Summer is here, so the white pants rule has officially been lifted. No longer must you bury your light colours under blacks and earth neutrals, and naysayers can keep their Labour Day comments to themselves. True, pastel pants have been popping up since the first day of spring, but white pants are notorious for requiring just a little more effort. Here’s our guide to incorporating white into your wardrobe, so you’ll never have to worry about what to wear with them again.
1. Wear skin-coloured underwear
There’s nothing worse than underwear lines, and while bright prints and bold tones are fun to wear with a typical outfit, they’re a major do-not when it comes to white pants. Thus, the key to hiding your underwear is to opt for a pair that matches your skin tone. Like wearing a nude bra with a white shirt, skin-toned underwear will help you avoid showing your lingerie off to anyone within eyeshot.
2. Treat them like a neutral
If you’re still not sold on making your white pants a focal point, treat them like a neutral by using them to anchor prints, bold tones or to work with other neutrals like black, brown or army green. Regardless, your white pants are going to stand out, but by making them the silent partner of your outfit (so-to-speak), they’ll become part of a whole instead of the solo star.
3. Make them stand-out
Or, you could do the opposite. If you’re not sure on how to incorporate white pants into your day-to-day wardrobe, build outfits around them by using them as the statement piece. Case and point: tuck a pistachio tank into a pair of white trouser pants, or compliment them with a matching white blazer. Designers like Stella McCartney used white suits to anchor her S/S 2012 collection, while Ralph Lauren and Tibi used white suits to capitalize on the masculine trend. Clad in all-white, you’ll look smart and on-point with the season’s agenda.
4. Keep them tailored
White pants help create a clean, crisp look, so forget the tight white pants of the early 2000s. If you’re considering donning white pants at the office, pair them with a button-up and wear them like you would any other trouser. For a casual night out, keep your blouse or tank tucked in and pair with a 70s wedge sandal or heel. To avoid making any mistakes, err on the side of dressiness, and keep them tailored as opposed to snug or oversize.
Photo: GAP, $60