White trousers are the sartorial equivalent of peach sorbet: a palette-cleansing piece with the ability to keep your everyday looks feeling crisp and clean. Once an essential item for style icons like Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy, the preppy classic is rendered new again, as current-day tastemakers showcase its versatility with of-the-moment styling.
White Trousers Then & Now: From Jackie O. To Kate Hudson
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We’re turning the spotlight on the staple's fashionable history, so keep reading to see how white trousers were worn then and now.
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The blonde bombshell, photographed here for LIFE magazine in 1953, was the epitome of minimalist glamour in white high-waisted cropped trousers and a black turtleneck sweater.
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Jill Kennington in Blow-Up
At the height of the ‘60s Mod trend, English model Jill Kennington wore white straight-leg trousers paired with a stripe jacket in Michelangelo Antonioni's cult film Blow-Up.
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Jackie Kennedy Onassis
Just like oversized sunglasses, tailored white trousers became a wardrobe regular for the former First Lady and style icon, seen here in Rome with her children.
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In the 1968 rendition of The Thomas Crown Affair, the actress showcased a low-key take on the classic piece with a relaxed version worn with a yellow turtleneck.
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In the '70s, nobody looked chicer in a white pantsuit than Bianca Jagger—a look that continues to influence designers today.
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Model/actress Hutton brought the closet essential back into the spotlight when she wore white calf-length trousers to the Los Angeles premiere of Starflight.
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Epitomizing ‘90s irreverence, the model’s en route ensemble hits on two major trends today: matching whites and tying a sweater around the waist.
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Sex and The City
Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw puts her own spin on the masculine-feminine look with a white tuxedo vest and matching tailored trousers.
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The Polish beauty hit on the season’s black and white trend while attending the Giorgio Armani S/S 13 Womenswear show in Milan wearing pieces by the designer.
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For an appearance at the Apple store in Soho, Paltrow showcased her affinity for sophisticated minimalism in fitted white pants with a Barbara Bui top and Tom Ford’s Kidskin Natalia Bag ($3980).
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The actress offers a current-day interpretation of white trousers with her A.L.C. jumpsuit styled with Smythe's Metallic Coated Linen Blazer ($390).
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Seventies-inspired, wide-leg trousers in an off-white hue take on a modern persona when worn with a relaxed white top and contrasting black clutch.
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A stylish civilian takes a laidback approach to the trend in a pair of rolled slouchy pants.
Large Kidskin Natalia BagTom Ford, $3980