The Ultimate Guide To Men’s White Pants
Whether your style leans Riviera, skatepark or something in between, there’s a pair of white trousers for you.
White pants might not be at the top of your wish list, but they should be. The underrated shade, too often derided for being impractical or flashy, is more versatile than its detractors would have you think.
Working as an excellent alternative to stone chinos in summer, and a more playful replacement for blue jeans year round, the best white pants help you build unexpected looks and offset other colours in interesting ways.
Whether your style leans Riviera, skatepark or something in between, there’s a white trouser for you. There are more styles out there than ever before, from chinos and five-pocket pants to workwear designs and tailoring, making it easy to find something that works with your rotation.
There are, as you might imagine, some pointers to consider, but get them right and you won’t look back. From finding the right fit, to when and where to wear them, here’s the low down.
Key white pant styles for men
Chinos have long been a smart casual staple. Dress them up with a blazer and shirt, or wear them casually with a T-shirt and sneakers, you can’t miss. While navy, black and khaki are more common, white or off-white chinos are breezy, elegant option for summer.
Easy to wear with virtually any colour up top, from blues and greens to reds and burnt oranges, they also style up with a blazer and down with a simple cotton tee.
Pleated and tailored trousers
For a Riviera-inspired edge, white pleated or tailored trousers are the way to go. Evoking mid-century elegance, they’re an ideal vaction pant, especially crafted from a soft, breathable cotton or linen blend.
Try yours with a relaxed-fitting striped Oxford shirt, light brown leather penny loafers and tortoiseshell sunglasses for a look that wouldn’t be out of place in To Catch a Thief (1955).
Skate and worker pants
The best white trousers aren’t all about elegance and refinery. Skater styles and workwear pants also come in whites and off-whites.
Often made in denim or twill, they’re cut looser and the light shade adds to the casual vibe. Wear them with baggy T-shirts, streetwear hoodies or overshirts.
There’s something about white loungewear that makes it more indulgent to kick back in.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, luxury sweatpants have become popular for quiet days indoors, but they can also work as part of a streetwear outfit, with the blank-canvas trousers working as a perfect foil for a heavyweight tee or logo hoodie.
White pants buying considerations
Decide on where you’re going to wear them
Before buying a pair of white pants, consider when and where you’re going to wear them. The style is best suited to the warmer months thanks to the light shade and summery feel, but are you thinking of summer weddings and city breaks or something more low-key?
If you’re after a versatile alternative to blue jeans, you could also consider buying some off-white twill trousers, which will work with all manner of casual staples from T-shirts and polos to knitwear and lightweight jackets.
Find your fit
There might not be any such thing as a perfect trouser fit, unless you’re going bespoke. But when it comes to white pants, and regardless of whether you’re going for chinos, trousers or jeans, you’re best served if you go for a fit that’s not too slim and not too relaxed or floaty.
Something in the middle is often most flattering – meaning a mid rise, a bit of room in the thigh and a subtle taper down to the ankle.
Often called a carrot fit thanks to its tapering silhouette, this is a cut that will flatter most body shapes and styles, whether you like to dress up or prefer to appear laid back and casual.
How white is white?
There are white pants and then there are really white pants. Unlike a crisp white shirt or tee, you don’t want to go too bright with the trousers. They’re harsh on the eye and hard to style.
Look for something off-white, with a little cream or stone to soften the shade. As well as making them easier to wear, they’re also more forgiving with stains.
Think about how you’re going to wear them
While some trousers work best as part of a tonal look, white pants arguably look their best when colour is involved elsewhere in the fit. From neutral, earthy shades of brown, green and stone, to vibrant shades of orange, red or lilac, white trousers are perfect for anchoring a colourful top half.
The shade is literally a blank canvas, and will complement virtually anything you throw at it. Try yours with a grey marl T-shirt and olive green bomber jacket for an easy everyday look, or go smarter with a burnt orange knitted polo and navy unstructured blazer.
The best white trousers brands in 2023
White trousers are a key part of the resortwear look – relaxed, luxurious and ideal for setting off a tan. You won’t find many better examples than those from Vilebrequin.
Its white trousers include floaty linen pants, joggers and terry towelling trousers, as well as luxury corduroy and five-pocket pants. All calling out to be worn with a floral shirt.
This British slow fashion label does modern casuals better than most and its popular Kurt trouser comes in a relaxed fit and a soft ecru colour that’s ideal for summer.
Proving how versatile white pants are, the brand offers them in heavy twill and lightweight seersucker, as well as linen-blend tailored trousers that will quickly become your plus one at summer weddings.
Luca Faloni specialises in traditional Italian elegance with a modern touch and a fair price. Its take on sprezzatura naturally includes white chinos and linen trousers.
Crafted in Northern Italy from well-sourced fabrics, they’re breathable, easy-wearing designs that come with a subtle flattering taper through the leg.
The label also brings clever design touches to its trouser collection, such as internal waistbands that keep your shirt neatly tucked.
German brand Closed is best known for its impressive denim collection, which features well-made white jeans in every fit. But it’s also worth checking out the label’s other white pants, including modern wide fits and tapered chinos.
Styled simply with block-colour shirts and tees, Closed shows how this supposedly daring style fits easily into a wardrobe of casual menswear essentials.
Preppy-leaning New York designer Todd Snyder has one of the best trouser collections in menswear, with interesting designs like gurkha trousers lining up alongside classic jeans and chinos.
Almost every style comes in a white or off-white shade, from simple five-pocket pants to tailored styles with side adjusters and loose-fitting cords.
The lookbook is also a masterclass in styling white trousers.
Perfectly tailored in some of the world’s finest fabrics, Brunello does a particularly good line in pleated, cropped white trousers that pair nicely with linen shirts or polos.
Also look out for sporty styles, military detailing or cargo pockets and luxurious corduroy trousers, too.
It’s best known for its exceptional denim, but Japanese label Orslow also produces a wider range of hardy modern menswear, taking inspiration from workwear, military fatigues and more.
Its collection of white trousers include loose-fitting worker pants with elasticated waistbands and preppier tailored designs.
Across the board, you can expect a meticulous approach to construction, ensuring the pants last season after season.
While it doesn’t strictly make chinos, Stan Ray produces some of the finest casual trousers around.
Practical and workwear-inspired, its off-white painter pants come with features like a relaxed fit, side hammer loop, double-knee construction and a durable cotton fabric, which will only get better with time.
Of course, there could be no list of white trouser options without mentioning Ralph Lauren. As far as chinos go, the US preppy brand is unrivalled when it comes to fit, fabrication and comfort.
Its wide range consists of everything from contemporary slim fits through to wider, more relaxed cuts all of which are made from the best chino cotton available.
This Italian label, part of the Slowear Group, is dedicated to creating the best trousers in the world.
To achieve its aim, it takes a tech-forward approach to its fabrics, crafting trousers from gabardine or weaving technical sports fabrics into more tailored designs.
Visually, the Venetian brand sticks to its roots, with chinos and tailored designs crafted for laid-back Italian style.
This historic Italian tailor has, like a lot of luxury fashion brands, increased the amount of casual styles in its recent collections.
So alongside impeccably crafted suit trousers and pleated designs, you’ll now find Canali five-pocket pants, chinos and jeans, all available in white.
Look for premium details, like silk-blend fabrics for extra comfort on the move.
Japanese brand Edwin has been creating drool-worthy menswear since 1947 and while its raw denim is highly prized, don’t ignore the label’s wider collection of casualwear.
Its twill pants are cut in wider modern fits and come in bright white for a distinctive streetwear look. Also check out its white denim, of course, which is every bit as good as the brand’s blue jeans.
If you’re looking for a sharp, well-fitting pair of pants for a summer event, Mango should be high on your list of brands to visit.
The affordable retailer produces tailored pieces that look far more expensive than they actually are, and with a range of fits and styles of trousers available, there’s a good chance you’ll find the perfect pair.
The British institution has always done a fine line in tailoring, offering what is surely the best quality for the price found anywhere.
It caters to all body shapes and offers a huge array of sizing options, while its white pants span everything from slim fits through to relaxed, pleated cuts.