The summer I was nine I wore my dungaree shorts every day. Every single day. I’m not sure if or when Mum washed them. Maybe when I was in bed. I mean, she must have washed them some time. That was the summer I “worked” on Grampy’s drill machine with my big brother Terry and his friend Albert. I came home regularly covered in paint and grease.

So yeah, the summer of 1965 was the summer of dungaree shorts on repeat for me. And the summer of 2023 seems to be shaping up to be the summer of white jeans on repeat.

I know I write and talk a lot about outfit formulas. I like getting dressed to be easy, with as little dithering in front of the closet as possible. And a formula can help cut back on the dithering. But lately, my friends, I seem to have taken that theme to ridiculous lengths. Every outfit I have wanted to wear lately has involved my new white jeans. I had to force myself to wear something different when I went to lunch with a friend on Thursday. Maybe “white jeans and something” is my summer of ’23 formula.

Sometimes finding a formula that works for you involves identifying your three style words. Mine are classic, modern, and minimal (maybe.) Back when I wrote this post I couldn’t make up my mind about my third word. I thought tailored, perhaps, instead of minimal. Tailored described me perfectly when I was still working. But I’m trying to lean away from tailored now. I’m working on being more Amy Smilovic-ish, chill and a little edgy. Chill and edgy are my aspirational style words.

So yesterday I threw together a few of the “white jeans on repeat” combinations I’ve been wearing. And some that I’m planning to wear. And I thought I’d look at the outfits through the lens of my three style words.

Outfit #1 White jeans with cashmere sweater and loafers.

Outfit #1 started with my black Everlane cashmere sweater, my white jeans, and my Stuart Weitzman black patent loafers. I like this outfit. When it’s cooler, like earlier this week, my light-weight Everlane cashmere sweater is just the ticket. A crew-neck, slim-fitting, cashmere sweater, it’s a classic classic piece. Ditto my black Stuart Weitzman patent loafers. Plus patent loafers smarten up a very simple outfit. It’s funny, but next to the super classic sweater and shoes, these jeans look looser and more modern than they do in other outfit combinations.

Classic, modern, minimal, and maybe a little bit chill?

To avoid a total black and white palette, I added my tan linen Max Mara blazer. And eschewed the black and white structured bag which I’ve been using a lot recently in favour of my more casual Eric Javits straw tote bag.

I like that the old linen jacket provides a third colour and looks like I just threw it on. And not as if I’d tried two others before it. Ha.

I added a bracelet and matching earrings made from matte silver, black, and gold metal from Anne Marie Chagnon. The gold ties in with the tan bag and jacket, and the style of the jewellery, which I think is bit industrial, keeps the outfit looking too classic. Makes it more modern. And perhaps even a bit chill?

Anne Marie Chagnon bracelet and earrings

The second outfit is one I tried because of a photo on my White Jeans Pinterest board. White jeans with a black tank top and a belt. I’m wearing my Everlane cotton cutaway tank, the same sweater as in Outfit #1, a belt from Nordstrom, my black Birkenstock-style sandals, and my old black leather saddle bag which I love. I’ve had this bag for decades. Every few years I store it away, then haul it out after a bit, and fall in love with it all over again.

Everlane tank & sweater, Brown’s sandals, Holt Renfrew bag

I am not loving this outfit, though. Maybe it’s too early in the summer to wear a sleeveless tank without a third piece like a cardigan or jacket over it? No, that’s not it. I wore a sleeveless top with my black dress pants and my yellow sweater around my shoulders a couple of weeks ago and loved it. Maybe this outfit needs a third colour? Nah. I think the problem lies in the proportions of this look. Narrow-ish top and narrow-ish bottom. I wore this tank and sweater with my baggy cream cargo pants last summer and really liked it. This outfit definitely needs something baggy and loose on the bottom.

Outfit #2 Too classic, too predictable, too something.

Now, this is more like it. I’m wearing my Vince sleeveless linen muscle shirt, my Veja sneakers, and my Max Mara blazer again.

Vince tee, MM jacket, Veja sneakers, Eric Javits bag

I love the rumpled look of that Vince tee with the equally rumpled Max Mara blazer. I love the tan jacket with the white tee shirt against the creamy white jeans and white-white sneakers. Monochromatic without being too monochromatic. Tonal, I think the fashionistas are calling it. The only jewellery I’m wearing is a gold watch with a brown strap and thin gold hoop earrings. This to me is classic, minimal, and modern. Maybe even a little bit chill. I guess that’s why I look so pleased with myself.

Outfit #3 I love this look.

I also love this outfit, below. This is such a good road trip outfit. Super casual, but still presentable. This quarter-zip sweatshirt is new. I’ve been looking for one for a while, and found this at Aritzia earlier in the week. It has pockets. I’m wearing a size “medium.” I tried the shirt with several different tees and tanks underneath. White, lilac, black. But the pop of red looks just right to me. The only jewellery I’m wearing is my watch and a pair of tiny red stud earrings. The style of jeans and sweatshirt, plus the colour combination of black, white, and red are all classic to me. The sneakers are modern, and the whole look is clean and minimal.

Outfit #4 Summer road trip outfit.

These are my new sunglasses which I bought at Sunglass Hut the other day. They are Tory Burch. I couldn’t find them anywhere online, so maybe they are last season and that’s why they were on sale. I love the shape and the silver detailing. Just a bit fancy without being too blingy. Plus they sit on top of my head without falling off. Ha.

My new Tory Burch sunglasses.

This combination also works with my black Birkenstock-style sandals. And my Mackage cross-body bag. I like the structured bag with the very casual outfit. I also plan to try this sweatshirt, bloused up a bit around the waist, with my black dress pants, a white tee, and sneakers. We’ll see how that goes.

My red toes match the red tank top.

Outfit #5, below, is a good errand-running on a cool day outfit. If I examine it using my three style words: the jeans are a classic style, the oversized sweater and white sneakers are modern, and the monochromatic palette is very minimal.

Outfit #5 Monochromatic minimal.

I really like the outfit below. I wore it the other day to go shopping and felt great. Very classic, modern, and minimal. My Helmut Lang blazer is structured and thus quite classic. I love the Everlane ribbed, funnel-neck tank top under the jacket. The ribbing adds texture to the outfit. Plus the high neck is a good canvas for my continued attempts to wear my necklaces.

Outfit #6 Classic, modern, and minimal.

I think the casual sandals and bag, and the cuffing of the jeans keeps the outfit from becoming too classic and dressy. So, neatly classic on top, and looser, modern, casual, and maybe a bit chill on the bottom.

Ah, sunshine. The better to show off my new sunglasses.

I think that even if I’m not aware of it, I dress according to my three style words. I guess that means I chose my three words well. Or I chose the right words. Even if one of them is more aspirational than my current reality. But, you know, bit by bit I think I’m moving more and more into loose, less fussy, more chill style territory. Which pleases me.

But back to white jeans on repeat. Or just clothes on repeat in general.

Writing this morning about my childhood obsession with dungaree shorts made me recall how my niece, my sister Connie’s oldest daughter, as a child, was equally as obsessed with one particular item of clothing as her aunt had been many years earlier. I remember my sister used to bemoan the fact that her daughter would NOT get dressed without her pink tights. Pink tights or nothing was her mantra. Every day. A fact which made me laugh a few years later when said niece as a teenager came to visit her auntie and was so committed to grunge that those girly pink tights were but a faded memory. If they even were a memory.

And later today, in an IG message, I asked my sister’s younger daughter if her daughter, my much adored great-niece, was currently obsessed with any item of clothing in particular. Apparently, for a while, Peppa Pig shoes were so favoured that my great-niece would not get dressed without them. Even when her feet had outgrown them. Even when wearing Peppa Pig shoes made walking painful. Such a purposeful child, that one. My niece, her mother, had to surreptitiously give the Peppa Pig shoes away, and later feign ignorance as to their location. Oh, that did make me chuckle.

I think single-mindedness when it comes to fashion statements must run in my family. I do hope so. I’d hate to think I was the only one in my family obsessed with something like dungaree shorts, or white jeans on repeat.

Or Peppa Pig shoes.

But enough of me analysing me. How about you analyse you? Have you decided upon your three (or four) style words? Can you see how your three words are reflected in outfits you choose? In the outfits you like and which seem to reflect who you are now? Or vice versa?

P.S. Here are links to the pieces I’m wearing in the post, or as close as I can come if they are old and no longer available.

Outfit #1: Levis 501 white jeans, Everlane cashmere crew (unavailable), Stuart Weitzman loafers (similar here and here), Eric Javits straw tote (similar from Madewell), Max Mara linen blazer (mine is old but I like this one from Everlane.)

Outfit #2 Levis 501 white jeans, Everlane organic cotton cutaway tank, Everlane cashmere crew-neck sweater (unavailable), Nordstrom belt, real Birkenstock sandals here or Birkenstock-style sandals here, black saddle-bag style cross-body bag (mine is old and no longer available but there are lovely ones here on Etsy, Tory Burch sunglasses.

Outfit #3: Levis 501 white jeans, Vince muscle tank (similar at Everlane), Max Mara linen blazer, Eric Javits straw tote (this Madewell tote is the closest to mine in style and colour. But Etsy has lots of straw bags. I like this one the best. Vejas sneakers.

Outfit #4: Levis 501 white jeans, Everlane organic cotton cutaway tank, Aritzia quarter-zip sweatshirt (or see the great sweatshirts at Reformation), Vejas sneakers. Or Birkenstock-style sandals. Mackage cross-body bag (found mine second-hand here on The Real Real website), Tory Burch sunglasses.

Outfit #5: Levis 501 white jeans, COS cream and navy striped sweater with different neckline, Vejas sneakers, Eric Javits tote (similar from Madewell except in pink), Tory Burch sunglasses.

Outfit #6: Levis 501 white jeans, Everlane ribbed funnel-neck tank, Helmut Lang blazer, Birkenstock-style sandals, black saddle-bag style cross-body bag (similar ones here), Tory Burch sunglasses.

Virtually all the jewellery I’m wearing was purchased from Magpie Jewellery here in Ottawa. I love their stores. They carry lots of eclectic Canadian designers, and the sales staff is so helpful and fun to shop with. The bracelet and earrings in Outfit #1, which are Anne-Marie Chagnon, were purchased in Quebec. Here is her website.

P.P.S. Most of the clothing links above are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking my link, I will earn a commission which helps to pay my blog costs. Links to pieces from Aritzia, and to the jewellery are not affiliate links.


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52 thoughts on “White Jeans on Repeat”

  1. Black, white, tan. With some orange and some pink and also some green. Will be on repeat this summer and into the autumn. I have been branching out into more colour and pattern but – big but – I know that it is not really me. You like what you like. So colour and pattern will remain in accessories – I was complimented twice in five minutes while out the other day on the scarf I had tied onto my handbag. Even told I looked very stylish. Good gracious! Strangers too. So: simple, monochrome, calm. That will do. However…I realised that my house is like that as well, basically all white but with favourite colours in bits and pieces and artwork. Recently, sitting on my bed as my nail polish was drying, I glanced round and realised I was totally matching my bedroom. Again, we like what we like.

    1. I love that you are matching your room, Annie. Back when I was first teaching in a new school and had my department over one evening, one young colleague commented at how surprised she was by my house. She said that based on how picky I was about my clothing, wearing smart suits etc., she thought my home would be all plate glass and chrome tables, leather chairs etc. I guess my battered antique tables, plethora of wood and old baskets, and folksy things made her rethink who I was.

  2. All those outfits are great . I really like the Levi’s especially the colour . I’m not a fan of pure white jeans & prefer off white . It’s surprising how one new item can open up all sorts of new possibilities . I think you & I have the same taste in jewelry . I don’t care for the ‘ rich lady ‘ look of glitter & sparkles . That Chagnon bracelet is wonderfully quirky& individual – very arty . Great new navy top , great sunglasses , I’m loving everything today , I seem to be in a good mood ( must be our sunshine )

    1. I’m with you Wendy. I don’t like “real” jewellery much. There’s an IG account where a young women asks women in NYC to say what they’re wearing. So many wear nothing but status labels. Hermes bags and Tiffany and Van Cleef and Arpels bracelets. It makes me tired just watching it. Seriously who has that much money? I do wonder what neighbourhood she frequents. And think maybe she ought to move around a bit.

  3. White jeans on repeat works for you…really well.
    Classic, modern, minimal, chill and edgy! All outfits.

    1. Thanks, Genevieve. I’m not sure about the edgy… but I’ll take the “chill.” I’m still aspiring to be less fussy and prim.

  4. Can I ask what size you bought the new black sweatshirt in? I’ve never bought from that company before. Love all your outfit combinations.

  5. I love all these outfits as well as the earrings/bracelet set by Anne-Marie Chagnon. My style is definitely changing with my silver hair. More simple but needs an edgy element or two. Really need to nail style words, still thinking.

  6. Love these outfits, Sue. My favourite is the last one, with the black blazer. I think you’ve hit edgy with that one. You also manage to wear white jeans well in all of the looks.

    Wish I could wear black sometimes too, but I feel it washes me out too much. Would love to have a dress similar to one I once had that had a real Breakfast at Tiffany’s vibe. I could buy or make one in navy blue but it doesn’t have the same punch at all…That said, my three style words are rotating, unless “confused” is a style world. Maybe “fickle” is better!

    Magpie jewellery is fun for browsing. I get given a lot of jewellery, so I try to pick up something for my partner’s sister in Italy from Magpie from time to time. One of the successes was some jewellery with an indigenous motif, from a designer from BC. The sister wears the pendant quite a bit in combination with others.

    1. The last outfit is my favourite too. I love how all the women at Magpie know their stock so well. I always chat a lot to them asking for suggestions etc. Makes shopping so much more interesting.

  7. Your style always strikes me as polished yet relaxed. Considered, yet easy, friendly.
    As for me, I know there’s a guiding core value or two there somewhere, but I’m not nearly as focused as I’d sometimes like to be. Wearing dresses on repeat these days, though. Mostly with sneakers or sandals for the next few months.

    1. I’m trying to be less polished. But I still have my mother’s natural inclination to be neat and tidy. At least I have stopped putting a crease in my jeans. Ha.

  8. I hear you Sue! White jeans on repeat last for me more than forty five years. Especially when it is colder spring/ summer or transitional weather,like now! It rains every day almost for a month,and white jeans are my uniform
    Too cold for bare legs? White jeans!
    I love my summer dresses during sunny,warm summer days and nights,but white jeans are unbeatable in all other kind of spring/ summer/ early autumn weather conditions (and even in those warm summer days 🙂
    So,I love,love all of your combinations (and this post). White+ black (or navy), monochromatic,colour block,silk top…..I wear them all. White/ off white jeans are one of my favourite pieces of clothing.

  9. I see classic and modern but edgy? I’m just not seeing that in any of your outfits, except the Ann Marie Chagnon earrings and bracelet. They seem very industrial and not something I’ve seen you wear before. I like all of your outfits but those with the tan MM blazer are my favourite. It dresses up your white jean outfit while keeping it casual.
    I’ve not been able to narrow down my three words. I’m definitely classic and casual but the third word eludes me. Perhaps, current. I do love the new straight leg, ankle length or cropped style pants. And because that changes your proportions, I’ve started wearing shorter tops to balance the look. 🤔

    1. No, you wouldn’t see edgy. I don’t either. I think I said that chill and edgy are my aspirational words. I’m straying bit by bit into more chill territory, but I don’t think I’ll ever be edgy. I have quite a bit of Anne Marie Chagnon jewellery… but I haven’t worn it much in the past two years. Especially the earrings. Not sure why. I need to try to get away from my ubiquitous silver hoops.

      1. You are definitely “chill”. I find if I stray away from my norm, I’m quite uncomfortable. I occasionally buy something that takes my fancy at the time and find it doesn’t suit my aesthetic, therefore it doesn’t get worn. I’m trying to be more cognizant of that.
        I hope the smoke from fires is not blowing your way. I’m out on the west coast and so far the fires on the mainland hav3 not effected us.

  10. I have not worn jeans of any kind since I moved to Florida. It is murderously hot here in the summer! I only wear shorts or capris if I go out for dinner. You look great though!

  11. Love all the outfits on you Sue! I have always loved the black and white combo but steered clear of white jeans for decades because I was afraid of getting them dirty. Lol I’ve loosened up on that fear now. I guess being retired and dressing more casually has lessened some of the worries I used to have but black and white still hold a spot in my closet. I have found that since I let my hair turn its natural white I look better in jewel tones and I am always drawn to them. I easily picked out my first two style words, comfortable and colorful, but the third one alludes me. Classic….no. Boho…no. Classy…. maybe? Still working on it!

  12. I too love to wear white jeans, at least until the temps here in Arizona hit 100+. To me it’s a classic look with so many ways to style. I like a linen or cotton oxford button down shirt, sleeves rolled up 3/4 and wear it untucked. Earlier this spring I picked up a black sweatshirt with white lettering and that was a great look for cooler days. As for jewelry, shoes and handbag, it’s whatever suits my mood that day. Nice post, I hope you’re doing well.

    1. Oh gad… I can’t imagine handling that much heat. I too love an Oxford shirt untucked with jeans.
      P.S. I am doing well… thanks. 🙂

  13. All of your outfits really suit you. I especially like #4 and #6. The structured blazer and rolled pants in #6 are perfect… but not contrived.
    As for my three words, what a hair-pulling exercise. I’ve worked on this off and on for several years, and am currently thinking they may be classic, casual (as in chill, relaxed, or loose) and lux. Classic is a no-brainer, since every single item in my wardrobe is classic. Casual is also obvious, since I seem to wear almost mothing except sweaters and pants. Lux is where it gets interesting. I almost never buy anything that could be described as fast fashion, so most of my pieces are fairly high quality. That said, I have what most people would consider a very small wardrobe. I also like to add a piece of luxurious (but not large or flashy) jewelry. One example is my small diamond stud earrings.
    Like you, I seem to repeat items. I just checked my four favorite sweaters, and they are all pullovers with crew necks that are neither baggy nor tight. And they are all in some medium shade of blue or blue-green. Strange that I never noticed this until today. I may consider trying a different color, perhaps pale pink.
    Thank you for another inspiring post.

  14. Perhaps your third style word might be “relaxed”. Your post-career clothing choices have a lovely, easy-going vibe, which suits your lifestyle. I’m impressed with how well beige goes with white. That’s not a combination I would have thought of, but it works really well. Your Birkenstock-style shoes have me resenting the closed shoes or sneakers and socks weather we’re having and how much I’m missing my two-strap, black patent Birkies. My new green woollen coat has been worn every day during my Melbourne visit and blue jeans have been on repeat too. Comfort is a big consideration for me when choosing what to wear – I can’t stand anything that’s scratchy or ill-fitting. So perhaps my words could be classic, comfort and quirky 😂

  15. Love your blog but would love it if you included the sizes you purchase. I love the sweatshirt but am questioning the sizing.

    1. I’m wearing a size medium in that sweatshirt. It’s quite oversized. I’ll go back and put it into the post in case anyone else wants to know. Thanks.

  16. My 5 style adjectives are classy, casual, comfortable, confident, and authentic. Lately, in the extreme heat that we’ve been living through out here in Alberta though, I’ve been wearing shorts and sleeveless tops on repeat. It’s been too hot to worry about looking classy.

    1. I really need some shorts. I’ve been looking but not buying. So hard to try them on and find that they do NOT look as they did in years gone by. 😀

  17. Carol Larochelle

    Wish they gave inseam measurement on the Levi’s. Some Levi’s do come in talls/long, but not sure about these. Do you know the length as I am tall.
    Thank you,
    I’m new to your blog and like it very much.

    1. I checked out the Levi’s, and in addition to choosing a size, there was also a choice between 30 and 32 on the inseam. Hope that helps!

    2. These come in 30 and 32 inseam, Carol. The store did not have any with a 32 inseam. I’ve been back numerous times looking for them, and although you can get them online, they rarely have them in the store. So I tried the 30 inseam in two different styles. One pair was laughably too short but the 501s were as you see in my photos. I really like the length.

  18. Love all your outfits. Classic and modern and perhaps relaxed as your third word. It is too hot and humid here in summer for jeans so I tend to gravitate towards linen shorts and tops with the occasional dress added. At the moment winter seems to have finally decided to arrive so it is jeans, boots and lambswool or merino jumpers. Perhaps one of my winter words could be cosy.

  19. I too seem to be living in my white jeans (in my case a pair of Eileen Fisher straight legs) at the moment. Your outfits are giving me ideas – I feel a rummage coming on!

  20. I liked your black sleeveless tee outfit especially with your edgy attitude on your face! The slimness of your two garments work well together. I think you (we) are accustomed to the more baggy look recently and that is why you think that outfit doesn’t work, but it does.

  21. Love all your white jeans outfits, absolutely wonderful. Your ‘industrial ‘ jewelry is amazing, I’ve never seen like it. Was late to post on your last blog…small kindnesses such a nice blog. Loved Mums for your Mum. Happy Summer all.

  22. I like all of the outfits, especially 3, 4, and 6. Those white jeans are a classic and they look very good on you. Also, very comfy.

    I love white jeans and like them in many styles. I have straight, flared, and cropped pulled out for this summer. It’s been chilly and I haven’t been in the mood for them yet, but I should be wearing them with one of my many pullovers. Your new pullover, which is very nice, is reminding me that I don’t have to wait for it to be warm to wear my white pants.

    I do not have my three style words figured out. I alternate between classic, modern, and slightly bohemian. I tend to dress somewhat conservatively, but I like breaking out of that mold and wearing something bright with colors, embroidery, flowy, etc.

    1. Your mentioning your pullovers reminded me that I am still looking for a sweater to add to my summer wardrobe. I’ve been realizing that while I have lots of tanks and tees, I don’t have many pieces to pull on over them except for jackets.

  23. I’m late to the party on this one. First, all the looks are great even the ones you don’t like as much. I love a uniform. This spring it has been some variation of a button shirt, t-shirt, jean jacket and Aritzia linen pants or jeans. For the style words I gave it a go but then opted out as it felt to confining. My main goal in dressing is to look as put together as I can without a lot of effort.

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