The Anti-Jeans Trend French and Italian Women Swear By Every Summer


When I think of summer dressing, the first items that come to mind are denim shorts, tank tops, and sundresses. But that certainly isn't the case everywhere. Sure, tank tops are a universal staple, just like linen frocks and an easy pair of cutoff shorts. But in some places, an entirely different garment reigns supreme when warm temperatures arrive, and it's one we hardly give enough credit to here in the United States. And that, my fashion friends, is the white trouser.

White trousers are elegant, understated, and even billowy in the way only André Aciman, author of Call Me By Your Name, can adequately describe in words. In Italy and France, two summer destinations Americans often plan to visit months in advance, the white trouser is absolutely essential. Whether paired with a crisp white shirt, a ribbed tank top, or an oversized tee, there's really nothing you can't style alongside a simple pair of white slacks, no matter the material, shade, or silhouette. Linen or cotton, stark white or ivory, straight or wide leg—take your pick. Ahead, see for yourself the sartorial prowess of the anti-jeans trend that dominates Europe's fashion capitals every summer.


(Image credit: @erinoffduty)

It's almost funny how easy this outfit is to put together. It's just white trousers, a black belt, and a baggy white tee, and yet, it's so utterly chic and elevated. 



(Image credit: @thevisualofgrace)

Don't sweat about your vacation wardrobe. A simple white tank with matching wide-leg linen trousers looks just as special as any colorful dress or set you've been eying. 



(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

Don't come for me. I know these are jeans, but the styling was too perfect to ignore. Swap out Sylvie's white denim pants for a pair of cotton trousers, and be on your way. 



(Image credit: @annelauremais)

As casual as a pair of white trousers can look, they can easily be dressed up for even the most high-brow events, including a Dior runway show, as pictured above. In this look, it's all about the heels and belt. They pull the look together.



(Image credit: @aida.bdji)

This crisp-and-clean look is proof that comfort and style are not mutually exclusive. Throw on a pair of drawstring linen trousers with a matching button-down shirt for the ultimate beachside ensemble. And, of course, don't forget a baseball cap for extra sun protection.



(Image credit: @majayh)

Have you ever seen a cooler or more low-key look? Italian influencer Maja Weyhe mastered this casual-chic combo long ago, and if you had even an ounce of doubt, this all-white outfit should put you over the edge. 



(Image credit: @anoukyve)

A large tote bag and a simple pair of ballet flats are the perfect finishing touches to an outfit comprised of baggy white trousers and a matching poplin shirt. It's giving no-effort elegance. 



(Image credit: @slipintostyle)

If your style errs more on the playful side, this take on Ellie Delphine is the one for you. A lingerie top, some statement sandals, and an eye-catching bag are all you need to take a casual pair of white cargo pants to a whole new level. 



(Image credit: @andi_mun)

An outfit like this works well beyond the three months between June and August. These days, wearing white after Labor Day is commonplace. Embrace it and pair your favorite white trousers with a blazer for added chicness. 



(Image credit: @leasy_inparis)

It doesn't get more French than this. The belt, the perfectly tailored trousers, the bread-filled Kelly. From top to bottom, this look is Parisian to its core. 



(Image credit: @saraloura)

Summer vacation, meet your perfect outfit. A white linen set, espadrilles, and a great pair of earrings will never be a bad combo for warm-weather travels.


This post was published at an earlier date and has been updated.

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Senior Fashion Editor

Eliza Huber is a New York City–based fashion editor who specializes in trend reporting, brand discovery, and celebrity style. She joined Who What Wear in 2021 after almost four years on the fashion editorial team at Refinery29, the job she took after graduating with a marketing degree from the University of Iowa. She has since launched two monthly columns, Let's Get a Room and Ways to Wear; profiled the likes of Dakota Fanning, Diane Kruger, Katie Holmes, and Sabrina Carpenter for WWW's monthly cover features; and reported on everything from the relationship between Formula One and fashion to the top trends from fashion month, season after season. Eliza now lives on the Upper West Side and spends her free time researching F1 fashion imagery for her side Instagram accounts @thepinnacleoffashion and @f1paddockfits, running in Central Park, and scouring eBay for '90s Prada and '80s Yves Saint Laurent.