How to wear white trousers

White trousers can make for a resplendent appearance and also a foolish one, but by adhering to the guidelines of what to pair them with, you’ll be able to stride out of the conundrum and sport them with panache this summer.

For much of human history, white has been a symbol of purity. It was worn by priestesses in ancient Egypt and Rome and the Pope has worn white since 1566. It is also worn by pilgrims in Islam and in the Shinto religion of Japan. But in the realms of menswear we tend to think of white trousers somewhat differently. They’re easily associated with hedonism, seduction and most of all romanticism. Think back to the stylish lotharios and playboys of popular culture: Mick Jagger, Gunter Sachs and David Hemmings, who donned them with pizzazz and panache. Or there’s the other portrait of the flashy kind, young and old sporting white trousers in expensive restaurants in Mykonos. Seldom to what some might think, there’s often nothing wrong with their choice of white trouser, but the trousers’ agonizing pitfalls are down to what you pair with them and this should be prudently mulled over before sporting them.

American writer Mark Twain pointed out that “the fear of criticism might prevent (a man) from indulging his fancy” and wearing white tailoring. This needn’t be the case if you adhere to a few simple guidelines, but at the same time don’t let the follies of youth immure the Byronesque romanticism that the white trouser is capable of. It’s always imperative you get the fit right – perhaps even more so with white trousers. Try to avoid bulky types and instead opt for those that are more slim cut through the leg. Tapered they can be, but don’t elect designs that hug the ankle too tightly as it loses the trousers’ grace and fluidity which can make you seem part of the skinny jeans brigade. Even a subtle flare shouldn’t be discounted if paired with the correct footwear.

Contributor

Hugo Curran

Published

May 2020

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