The one spring/summer trend I could never get “behind” is white jeans. Despite their status as a summer staple, I had plenty of reasons why I didn’t want to buy, wear and maintain white jeans.
- They would highlight my extra inches (the ones on my belly, made up of chocolate lava cake.)
- I’d worry that they were sheer.
- I would probably stain, spill on, or otherwise dirty them in the first half-hour of wear.
If any of those problems sound familiar, perhaps you’ll agree that white jeans are trouble.
Until I met this pair.
They were hanging all by themselves, looking very lonely on a sale rack. I had spent two hours hunting unsuccessfully for something else and was a bit desperate and delirious. These jeans were a size bigger than my usual size, but on a whim, I decided to try them on.
Gasp. Not only did I like them, I loved them. Was it possible that I could actually buy, wear and maintain white jeans?!
Buying Tips For White Jeans
In my 3 Reasons To Buy Fast Fashion post, I mentioned that I spend as little as possible on white shirts and t-shirts, knowing that I’ll end up staining them and turning them into rags. However, when it comes to white jeans, I’d rather buy a little later in the season when the higher priced brands go on sale. That way I can afford a better quality pair. These Free People Jeans were originally $128.00, but I paid under $40.
When you buy white jeans, try them on in front of a three-way mirror to get a good look from every angle. Better yet, take a few of those dressing-room selfies (no face) and look at the photos with a little more objectivity. We tend to be our own harshest critics, and sometimes a photo can help us see how others see us.
Which Shape Is Right For You?
You’ll want your white jeans to fit just right. Be willing to try on different brands, sizes, and cuts even if the numbers and descriptions don’t match your expectations. Did you know that the waist size on a pair of jeans is just a number, not an accurate measurement? Yup, a size 28 in one brand may be the same as a size 30 in another, and neither of these sizes indicates your actual waist measurement.
To find your true natural waist, stand up against a wall, bend to one side, and wrap a tape measure around the part of your body where a crease has formed. When you’re buying online, you’ll need this measurement to look at the size chart for each brand. Most of the time, you will find your jean size to be smaller than your natural waist measurement. This is called “vanity sizing” though most brands deny that they use it.
Once you’ve figured out your size, here are some guidelines for figure flattering shapes.
Pear-shaped women (you carry your weight in your hips, thighs, and butt): look for styles marked “curvy” and choose a wider leg opening (straight leg, boot-cut leg or flare) to balance your shape.
Apple-shaped women (you have a “muffin top and broader shoulders): choose a higher waist, and try a tummy slimming panel like Levi’s 312 Shape Slim Jean.
Tall women look great in cropped jeans. Try an embroidered, frayed or embellished hem for fun.
Curvy women: Levi’s 311 Skinny Shaping Jeans are available in sizes 16-26. They have added technology to slim and lift in all the right places.
Petite women, you can elongate your legs with a longer, slightly flared pant worn with wedges.
Obviously, check that your white jeans are opaque enough. Make sure you wear nude-colored, seamless underwear when you are shopping so that there is no mistaking whether the pants are sheer.
Old Navy, GAP, and Banana Republic all have stain resistant jeans. Of the three, I prefer the quality and fit of Banana Republic. I haven’t tested out the stain resistance myself, but there are several years of reviews and tests out there that make me feel quite confident that they do their job.
If your favorite white jean doesn’t have a stain resistant technology, make sure you spot treat any spills right away. I don’t like to use bleach in my wash, but as a last resort, I treat spots with a bleach pen. (Just make sure that your jeans are truly white, not off-white or light beige.) Otherwise, I like to use various recipes made with baking soda, white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and borax.
Here’s the best part of having a pair of white jeans: styling is easy. Like black, white goes with any color. I’ve featured my favorite colors for this season: navy and yellow, but you could pick pastel, neutral, bright or dark colors.
Casual: White Jeans + Any Color Tank Top + Neutral Sandals
Going Out: White Jeans + Ruffle Top + Wedge Heels + Straw Clutch
White On White: White Jeans + White Tank + Slide
How do you wear your white jeans? Comment below or send me an e-mail. As always, check out my Pinterest boards for more great buys!