Feeling For … White Jeans

http://themoment.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/13/feeling-for-white-jeans/

Ahead of his time, Paul Newman rode the white jeans trend in “Sometimes a Great Notion” (1971). (Everett Collection)

Bruce Pask, T Magazine’s men’s fashion director, writes on style every two weeks.

I know, I know: summer steaminess, white jeans … it’s a no-brainer. Still, I have to say that this is the first time I’ve been feeling for white jeans in quite a few years — they previously felt a little too polished, or not polished enough. White jeans got lost in the (mini) chasm between proper trousers and blue jeans. But this season I’m loving them with desert boots (surprise!) to keep them from looking a bit too brunchy. I’m also liking them worn with blazers, collared shirts and ties; I enjoy the crispness of that look.

I was a bit surprised by what a challenge it was to find the right white jeans: not too baggy (we did say crisp!), with a nice straight leg. I thought that white Levi’s 501s would be perfect, but the fit was not quite right for white. J. Crew only had a lightweight linen five-pocket version in the store. Step away from the linen jeans and walk out. I repeat: step away. It’s not flattering on most guys and wants to be worn with sandals, which makes it too “country-weekend-in-the-city.” However, when I mentioned this to a friend who works at J. Crew, he said to go online, where they have a nice straight leg white jean. A.P.C. also makes a great pair: nice bright white, no contrast stitching, nicely slim, but not overly skinny.

By the way, I’m still cuffing my jeans, including these white ones. And one more thing: I’m very excited about wearing them in the fall. Those traditional rules about not wearing white after Labor Day absolutely do not apply to white jeans — they are a staple. I love white jeans with a camel coat or sweater; navy is also a fantastic pairing. So, even if we can already, unfortunately, smell the waning of summer, I’m feeling for white jeans.

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