summer days: white below

Photographer: Tommy Ton for

I was going to call this post "white bottoms" but that just sounded so graceless and unappealing. (I had quite a lot of trouble trying to think of a good title this time.)

I'm always be inspired by women who incorporate lots of white in their wardrobes - the look immediately evokes summer glamour for me - Greek islands, azure seas, a salt tang in the air.

White bottoms are a great way to leverage on all your trans-seasonal tops - just switch your dark jeans and trousers for something white and you instantly look breezier, even if you're wearing a black long-sleeve crew-neck on top.

White jeans can be hard to find if you're not stick-thin, but I've found that the slouchy-straight/tapered cuts work quite well on most people. The trick is of course, getting good quality denim - I hate thin fabrics where you can see the outline of the pocket because the material isn't opaque enough. You can have the pockets removed, but I still prefer a fabric with proper heft. Fabrics other than denim work too.

Justin Hollar for Madewell 08
Photographer: Justin Hollar for Madewell

Once you find the right pair, it's like a magic bullet. The same goes for white skirts - I love the way my mum looks in her white denim pencil skirt - and I also like white shorts. In the perfect white cropped trousers, you could channel Jackie O - who really knew how to rock white capris in summer to maximum effect.

Picture 11
Photographer: Unknown (anyone want to enlighten me?)

White bottoms are not all that high-maintenance - I'm not especially careful but I never dirty mine, except maybe at music festivals but that is to be expected, and it's nothing a run in the washing can't take care of - which mean I wouldn't buy something in a delicate fabric.

So go forth, and take your place in the sun. Happy weekend!

Photographer: Natalie Joos shot by Aram Bedrossian for Tales of Endearment

Pictures from
tales of endearment, purse forum, tfs,, bernstein and andriulli


I feel like true white clothes (not counting tops) are so hard to find. I came close to finding my white linen harem pants, but alas I had to return them as they were cropped. :/ I used to want white slim jeans, until I was insulted by the dressing room mirror. Degrading things to try on!! I have a white gauzy long skirt, that I love to wear, it makes me feel very elegant, from gap of all places.
miss sophie said…
you know, i'm instinctively afraid of white pants or jeans of any kind - probably because nyc is a pretty dirty city, haha! however, i do love a cream-white blazer, long-ish yet perfectly tailored - for sumemr. it adds the perfect dash of elegant breeziness to pretty much everything. even denim cut-offs.
miss sophie said…
also - i think a nice tan is de rigeur for white pants or somesuch. i suspect that was partially the secret to how Jackie O wore hers so well!
clair said…
I'm am only now starting to venture into the world of white clothes. I've always seen them as "high maintenance", plus I'm pale so I worry about looking washed out.

On the other hand I live in a place with very hot/sunny summers, so it seems like a shame to avoid white.

I really like the first pic, btw. Black and white together always looks great.
Anonymous said…
White linen pants is a staple that I've had in my summer wardrobe for the past 6 years. I was really skeptical when I was first introduced to them from a sales girl. She told me that I couldn't come out of the dressing room unless I've tried them on and objectively looked at them. One of the few times of my shopping experiences where I was truly grateful for a salesperson's pushiness! White on white is such a great and fresh combo for summer. My version is very much like the first photo, but with black flat sandals instead of brown heeled sandals
lin said…
Pret a Porter P: I agree, I always have a problem with opacity - too sheer most of the time, to the extent that you can see the seams and tags. White linen harem pants sound lovely - it's a relaxed and breezy take on a more radical look. I share the white jeans horror - in the end I found a good pair from Gap in what we now call the 'boyfriend cut' but back then they were just straight leg jeans sized up, haha. Having said that, slim white jeans are possible - if companies make them properly, especially in terms of fabric.

miss sophie: You've made think NYC is REALLY dirty now, haha. A white blazer is a great look too, but it's too hot to wear blazers in hot weather!

About being tanned, I never thought about it that way, you have a point. It's probably becaused I was born tanned, haha.

clair: white trousers probably take away the issue of looking washed-out, since you can always wear a coloured top.

anon: Those sounds like great trousers, I wouldn't mind finding a pair like those myself.
jennifer said…
I agree with Miss Sophie. As much as I love the look of white pants, I'm TERRIFIED of wearing them. The combination of living in Philadelphia (aka Filthadelphia) and being very clumsy suggests that white pants and me are not meant for each other. However, all of these gorgeous images that you've just posted might be giving me a change of heart. :)
Nanashi said…
love the first pic! (and now I feel like I know what to do with my black linen blazer). I've also thought of white as high maintenance but you're right, it really is the summer color. I was contemplating about whether or not to go for the long white skirt for some time but I just went for it!
Fashion Tidbits said…
omg, especially when the fabric is so thin and ppl think it's acceptable to wear with a neon pink thong;;;i know, i've seen it done...-_-
Alexandra said…
I've always wanted to try a pair of white jeans - they look so lovely in summer paired with navy - but i've always been too scared that they'll be unflattering. I guess it's all about finding the right cut.
lin said…
jennifer: I feel like my everyday life isn't so grungy that a pair of white trousers can survice - the most dangerous thing is actually food stains, haha.

nanashi: can't wait to see you in it!

fashiontidbits: *cringe*. I always think, did anyone try to stop people like that before they leave the house, for their own sakes?

alexandra: It is quite demoralising, but there's definitely the right pair for everyone. I never but anything too tight around the hips and thighs because I look awful.
Kate said…
lin, facilitating me again! i was looking at pale linen trousers today and thinking it might be time to change my stance on white trousers. i'm going to have to keep my eye out for a good pair.
Ella said…
i too, am quite smitten over white pants/bottoms now! however, i've always been quite afraid to wear them, as i am already quite pale, and i fear looking like a corpse! haha
son said…
I love the all white shots even more than white denim/lower half clothing. got the shorts, but still on the look out for the perfect skirt and capris. I must say though, I'm surprised no one's mentioned liz hurley - thats the only thing I think when I see white jeans!
If Jane said…
it's funny i thought about white pants just the other i passed a shop...and thought: very summer, very sea-side...
but everytime i wear white jeans...they become dirty in 5 seconds...
Lindsay K said…
I love a pair of white jeans. They're just easy and always remind me of summer and being by the sea. I'm picky about my whites staying pristine, so I have come to the realization that this is an item that needs to be replaced at the end of the season. I actually found white jeans at Jcrew that fit nicely and are affordable.

I love white slacks and linen pants but most designers cut corners and don't line them properly. So frustrating.
lin said…
Kate: I'm sure I'm not the first to be selling the virtues of some summery white trousers....:)

Ella: I'm sure you'll look fine with a coloured or colourful top! I suppose all-white requires more of a tan.

son: Oh yes, Liz Hurley looks so good in them. I thought of Elle Macpherson actually but I was a bit lazy to look for pictures, and anyway, both their physical perfection is almost painful to look at, haha, since very few of us will come close.

If Jane: I've been quite lucky about keeping them clean - but maybe it's because Singapore is a pretty clean place...

Lindsay K: Mine are from Gap - they are surprisingly good, not too thin, although I had to nip the waist in at the tailor - all Gap jeans'gape slightly at the waistband for me. It's something I usually won't tolerate but nice sturdy white denim was too good to pass.

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