5 In Getting Dressed

Wearing White Jeans

white jeans and aqua bag

It’s the perfect season for wearing white jeans. But not just any white jean, a white jean that doesn’t advertise your skin texture, lovely as it is. I tried on about six pairs of white jeans last month before I found a pair that didn’t look transparent. A sales associate looked at each of the previous five pairs and agreed they were awful. “Don’t feel bad,” she said. “Sixteen-year-olds are trying on those jeans and even they can’t wear them.” I felt better, sort of.

So your first adventure is to find a jean that allows you to forget about skin texture and remember it’s summertime and we’re having fun now! Whether you wear your white jean outfit to a July 4th party, a craft fair in town, or out on date night, you should be feeling confident and great! Let me help you finish that outfit with these pointers.

1. What to wear with those white jeans? Try solid-colored tops or summer-weight sweaters in Popsicle colors. How about grape, raspberry, lime, or cherry? Strong solid colors paired with pure white is great.

2. I love classic colors so my white jeans are going to be paired with black or navy on top. Other classic combos would be stripes in navy and white or black and white. Or forget the stripes and go with a zebra print.

3. Neutral shades in wheat, clay, dove gray, or sand can also be delicious with white jeans especially when those colors appear in loose knit tops. The texture is a great contrast to the crisp white.

4. To keep with the theme that white jeans present, keep your shoes strappy. The more skin we see, the better.

5. Do you want to wear your jeans at night and meet friends for cocktails? Do it! How about wearing a fabric pump in a floral print. Add a silk blouse in white and create a column of color. Then add an armful of bangles and a statement necklace in colors that are repeated in your shoe. Let the jewelry create the conversation.

6. Don’t wear colored underwear. I know, I didn’t need to tell you that but if you’re planning on getting dressed in the dark, be sure you stuff a nude panty or a nude thong inside the pocket of those jeans.


p.s. The pic above is a picture I took at the TEDx event in Santa Rosa of a woman in white jeans and a loose knit top in soft gray using turquoise as her accent color (bracelet, bag and earrings). Looks great!

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  • Reply
    July 2, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Hi Brenda, I too love wearing white jeans in the summer and am really liking your suggestions for what to wear with them. I’m challenged with keeping them looking nice and thought I would share what I have learned:

    1) Oxyclean is your friend, as is any sort of detergent with enzymes and a Tide-to-go pen. Wine Away is good for wine stains too.
    2) The sun can help bleach out stains too (just did this the other day!).

    If the above tricks fail, don’t get rid of a less than pristine pair of white jeans. If they are really stained they should go, but sometimes there is that little stain that almost washed out but not quite … those you can keep and wear selectively. For example, I recently wore a less-than-perfect pair to pour wine at a friend’s winery party and it was great because I was not worried at all about getting wine on my pants and they were part of a really cute, appropriate outfit (paired them with a navy Michael Kors zipper top). I would never have done that with a perfect pair.

  • Reply
    July 6, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Sallie, your comments are great. I love your ideas of what to do with less-than-pristine white jeans. I almost brought some with me on this trip to Minnesota but figured they’d be less than pristine in five minutes! I am curious if you’ve ever had problems with the Tide-to-go pen. I used it once when I spilled coffee on white pants (not jeans) and it left a halo around the stained area. I’ve been nervous about it ever since. It sounds like you’ve had success. Maybe I need a little encouragement to give it another try. And I’m definitely getting some Oxyclean! Oh my! I’m also remembering going to the Napa Uptown Theatre to hear Lucinda Williams. I man with red wine was getting by me and spilled his whole glass on my white trousers. Horrors! The woman at the bar in the lobby had some Wine Away and we sprayed it until it was drenched. I washed it two or three times when I got home and was amazed the stain came out. Another great tip! Thanks, Sallie!

  • Reply
    July 9, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Hi Brenda,
    I have not had much trouble with the Tide-to-go-pen. That said, I am careful about the fabric I use it on. Jeans I am OK with, not sure I would use it on something like silk so I think you are right to be a bit cautious with it. I have Oxyclean in several forms – powder for soaking, spray for using on spots and liquid to add to the washer. I highly recommend!

    Glad the Wine Away worked for you!

  • Reply
    July 30, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Brenda, I love your blog and have bought several of your books over the years! This year I bought my first pair of white jeans EVER and I am thrilled with them. Actually, they are more of a slim pant as the fabric isn’t denim but rather, a polished cotton blend (make is Calvin Klein). The cut is very reminiscent of a jean though.

    I’ve worn them several times already and love pairing them with a slim, collarless black shirt with sheer sleeves (so chic) or a whisper weight shirt in turquoise with judicious amounts of silver and aqua jewelry. They make you feel so elegant! Come to think of it, I need to blog about them with some style ideas before the summer is gone. Having beautiful weather helps too; one is much more inclined to reach for them when the weather is warm and sultry.

    • Reply
      July 31, 2013 at 11:15 am

      Your description is so luscious! I love “whisper weight” and I can so vividly see your examples. It seems that the type of “jean” you have is also much more refined than a true denim which makes it more elegant and sophisticated. Yes, you better blog about it!!! Tell me your blog!

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