Beauty & Fashion

How to Create a Classic Summer Look

How to Create a Classic Summer Look

We are well on our way into summer! So, I thought today would be a great day to talk about how to style white pants. Much like a great pair of jean shorts or a lightweight sundress, white pants are a summer staple. They brighten up any outfit and they can be worn for a variety of occasions, making them a win-win! In this post, I am going to walk through some tips and tricks for choosing the right pair. I’ll also share some white pants outfit ideas.

Wearing a White Pants Outfit After Labor Day

First and foremost, I want to address the elephant in the room…Can you wear white before Memorial Day or after Labor Day? For me, the answer is a resounding YES! I think this is an outdated and antiquated rule. While I like to give style tips and tricks, I don’t believe in fashion “rules” or deeming something “in or out” of style. If you’ve been following along here for a while, you most likely already know this! Fashion is all about having fun, finding your personal style, and wearing whatever makes you feel good. So I say, wear the white whenever you’d like!

How to Put Together a White Pants Outfit

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s chat about how to create an awesome white pants outfit. The first step is to find a pair that makes you feel and look your best. But, there’s a little more to it than just that. You also have to keep in mind the occasion that you’re dressing for, the other colors in the outfit, and the overall details. Here are some tips and tricks that I’ve noted over the years.

1. Check for Sheerness

Finding a style that isn’t too sheer is probably one of the hardest elements to creating a white pants outfit. Unfortunately, trial and error is pretty much the only way this can be done. For this post, I bought over 15 styles to try on in person. I wanted to determine the best quality and fit, ensure they weren’t see through, and avoid materials that would be too hot for summertime. It’s all about balance!

2. Find the Right White

While I don’t think everything needs to match perfectly, I do try to determine from the start whether I want a truly bright white or a more ecru shade. Before investing in a new pair, I advise taking a look at your closet and trying to plan a few outfit ideas using items you already own. Looking over your closet pieces in advance can help you determine what shade of white will be most versatile for you.

I also find that if I try to style a very vibrant, clean white with a creamier shade, sometimes the off-white piece can end up looking “dirty”. However, I do think a pair of bright white pants can look so chic with something like a tan linen top. You want the color styling to be clearly intentional, not just a mishap.

3. Add Some Color

Most white pants outfits stay pretty traditional. Some of the most popular combinations include a monochromatic head-to-toe look, navy and white, or white mixed with other neutrals. While these are all home run combinations, don’t forget about color! While I personally won’t be mixing white with neons in this current trend cycle, I will show a few tasteful ways to combine white with bold, bright hues.

White Pants Outfit Ideas

The great news is there are so many awesome white pants options available right now! I love how you can create everything from a casual, linen-based look to a look that is polished enough for nicer daytime events. While white denim is a great option, don’t rule out casual elastic waist pants or dressier flat front trousers. Why limit yourself when they’re all so good? Here are five pairs that I’m currently loving, as well as some styling ideas for each!

Cropped White Denim

jcrew collection top, white denim, black and white look, alexander mcqueen blazer

Let’s start with my favorite denim silhouette, a cropped kick flare! I actually bought these jeans in black last year and loved them. So I was thrilled to see they returned in white!

For this white pants outfit, I am dressing it up. I love how these jeans look with this embellished top, my Tod’s cap toe pumps, these statement studs and this Alexander McQueen ruffle blazer. If you want dress these down I would pair with this colorful sweater, (which now comes in five fun combinations), and these bright white sneakers. I would complete this look with these $15 white shades, (which I own and love), and this navy personalized bag. When it comes to jewelry, I would keep it simple. The combination of the bright white with these primary colors feels fun, yet also nautical, making it the perfect nod to summer!

Sailor Button White Pants

sailor pants, nili lotan blazer, tan and gold outfit

I always love the use of sailor buttons, and they feel so appropriate on these jeans! I will say, this pair appears a bit more yellow in person. It’s sort of a buttercream shade. So I decided to play this up by pairing these jeans with gold and khaki. I wore them with this classic jacket, which you’ve probably seen me wear 1,000 times, my favorite statement stud earrings, and gold platform heels from Zara. I feel like the obvious outfit choice for these pants, (which isn’t a bad one), would be wearing them with a boatneck navy and white striped tee and navy sandals. However, I wanted something a bit more unexpected and dressier!

White White-Leg Pants

tnuck stripe top, raffia fisherman sandals, wide leg pant outfit

Just as they were last spring, wide-leg pants continue to be on my radar. While this pair can be styled so many different ways, I decided to go with a chic and timeless look. For this outfit, I paired them with this incredible Tuckernuck stripe top, raffia platforms, a stripe bag, and a raffia bag! I love how the touches of raffia soften the look and make it feel a bit more on-trend. Want another option? I paired these white pants with a chartreuse blazer in this post discussing how to style wide-leg jeans

White Linen Pants

Let’s switch gears to something a little more casual, white linen pants. I bought a few different pairs, and I loved the fit and length of these the best. I think this pair provides the perfect opportunity to create a head-to-toe white pants outfit. So I paired them with this gauze button-up top and these simple white strappy sandals. Since this is such a simple look, I piled on lots of jewelry and added this neutral cardigan sweater over my shoulders. Lastly, I added a simple rattan clutch to keep the look feeling laid back, yet put together.

Under $100 White Pants

white linen pant outfit, smythe blazer, chanel classic bag, minimal sandals

With any styling post, I always like to have a range of price points. The cropped kick flare jeans I previously discussed are actually under $50. And these under $60 elastic waist white pants are another great affordable option. They turned out to be some of the best quality pants for the price.

Since this pair has more of a tapered, jogger look, I wanted to keep the styling very casual. I wore them with this $8 white tee, but honestly, any of the tees in this post would work! As you know, I love a high-low moment, so I completed this look with this Smythe blazer and my classic Chanel medium double flap. For sandals I opted for these minimal thong sandals.

Culotte White Denim

chartreuse outfit, white culottes, staud strappy sandals

Last but not least are these ultra comfortable culottes. I love pairing pants with dresses, as seen here, so I wanted to add this styling combination to the mix. Using lots of second hand pieces, such as my green Prada bag from The RealReal and this Huishan Zhang dress from Dora Maar, I added color to this look. Chartreuse continues to be a favorite hue of mine and plays so nicely off of the stark white denim. If you want some more ideas on how to mix and match colors such as chartreuse check out this post.

White Pants Outfit Ideas for Summer

As you’re planning looks for summer gatherings, upcoming vacations, and even daily wear, I hope you find these white pants outfit ideas to be helpful. The amount of ways to style these pieces is truly endless. As always, one of the best parts about fashion is that you can have fun with it and make it your own! For more summer styling inspiration, check out my posts on the best jean shorts, sneakers to wear with dresses, the best one piece swimwear, and Oliphant dresses I’m loving!

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