White Jeans and Whatever

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Finally, finally we’re having white jeans weather. Hot, but not too hot, sunny, breezy, beautiful. And I’ve been wearing my white jeans with everything. They pretty much go with whatever I feel like wearing on top. Black, blue, red, navy, tan, camel, stripes, prints, whatever. They’re a neutral, I guess. And they’ve been a summer staple for me since the seventies.

Lounging on the waterfront in Tory Burch tunic, Michael Kors sandals, and Frame cropped, boot-cut white jeans.
Lounging in the sun, trying to look languorous… and not laugh.

The thing that is so great about white jeans, and about jeans in general these days, is that they come in so many styles and cuts. There’s something for every body type. For instance, this is my latest pair of white jeans. Frame cropped, mini boot-cut, with cool embroidery down the leg, and a released hem. Very seventies. Well, almost. If they were truly seventies, they’d be much, much longer, and I’d be walking all over the back of them. Ha. I bought these jeans a month or so ago, but I’ve been waiting for proper white jean weather to wear them.

I’ve been trying my new jeans with all kinds of combinations from my closet. I like them with my tan safari jacket, and the brown sandals that I got on sale at Aldo. But for a true seventies vibe they need something like this old Tory Burch tunic, with its linen-y feel, and bell-sleeves. If I had something in cheesecloth I’d be channelling the summer of ’75 … again.

Sunny day on the Rideau in Frame cropped, boot-cut white jeans, Tory Burch tunic, Michael Kors sandals, and Eric Javits bag.
I like my new white jeans with this old Tory Burch tunic.

I’ve written before about my quest to expand my jeans horizons, about trying to find a pair of cropped flares to suit me. But with my short waist, narrow hips, and stick-like ankles the quest has been a futile one. Now it seems that I should have been looking for cropped boot-cut jeans instead. The cropped boot-cut is slim through the hip and thigh, which I like. And the narrow flare suits my skinny ankles and skinnier feet better than a wider flare. The eyelet embroidery down the leg is just a serendipitous little extra.

Sunny day on the Rideau in Frame cropped, boot-cut white jeans and Tory Burch tunic.
Close-up on the embroidery.

I have more white jeans in my arsenal than these new cropped, boot-cut ones. I also have a pair of Frame high-rise, straight-leg jeans (below) that I bought last summer. Like all white jeans, they go with whatever I decide to wear on top. Last weekend when I was heading out for a day of shopping with my sister, I wore them with my old black Stuart Weitzman loafers, and a black Vince tee shirt. Easy, peasy dressing. I do love black tops with white jeans.

Sunny day on the Rideau in Frame high-rise, straight-leg white jeans, black Vince tee, Stuart Weitzman loafers, and Eric Javits bag.
This isn’t a great shot, but I wanted you to see the sun sparkling on the river.

Well-cut tee shirts, like the one I’m wearing from Vince, can make summer dressing effortless. That’s because unlike many tees, they don’t really need a third piece to make the outfit complete. These Vince tees are tidy around the neck and shoulders, not schlumpy or saggy. And they are loose enough around the middle for me to be comfortable wearing them without a jacket or sweater.

For the past number of years my expanding middle-age middle has made wearing many of the tee shirt brands I used to favour out of the question, unless I’m also wearing a jacket. Except for my white Vince tee, which I’ve had for several years and which really needs replacing. I couldn’t find Vince tees anywhere this spring, or a comparable brand, so I ordered a white one and a black one on-line. They are pricier than some other basic tees, but I’ve yet to find any other brand that suits me as well.

Sunny day on the deck wearing Frame high-rise, straight-leg white jeans, black Vince tee, Stuart Weitzman loafers, and Eric Javits bag.
Patient in black and white. Never mind, I had a good book to read.

So, this is me on Saturday waiting for my sister to arrive. And waiting. Ha. She’s always late. But never mind. In the meantime, I was able to get two loads of laundry done and hung out on the clothesline. And in between loads, I had a second cup of tea, and a good book to read. What was the hurry? Later, we had a lovely time shopping at Escape in the Glebe. Carolyn scored some fabulous pants and tees. Then we came home and had cold roast chicken and salad for lunch on the deck. I call that a great day. Not to mention the fact that I felt crisp, cool, and comfortable all day in my white jeans and tee.

Sunny day on the deck wearing Frame high-rise, straight-leg white jeans, black Vince tee, Stuart Weitzman loafers, and Eric Javits bag.
It was a beautiful day, and I felt crisp and cool in black and white.

Yep, it’s been wonderful weather for wearing white jeans lately. I’ve been wearing my white jeans and whatever. They go with everything. These two pairs will probably be my go-to white jeans for the next while. I also have a pair of cropped, skinny NYDJ jeans I bought to take to France in 2015, and a really old pair of Hudson jeans that I chopped off a year or so ago, in a DIY experiment. They’re both still wearable, in a pinch. In case of a white jeans emergency. Ha. And I’ve been thinking that since I had such good luck with DIY before, I may chop the NYDJ off into shorts. Not ghastly short, short shorts. As if. But maybe shorts that fall just above the knee, kind of cycling shorts style. I could participate in a trend without spending a cent. I’m still thinking about that one.

You know, my friend Liz, whom I am fond of quoting, says everyone needs a jeans wardrobe these days. I agree. But it does seem as if I am accumulating a white jeans wardrobe as well. I now have four pairs of white jeans. And I’m wondering… is that terribly extravagant of me, do you think?

No wait. Don’t answer that.

Instead, why don’t you tell us about your white jeans wardrobe? If you have one. Or even better, your summer fashion extravagances. That would make me feel so much better.

Linking up this week with: Visible Monday#IwillwearwhatIlikeThursday Favourite Things#ShareAllLinkup

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52 thoughts on “White Jeans and Whatever”

  1. I don’t have white jeans but I think four pairs would be fine. Like black jeans, they go everywhere and can work very hard. My old jeans have been cut down into shorts for the summer but we are currently having cold, grey days and it is tipping down as I type so the cut-offs will have to wait. Windy as well, I have just noted. You enjoy all the bright weather and the white jeans. I’ll just sulk here in England. Go ahead, enjoy yourself…

  2. Wendy in York

    To someone like me who doesn’t own one pair of white jeans you seem to have quite a collection 🙂 I have cream jeans & ice blue for summer but no white . Thinking about it , perhaps it’s because I like white tops in the summer & don’t want to look like I’m wearing ‘ scrubs ‘ . They seem to need summer weather too & that’s just not happening here at the moment – so much rain . I have bought a new bag , Ally Capellino in cobalt blue , which is a little summery . Enjoy the sunshine & your white jeans .

    1. That makes sense to me. I always have tan/khaki pants or white jeans because I love black tops. I guess I’d not be wearing my white jeans if I were in Yorkshire. Sorry your summer is starting off so poorly.

  3. just wanted to say a quick thank you for introducing me to Angela Thirkell. i am loving the gentle humour and glimpse of vanished time.
    i love my white jeans too. mine are ankle length and get worn all summer.. although in australia in summer its often too hot for jeans at all

    1. So glad you enjoyed the Angela Thirkell, Noreen. I’m pacing myself with her and will order another book soon. I don’t want to read them all at once and then be finished. That’s what I did with Ursula Orange books and now I’m kicking myself.

  4. My thighs preclude white jeans… no they do. I love the concept of white jeans but my thighs say no. This was reinforced in a dressing room many years ago, when a bubbly sales assistant assured me that the white jeans she gave me suited everyone, when she saw me in them she went off to find another pair jeans that were not white. I rest my case.
    Anyway, you looked fab in you white jeans and no four pairs is not excessive! Enjoy your Canadian summer and wear those white jeans as much as you can because you know it will be over all too soon.

    1. That story made me chuckle, Claire. Good for that salesgirl to NOT press you into buying what didn’t suit. I really hate it when some sales people smile and say all kinds of admiring things when the outfit looks terrible.

  5. I love those new ones of yours, and think four pair not too many since they are all so different. I also love white jeans on others, but just don’t feel right wearing them. I found a lovely very light cream colored pair of slightly boyfriend jeans on Everlane this summer, and they are doing well for me. You always look so smartly dressed, and now I am thinking I need to save up for some Frame jeans, as we are built similarly. Plenty of time to do that, as our southern US summers are not jean friendly when you are outside as much as I am!

  6. I love white jeans but don’t wear them nearly as often as I should — something about fear of getting them dirty, maybe? Many years ago I had a fabulous pair of white jeans from LL Bean, and wore them all the time, including on a summer trip to Rome and Umbria, where I thought I looked fabulous……turns out, in my attempts to get them clean and *white* again, bleach had left odd stains, visible only in certain light. Which I didn’t realize until after the trip (literally, in the airport long term parking lot, on our way home), and then felt mortified!
    Current pair is from Chico’s, will break them out this weekend.
    Thanks for the T-shirt tip, still searching for my perfect replacement. With a long torso, and short legs, it’s all about proportion.

  7. Hi Sue,
    I love the length and the cut out design on your new jeans. Have fun wearing them.
    I wore my white jeans yesterday with a black and white strip tee, 3/4 length sleeve. Love that look. Plus my quilted vest to ward off the breeze. Ha! It was sunny and beautiful….but 😉
    Tip…I throw baking soda in the laundry to keep my whites white. Works so well!
    Robin

  8. Like you, I have multiple pairs of white jeans. Four at last count! Since it’s been cool here, I’ve also had a chance to wear them with things that are normally too hot in summer – like a fun orange and white striped sweater. They do tend to get yellow or tired after a while, so when I find another pair I like, I jump on them. This year it’s the new Chicos No Stain White Jeans. Haven’t had a nasty spill yet, so I can’t vouch for how well they work, but I’m sure it’s coming. 🙂

    BTW, I love the embroidered jeans! And I agree that black and white are a great, classic combo. Looking good!

  9. Living in Florida as I do, white jeans can be too hot for summer wearing. I usually wear nice white shorts and lightweight capris instead. I don’t wear white jeans in our “winter’, as I am so eager at that time to wear sweaters and velvet leggings when the weather turns chilly here. I don’t think 4 pairs of jeans is extravant. They stain so easily that you can just turn an old pair into shorts! I love the pair with the embroidery on the leg. I have a pair of white capri leggings that have crochet trim on the bottom

  10. I love white jeans and wear them all through the summer months. You look great in them! I do not think four pairs are too many because they well get soiled very quickly especially with grandchildren and while traveling. It is good to have several of them. The black and white combination is very nice.

    1. They can be iffy for travel. But I take them sometimes as a slightly dressier option to wear to dinner at night, and don’t wear them during a day of tramping around cities and town or sitting in a rental car.

  11. Love both looks with your white jeans, you look great in them! I always read about how white jeans shouldn’t be limited to summer, and see nice combos for fall, with a charcoal or navy cardigan and closed shoes, but there is that “white jeans weather” thing you mention. I have it too. I only wear them when it’s not raining, as the splash up can be hard to wash out. By fall, they just don’t look appealing to me but maybe this year I will give them another try. I have 2 pairs, both quite plain, and will take a pair with my black and white tee from Italy on a trip soon, with black Donald Pliner loafers with silver trim. You’re right about them being a neutral! Thanks for a useful post.

  12. You’ve inspired me to go shopping today – after I meet a girlfriend at Timmie’s for mid-morning tea. I bought a great pair of EF frayed hem jeans (on sale) in the U.S. that I’m dying to crack out, but haven’t been able to find just the right pair of blue denim with the newer cropped, slightly flared legs. I’m only 5’3″ and it’s so easy to look dumpy if the proportions aren’t just perfect. White skinny jeans are lovely with longer, almost to the knee tunic/dresses for disguising muffin knees or thunder thighs. Like you, my patience for trying things on wears thin quickly.

    1. I have great patience if someones is doing the running in a store. But if I have to get dressed again, and go look for more options, I’m just as likely to keep on going… and go home. That’s often why jeans shopping takes many days. Ha.

  13. The embroidery on your jeans is just right–special without being too out there in a bedazzled way.
    I love my white jeans. Unlike white pants, which can make even one too young to retire look like a pensioner on a cruise. Unlike you, I have a small waist and “ample” hips and can never fit into anything, except at Loft, which offers the Marisa cut for your body type and the Julie cut for mine. All my pants are from Loft.
    I had a second pair of white jeans, but no amount of bleach could overcome the fact that they had a nasty yellowish hue. So I dyed them red. Worked great, because jeans are cotton.

    1. I wondered about the embroidery when I tried them on but because it’s one colour it doesn’t look too flashy. I hate jeans with embellishment as a rule. Dying white jeans is a great idea!

  14. I love my white jeans and like you I have four pairs. Two are AG and two are Paige. They are my summer uniform as I do not wear shorts. I will definitely try Frame jeans – they look terrific on you!

  15. I have tried on white jeans when shopping with a fashionable friend trying to break me out of my comfort zone but wasn’t convinced enough to buy them. I prefer pale blue jeans with comfortable deck shoes or sandals during the summer and a darker blue or black jean during the winter. My feet are quite large and wide so I tend to wear boot leg style to hide their shape and very simple shoe styles although recently I have bought and am enjoying wearing some skinnier jeans that you showed a few blogs ago. Although I when I stand up I keep pulling them down to the ankles as they ride up at the knee. I envy your narrow feet and your glorious weather ! Your tunic is exactly the style I wear and I have lots of them. I like the 3/4 sleeve length and the hip skimming length. The relaxed style hides my ever increasing spare tyre/muffin top.

  16. I have nine pairs of low-rise, skinny-fit white jeans (Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie & Fitch) which I wear year round. I live in Granite Bay, CA – mild winters and very hot summers. I’m 75, (no butt, hips and skinny legs) and wear all neutrals. To me, bright colors or too dressy are aging. I wear them with black, charcoal or navy blazers and silver puffers in the winter, khaki, olive, black, charcoal and distressed blue denim jean jackets in the summer. I also wear black skinnies. Uniform dressing for me!

  17. You look great in all those jeans. And IMO it takes good legs and a great ass — excuse me if that offends, it’s a compliment — to wear white jeans. (I live in black jeans, but when I’m my “normal” size I also wear blue, cobalt blue and even red jeans. I have never been able to wear white jeans.)

    Speaking of red, you are the perfect picture in black and white against that beautiful red chair. And happy Spring!

  18. A summer staple indeed!
    And they are beautiful and suit you well
    Ask me what I’m wearing now?
    White jeans have to be clean and fresh,so one has to have more than a pair,or two or three…especially if they are in different sizes 😉
    I wear ecru jeans during early spring and autumn
    Dottoressa

  19. Great post Sue … I really enjoyed it. Not as much as I love your new jeans though, with their subtle eyelet embroidery! They’re gorgeous and I’m seriously coveting them 😂 I may have to do a little online search!
    No, I don’t think four pairs are extravagant or too many. As D says they need to be clean and fresh so a choice is a necessity. I’ll confess to three pairs of cropped wide chinos, one white straight jeans that I had altered to just above my ankle. ( I’ve also a straight pair in ecru) Also being totally transparent I have two pairs of the wide crops in a smaller size … waiting for the day I can wear them again … they were actually big on me 18 months ago 🙁 I also have two pairs of knee length white shorts … one jeans style and one smarter … I do feel somewhat dumpy in shorts ha ha, but they work well on certain occasions when travelling ( I never wear them at home ) and Boden make ones that are well styled and a good fit.
    As you say, white jeans are so easy to style and to look stylish in … although I think it’s important they’re not too thin and see through or too tight!
    Rosie

  20. Hi Sue,
    I know you shop at Aritzia and wondered if you have tried the ‘Ester’ T-shirt. It has replaced my old more snuggly fit T-shirts as it has a nice crew neck and drape that falls effortlessly over my “expanding middle age middle”. I have one in every colour and they are effortless. The ‘Ruth’ is the long sleeve version. They work perfectly with white jeans.

  21. You look fabulous in white jeans (and everything else). I, on the other hand, commiserate with Claire (above) as my legs are nowhere near as long and lean as yours so white jeans have not made an appearance in my wardrobe. But I have nothing against you adding to your white jean stash. 🙂

  22. Four pairs are perhaps ALMOST enough, but since white jeans would seem to be vulnerable to staining accidents you should probably be watching out for some reserve pairs.

    ceci

  23. It’s too hot for me to wear denim in Atlanta but I do have a pair of white chinos that are much cooler and I love them. Just catching up on my reading and saw you mentioned Howicks again … my all time favorite jean during the ’70s. I used to wear them with silk shirts I bought at Bianca’s in Yorkville when they had their 50% off sale. After much experimentation over the years I realize I dress almost the same way now as I did then. I still prefer to wear natural fibers, but I wear a slim boot cut jean instead of the huge wide Howicks of my youth.

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