When you nail white trousers, you’re the best dressed bloke at the Portsea Polo, you’re holidaying on the Mediterranean, you’re JFK on his sailboat. Get them wrong, and you’re a second-hand car salesman on the Gold Coast. So follow these four tips on how to pull off white pants 12 months a year.
Choose the right moment
Drizzly evening in the city, going for drinks in a moody laneway bar? Breezy white trousers probably aren’t the best pants to wear with your navy quilted jacket and a heavy knit scarf. But Sunday afternoon drinks at a beachside bar, or afternoon tea in a sunny garden, whip out the white. And some men don’t need white trousers in their wardrobe at all — the colour is unforgiving on heavier figures, and flushes out pale complexions.
And the right fit
You’re obviously not picking up white jeans — or any trousers, for that matter — in a bootcut, and anything distressed in white should be left to skate shops circa 2003, because a fitted cut producing a sleek silhouette is especially important for statement trousers like this. The hem should only just touch the top of the shoe, which works particularly well if you’re rolling up the cuff to flash some sock-less ankle, as is the style.
Pair them right
Speaking of shoes, brown or burgundy monk straps and brogues, or more relaxed boat shoes and driving shoes, match white jeans nicely — while up top, you want block colours to draw the eyes upwards and make you look taller. Pastel button-downs are nice and summery, white, tan, and powder blue create a uniform palette (think a linen jacket or a chambray shirt), and navy or black staples work well in winter. Avoid all white, unless you’d like to be confused for a cricketer.
Whiter than white
Wearing white below the belt just screams ‘look at me’, so you want admirers laying there eyes on absolutely pristine white cloth. That means you need to check them in the washing machine even more often than you would your regular jeans (and obviously not with your red T-shirts), and tread a little more carefully when you’re wearing them (no eating spaghetti bolognese out of your lap, for example). Also, make sure the colour is nice and solid rather than slightly transparent — opt for a thicker denim, or cotton pique in your chinos.