ways to wear: white jeans
You’re reading the title of this post and thinking that I don’t know that it’s December. I do. A NYC friend (thanks Kim!) recently mentioned that she loves her white jeans. Then I started thinking about my white jeans, and how I might wear them in the winter. So here you are: one pair of white jeans (Citizens of Humanity, Ava, $164, hemmed to 26.5 inches)–four doable winter looks. Doable, that is, provided the weather is cold and dry. I’d advise you not to try any of these outfits in the rain.
A word on white jeans. In terms of fit, white jeans rank right up there with swimwear in difficulty. If you haven’t sobbed or screamed in horror in a dressing room while trying a pair of white jeans, you are made of tougher stuff than me.
You should accept from the outset that your thighs and butt will look bigger in white jeans. What you should NOT accept are white jeans that are transparent or make your legs look dimpled from the outside. If you have jeans that are doing this, let me suggest that it’s not you, it’s the jeans. With white jeans, I think too much stretch works against you. I don’t know why, but that’s been my experience. Try a stiffer denim (one with a higher cotton percentage vs. the stretchy stuff). Also, you may look better in white jeans that are a size or two bigger than your normal size. I think the Citizens of Humanity pair shown here, in the color Santorini, are probably the most forgiving that I’ve tried in a while. They are still available online, at Nordstrom and elsewhere.
White on White
I love white on white during the summer, but it looks even cooler in the winter because it is unexpected. You can’t just walk out in a cotton shirt and cropped jeans though, so throw on a blazer or cardigan. Nothing too dark. Stay with neutrals and your outfit will look soft and cozy–the fashion equivalent of a mug of eggnog.
I bought this shirt at the Gap about three years ago for $48. It is a lovely, delicate thing that promptly fell apart upon first wash. That’s not the Gap’s fault, that’s my fault, for throwing it in with a load of towels. The embroidery is torn and the hems are frayed, and still I cannot let it go. I actually searched eBay to see if anyone might be selling the same shirt, but try searching “white shirt from the Gap” on eBay and see where that gets you. If, by chance, you own this shirt in a size large, I will buy it from you. Just name your price.
We live in an age of political correctness and workplace harassment suits, where management is understandably hesitant to get into matters of workplace dress with female employees. So take advantage. In my book, if you wear non-blue jeans with a top long enough to cover the jean detailing at the waist and pockets, they aren’t really jeans. To really throw your boss off the scent, though, I’d pair the pants with a buttoned-up top and work flats. I like this outfit because of the shrunken proportions and the graphic punch of the black, white, and orange-red.
The sweater below is one of my favorites, although I can’t eat anything in it because of the sleeves. Who needs food when you have a sweater this awesome? That’s a joke. I do. I need food even with a sweater this awesome.
If you have a bunch of neutrals laying around, trying punching them up with some neon. American Apparel sold these highlighter tanks over the summer and I can’t wait for May so I can buy some more.
I’ve had at least four people ask me why I look down in the photos on this blog. I look down because I want you to look at the clothes, not my face, which generally reflects the exhaustion I feel. In any event, white jeans always look good with navy, and stripes. Always. Since it’s winter, pile it all on, as I’ve done below. Going warm on top will distract you from your numb ankles.
Note: I wear cropped jeans year-round, and if there’s one thing that will kill a pair of cropped jeans, it’s socks. So I don’t wear socks most of the year, no matter how cold it gets. Sometimes style has to give way to comfort, and sometimes comfort has to give way to style. I refuse to wear thongs no matter how visible my panty line. Pick your battle, right? Anyway, if you don’t mind your ankles getting a little cold, a cropped length is great for white jeans because they won’t gather as much dust at the hem. If you choose to go cropped and insist on wearing the jeans with socks, go with God, and don’t say yoonanimous sent you.