The Virtues of White Denim

The French revere white denim, and they wear it year-round.

I’ve always thought of white denim as a summer thing, but I can see the appeal of wearing it deep into autumn. By January, however, I am wearing ivory corduroys.
But it’s not January now, is it? So here I am, sharing my ultimate lazy summer outfit suggestion with you, which is: white denim with a sleeveless white top.

I am going to hold forth about white denim
I am going to hold forth about white denim

White denim
I thought you said this was your dead-simple, lazy outfit
I am not 100% sold on these jeans. I wanted to find a pair of cropped, slightly flared white denim pants. I had no luck and therefore settled for the next best thing, which is a pair of white jeans, which I am going to have shortened. As you can see here, I have just rolled the cuffs here as a temporary measure.
On the one hand, I like these deep cuffs. On the other, I think that the cuff is narrowing the fit of the leg around my calves because these jeans are slightly tapered. I am a little tempted to cut 8″ off the bottom myself and leave an unfinished hem . . . but I have a feeling that will turn out badly.

Why am I urging white denim?
White denim can establish an outfit. It has presence. For example, if you put on white jeans, a white top and fun sandals, see above, you are wearing an outfit.
Same is true of white jeans, a black top, and black sandals, which don’t even have to be fun.
White denim is sort of like magic.
So keen to share
These sandals are more fun than a barrel of monkeys, right?

So fresh
I’ve been a fan of cropped pants since I was a teenager, though the overuse of the silhouette c. 2000-2002 kind of turned me off.
But I read an excellent suggestion earlier this year, which made cropped pants seem very fresh to me: wear them with ankle boots or ankle-strap shoes.

On the topic of white pants, if you haven’t seen this post (at right), it was one of my first entries and remains a favorite.
These pants are a heavy cotton twill — heavier than khaki, but not as coarse as denim. These are wonderful pants for summer.
I love the outfit, but that’s not why it’s a favorite post.
A number of d-rings on these blouses are a challenge
The cape-back blouse was the beginning of something for me

This is why it’s a favorite.
As good a photo of Harper as this is, it’s not the best I have.
Hoisting the cat
You complete me, Harper

That face!
That designation belongs to this photo.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s SuperHarp, come to save the world!
From Harper, me, and the entire staff of Directrice Global Industries, Ltd., have a fantastic weekend.

Top: JCrew Jackie Shell; Jeans: JCrew Matchstick Jean in White; Shoes: Sundance Ciao Sandals; Bracelet: Dina Mackney; Sunglasses: Illesteva; Bag: also JCrew

12 thoughts on “The Virtues of White Denim”

  1. The outfit looks polished, not at all lazy! And I could not agree more on the cropped trousers + ankle boots formula. In fact, I just bought a pair of Trippen ankle boots on hols in Berlin, specifically to wear with cropped culottes.

  2. I’m old school enough that the bright true white is only for summer (Memorial Day to Labor Day) like seersucker, another summer fave of mine, is. (When I was a child who didn’t live by a calendar, I always knew it was summer when my dad broke out the seersucker suit).

    But for winter I *love* that ivory winter white. In a light wool, it’s the perfect pant. And yes, in corduroy too.

    Those cuffs are a nice detail; that’s the kind of subtle detail that suddenly makes a boring jean interesting and allows the jean to be either weekend casual or dressed-up casual in a way a regular pair just can’t be.

  3. I agree it looks right on target plus white pants are a relief from the darker pants we wear so much. A very relaxed look but with a certain edgy quality. Love seeing Harper. What a big bundle he is. Those shoes make it cool. Kate

  4. I love white denim! I have 2 pairs, a more straight pair and a flared pair, both have great versatility. I am fine wearing white long past Labor Day especially since it is hot in NYC till October. My big issue is when to wear them. Not on rainy days because the street muck splashes on them and always afraid to wear when running around because of fear of spills or subway muck. Hence, I don’t wear them as often as I should.

  5. I like the deep cuff, but also feel sure that you are capable of cutting the cuff off and leaving a frayed hem. You can do it! It would add a nice texture to the pants too.

  6. I love the Jackie shell sweaters. So light, and soft to the touch. I bought 4 in different colors when you first posted them
    My white jeans are a staple I wear throughout the year. I think the idea of wearing ankle boots with cropped pants is super! I just bought 2 pairs of cropped jeans, light weight, one in pale pink and the other a turquoise. With boots I’ll be able to wear them into the cooler weather, and extend the sense of spring with their colors. My thanks to the entire Directress Global Industries Ltd. staff.

  7. Thank you for the deeply cuffed jeans – they are the only way to fly. And in remembrance of David Bowie (see Jean Genie video) they shall live on!

  8. I think the ability to create an outfit applies to any white pants. And, I love boots with cropped pants in the winter. I have a pair of more or less capri dark denim pants that are just this side of swashbuckling with black leather knee boots in the winter. Add any top, it always has presence.

    Maybe that’s what sets this blog apart? Comfortable clothes but always with presence?

  9. I have a slight case of shoe envy! Those are wonderful. And I like the cuffs – although you’ve been known to like frayed bits. Go with your gut!

  10. Ditto on the shoes. They have personality but also have convinced me that all white with a pop of red or orange is the way to wear what I’ve always considered a boring combo (on myself, that is – partially because I don’t have the lovely contrast with dark hair that you do!).


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