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How to shop for the perfect pair of white pants, according to style experts

TODAY logo TODAY 7/23/2021 Kristin Granero

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White pants can be incredibly chic — a crisp nod to breezy weather and carefree days. But for some shoppers, they can also be incredibly intimidating.

After all, they’re typically not as forgiving or resilient as their darker counterparts when it comes to providing coverage or, ahem, staying clean. We tapped style experts to share their top tips for shopping white pants and rounded up some of our favorite styles to enjoy until Labor Day (or, if you're not one to believe in fashion myths, beyond!).

Find the right fit

The first thing to consider when looking for white pants is style which, according to Kelly Dillon, style expert and podcast host of Kickin’ Back with Kelly, isn’t one-size-fits-all. “A white skinny can look great on some, but a trouser-like fit, such as a bootcut or wide-leg culotte, will typically work for most body types,” she advised.

“High-waisted flares are especially nice for those wanting to create an elongated shape. Just make sure you tailor the length so there isn't any bunching at the bottom,” added Colleen Scott, director of operations for RemoteRetail.

Pay attention to fabric thickness

Dillon said the next thing you’ll want to look at is fabric. “The stiffer and thicker the fabric, the more flattering the pant will typically be," she said. "Opt for a heavyweight cotton or denim which will better hold you in.”

A thicker fabric will also offer more coverage, which leads us to the common concern of transparency. As a general rule, you’ll want to try on pants to make sure they provide enough coverage. “If you can see the pocket liners, you will also probably be able to see your undergarments in the back, and [that's probably] not the look you're going for,” said Gloria Cospito, a New York-based fashion stylist and image consultant.

Pick a pure white for easy cleaning

Lastly, you’ll want to consider the shade, as more and more brands are offering a range of whites, creams and ivories. “Buying a pure white shade is the easiest to maintain because you can simply bleach them if you get them stained,” advised Dillon.

Now that you have a better idea of what to look for, browse some of our favorite white jeans and pants in a range of styles.

The best white jeans for women

Levi's 721 High-Rise Skinny Ankle Jeans

Levi's 721 High-Rise Skinny Ankle Jeans

a person standing posing for the camera: Levi's Women's 721 High Rise Skinny Jeans, iced Out, 32 (US 14) (Amazon / Amazon) © Amazon Levi's Women's 721 High Rise Skinny Jeans, iced Out, 32 (US 14) (Amazon / Amazon)
  • Levi's 721 High-Rise Skinny Ankle Jeans $48.65 at Amazon
  • Levi's 721 High-Rise Skinny Ankle Jeans $48.99 at Target

No closet's complete without a comfortable pair of Levi's. Over 3,000 passionate Amazon shoppers rated this high-rise pair a perfect five stars, noting how flattering, soft and stretchy they are.

Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda Classic Tapered Jean

Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda Classic Tapered Jean

a person posing for the camera: Gloria Vanderbilt womens Amanda Classic High Rise Tapered Jean, Vintage White, 8 Petite Regular (Amazon / Amazon) © Amazon Gloria Vanderbilt womens Amanda Classic High Rise Tapered Jean, Vintage White, 8 Petite Regular (Amazon / Amazon)
  • Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda Classic Tapered Jean $22.67 at Amazon
  • Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda Classic Tapered Jean $21.24 at Kohl's
  • Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda Classic Tapered Jean $40.00 at Macy's

This tapered jean from Gloria Vanderbilt has racked up a strong 4.4-star average on Amazon for a flattering fit, soft fabric and just the right amount of stretch. Some love them so much they’re stocking up just in case they ever run out!

Madewell The High-Rise Slim Boyjean

Madewell The High-Rise Slim Boyjean

a man standing on top of a mountain

Madewell The High-Rise Slim Boyjean $128.00 at Madewell

Slim but relaxed, these boyfriend jeans give any outfit a cool, old-school touch. They're made with Madewell's signature Heritage Stretch denim, hugging your natural curves in all the right places.

Universal Thread Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans

Universal Thread Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans

a person standing posing for the camera

Universal Thread Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans $29.99 at Target

Give any outfit an edgy twist with these lightweight skinny jeans from Target. Made with a smoothing, sculpting spandex, these could easily be styled with your favorite T-shirt and statement kicks.

Levi's 501 High-Waist Crop Straight Leg Jeans

Levi's 501 High-Waist Crop Straight Leg Jeans

a person standing posing for the camera
  • Levi's 501 High-Waist Crop Straight Leg Jeans $89.50 at Nordstrom
  • Levi's 501 High-Waist Crop Straight Leg Jeans $89.50 at Levi's

These five-pocket straight jeans from Levi's have become a wardrobe staple for their easygoing style and flattering inseams.

Madewell Slim Demi-Boot Jeans in Vintage Canvas Wash

Madewell Slim Demi-Boot Jeans in Vintage Canvas Wash

a person standing posing for the camera

Madewell Slim Demi-Boot Jeans in Vintage Canvas Wash $128.00 at Madewell

Accentuate your legs with these boot-cut jeans from Madewell. Best of all, its stretchy material means you don't need to break these in after purchasing them!

The best white pants for women

Alfani Tummy-Control Pull-On Skinny Pants

Alfani Tummy-Control Pull-On Skinny Pants

a person standing posing for the camera

Alfani Tummy-Control Pull-On Skinny Pants $49.99 at Macy's

Almost 1,500 Macy's shoppers have given these tummy-control pants a perfect five-star rating and it's easy to see why. With a sleek silhouette that slenderizes your mid-section and a stretchy fit throughout, these pull-on pants are stylish enough to head back to the office or post-work drinks with your colleagues.

J.Crew Wide-Leg Linen Pant

J.Crew Wide-Leg Linen Pant

a person standing posing for the camera

J.Crew Wide-Leg Linen Pant $88.00 at J. Crew

Who can resist a lightweight pair of linen pants during balmy summer days? Its elastic waist makes this pair the epitome of comfort.

Tommy Hilfiger Cuffed Chino Straight Leg Pants

Tommy Hilfiger Cuffed Chino Straight Leg Pants

a person standing posing for the camera

Tommy Hilfiger Cuffed Chino Straight Leg Pants $35.99 at Macy's

These versatile chinos from Tommy Hilfiger go with just about anything in your closet. It also has loops, so we suggest adding a belt or scarf for a fun pop of color.

Loft Side Zip Kick Crop Pants

Loft Side Zip Kick Crop Pants

a person standing posing for the camera

Loft Side Zip Kick Crop Pants $69.99 at Loft

These low-maintenance crop pants from Loft have just enough stretch to feel comfortable without being too thin. They’re also machine-washable so you don’t need to worry about adding to your dry cleaning bill.

Loft Paperbag Pull-On Pants in Linen Blend

Loft Paperbag Pull-On Pants in Linen Blend

a person wearing a dress

Loft Paperbag Pull-On Pants in Linen Blend $79.50 at Loft

Available in regular, petite and tall sizes, these paperbag pants from Loft are equally fashion-forward and relaxed.

Express High-Waisted Pull-On Ankle Pant

Express High-Waisted Pull-On Ankle Pant

a person standing posing for the camera

Express High-Waisted Pull-On Ankle Pant $60.00 at Express

These minimalist slim-fit pants from Express are chic enough for the office, yet casual enough for summer happy hours.

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