Since we all know it’s just fine to wear white after Labor Day, let’s take a moment to discuss how to pair white pants and a jacket. White is an excellent choice for late summer and early fall, and is a solid staple for both daytime and casual evening looks, particularly when white trousers are paired with a jacket.
It’s a forgiving base for any combination, and if you can keep them clean they’ll be as versatile as your favorite grey trousers without any business connotations. I myself favor a no-break or even slightly cropped (not highwater) trouser hem, particularly for a lightweight pant. White or off-white trousers in heavier fabrics such as flannels (yes, you can wear white into winter) take well to a range of autumnal colors, so you can keep wearing them through the winter – just avoid slushy days.
For casual summer looks, it’s easiest to pair a lightweight or unstructured jacket, as a relaxed shape adds to the breeziness. However, that doesn’t mean that strong tailoring looks out of place with white – on the contrary, a sharp jacket – particularly a double-breasted jacket – can work equally well.
Keep in mind that a white shirt likely won’t be the best choice when wearing white pants and a jacket. I favor blues and greens, as these colors don’t immediately connote golf courses the way brighter colors – such as a pink – might. In particular, I find that a washed chambray – or even a midnight navy for an evening outfit – looks good with a wide range of jacket connotations and offers enough versatility that you don’t look as though you’re permanently stuck at a barbecue.
There are a few pitfalls to watch out for. First is to make sure you’re not wearing skin-tight pants, which is less of an issue with trousers than it is with jeans or chinos. White leggings aren’t flattering on anyone. Second, if you’re wearing linen or other lightweight trousers, do an underwear check – some fabrics tend towards translucency. And third, keep them clean. While colored trousers – and white jeans – can take some abuse and look no worse (or even better!) for it, white trousers tend to take on all the charm of a used napkin when they get dirty.
Otherwise, think of white as a blank canvas and trust your own tastes – and be sure to share your results on Styleforum’s What Are You Wearing Today thread.
If you’re in search of a starting place for your white-trousered looks, here are two suggestions to give you a push:
1. Jacket: Ring Jacket from The Armoury
2. Shirt: G. Inglese from No Man Walks Alone
3. Pants: Luigi Borrelli from Shop the Finest
4. Shoes: Dundee boots from Allen Edmonds
5. Square: Monsieur Fox from Exquisite Trimmings
6. Belt: Walnut leather from Proper Cloth
1. Jacket: DB Jacket by Epaulet
2. Shirt: White linen by Proper Cloth
3. Tie: Sky blue grenadine by Kent Wang
4. Pants: Off-white “Jort” by SuitSupply
5. Belt: Black leather by Miler Menswear
7. Square: Rubinacci from Skoaktiebolaget