If you’d asked me a few years ago (or maybe even 6 months ago) if I thought I’d ever be the type of gal for whom a pair of white jeans would be a staple in her wardrobe, well I’d have answered with a resounding ‘hell No’.
First of all the white jean trend seemed to be limited to the WAG culture, glamour girls and those imitating Victoria Beckham in her early fashion designer days. Of the skinny variety, they’d be teamed with platform Louboutin heels, fur gilets and huge Prada sunglasses. As you can probably guess, nothing about that ‘look’ really spoke to me.
Then it was made popular by the Middleton family. And the Chelsea girls, and droves of affluent yummy mummies who identified with that rich glossy lifestyle of brunching with the girls followed by Polo/Cricket/Rugby with their investment banker husbands, followed suit. Again skinny in style, but this time teamed with Pretty Ballerina flats (or Hunter wellies), Lacoste polo shirts and Whistles blouses. Again, as a skint 20 something who hung out in Shoreditch most weekends this trend passed me by.
A couple of years later, white jeans started appearing on the cool girls, and I was almost swayed. Effortless, laid back, stylish folks such as Anine Bing and Lucy Williams started teaming them with blazers, slogan tees and trainers and the association with the WAG was finally over for the white jean. But for the most part, skinny was still the preferred style, and I just couldn’t get on board. When I bought a pair expecting to look like Anine Bing, I remembered that no, unfortunately I’m not a 6 foot tall model with a waif like figure and that dreamy effortless style. I was just a regular girl with hips and a butt and a desire not to draw attention to my cellulite by squeezing it into tight white unforgiving denim. So again, I sent my white jeans back to Topshop and said no thanks, thinking that actually, regardless of the trend, pale coloured jeans just weren’t for me, full stop.
But here we are in 2019 and I’ve done a U-turn. For the past few months, I’ve been LIVING in a pair of white jeans. I’ve successfully managed to wear them both dressy and casual. I’ve made them work for Mum days and work days, and dare I say it but, finally I’ve been convinced of their super power. I LOVE THEM.
So what’s changed? Well for starters, the age of skinny seems to be well and truly over and THANK GOODNESS right? Anyone else never really feel like they could pull off skinnies properly? Anyway yes, spray on, cling to your leg style white jeans I could never get on board with (If you can rock them then brilliant, but personally they just weren’t for me), but the recent high waisted, wide leg, Mom, oversized and boyfriend styles are MUCH more doable.
I tried a cropped wide leg jean earlier this year and honestly haven’t looked back. So flattering, easy to wear, work with a variety of tops and shoes, and just feel kinda cool. The pair I’m wearing in these photos were actually bought second hand from an Instagram friend (hi Bright Mama!) but I love them. They’re last season H&M I believe but there are lots of similar styles on the high street right now. For me, every jean I wear these days has to be high waisted (I’ve always preferred that cut but especially since having Evie) as I just find them so much more comfortable and I tend to always tuck tops in. These ones are cropped in length and have a wide leg cut, although now that I’m a convert to the white jean brigade, I’m thinking of trying a slimmer (not skinny) leg too – perhaps something like this Hayden style from Topshop. High waisted, loose, baggy shape but slightly slimmer on the legs.
Anyway since I’ve started showing them off both online and in real life, the most common remark/question I get is ‘I love them but how do I wear them?’.
And that was exactly my thoughts for so long too. I convinced myself that while I loved the trend, it wouldn’t look right for me or work with my lifestyle. I couldn’t envision how I’d wear them or what I’d team them with. But actually, now that I own a pair I’ve realised that they’re so easy to style with pretty much anything and can be worn in all the same ways you’d wear your favourite black or blue pair of jeans. I thought I’d share a few of the ways I’ve been wearing mine and also provide some of my favourite inspiration pics from good ol’ Pinterest to spark your interest. Let’s all get on board the white jean train this summer hey?
1. Simple – Trainers and a Tee
Sounds obvious but this is the way I’ve been wearing mine the most. Simple, casual, easy. My favourite white rainbow stripe trainers from Boden (but would look equally great with any trainers – I’m keen on a pair of Vans or Vejas right now), and a stripe tee (this excellent pink stripe is & Other Stories). Again any tee works – I team them with slogan tees, long sleeved bretons and colour block styles. As for outerwear – a leather biker jacket is always a great choice, or if you’ve opted for a plain slogan tee then a blazer would work. I’m also partial to the double denim effect with a classic blue denim jacket.
2. Stylish – Boots and an Oversized Knit
I don’t wear this look as much for everyday (mainly just because trainers/flats are more practical for my day to day with Evie) but it’s definitely my favourite way of styling these jeans. It can be tricky to style a wide leg trouser or jean with boots but it’s all about the length of the jeans and the style of the boot. Your jeans need to just hit the top of your boots so they show them off without giving any leg. The shape of the boot is important too – you want a slimmer sock style or even a cowboy western style if you’re going for a heel (because they tend to come up higher on your leg rather than say a chelsea boot which would sit too low), and something chunky and grungy if you’re going for a flat (an army style/lace up would look great but anything too dainty might not work). I like a bit of a pattern/colour too to offset the white, my brown snakeskin pair are Zara and I think the snakeskin pattern works really well. As for the knitwear (it’s coming up to summer so I guess you might not be opting for really chunky knits so much right now but given the current rain, sun, rain again weather a light knit is still definitely a must), I think an oversized or baggy style works so that you can do that half tuck thing at the front and show off the high waist of your jeans. I fell in love with this lilac/blue knit in & Other stories and managed to bag it in the sale. What really makes it work with the jeans is the statement sleeves, so look for interesting knitwear with something a little different to the sleeves or neckline. All colours work with white too so you can go bright and bold, or muted and pastel. Another great option would be a plain tee with a grandad cardigan over the top. Choose a cropped style that’s baggy in shape and roll it up/tuck it in to your waistline.
3. Summery – With Espadrilles and accessories
Ok so my black T-shirt isn’t the most inspired choice (my wardrobe was lacking a little here) but for a summery option, choose a loose cropped top and a pair of espadrilles or sandals, then add fun accessories like hair ties and basket bags. Instead of just a tee, you could try a silk cami top with this look, or (what I’m thinking of getting) a cute cropped gingham button up top. I adore these Boden espadrilles as they feel summery but still offer some protection. I have long narrow feet so the strappy sandal trend isn’t really for me, but for some inspiration Hannah Gale wears her white jeans with a black strappy flat sandal and looks great. If you need a jacket/ cover up with this look then try one of those cargo style lightweight jackets that are around at the moment (Boden has a great pink one) or opt for the classic trench coat (try this from H&M).
Hopefully that’s given you some ideas for how to incorporate white jeans into your wardrobe easily? Honestly, I’m a total convert!