A Modern Warm-Weather Essential

Although generally considered part of the uniform of those who ply their trade on Wimbledon’s centre court, white legwear has, over time, emerged as a popular summer choice for fashion-conscious males.

Well suited to the hotter months of the year – white reflects the entire spectrum of light, therefore keeping you cool – white shorts, trousers, chinos and jeans offer a versatile and eye-catching option for those who are looking for a simple yet stylish way to rejuvenate their warm-weather style.

And while many men are still of the belief that wearing white legwear outside of the Riviera or tropical climates will encourage mockery, we here at FashionBeans believe they are an essential part of the modern gent’s capsule wardrobe.

To help fight our case, and in an attempt to prove any doubters wrong, this article aims to highlight the three key options available and show you how to incorporate each into your everyday outfits successfully…

White Trousers/Chinos

The thought of wearing white trousers or chinos can be slightly intimidating. However, they’re actually a classic and versatile piece of menswear that have long been sported by some of the most stylish men on the planet, from timeless icons such as JFK and Paul Newman to contemporary idols like David Gandy and Tinie Tempah.

As always, it’s imperative you get the fit right – perhaps even more so with white trousers. To guarantee you do just that, opt for those that are cut slim through the leg and narrow at the ankle. A loose fitting pair will just end up looking sloppy and extremely unflattering, especially if you’re looking to wear loafers/drivers or go sockless.

In terms of what to team your new legwear with, the opportunities are somewhat endless. While navy and grey are the obvious choices, white can be considered the ultimate neutral, meaning these trousers will anchor any bold colour or pattern you currently have in your wardrobe.

With this in mind, those who like to stand out from the crowd should try pairing them with a printed statement tee and some colour pop footwear. Alternatively, if you prefer to keep things more refined, a simple sky blue Oxford shirt and brown leather penny loafers will do just the trick.

As alluded to above, white trousers are a key component of the highly desirable Riviera aesthetic, therefore mixing and matching them with pastel polo shirts, Breton stripe tops, espadrilles and unstructured tailoring will help create effortlessly chic ensembles for a variety of warm-weather scenarios.

Finally, it’s important we address the practicality aspect of any white legwear. Yes, these trousers can get dirty easily, but the simplest way of combating this is to consider the event/what you will be doing ahead of time. For instance, they are probably not the best option for an alcohol-fuelled night out, but a beach wedding? Ideal. Use common sense and you will be able to wear them year-round, not just in high summer.

Anyway, if they do get a little dirty you can always add a small amount of bleaching powder to the wash in order to restore their lustre.

Lookbook Inspiration

sarar ss14j crew ss14suitsupply ss15ovadia & sons ss14tommy hilfiger summer 2014zara man may 2014Gieves & Hawkes ss14Bottega Veneta Cruise 2014he by mango summer 2014massimo dutti may 2014berluti ss14Faconnable ss15
Key Pieces
  • Aiden Slim-fit ChinoAiden Slim-fit Chino
  • Asos Slim ChinosAsos Slim Chinos
  • Peter Werth Suit Trousers In WhitePeter Werth Suit Trousers In White
  • Asos Slim ChinosAsos Slim Chinos
  • He By Mango Garment-dyed Linen-blend Slim-fit ChinosHe By Mango Garment-dyed Linen-blend Slim-fit Chinos
  • He By Mango Premium Poplin ChinosHe By Mango Premium Poplin Chinos
  • Blue Harbour Tapered Easy To Iron Super Lightweight Chinos With Adjustable WaistBlue Harbour Tapered Easy To Iron Super Lightweight Chinos With Adjustable Waist
  • River Island White Slim Suit TrousersRiver Island White Slim Suit Trousers
  • Loro Piana Slim-fit Cotton-blend ChinosLoro Piana Slim-fit Cotton-blend Chinos
White Shorts

Easier to wear than trousers, simply because there is less material, white shorts are the perfect way to set yourself apart from the countless number of beige/navy designs you are sure to spot on every high street up and down the country this summer.

Not only do they reflect the heat, making them ideal for holidaying in tropical climates, they’re also a versatile and eye-catching option that is capable of being integrated into a wide variety of outfits, smart or casual. But before you go and invest, there are a couple of guidelines to bear in mind:

Look for styles that are cut slim through the leg and finish an inch or two above your knee. Although short shorts are currently on trend and reminiscent of classic 1950s summer style, it takes great legs and rock solid confidence to pull off the cut. Plus, white shorts are often enough of a statement on their own.

To create an outfit, try teaming with leather sandals and a plain navy vest during the day on holiday, switching for a tailored short-sleeved shirt and tassel loafers for summer evening drinks.

For those that want to take a more trend-led approach, why not embrace the white-on-white aesthetic this season? A well-cut pique polo shirt and a pair of minimal leather trainers will help create a crisp and clean outfit that is reminiscent of the sporty ensembles sent down the Emporio Armani SS14 runways. You could even layer a lightweight white bomber over the top to add depth to the look.

Lookbook Inspiration

calibre ss14scotch & soda ss14zara man may 2014avva ss14perry ellis ss14dunhill ss15m j bale ss12simons ss14gant rugger ss14
Key Pieces
  • Topman White Chino ShortsTopman White Chino Shorts
  • Paul Smith Jeans Chino ShortsPaul Smith Jeans Chino Shorts
  • Asos Chino Shorts In Mid LengthAsos Chino Shorts In Mid Length
  • Stretch Slim Fit Smart ShortsStretch Slim Fit Smart Shorts
  • He By Mango Rolled-up Hem Cotton Linen-blend ShortsHe By Mango Rolled-up Hem Cotton Linen-blend Shorts
  • Anerkjendt Mate Denim Shorts In WhiteAnerkjendt Mate Denim Shorts In White
  • River Island White Chino ShortsRiver Island White Chino Shorts
  • John Lewis Chino Shorts whiteJohn Lewis Chino Shorts white
  • Loro Piana Stretch-cotton ShortsLoro Piana Stretch-cotton Shorts
White Jeans

Looking for something more relaxed than tailored trousers/chinos, but smarter than shorts? White jeans are the perfect option. Whether dressed up with tailoring or down with casual staples, they will help give your look a crisp, summer-appropriate twist.

Again, stick to slim fits – skinny cuts restrict airflow and are always uncomfortable to wear in the heat – and fully embrace their neutrality. As previously mentioned, they will help anchor any pattern you can think of, from camo and floral to tie-dye and animal print, so don’t be afraid to experiment with bold colours and motifs.

Want to rock double denim but unsure how? This nineties look is set to be big news again in SS15 and these jeans are made for pulling off the aesthetic in a contemporary way. Simply combine your jeans with a light blue chambray shirt or indigo denim jacket for an effortlessly cool take on what many consider to be one of menswear’s most risky style statements.

Alternatively, dress your jeans up with a pink Oxford button-down, navy double-breasted jacket and tan suede Derbies for an evening meal at a restaurant or dress-down Friday in the office.

Finally, consider these jeans a year-round option. Although they’re most appropriate for the summer months, denim’s natural durability and thickness ensures they can be used to breathe new life into your autumn/winter wardrobe. For example, try combining with a tweed jacket, flannel shirt and textured tie to instantly refresh your cold-weather style.

Lookbook Inspiration

j crew ss14zara man ss12massimo dutti may 2014reiss ss14duchampallsaints ss13j crew style guide spring 2014ami ss14tommy hilfiger summer 2014
Key Pieces
  • Levis Jeans 511 Vivacious White DenimLevis Jeans 511 Vivacious White Denim
  • Asos Skinny JeansAsos Skinny Jeans
  • Heritage Premium White JeanHeritage Premium White Jean
  • Selected Homme One Fabios Tony Jeans In WhiteSelected Homme One Fabios Tony Jeans In White
  • He By Mango Slim-fit White Alex JeansHe By Mango Slim-fit White Alex Jeans
  • Reiss 1971 St Tropez Twill Denim Jeans WhiteReiss 1971 St Tropez Twill Denim Jeans White
  • Saint Laurent Slim-fit 17.5 Hem Dry-denim JeansSaint Laurent Slim-fit 17.5 Hem Dry-denim Jeans
  • Acne Studios Ace Dry-denim JeansAcne Studios Ace Dry-denim Jeans
  • Nudie Jeans Grim Tim Slim-fit Organic Denim JeansNudie Jeans Grim Tim Slim-fit Organic Denim Jeans
Final Word

With the majority of men continuing to shy away from white legwear, particularly here in the UK, there has never been a better time to introduce a pair of white shorts, trousers or jeans to your wardrobe.

But what do you think – are you a fan of white legwear? Do you already own a classic pair of white trousers? Or are they simply not appropriate in a country like England?

Let us know in the comments section below…