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Ask Belle: White Denim Now and Later

Hi Belle:

I hope your August is going well! I wanted to email you with a perennial question: can one wear white jeans after Labor Day? I am interested in buying a pair of them, especially since so many stores have them discounted now, but am worried about the wearability factor come September. What are your thoughts on this supposed fashion rule? Any tips for wearing them into the cooler weather? 

Thanks so much! Rory

Maybe the easiest way to answer this question is with visual aids.


Jeans: Paige Skyline Skinny Jeans ($179)

These Paige jeans are my everything.  I have a serious saddlebag issue, and they’re the only skinny jeans that don’t make them look enormous.  Need something under-$100?  Try these Ann Taylor jeans or these Old Navy Rockstar jeans.  Petite?  Try these $79 Michael Kors jeans.  Plus-size?  These Jones New York jeans look promising.

Left, Blouse: Otte Sophie Top ($185) // Necklace: Charlene K Turquoise Necklace ($138) // Bag: Switch It Up Tote ($59) // Earrings: Chloe Stud Earring ($38) // Ring: Tira Open Ring ($38) // Shoes: French Connection Hallie Sandal ($50)

August is for white denim and bright colors.  One of my favorite summer color combos is turquoise and coral.  Looking for more Martha’s Vineyard, less Miami Beach?  Try this yellow, dot-printed top from Ann Taylor and these navy stud earrings.

The real star of this show is the inexpensive reversible tote.  It’s coral on one side, cognac on the other.  Prefer a different combination?  Try this $48 Street Level Tote that comes in four options.

Right, Sweater: Merino Wool Tippi Sweater ($80 + 25%-off) // Earrings: Kenneth Cole Hoops ($24) // Bag: Sole Society Marlow Tote ($59) // Bracelet: Blu Bijoux Cuff ($34) // Shoe: Sole Society Wynn Bootie ($80)

This is a good outfit for early fall.  In D.C., that’s October.  In Montana, that’s next week.  Adjust accordingly.

I chose grey, but you could also got with a camel sweater or a black-and-white printed one (don’t miss it!).  I also like these sweet booties.  I think they’re phenomenal.  But if you want something more basic, don’t miss these Splendid Lakota booties.

I also added green accessories to create a rich-looking color combination.  And given the affordability of the bag and the bracelet, it would be a great pair of items to own.

Bottom, Jacket: IRO Cym Tweed Jacket ($485) // Sweater: Cashmere Tee ($138 + 25%-off) // Boots: Steve Madden Tall Boots ($169) // Scarf: Grey Leopard Scarf ($30) // Earrings: Minkoff Studded Drop Earrings ($68)

For the deepest months of winter, wear your white jeans as you would your blue jeans.  Here, I paired them with a black tweed jacket and a navy blue sweater.  This is still one of my favorite color combos.  I chose the grey leopard scarf with hints of blue and black to pull the palette together.

Need a cheaper tweed jacket? Try this Halogen jacket or this sale-priced Rebecca Taylor jacket.  Petite?  This Halogen tweed jacket comes in your size.  Plus-size?  Try this pale grey tweed zip jacket.



  1. Stephanie says:

    Bought those French Connection shoes in tan/gold– good sale!

    August 21, 2014/Reply
  2. GoGoGo says:

    Adorbs. Especially October.

    August 21, 2014/Reply
  3. GoGoGo says:

    BTW Belle this navy and black jacket that you posted about a million years ago is on sale real cheap right now. (I was clicking around old posts looking for outerwear ideas.)

    August 21, 2014/Reply
  4. Ann says:

    This is just my personal opinion but I think the looks for October and December with the white jeans look a little bit forced. Both of those outfits would look better and more seasonal with blue jeans.

    August 21, 2014/Reply
    • Anna says:

      I agree with you on December. It looks a little harsh with all the black. You could do some sort of winter white ensemble or stick with more grays. But what do I know, I’ve never really wanted to buy white jeans (at least not as an adult).

      August 21, 2014/Reply
    • Liz says:

      I like the October look, but the December is not my favorite. The black and white is a little severe for me. I think I would prefer the white jeans with a cognac or gray boot. I have a pair of ivory skinny cords that I love to wear in the winter with camels, tans, and winter whites – a look I think I could swap white jeans into.

      August 21, 2014/Reply
      • CH says:

        White jeans + a camel cashmere sweater would make a pretty killer winter outfit.

        August 22, 2014/Reply
    • Christina says:

      I definitely cannot with those gray booties. They’re too similar to something I could imagine a kardashian wearing. Blugh.

      August 21, 2014/Reply
      • Anna says:

        Haha. To me, they looked like a straight jacket for your feet.

        August 21, 2014/Reply
  5. Sarah says:

    This post is so incredibly helpful Belle – in California I don’t think twice about wearing white jeans whenever I want, and this makes it even easier!

    August 21, 2014/Reply
  6. Gabby says:

    I’m a traditionalist…white (except winter white), seersucker, etc all go into storage on Labor Day, not to be revived until Easter. I realize that this rule is silly and virtually no one follows it anymore, but I just can’t get on board with white pants post-Labor Day.

    August 21, 2014/Reply