styles, shapes and silhouettes. Each has a different use or purpose and will need to be worn with different things, so check over this list that covers them all. We explain what shoes and top half garments go with each white trouser style a little bit later.
White skinny jeans and standard fit jeans
White work pants
White tracksuit bottoms
White formal trousers
White relaxed trousers
It’ll Be All-White
There are plenty of Kanye West looks that we would recommend staying away from, but this isn’t one of them. A sure-fire way to make men white pants look good with any outfit is to match them with a white top half as well. It’s a bold choice that will need a bit of confidence to help it through, but an all white outfit is perfect for the warmer months and ends up looking a bit smarter than a colorful one if you’re heading to a partially formal setting..
The different components of your outfit don’t all have to be the same white either, with slightly darker tones working well against bright white pants. You can experiment with this a bit by trying a denim jacket or a shirt that is ivory or slightly off-white and see what you think, or by opting for a more stone-colored set of pants. All white outfits look especially good against dark or olive skin, but can easily work on anyone so give it a shot and see how it looks.
If you’re going for the full white look, just be sure to steer clear of any red wine or coffee so we can keep your pants white! If you do end up getting an unfortunate stain then there are ways to clean them, but it’s always better to avoid getting them dirty in the first place if you can. Normally we’d say adding a bit more color in the footwear helps to balance things out, but the smokey combat boots work really well here and help to add some depth into the mood. While we’re on the subject of shoes…
What Shoes Go With White Pants?
What you wear on your feet is an essential part of styling white trousers, so listen up. When it comes to shoes there are thankfully plenty of options that look right at home when you wear white jeans. They cover the whole range from smart to casual, and can be tailored to your personal preferences. Your footwear choice is best co-ordinated with whatever you’re wearing on your top half, so think logically about this.
If you’re going for a formal look then consider derby shoes or dress shoes. A relaxed summer vibe such as a T-Shirt will need some sneakers, boat shoes or espadrilles. If you’re going for a middle-of-the-ground smart/casual look such as with a shirt, then some ankle boots or loafer will do you just fine. Ankle boots will change the vibe of your outfit quite a lot, but can be great to stack some white jeans on top of for a grungy urban style.
Like we mentioned before, adding some dark colors like black or navy into your footwear choice can help to prevent the look from looking too monotonous, and this works really well if you’ve got white trainers with some colored detailing on. There’s also the added reasoning of your shoes likely being the item that will get the most dirty as they touch the floor all the time, so it helps if they’re not sparkling brand new white – that won’t last for long!
Of course, wearing white pants isn’t just for the summer streets. There are numerous ways you can wear them for formal and semi-formal events as well, and can easily help you stand out from the crowd if everyone else is in black or navy dinner jackets. The image example of Donald Glover here is rather an extreme all-out example that includes a white bow-tie as well, but it’s a good blueprint of what can be achieved. We’ve seen some great outfits over the years that are based around a white tuxedo, sometimes with black trims on the jacket or tie that create more interest.
You’ll notice that the black loafers help break up the outfit a bit, linking back to our previous point about shoes. It’s all part of the same idea so read this guide carefully and make your own informed decisions. If you’re not brave enough for a full white tux, then you can simply settle for wearing white trousers with a black, navy or brown suit jacket and whatever tie you want to rock it with. It really doesn’t have to be that much harder than wearing a non-white suit if we’re honest, but you’re just swapping out the trousers for white ones.
Add A Pop Of Color
Every colored pen looks good on a white piece of paper right? Well, it’s the same principle here. One sure way to look great when wearing a pair of white pants is to add a section of bright color into your outfit. Yellow, green and red are all excellent choices when it comes to long sleeve shirts, and pretty much any color or design of T-Shirt will go really well with white jeans. A black T-Shirt here is also an interesting take, flipping the common white T-Shirt black jeans combination on it’s head as a fun reversal on a super easy outfit.
Jackets are best used alongside white jeans in dark colors like black or navy. A leather jacket is a good option regardless of the color you go for. This will help to contrast with the white pants that you’re wearing and bring more vibrancy to your outfit. Skin and hair tone are also super important when considering any block colors in your outfit with white jeans and can really affect the overall color scheme of your look. For this we’d recommend just testing out various colors of top to see what works best with your skin tone, hair color and facial features. Get a friend to help you out with this, it’s always good to get another opinion and it can be awkward to think objectively about yourself sometimes.
With a Blazer
White jeans and a blazer is a classic, timeless style choice. Depending on how smart your blazer is it can epitomise the meaning of smart/casual, helping you to look great while still remaining comfortable and relaxed. By adding a blazer, you instantly dress up your look and elevate it to a new level, but you have two choices depending on how formal you want to go.
If your blazer is a boxy fit with exaggerated shoulders, then you need to think about the proportion difference with your outfit white jeans, and whether wearing them skinny is going to work for you. This is a very subjective thing but definitely one to keep in mind. If your blazer is less structured or more casual, then you don’t need to worry about it so much.
With a T-Shirt underneath and some loafers you will give off a carefree and easygoing attitude, but pair with a button down shirt, tie and some dress shoes to show every you see that you mean business. The choice is yours. A blazer is a great addition in any case, complementing your white jeans perfectly.
With a Shirt
A shirt is always a great safe bet when it comes to wearing white jeans. Shirts come in so many different forms and styles that there is a lot of room for variety here too. Pair with a colored button down for a smart evening outfit that’s so simple it just works. Light colored shirts tend to look the best as they keep the tones similarly cold, especially if you go for a light blue or a denim option, maybe even a subtle stripe or check.
You can even tuck in your shirt and pop a tie on if you like for a work-based look, just check what the rules are in your firm or company as you might not be allowed white trousers. For weddings, an outfit based around a pair of white pants can turn some heads, but make sure to stay with the dress code and add a dress shirt, dinner jacket and maybe even a waistcoat. It all works.
Alternatively, wear them with a short sleeve open collar summer shirt over a tank top if you’re going for something you could wear to the beach or a barbecue. Add some sunglasses and slip-on shoes and you’re good to go. Wandering around on a warm city break or heading to your friends for a garden party? Outfit sorted – it’s a real summer mood.
With A T-Shirt
If the weather is warm enough, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with sticking to your guns with a simple T-Shirt and white trousers combination. Not too much to say for this one, because it’s so effortlessly straightforward. A white T-Shirt will change the look of your outfit quite a lot compared to any other color though as we mentioned in our point about all white outfits, so just be aware of that. Prints are fine too, and can even help to draw attention away from your white jeans so that they’re less obvious to anyone you meet.
If it’s a super hot day, you can go one step further by just adding a tank top when you wear white jeans. Shorts aren’t for everyone and this combination is a great way to stay cool while you wear white trousers.
What About Winter?
There’s an old fashioned rule that you can’t wear white pants after Labor Day in September, but don’t listen to it. This day used to mark the end of summer when white dresses and linen shirts were exchanged for the darker hues in the wardrobe like navy and grey. Thankfully, we now live in a more fluid and adaptable world where you can pretty much wear whatever the hell you like, all year round.
Wearing white denim jeans in the winter is an easy thing to get your head around too, and can help to keep things cheery when the days get shorter and everything gets darker and colder. In order to suit the time of year while you wear white jeans, you still need dark colors to make up the rest of your outfit. A denim jacket, fisherman knit, leather jacket or cardigan are all great choices, especially in colors like black, olive or navy.
The only risk with winter wear is that if there’s an increased chance of rain or snow you’ll want to steer clear. Bad weather can quickly ruin your pair of white pants and then the whole thing is pointless, so make sure you check the forecast before you get dressed in the morning! Plan the rest of your outfit according and wear some thick socks too.
How Do You Clean White Pants?
Getting white trousers dirty is a problem we all face, as they naturally pick up more marks and stains than other colored fabrics. This doesn’t mean the end of the world though, and they can be surprisingly easy to clean if you know what you’re doing and act quickly enough. The sooner you get to the stain the better chance you have of removing it. There are plenty of products on the market that will do a good job at removing stains from white trousers, but all of them benefit from this hastiness.
One way is to spot clean them using salt, soapy water and a cloth. Spread a thin layer of salt over the affected area before blotting it with a clean white cloth that’s been dipped in soapy water. Rinse the fabric from the opposite side if you can and avoid scrubbing if you can, opting for a dabbing motion instead. Scrubbing can actually embed the stain deeper into the fabric and spread it out more, which you definitely want to avoid. Spot cleaning prevents you from having to use a ton of water and power to put a wash on, and in the case of denim a full wash can have adverse effects on the material.
If you need to launder them in a washing machine, then only do so with other white items. If the stain is particularly bad then you’ll need a hotter setting, but if it’s only surface level then a cold wash will do. Don’t use bleach (which might turn your white jeans yellow and will damage them) or any fabric softener, but feel free to opt for a stain removal powder that is specifically tailored to white pants if you need to. Use a brightening detergent for the best effect, and give them another rinse once the cycle is done to keep them as white as possible.
When it comes to drying, keep the heat down low again or for best results let them air dry. The heat can damage or discolor them, and the same goes for leaving them to dry in intense sunlight for too long. If it’s an overcast but windy day then feel free to hang them outside, otherwise a well-ventilated room inside will be best. Stains can reach your white jeans from other things you’re wearing too, so avoid low hanging messenger bags or black suede shoes that might bleed into the white fabric.
Spilling red wine on your white trousers is one of the worst things that can happen, but it doesn’t have to completely ruin your day. In the event of this, you’ll want to grab s8ome hydrogen peroxide to dab your white jeans with. Use the same method that we described a minute ago, but use a bit more salt and let it soak up the red wine for a minute or two before going to work with a cloth. The cloth should absorb some of the wine during this so keeping switching to new clean areas for the best results.
What Goes With White Pants – The Ultimate Guide
Hopefully we’ve covered everything by now, and you’ve learnt all you needed to know about wearing white trousers. We’ve been through the style tips of wearing them with a T-Shirt, a shirt, a blazer and all the possible shoe styles to match with your pair of white pants. From casual summer wear to formal dinner attire, white pants are a wonderful addition to any man’s wardrobe and can be suited to any occasion. You can wear them all through the year (yes, even after labor day) and there are a lot of tips and tricks with the rest of your outfit to have them looking their best.
If you want a greater range of more examples, then we’ve added a section of photos below showing instances of an outfit with white jeans. Feel free to have a browse at your leisure.
More Looks To Try (If Needed…)
Feature image: Oh Antonio