How to wear white this summer

Our fashion columnist, Ruth Essex, shares her advice on how to make white trousers a summer staple.

Image credit: Jacket £50, Trousers £40, Shoes £49 |

This month I am championing either white trousers, or white jeans for everyone. They can look edgy, bright, feminine, comfy, casual or chic. Your style personality will decide the direction that is best for you.

I know many people don’t wear white as they worry it will make them look bigger, but it is not necessarily true. White per se doesn’t necessarily make you appear larger; it is clothing that is too tight or ill-fitting that will not flatter you. 

Lining makes a massive difference to how well a pair of trousers hang, particularly for a summer favourite such as linen. A touch of lycra will help linen crease less and trousers to hold their shape better. Crisper fabrics like cotton hold their structure and can disguise any bits you are less happy with as they skim, rather than cling. A boot cut or straight trouser with a heel will elongate your legs. A muffin top can be avoided with a slightly higher rise, should the tummy be your area of concern.

River Island |

Be careful of white crops as they can make your legs look cropped too, particularly if they are wide. Ensure they finish between the calf and ankle where the leg starts to slim down. You can reduce the cropping impact by having shoes in a neutral colour similar to your skin tone or by adding a heel, to extend your leg.


Wearing white on your top and bottom creates a single column of colour and this has a lengthening and hence streamlining effect. Use all white as a base, then add another colour jacket on top or a pretty floral blouse.

As a final word, remember to keep your underwear nude rather than white, so it won’t show through the fabric. I appreciate white does attract the dirt, so these will be in the washing machine quite frequently, but their versatility and timeless appeal make it worth searching out the right pair. They will be a great addition to your wardrobe that you could wear at least once a week for the whole of summer.


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