The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Ask BB: How to Wear White Pants

I just bought these white pants from The Limited. [Do you have] any outfit ideas for work and play to go with these pants? —D

White pants are a summer wardrobe essential. They're surprisingly easy to keep clean and they will not make you look bottom heavy so long as you choose the right cut and fit. Be sure to wear flesh-tone undergarments (not white) so nothing shows through, and enough of a heel so the hems don't get dirty (or have them hemmed to the proper length if you'll be wearing them with flats). Unless you work in a very casual work environment, I probably would not wear white pants to the office—maybe on a casual Friday if you feel comfortable. But that's just me!

Now that we got that out of the way...white pants can be styled so many ways! Here are three affordable outfit ideas I put together which incorporate some current trends. Think about how you might put your own stamp on each look.

Like something you see? Click any set to learn more about any of the items shown.

okay, hold up, hold up. they're "surprisingly easy to keep clean"... if you're not ME. i am entirely capable of ruining a perfectly good pair of white pants with food stains, grass stains, heck, if it were possible to get stains just from standing around, i would probably get them too. girlfriend here is ACCIDENT PRONE, and white pants and i just don't mix.

i will watch admiringly from afar, shedding tears of sadness on the inside and living vicariously through you fashionable folk.
#1 hanna (Homepage) on 2009-04-21 07:01 (Reply)
I love white pants with a fun tunic (from Tory Burch if I weren't on a budget, otherwise our beloved Forever 21.) My other favorite white pants look is with a bright yellow top... especially on a blonde. It's such a fun, happy summer look.
#2 Grace (Homepage) on 2009-04-21 07:36 (Reply)
Great outfits, BB!!!!
#3 Real Style Real people (Homepage) on 2009-04-21 08:01 (Reply)
I love the combination of red and white also love the last one with a fun tunic,thanks
#4 mania on 2009-04-21 08:17 (Reply)
I wear white jeans/crops/trousers all the time! I pair them with fitted t-shirts, blouses, and anything that you could wear over jeans, really. I love pairing them with bright colors because the white really accentuates the color - blue is a great color, and all shades of pink/purple/red, and anything else you like, really!
#5 Leia (Homepage) on 2009-04-21 09:22 (Reply)
Love your outfits. Just wanted to add that I think white pants wearability-factor is definitely regional. I'm in San Diego and I would say that white pants are appropriate for the office any day of the week. (obviously, i'd be referring to a dressier white trouser for weekday wear). White is so sharp!
#6 Beth B. on 2009-04-21 09:32 (Reply)
Hey, that's good to know. I hadn't considered it since I've only lived in the Midwest and the northeast! Thanks for sharing.
#6.1 The Budget Babe on 2009-04-21 12:36 (Reply)
I snapped up a pair of white trouser jeans last summer, but haven't put them into rotation yet. I'm looking forward to trying them out - an will use this post as my outfit-building cheat sheet!
#7 Sal (Homepage) on 2009-04-21 10:31 (Reply)
Love the second and third outfits! And they are work appropriate (for me anyway, lucky me!)
#8 fashionablychallenged on 2009-04-21 10:45 (Reply)
Thanks BB! I love them all, especially outfits 2 and 3. I was always afraid of wearing bright colors with white because i felt like it would be too loud, but reading some of the comments, I think I might give it a try. I like the idea of 3, very feminine and soft with a peasant off the shoulder top.

Thanks again :-)
#9 dina on 2009-04-21 12:18 (Reply)
love them all! and i just bought those wedges from payless in #1 and let me tell you- i don't like heels for comfort reasons, but those wedges are the most comfortable sandles i own! i definitely recommend them. cute outfits!

thanks BB!
#10 jacquie on 2009-04-21 13:38 (Reply)
Oh hanna, I can completely relate! I used to have a really nice pair of white pants, but I'm the kind of person that forgets she has white pants on-- and so one day I went frolicking through tall, muddied grass after a rainfall and there went my really nice pair of white pants. And I know it'll just keep happening again and again, so they're a no-go. Woe is me...
#11 Claudia on 2009-04-21 13:49 (Reply)
White pants (and skirts) totally rock! I'm accident prone too, but I love my white jeans (1 pr. skinny, 1 pr. trouser-cut) and white knee-length skirt. If you're top heavy, they're the best lemme tell ya! Bright colors and pastels look amazing against white, as your outfits show.

And yeah, I usually do have to wash them after one time wearing, but to me it's worth it. In the summer I just hang them to dry in the sun after washing, which bleaches them brilliantly.:-)
#12 Anusha (Homepage) on 2009-04-22 09:59 (Reply)
I always had a fear of white pants, but then I realized, what's the big difference between bright white and a light stone chino? Not much. Either way I always end up marking them with pen or spilling tea on them or they get smudged on Metro. So why not give white a chance? I bought a pair of white twill capris last summer and loved them! Had to wash them after one wear, like Anusha, but they're just so versatile. My fave outfit was my white capris, a bright kelly (or Jamaica) green peasanty top, and my Etienne Aigner gladiator mini-wedges. Looking forward to exploring new outfits with them this summer!
#13 Stephani on 2009-04-23 12:07 (Reply)
I love all of these outfits, especially the last one! White is so refreshing, and if you get something on it (as I invariably do), it's just something to laugh at and move on from. No need to shy away from white pants.
#14 Christina on 2009-07-10 16:17 (Reply)
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