Men’s White Jeans Outfit Inspiration: 16 Sophisticated Looks For 2023
It's time to branch out from the safety of your blue and black denim.
There’s no doubt about it, white jeans are a polarising item of clothing. More difficult to style than typical blue or black denim, they’re more of a statement piece and typically only suit certain locales or times of year.
Wearing white jeans in the Côte d’Azur? Sure, you’ll fit right in with those stylish Frenchmen. Rocking them in a rainy London winter? Not so much. At the right time and place though, white jeans look extremely chic and sophisticated, combining well with a range of pastel shades as well as standard neutrals such as navy, grey and, surprisingly, black.
To help you on your way, we’ve put together some general styling tips as well as a whole host of sleek white jeans outfits, so you never get it wrong.
How to wear white jeans: general tips
How they should fit
As with any pair of jeans, fit is largely down to personal preference. Whether you’re after slim cut or something more relaxed, there’ll be a pair of white jeans for you. There are some important things to remember though.
First of all, you should avoid skinny jeans. You may have been able to get away with wearing black skinny jeans in the 2000s, but white skinnies have never looked good, conjuring images of reality TV rejects. When trying on a pair of white jeans, if there’s little to no room in the thigh or lower leg, you should probably keep looking.
When considering slim fits, ensure the silhouette flatters your leg shape rather than defines it. There should still be a bit of excess fabric in slim jeans, allowing you to move freely without feeling constricted. Look for a tapered cut with a bit of room in the thighs that narrows down to the ankle.
However, white jeans arguably look best when cut in a more relaxed shape. Seek out regular to wide fit white jeans that reference workwear pants and you’ll be in a much better-looking place.
Why fabric choice makes a difference
Just because they are ‘jeans’ doesn’t mean they’re necessarily made from denim. ‘Jeans’ simply refers to the style of the trouser, which has five pockets: two curved ones at the front (one with a built in coin pocket), and two pockets at the rear. So, technically, you can get jeans made from corduroy, cotton twill, moleskin and wool blends. But, of course, denim is the fabric you’ll traditionally be considering when purchasing white jeans.
You’ll find the quality of the denim improves with higher end pairs, so if this is important to you look out for Japanese, Italian or Turkish selvedge denim, which tends to be among the best.
At the very least, be conscious of whether the denim has any stretch in it or not. Non-stretch denim tends to be slightly harder wearing and ages better, but stretch denim is infinitely more comfortable, essentially making jeans feel like your favourite pair of sweatpants, expanding with you as you move. Stretch denim also tends to be lower weight – i.e. thinner – which is going to keep you cooler during spring and summer, which is when you’ll be wearing your white jeans most.
White jeans outfits for men
White jeans work perfectly as part of a classic, Ivy League-inspired look. They act as a blank canvas for a blue denim western shirt and are the ideal companion to a pair of canvas low tops.
Don’t be afraid to tuck in the shirt and roll the sleeves for a smart yet laid-back feel.
White jeans & a plaid shirt
While we’d generally advise keeping white jeans outfits simple, they present the ideal base for introducing a bit of colour in your look. You can do this by wearing a solid shade or by working with a pattern, like with a plaid shirt.
As white is so neutral, don’t be afraid to go bold but anchor the look with a pair of simple sneakers to keep it from becoming garish.
White jeans with a hoodie
White jeans are generally easier to dress up than down, but if you want to add a casual edge don’t be afraid to throw on a hoodie over the top.
This could be a good way to add a bit of vibrancy to the look, if you go for a streetwear design, or you could keep it pared back by opting for a mid grey or charcoal hoodie, finished with some minimal sneakers.
Ivy League white jeans
Another way to rock an Ivy League-inspired look is to combine white jeans with a Harrington jacket and suede desert boots. Look up old images of Harvard and Yale students in the 1960s and you’ll find groups of incredibly stylish individuals who were breaking away from the conformity of their parent’s generation, carving out their own look.
This might be the coolest way to wear white jeans – it looks as good now as it did then.
Black and white
While it might not be immediately obvious, white and black aren’t as difficult to wear together as you’d first imagine. The trick is to keep it as simple as possible and let the fit of your garments do the talking.
To give it a go, try combining a pair of relaxed-fit white jeans with a similarly laid-back black T-shirt and finish with some minimal white sneakers.
Workwear inspired white jeans
As mentioned above, white jeans work well when worn as part of a workwear look, providing the perfect backdrop for lightweight outerwear like chore jackets and duster coats.
Try it yourself by opting for a stonewashed denim chore jacket, light blue Oxford shirt and simple sneakers. It brings a rugged feel to a traditionally Mediterranean garment.
Laid-back white jeans
White jeans look great on holiday – there’s just something about the shade that begs to be worn in the heat, plus, they’ll reflect the sun’s rays keeping you cool for longer.
When going for a resort-style look, pair a textured or Breton stripe top with slim-fitting jeans and brown leather sandals for effortless sophistication.
White on white
Again, this might not be the first outfit you turn to when looking to incorporate white jeans into your wardrobe, but wearing all-white can work. Its success lies in not going with true, bright white and keeping it simple.
Look for off-white jeans, which softens the look slightly, and keep it stripped back with a simple white tee.
White jeans & leather jacket
This look requires confidence to pull off successfully, but if you’ve got the balls it’s a great way to take the attention away from the bottom half of your look.
Black leather jackets are undeniably easier to wear with black jeans, but switch them out for white and the contrast makes for an interesting casual outfit that’s ideal for a night out at a bar.
White jeans with statement outerwear
An easy way to wear white jeans is by keeping the rest of your outfit relatively tonal, i.e. with greys and soft browns.
However, you could spice it up a bit with a checked overcoat – go for one in the aforementioned shades and it’ll work as an alternative fall weekend look.
Adding a colour pop
Depending on the season, white jeans are an easy way to mix up your colour palette, working as the ideal base for bolder shades up top.
For spring, pastels work well but in fall, turn to richer shades and earthy tones such as emerald, chocolate and burnt orange. Tees and crew necks in these tones add a pop under more restrained outerwear such as chore and bomber jackets.
White jeans with brown leather
While black leather can look quite stark against white jeans, brown leather is softer and generally easier to style. Try it yourself by throwing a brown leather jacket over a navy crew neck and white jeans, finishing with complementary brown leather derbies or loafers.
White jeans with a blazer
It’s a good option for a beach wedding or a summer drinks party, especially with a pop of colour underneath in the form of a soft collar polo shirt.
The easiest way to wear white jeans
For a simple, fuss-free white jeans outfit, stick to the above: a blue denim shirt, grey T-shirt and white jeans combination strikes the perfect balance between smart and casual.
It’s an easy spring weekend look that can be layered up or down as required.
If you fancy a simple look that references 70s casual wear, try a brown suede jacket with white jeans and loafers. It wouldn’t look out of place on Steve McQueen back in the day; the matching vintage Porsche 911 is optional.
Another way to introduce a bit of colour into a white jeans outfit is to try a red or dark orange gilet, worn over a fair isle jumper. Finish the look with a pair of suede Chelsea boots and a blue Oxford shirt and you’re onto a winner.