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 also seem to be 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, so I’m taking one for the team and trying on a bunch of different styles of white jeans at a variety of price points, and these are my findings!
I did this post last year, but things change — even among the same styles — so I decided to completely start over this year. I’m including a few from last year that are still available, but I’ll let you know when those are last year’s observations, in case they’ve changed anything.
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 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.
I’m going to give each pair a rating out of 5 stars — 5 stars being “highly recommend” and 1 star being “don’t bother.” The rest are somewhere in between.
Okay, let’s dive in!
White Jeans Under $100
First up, Old Navy Rockstar skinnies. Truly, these look as good as any pair I’ve tried on. The overall fit and pocket placement is very similar to the Paige Verdugo jeans I like so much. The material isn’t as thick, and it has a bit of a sheen to it, but that wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me at this price point. If you’re looking for jeans under $50, these are by far my favorites in that category.
I wore these all day and they held up great. I was surprised they didn’t bag out at all because that has been my experience with Old Navy Rockstar jeans in the past. I’m giving these 5 stars!!!
Whoa, Nellie! The pockets on these jeans are HUGE! These are the Ann Taylor modern skinny jeans, and while the overall fit is nice, the pockets are a deal breaker for me. That said, some women look good in bigger pockets so it’s all about figuring out what works best for you. I’d give these 3 stars out of 5.
I promised to find some straight leg white jeans, so I ordered these from Gap. They have a nice fit, but they’re too long for me to wear with flats (I’d have to have them hemmed if I were to keep them) so I had to show them with a heel. I tried a wedge sandal, but the hem of the jeans got hung up on the heel of the shoe, so I’m showing them with pumps, but I wouldn’t wear pumps with this outfit as the sweater is fairly casual.
As far as fit, it’s hard to say as I’m not comparing any other straight leg jeans, but I think they fit pretty well. My biggest critique is the pockets are kind of large. I’ll give these 4 stars out of 5.
These next jeans are also from Gap. They’re a skinny style, but I’m not loving the fit on these. The pockets are rather large, and the leg opening is wide and awkward; they almost look like a straight leg jean. That said, they might work well on someone with thicker thighs and calves, so I’ll give these 3 stars out of 5.
Next up is the LOFT Modern Skinny. This style is a reader favorite, and I really like them in black, but I’m not loving the white. They’re kind of wrinkly and roomy through the leg, but the waist seems to fit right. This is a size 29, so maybe I need the 28. They’re an inch longer than the Gap skinnies, which works well with flats, but it wouldn’t work so well with booties. Of course, you can always have them hemmed. I’d give these 3 stars out of 5.
These jeans are by Topshop, a brand I’ve never tried before. They’re nice and thick and have a super high rise, which I find very comfortable. However, they do bag a bit in the crotch area, as you can see here. Other than that, I like the fit, but I somehow failed to get a rear shot, and I have already returned them.
They’re definitely worth a try, as every woman is different and they may not do the funky crotch thing on everyone. (I hate that word, but I can’t come up with a more delicate term. Anyone got a suggestion?) I’ll give these 4 stars.
I don’t remember who recommended Abercrombie, but someone told me they fit well so I ordered a pair. These are the Simone high rise — there are some others in that style but not this exact pair. Initially, the fit and feel is really good, but the pockets are rather large. Unfortunately they did bag out some as I wore them around for a day, and they’re kind of long in the crotch area, so I’m giving them 3 stars.
I also wanted to try Articles of Society jeans, but I forgot to order them. I did have a pair of their white jeans that I liked pretty well. You can see them styled in this post.
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 and more attention to detail than the cheaper brands.
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 Saks Off Fifth. Also check thrift stores, if you like the thrill of the hunt.
Okay, so the first pair I tried in this price range was the Paige Hoxton ankle skinny. This is why you always look at the rear view, my friends. I really wanted to love these jeans. My Paige Verdugo ankle skinnies are my all time favorite white jeans, but I was wanting a higher rise version. I have the Hoxton style in dark denim, and I like them, but the pocket placement is a little high and wide. I can deal with it on the dark denim, but on the white, it’s just bad news.
They also fit a little wider in the ankle than I prefer. The leg opening is only 1/4-inch wider than my usual skinnies but it looks bigger than that to my eye. I guess I’ll give these 4 stars because I think they could work for someone else, just not for me.
Compare those to my Paige Verdugo ankle skinnies. Let’s face it, no one really wants to see their rear view head-on in white skinny jeans, but I much prefer the pocket placement and overall fit on this pair. They’re a tad snug in the back of the thigh… they fit better when I was 5 lbs lighter, but that’s how it goes… they’re still a size 30, which is a size larger than I normally wear in Paige jeans, and I think they’re the right size. They’re meant to be very snug, pretty much legging jeans.
I have to give these a 5-star rating. They’ve been my go-to jeans for years, they hold up great, and they fit as well as any. I wish they didn’t pull so much through the back of the thighs, but again, that’s mostly because I’ve put on a little weight… ahem.
Speaking of legging jeans, these are the AG legging ankle jeans, pretty much my holy grail jeans. I have this style in various shades of indigo but for some reason I never bought the white.
FYI, these pictures are from last year. My comments were as follows: 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 my usual size 28. I’ll give these 5 stars as well. Even though they’re a tad thinner than ideal, they fit really well and I know from experience with this brand that they will hold up and not bag out.
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 skinnies 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 legging jeans now, but I never bought those in white. I did order them once, and I really liked them, but sent them back because I didn’t feel like I needed two pairs of white skinnies. 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 last year. 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. For size reference, these are the 28. I’ll give these 4 stars because of that funky leg opening. Otherwise, they check all the boxes.
PHEW! That’s a lot, and yet, I always wish I had more to show you. I’m planning to order a bootcut pair to style for the blog so stay tuned for that!
Before we close, let’s discuss underwear. When wearing white jeans, it’s super important to wear underwear as close to the color of your skin as possible. 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?
I actually wear these undies with just about everything. I can’t find anything else that doesn’t create panty lines. Yes, they’re pricey, but I always purchase them on sale. And before you ask, yes, they are actually very comfortable.
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