Men’s White Pants Outfit Inspiration: 15 Clean Looks For 2023
Synonymous with Riviera style, white pants instantly mark you out as a sophisticated and confident dresser. Just steer clear of the ketchup.
White pants aren’t particularly easy to wear, but as a summer trouser they’re hard to beat. Synonymous with Riviera style, white legwear is a natural fit for relaxed tailored looks, working well with unstructured blazers, soft-collar shirts and loafers. But the right pair is also easy to incorporate into a casual wardrobe and can quickly replace your jeans for a smart, more individualistic approach to off-duty dressing.
So how do you go about finding the right style for you? How should they fit? And what type of outfits do they look best in? Here’s everything you need to know about wearing white pants.
How to wear white pants: key points
Shade of white
You might think this is obvious. White is white after all. However, there are a wealth of shades that fall into the white spectrum, so it’s worth considering the options. Pure white offers a fresh, clean aesthetic that looks particularly slick with tailoring in the summer. But for the most versatile pair of pants (and something slightly more practical), you’ll probably be best served by a softer shade of off-white.
This subtle difference makes the trousers look less bright and harsh, and means you can wear them in confidence knowing you won’t be blinding everybody that crosses your path. Off white still has all the benefits of pure white. You can wear it with all manner of colours, from neutrals and pastels to brighter shades of red, orange and yellow. It’s just a little easier on the eye and will give your look a slightly more lived-in, natural feel.
White pants are available in virtually every trouser fabric option around, from wool and cotton to corduroy and denim. So first it’s wise to decide what type of trouser you want.
Looking for something smart you can wear with a blazer? Try more formal fabrics like wool flannel, linen or cotton twill.
For a more laid-back pair, consider canvas cotton, denim or cord. White does handle texture especially well, with denim and more naturally slubby fabrics like linen and washed cotton suiting the shade, toning down the brightness with their visible weaves and imperfections.
Formal vs casual
This is the point that largely dictates which way you’re going to go with your white trousers. While they do have their (albeit limited) place, pure white tailored trousers are difficult to wear outside of summer in the riviera-inspired context they fit so perfectly in.
It might then be wise therefore to opt for a smart casual pair of white pants that can be both dressed up with tailoring, yet still look comfortable with T-shirts and polo shirts. A pair of off-white chinos or carpenter pants are both excellent choices, and look as good with a blazer as they do a chore jacket. Just ensure the fit is relaxed through the seat and thighs, while still slim enough to shape the legs.
White pants outfits for men
To inspire your own looks, here we showcase 17 modern white pants outfits for men, ranging in formality from super smart to lad-back weekend wear.
Relaxed-fit white jeans
If you’re going to buy a single pair of white pants, these might be it. Forget tailored styles and smart chinos, relaxed-fit white jeans are cooler, easier to wear and can be incorporated effortlessly into your existing wardrobe.
Simply wear them in place of your regular blue jeans and combine them with tees, hoodies, shirts or polos. For a simple summer weekend look, try yours with a tucked in, boxy tee, black Converse high-tops and a matching black leather belt.
All-white outfit with pleated pants
A suit doesn’t always have to mean a blazer and trousers. White tailoring can be especially tricky to pull off, so why not swap out the blazer for a casual, lightweight jacket? More relaxed yet still sophisticated, a matching white jacket and trousers is best worn with a light grey polo and burgundy/brown leather loafers, resulting in a cool summer look.
White pants with green
White and navy is a timeless colour combo that all men fall back on. But for something a little less obvious, yet no less effective, try teaming white with green. It’s an easy pairing that all men can wear and ideal for the warmer months.
Here, the boxy green Harrington jacket complements the relaxed-fit white pants in both colour and silhouette, while the grey T-shirt links it all together.
70s-inspired white pants
For an achingly cool, 70s-inspired look, white pants and a brown suede jacket never fails. Go casual with white jeans and a Butch Coolidge-approved suede bomber, or smarten it up with white tailored trousers and a suede Harrington or trucker.
For the latter, avoid going too sharp by dressing it down with a knitted polo or quality T-shirt, and finish with minimal leather sneakers or loafers.
White pants with blue denim
White is a natural pairing for denim. White and blue is a classic menswear combo (see: the Breton top), but the texture of denim brings another element to the table, keeping your fit from looking flat and, for want of a better word, boring.
Although it might not be the obvious choice, white chinos chime perfectly with a light blue denim chore jacket, dressing it up slightly while remaining firmly on the ‘casual’ side of smart casual. Complete the look with a pale blue Oxford shirt (lighter than the jacket), and dark blue suede sneakers for a fresh take on tonal dressing.
White pants & resortwear
White trousers might just be the ultimate vacation pants. Evoking warm nights on the French Riviera, they have a certain Mediterranean charm about them that ensures they combine effortlessly with other resortwear. Think linen tees, polos, Cuban collar shirts and loafers with no socks.
The key here is to not go too slim with your trousers. Consider straight-fit, linen-cotton-blend pants with a mid-rise and short hems that just touch the top of your shoes. Breezy and stylish – perfect for hot days and balmy nights.
White pants with a blazer
White jeans are ideal for creating a tailored separates look. Smarter than their blue counterparts, they act as a blank canvas for bright shades to shine against, such as the teal green incorporated here.
Throw on a grey blazer for contrast and finish with brown leather boat shoes for a look that wouldn’t be out of place in the south of France.
White pants and a contrast tee
White pants are a statement, so they often look their best when everything else is kept simple. Forget layering and combining multiple colours, sometimes all you need is a crisp tee and sneakers.
More specifically, try a mid-blue, relaxed-fit T-shirt and tuck it into white painter pants in an equally laid-back cut. Finish the look with canvas high-tops and you’ve got a summery alternative to the classic indigo jeans and white tee combination.
White pants as a blank canvas
If you want to introduce a splash of colour to your summer wardrobe, white trousers offer the ideal anchor to any printed shirt.
Go as bold or restrained with your top half as you like – just ensure the pants and shirt are in complementary cuts and finish with sandals for a punchy, warm-weather look that works for summer festivals and holidays alike.
Smart casual white pants
It’s amazing what difference a simple shirt tuck makes. Opt for a chino and untucked shirt combination and you’ve got a staple daily look, but tuck it in and you’re instantly smarter, resulting in an outfit that’s as at home at the office as it is a fancy restaurant.
For a summery take, combine a pastel slim-fit shirt with a pair of equally slender white chinos, then finish with brown suede loafers and some cool sunglasses.
White drawstring pants
Drawstring trousers are among the most versatile you can own. Smart enough to wear with a blazer yet comfortable enough to wear around the house, they’ll make you consider ever wearing a fixed waistband again.
A white pair boasts an effortless warm-weather appeal, especially when combined with a knitted polo and minimal suede sneakers. Just ensure the fit isn’t too slim – they should have a bit of room in the thighs before tapering down to a slightly cropped hem.
Black and white
Sometimes the best outfits don’t have any colour in them at all. For sharp, sophisticated smart casual style, a look consisting of black and white wardrobe staples is always a winner.
Try it for yourself by pairing a black cotton worker jacket with a striped shirt, tailored white pants and black loafers. Keep the fit consistent, wear it with confidence and you can’t go wrong.
White jeans and boots
The obvious way to wear white jeans is by combining them with resortwear and other refined Riviera-inspired garments.
For an alternative approach though, try teaming them with sharp leather boots, which add a rugged edge to an otherwise clean look. For an added devil-may-care feel, cut the hems of the jeans so that they fray over the ankles of the boots, and add a chain to the belt loops for a 90s-inspired grunge feel.
Prep-inspired white pants
White chinos are a prep staple. This might be something to do with the fact they’re easy to combine with other Ivy League essentials, like polos, cardigans, tees and caps. But it’s likely also to do with the fact you can combine white with literally every colour under the sun.
Preppy style is often colourful, with white pants making the ideal neutral backdrop, as proven here.
White pants separates
For an alternative take on smart spring/summer dressing, white pants offer the ideal way to break up a suit. A slim, tailored pair perfectly complements a soft, unstructured blazer, infusing it with a touch of Italian sprezzatura.
White does of course work with an array of shades, but for a foolproof approach stick to muted, neutral shades of grey and blue.
High/low white pants outfit
White pants work well as part of a classic high/low combo. The trick is to keep the colour palette muted to ensure you maintain the understated luxury of this look.
Find a pair of tailored, slim trousers, combine them with a classic, mid-grey hoodie (ideally in a luxurious fabric such as merino or cashmere) and finish with pared-back sneakers. Keep the accessories to a minimum to complete this laid-back yet sophisticated everyday look.
White on white pants
It can be tricky to know what shoes to wear with white trousers. Typically you’ll want to stick to brown leather or suede for proper shoes as black is a little too severe and creates too much contrast.
However, arguably the best option is to complement the pants with a pair of white sneakers. The exact style you go for depends on how you intend to wear them, but for a failsafe option go minimal with a simple tennis shoe-inspired design.