White jeans are one of my most-worn summer wardrobe pieces, and I like to have several styles to work with the different shoes and tops in my closet and add variety to my outfits. I often get asked for white denim recommendations, so I’ve rounded up my favorites and how I like to wear them.
SIZING NOTES: I’m 5’5″ and in between denim sizes these days. I wear a 28 or 29, and usually a 29 in white jeans.
My Favorite White Jeans for Summer
I wanted to do a “splurge or save” type of post, but I don’t really have any good “save” options right now, so these are all on the “splurge” side of the spectrum. I’m willing to invest in premium denim because I wear jeans so often, and I’m really picky about fit and feel. I buy on sale when I can, and I highly recommend that, but most of these are full price at the moment.
For lower price points, LOFT and Madewell do a good job with white denim, and they also carry petite and tall sizes for the ladies who need that. But for the purposes of this post, I’m focusing on premium denim because that’s what’s in my closet and what I know the best.
#1. MOTHER The Mid Rise Dazzler Ankle
A few days ago, someone asked me my favorite pair of white jeans. I wear most of my white jeans equally, but I named these because I feel like they’re the most versatile ones I have.
These mid-rise slim, straight ankle jeans have a 27 1/2″ inseam with a 12 3/4″ leg opening and a 9 3/4″ rise. The fabric composition is 94% cotton, 4% polyester, 2% elastane; and they’re made in Los Angeles.
Because of the slim, straight ankle-length fit with finished hems, they’re polished enough to wear with a pretty top and heels to church but casual enough to pair with a t-shirt and flip-flops or sneakers for weekend errands.
These are the ones I reach for first when I want a clean pair of straight-leg white jeans, and they’re also a good choice for those who like mid rise styles, as opposed to a high rise.
The fabric is substantial, but there’s a bit of show-through in the front pocket area. It’s clearly not a deal breaker for me, since I named these my favorites, but I thought I should mention it. To be on the safe side, I wear flesh-colored shaping shorts underneath all my white jeans.
#2. FRAME Le High Straight in Blanc
I got these classic straight ankle jeans early last spring, when I started experimenting with straighter denim silhouettes. They’re very similar to the MOTHER Dazzler — just slightly wider in the leg and an inch higher in the rise.
They have a 27″ inseam with a 14″ leg opening and a 10 1/2″ front rise; and the fabric is 92% cotton, 6% polyester, 2% elastane. FRAME denim is also made in the USA.
These have a little less cotton and more poly than The Dazzler, which along with the wider leg make them seem more trouser-like than denim.
I feel like these are the dressiest and most polished of the bunch, so I mainly wear them when I need more of a business casual vibe, and I rarely wear them with flats. Because of the slightly wider leg, I feel like they need a heel to extend the line of the leg.
Now that I have The Dazzler, these feel a bit expendable. Even though I really don’t need them anymore, I’ve held onto them in case I want a dressier pair of white jeans for a more conservative event. If you wear jeans to work or need business casual attire, these are a really good choice. They’re true to size; or size up if in between.
#3. Good American Good Straight Raw Edge
These slim, straight ankle jeans are the most moderately priced of the bunch, at $99. They also have the thickest fabric, if show-through is a big concern of yours.
They have a 27 1/2″ inseam with a 14 1/2″ leg opening and an 11″ front rise; and the fabric is 72% cotton, 20% recycled cotton, 6% elasterell-p, 2% elastane.
These jeans are thick and verrrry stretchy, and they have that Good American gap-proof waist band, which is great for ladies who have an issue with jeans being too loose in the waist. Even though that is most certainly not my issue, I love them for the way they hold everything in and sculpt and shape the rear. It’s almost like wearing Spanx.
The raw hem makes these jeans a little more casual than the MOTHER Dazzler and FRAME Le High Straight, but otherwise it’s a very crisp, clean white wash. I also feel like the thicker fabric makes them look very high quality. I would say these jeans give you the best bang for your buck of all the jeans in this post.
I bought the Good American Good Straight and the MOTHER Dazzler around the same time this past spring, not intending to keep them both because they’re so similar, but I’ve found them both to be very useful in my spring/summer wardrobe. Since I wear white jeans so much and they get stained easily, they’re often in the wash, so it’s nice to have a back-up pair.
These jeans run true to size, or size up if in between. I have the 6, but right now I could really use the 8.
#4. MOTHER The Insider Crop Step Fray
top (sold out) // sandals (sold out) // bag (sold out)
These high-waisted jeans have a cropped boot-cut silhouette and a frayed step-hem, for an ultra cool, casual vibe. They have a 26″ inseam with a 15 1/2″ leg opening and a 10″ front rise; and the fabric is 94% cotton/4% polyester/2% elastane.
Like all MOTHER denim, these jeans are made in Los Angeles, and they’re soft and stretchy and very comfortable.
These are intended to be more of a crop than an ankle-length, but of course that depends on your height and body type.
STYLE TIP: Typically a cropped pant hits a couple inches above the ankle, and an ankle-length pant hits right at or within an inch of the ankle bone. It’s a subtle difference, but it definitely affects my shoe choices.
I first saw these jeans on a woman in the airport last spring, and I thought she looked so effortlessly chic and casual in the crisp white cropped flares with the frayed step hem.
I was still wearing mostly skinnies at the time, but I had just discovered the MOTHER Insider in the Dancing On Coals wash, and I was loving this fresh silhouette. Suffice it to say, I came right home and ordered them, and they quickly became my go-to white jeans for casual wear last summer.
These are true to size, or size up if in between. I had the 28 last year, but this year I had to upgrade to the 29.
#5. MOTHER The Hustler Ankle Fray
These jeans are the newest addition to my white denim wardrobe. They have a 27 1/2″ inseam with a 17″ leg opening and 11″ front rise, so they’re more of an ankle-length flare.
These are a lot like the The Insider, but I decided to get them anyway because I like the option of a longer length.
They also have more of an exaggerated flare silhouette, where the Insider is more of a bootcut. The rise is a bit higher, as well, which I’m fine with.
I used to like a 10″ or 10 1/2″ rise best, but these days I actually prefer the 11″ rise, I think because I have more “fluff” than usual and it makes me feel like everything is being held in and not bulging out over the top. Sorry if that is TMI, just keeping it real!
I tend to wear The Hustler more with heels and The Insider more with flats, but I make exceptions on both counts. Both also transition easily to fall, as they can be worn with sneakers or booties. These jeans also run true to size, or size up if in between. I have the 29.
#6. AG Alexxis Boot
I haven’t really worn these yet, but I’m adding them in here because all of the other white jeans in this post are cropped or ankle-length, and I want to recommend at least one full-length pair since this is the direction denim trends are going. I do hope to wear these at some point, but I haven’t had the opportunity yet.
These jeans have a 33″ inseam with a 21″ leg opening and an 11″ rise, and the Japanese denim is 98% cotton/2% polyurethane. I generally find AG white denim slightly thinner than the MOTHER Denim in Fairest Of Them All, but they’re very comfortable, and the fit is fantastic.
On the AG website, they explain that they left the raw hems so you can adjust the length to meet your desired look. “Wear the flare stacked, cropped, to the floor, or any way you like it.”
I’m planning to cut a bit off mine so I can wear with a lower heel (the ones above are the highest I have), but leave them long enough to have the look of a full-length jean. These jeans run a bit small; I definitely need the 29 in these.
I hope this post is helpful, if you’re still looking to add some white denim to your closet. I’m happy to answer any questions about fit and sizing in the comments!
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photos: Alison Cornell