4 easy outfit ideas with white (and off-white) jeans

Whether you save your white jeans for summertime, or wear them year-round, they’re an easy way to freshen up a casual outfit. Here I’ve styled some of my favorite pairs of white and off-white jeans to create four easy outfits to wear now & later.

White and off-white jeans have been a perennial in my wardrobe for some years now. They’re a great way to brighten up an outfit, and often look more polished than blue denim. These days, I prefer my white and off-white jeans with a relaxed fit through the legs. Not only does that fit feel more modern and current, but it’s also more comfortable, especially on warmer days.

Whatever style you prefer, look for fabric that’s thick enough to be opaque. And while we’re often advised to buy jeans a little snug at first, I think white jeans look best when they’re not skin tight.

Easy outfit ideas with white jeans

To be honest, once I started playing with white jeans outfit combos, I easily came up with a dozen or more. But due to time constraints, I’ve narrowed it down to this “fab four.” (I’d also hoped to get some nice outdoor pictures, but the weather has been gloomy and the light yucky for photos.)

1. Stripes & color

Susan B. wears a white jeans outfit with striped tee and green knit moto jacket.
JACKET | TEE | BRACELETS | JEANS | ESPADRILLES
My sizes: jacket Small, jeans 28

I bought these Mother “The Ditcher” jeans last year and almost didn’t keep them because I wasn’t crazy about the button fly. But I liked the fit and feel of the jeans so much, I decided to keep them and wear them often when I want a change up from blue denim. And I got used to the buttons.

The jacket is one of my favorite styles from Kettlewell Colours. It’s a cotton knit, so very comfortable and would travel well. If you have been stymied trying to find items in your color palette, they have a great selection of basics like tees, sweaters, and jackets. And you can narrow your search by seasonal palette. (Tall friends, you can find some longer tops there too.)

Magpie that I am, I couldn’t pass up these sparkly gold espadrilles (made in Spain). They run true-to-size.

2. Texture & linen

Susan B. wears white boyfriend jeans with a crochet vest, orange linen shirt, cork effect sandals.
SHIRT | VEST | JEANS | BRACELETS | SANDALS
My sizes: shirt 0, vest Small, Jeans 28 Petite

These are the J.Crew “slouchy boyfriend” jeans, previously shown HERE. These have a similar fit to the Mother Ditcher, but the fabric is a little more rigid, which adds some structure. They’re currently marked way down with code WEEKEND. They seem to run true to size for a relaxed fit. I’m wearing the Petite 28, which is currently sold out, but I’ve seen this style be restocked before. Most Regular sizes still available.

I wanted to add some texture to this look, so styled with a cotton crochet tank/vest, and cork-effect sandals. I added a colorful linen 3/4 sleeve shirt as a lightweight top layer.

3. Silky print top

Susan B. wears a floral print silk blouse, wide leg white jeans, cork sandals, carries a rattan bag.
TOP (SIMILAR) | BRACELET (SIMILAR) | JEANS | BAG (SIMILAR) | SHOES
My sizes: jeans 28 Petite

If you’d told me a year ago that one of my new favorite pairs would be a wide leg style, I wouldn’t have believed you, but “never say never.” These are from Madewell, and they’ve won me over. I love the fit, and the fabric is substantial, with just enough stretch. The “tile white” color is a slightly creamy white, not an optic white. They’re available in Standard, Petite, Plus, Tall, and Taller (!) lengths.

When it’s too warm to layer, a lightweight print top is one of my go-to’s. This one’s a custom piece from Amanda Thompson Couture (bought last year in London) but here are some other styles to consider:

4. Nautical navy

Susan B. wears a textured navy cotton sweater, white wide leg jeans, gold sandals, carries a canvas tote.
SWEATER | JEANS | TOTE | SANDALS
My sizes: sweater Small, jeans 28 Petite

(I have to confess…this one’s my favorite!) I was going for a simple “coastal chic” look, and this combo hit that sweet spot. These are the same wide-leg jeans as above. The sweater…I’m absolutely smitten with it! It’s a mixed-stitch cotton knit, and an open weave on the raglan sleeves keeps it cooler. (And more visually interesting.) The navy color isn’t too dark for a Spring, though Winters could probably wear it too. (Also available in white.) I went with the vacation-vibe flat gold sandals, and a classic canvas tote.

(These sandals in gold seem to be almost sold out. Here’s one with a similar look.)

More cotton sweaters:

Wearing and caring for your white jeans

Undergarments: even if your jeans are pretty opaque, I recommend wearing nude rather than white underwear. By “nude,” I mean “a close match to your skin tone.”

The best white for your palette:

  • Winters, you’ll want to stick with a bright, optic white.
  • Summers, while your white is a bit softer, you can probably get away with a bright white jean. (For a denim jacket though, go a little softer.)
  • Springs and Autumns, opt for creamy white, ivory, ecru. Winter’s optic white will look to harsh with the rest of your palette.

Clean jeans. Yes, white (and light-colored) jeans and pants will show dirt more readily. I’ve learned not to sweat the odd smudge here and there, and will spot clean as much as possible rather than wash. For stains, try a spritz of Oxi-clean spray. I wash my white jeans in cold water, a minimal amount of detergent, and no bleach (though I’ll sometimes use a little Oxi-clean powder). Line dry, in the sun if you can.

Do you wear white jeans? What’s your favorite style?

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16 Comments

  1. Thanks for showing the Chico’s linen shirt. I’ve had my eye on it but was afraid it would be too long for me. It looks great on you so I’m going to give it a try.

    1. Yes, I was pleasantly surprised at the length of this one! Many of their shirts are almost tunic-length on me.

  2. Yes I wear standard white straight-leg jeans all spring and summer. Also wear my Talbots “natural “ frayed bottom jeans nearly all year.
    The white jeans are also from Talbots and Chicos.

  3. I like the look of white jeans, & wore them on a recent trip to France. The hem did get a bit dirty, so I cuffed them up! Problem solved! That said, I never wear them at home (Houston), because it’s much too hot to wear jeans here from June through October. I’m trying to get over that old dictum about not wearing white before Memorial Day & after Labor Day!

    Oh, and Oxyclean is a miracle product in my opinion. I decanted some into a tiny travel spray bottle on my last trip. It’s a rare stain that Oxyclean can’t get out!

  4. Checking out Chico’s no-iron linen shirt on their site. The one you pictured looks like the hem is straight across but the one on the web site has a shirt tail bottom. Did you alter yours?

    1. No, mine also has a shirt-tail hem. It may just look straight because I’m wearing it open.

    1. Thanks, and yes it is. That color looks yellow online, but is a light “tangerine” in person.

  5. The navy and white outfit is soooo great on you. And I’m loving your hair!

    I wear white jeans all year round but maintaining anything white is a bit of a pain, isn’t it? So… I keep Oxiclean in stock at all times! Works well too for underarm stains on white shirts.

    And I’m lusting after the silk blouse with the sunglasses!

  6. I do wear white jeans. As a summer they are helpful for coordinating the lighter colors and warm weather outfits. Mine are from Talbots from last year.

  7. Susan—Does the Chico’s linen shirt run large? I notice you have the size comparable to a 4. I’m usually a 6 petite. What do you think? Also, any of the color choices good for winters?

    1. Hi Rose, yes I generally find Chico’s clothing runs a little bit large. I think all of the colors in this particular shirt are a bit warm for Winters, however this one in the “Purple Prism” color could work: https://bit.ly/3MFJQcy

  8. Hi Sue. I love that navy Me & Em sweater. Can you share what size you’re wearing? I checked out their site and am hesitant to order a size M in case it might be too snug. Ordering on-line is always a minefield but sometimes the duty and /or return hassle etc up here in Canada make me super cautious.

  9. I’m in NE and still stick to the Memorial Day to Labor wearing of white pants — I know, I know, not fashion forward. I love the looks though rarely wear silk print tops although I have a couple from my work wardrobe. The only miss for me was the gold sandals with the nautical look. I spend time in Newport, RI and Portland, ME, and boot shoes (e.g., Sperry topsiders) are the way to go. Sneakers are fine as well. We have cobbled and brick streets up here – LOL. Love the LLB tote — made in Maine!