I’ve been teasing this post for quite a while, so I hope it’s worth the build up. White jeans are such a great summer staple, but they are also every woman’s nemesis. Finding a pair that fits well, doesn’t stretch out as you wear them, and isn’t see-through is no small feat. Even though I already have my favorites, I thought it might be interesting to try on a bunch of different pairs at different price points and report back.
One question I get a lot is, how do I find white jeans that don’t wrinkle in the back of the thighs? I have determined that there is no such thing. I just try not to think about it. Ha!
That said, I always, ALWAYS take a good look at my rear view before purchasing any pair of jeans, but ESPECIALLY white jeans. Because white is always going to be the lightest color in an outfit, it is always going to draw the eye first. Fit is always important when choosing jeans, but never more so than with white jeans.
For that purpose, I am going to show the rear view in all of these styles, so I apologize in advance for hurting your eyes. Haha! I am not a fan of my rear end; it tends to be wide and flat, so pocket placement can make or break the situation. Some of these pictures are quite unfortunate.
A few disclaimers — I tried to get the same angle in all my pictures, but that is nearly impossible, especially with the rear shots, so take that into consideration when comparing. I also want to point out that I am trying on jeans in a dressing room and wearing them for 3 minutes. You really can’t tell how a pair of jeans is going to fit until you move around in them and wear them for a few hours, but this is the best I can do without investing thousands of dollars in white jeans. Also, I realize it would be more useful to show all the same style of jean, but I couldn’t always find skinny jeans in my size.
And before we get started, you should know that Macy’s is having a 30% off sale right now — use the code FRIEND. They have a lot of jeans, including some of the brands I tried on at Nordstrom. Also Nordstrom will price match if they carry the exact same style as Macy’s, so call or use their Live Chat if the price matching isn’t already noted on the website. Nordstrom is having Triple Points right now too, and the Triple Points is also good for Nordstrom Rack and Hautelook. Both the Macy’s sale and the Nordstrom Triple Points event ends on Sunday.
Whew! Okay! That was practically a post unto itself, but let’s dive in!
White Jeans Under $100
These Old Navy Rockstar skinnies are the least expensive pair I tried on. They’re thinner than the Gap pair I tried, but the cut is similar. The pocket placement is okay, but it does nothing to lift and shape the rear. These are comfortable, but I have them in the pink, and after I wore them for a few hours, they had bagged out considerably. If you try these, definitely wear them for a couple hours before taking the tags off to be sure you like the fit once they’re broken in.
I can’t find this Caslon pair online, but I wouldn’t recommend them anyway. While they’re sort of cute from the front, if you like more of a boyfriend style, the rear view is frightening. Just. No. I wish I’d found these Caslon skinnies to try. They look cute online.
Caslon Boyfriend Jeans $59
At LOFT, I asked the sales associate for skinnies, and she gave me these cuffed straight jeans to try. I should have gone back out, but I was getting tired at that point. While I don’t like the cut of the leg (that cuff doesn’t help matters at all) I feel like the rear view is decent as far as pocket placement goes, although the pockets are a little bigger than I like. These jeans are nice and thick and not see through, but I always find LOFT jeans to feel stiff and uncomfortable. Still, they seem to be a decent value considering the price point. I’d like to try the skinnies at some point.
I forgot to take notes at Old Navy and Gap so I’m going on memory here. I don’t mind these Gap jeans but I don’t like the back pockets — too big and set too far apart. I also don’t like the length. They are about an inch too short, in my opinion. That said, they are thick not see through and they were fairly comfortable.
Yikes, stripes, these are so not flattering, I don’t even know where to begin. They’re the only white jeans I could find at Ann Taylor (I didn’t ask for help) and they are probably a size too big. Clearly not the best cut for me, and the rear view is horrendous. To give them a fair shake, I should try their skinnies in the right size, but this is all I have to show you. Suffice it to say, I’m not recommending these.
I was excited to try the Toothpick jeans at J.Crew because I’ve heard good things. Overall, I think the fit is flattering, except the rear pockets are too big, and they are placed so far out on the sides. That’s probably a deal breaker, but I still think these are my favorite jeans I tried in the under $100 set. Maybe if I tried the LOFT ones in their skinny style, I’d like those best.
And one more under $100 brand I’ve tried that I liked okay was Articles of Society. I styled their Sarah distressed skinnies in THIS POST. Unfortunately I don’t have a rear view shot to compare, but they are still upstairs in my closet so maybe later today I will take some and add them. They are $59, and they definitely stretch out with wear, so size down.
White Jeans Over $100
Let’s move on to premium denim. I throw that term around a lot, and I get a lot of questions about what premium denim is. I googled it to be sure I’m giving you the most accurate definition, and this is what I found. Basically, they are jeans that start at $100. That is really the only official definition, but beyond that, they are usually made in the USA with higher quality materials than the cheaper brands and more attention to detail.
A big difference is found in the washes and distressing. Cheaper jeans use machines to achieve those effects, and premium denim often boasts of handmade distressing. For me personally, I can just tell the difference when I look at them, touch and feel them, and try them on. The fit is generally superior, especially the rear view.
Ultimately, more expensive jeans fit better and hold in your jiggly parts better (lol) and the biggest plus for me — they hold their shape and don’t tend to bag out as much throughout the day. They’re often made to lift and shape, which helps too. I wear jeans so much that when I calculate cost per wear, I feel that I get my money’s worth out of the pricer denim.
I always recommend at least waiting for a good sale (25% off or more) plus, once you learn the brands that fit you best, you can often find good deals on premium denim at stores like TJ Maxx (you can now shop online!), Nordstrom Rack, and other discount retailers. Also check thrift stores, if you like the thrill of the hunt.
Okay, so the first pair I tried in this price range was these NYDJ skinny leggings. Unfortunately I’m having trouble finding these online, which is a shame, because I kinda like them. From the front, I like them a lot. (For some reason, I didn’t get a side view.) They’re comfortable and stretchy with a nice higher rise, but the rear pocket placement is too high for my liking. Still, they might work on another body shape. Overall, I like these a lot.
NYDJ Skinny Legging $114
My current favorite blue jeans are my AG The Legging styles, but for some reason, I don’t like them so much in the white. While I feel like the cut is flattering, they’re too thin and see through for my liking. These are the 28.
AG The Legging Ankle $168
SALE ALERT >> Shop AG Jeans 30% off at Macy’s with code FRIEND
Over the years I’ve talked a lot about DL1961 denim. It is the first premium denim brand I tried that didn’t bag out on me and was made to lift and shape the rear end. Before that, I wore a lot of Joe’s and 7 For All Mankind, which do tend to grow as you wear them for some reason.
In the past, I had the DL1961 Florence in white, which I liked a lot, but the leg opening was kind of wide and I eventually donated them. I prefer the DL1961 Emma now, but I never bought those in white. I did order them once, try them and like them, but sent them back because I didn’t feel like I needed two pairs. Then I found the Paige Verdugo pair that I currently wear, so unfortunately I don’t have pictures of me wearing either the Florence or Emma.
I did, however, get a picture of this Margaux style at Nordstrom, and while the quality of the denim is great, I don’t like the leg opening. It’s too wide, and I feel it cuts off my leg at an odd place. You can see the difference if you compare to the Paige Verdugo above. That said, if you have wider calves, you may like these. I also don’t love this rear view. The main reason I’ve started buying more AG and Paige is because they tend to have smaller pockets that are more flattering on me. These are the 28.
DL1961 Margaux $178
These are Paige, but they’re not the same Paige white jeans that I have. I will show both, but there’s not much difference besides the hem. These are the Paige Verdugo with Raw Hem in Optic White. I like these a lot; they are the ones I have, basically. They are a little bit thinner than I’d prefer, but until I tried the Current/Elliott (see below) I’d never found any that were any thicker that also fit well and felt comfortable. These are definitely my 2nd favorites of all the ones I tried on. (The Current/Elliott are my faves.) These are the size 29.
These are my Paige Verdugo white skinnies. They are also Optic White, so I guess they’re the same fabric. In fact, I think they are identical to the ones above except for the hem. Oh, and these are size 30. I bought them before I lost weight last fall, so maybe I could size down now, but they’re comfortable and don’t fall down or bag out. These pictures are taken after they’d been worn a couple of times, so they show some wear, even though you can see they don’t get saggy at all.
Current/Elliott is a relatively new brand to me, but it’s fast becoming one of my top 3 favorites. (AG and Paige are the other two. Sorry, DL1961, I feel like I’m cheating on you, but it’s the pockets.)
These white jeans are thicker than most of the other white jeans I tried. The cool thing is, with this brand, thick does not equal stiff. They are very soft and comfortable without being stretchy. (I have their cropped straight released hem jeans that I styled in yesterday’s post, and they are also very thick and soft, and I’ve worn them for a few days and they never bag out or get saggy.)
Overall, I find these white jeans very flattering. You can see that they have smaller rear pockets than most, and the placement is about right. Yes, the price is up there, but they are fabulous jeans. I think these are my favorites of all the white jeans I tried. I just don’t love the frayed hem. I prefer a raw hem that is simply cut, but it wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me. These are the 28.
These Hudsons are the most expensive pair of white jeans I tried, but I think they’re marked up because of all the details. Some of their other styles are less expensive, but this is the only one my Nordstrom store carries. These are actually 20% off and they look adorable, if you like distressing.
These jeans are very thick and stretchy, super comfortable. I like these a lot, and I feel like they’re very flattering. I still prefer a slightly smaller back pocket, but that wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me because the pocket placement is just about perfect. All that said, I have had other Hudson jeans, and they tend to be big in the waist and they do stretch some with wear. The girls I know that love Hudson jeans are a straight or apple body type. These are the 28.
PHEW! That’s a lot, I know. There are other brands I could have tried. I wanted to try something from Target, for example, and I would have ordered the Lee Bounce Back Skinny jeans that I reviews last fall, but they don’t seem to make them in white. Other brands I wanted to compare are American Eagle, BlankNY, Madewell, Joe’s, Sevens, and I’m sure there are more, but hopefully this gives a good overview of what’s out there.
UPDATE: I wanted to add a couple things based on the comments. I meant to mention to look for white jeans that have no front pockets. That helps them look better because the front pockets often show through. The Hudson, Paige Verdugo, and DL1961 jeans I showed are made this way.
Also, underwear. Awkward but very important point to make — always wear underwear as close to the color of your skin as possible under your white jeans. Never wear white underwear under white jeans. Obviously darker skinned women want darker shades of “nude” undergarments. And of course, seamless styles are best because no one wants to see your panty lines, ladies! Can I get an amen?
And as if this post wasn’t long enough already (lol) it’s Friday, so that means linkup day! If you have a fashion blog, I’d love for you to join us. If you’re here for your weekly dose of style inspiration, you’ll find plenty of that here. Have a beautiful weekend!
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