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April 25
Author: Spiff
Ode to White Pants

The one bad thing about white pants is that they stain just by looking at them. Each time I like this garment even more, one that years earlier I practically ignored. Nowadays I wear them more in the winter than in the summer, despite that stupid rule among Americans that says that one must not wear white after Labor Day. I found out about this back in 2016, when in a Williamsburg bar a girl walked up to me and mentioned it. I was wearing a pair of white Levi's bought a few days prior, fruit of the big sales one finds in the Big Apple, and, why not say it, my terrible packing skills. I'm pretty bad and, it's interesting, because it's something I enjoy. I deeply enjoy opening my Classic Flight suitcase by Rimowa, which I finally bought a few years ago... I have always liked those suitcases, they're my favorites, even though the Globe-Trotter tries to change my mind... I continue to miscalculate, I suppose as Jean Paul Belmondo would do. With determination, without folding, without thinking. Grabbing the first garment that appears in his wardrobe, throw it in the suitcase and get a wholly satisfying result. Then I think about David Niven. I'm positive he would pack his much more carefully, thinking about situations, fabrics, colors... The mix of plans invading my frontal lobe is hardly ever satisfactory. That time, in 2016, would not be an exception.

The intro to North American culture courtesy of the girl in Brooklyn was a reflection point regarding white pants and, from that day on, I don't know if I should disagree with her or American culture itself, seeing white pants every single day. Nah, it's not that big of a deal... Whether I just came from the running of the bulls, whether it's not the season for white pants, whether I came from painting, whether this, whether that... I hear the comments -one must always do so, one may end up being interesting- I put on a happy face, smile, and keep wearing what I like and what I feel like wearing. Besides, who are you going to pay attention to, David Hemmings, Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Alain Delon, David Niven, Gunter Sachs, Edward VIII... Or the third-floor neighbor? Regardless of how well you get along with her... This has happened to me, a few times even, and with women with supposedly good taste. I don't know understand the revulsion for the garment among the fairer sex. They seem to loathe it for no apparent reason. Maybe after reading this, they'll change tack.

Alain Delon

Photo: Jean Marie Perier

The Pope, the pilgrims on the Hajj, the First Lady... All of them wear white. White is purity, transparency, truth... And white pants are nothing less. I remember one of the first times I wore them, in Santorini. The dress code mandated wearing white from head to toe. 23 years old, summer body, Mediterranean tan, one of the prettiest cities in the world, hair flowing in the breeze -I could afford a hairier head- and monochromatic white look. I looked fascinating. And up until this point, that's what white was: Santorini, Capri, Mykonos... In my head it seemed weird to wear it in other locations. White pants and slippers were only seen among playboys in pop culture. The aforementioned Gunter Sachs at the Los Angeles International Airport accompanied by Brigitte Bardot -deep breaths, take a sip of water, let's keep going- dressed in a baby blue button-down shirt half unbuttoned- was also very playboy and white tailored pants. What else!

Gunter Sachs and Brigitte Bardot in LAX

But what the hell, that fantasy outfit could not stay like that, as a fantasy. I have to digress for a second; if you like something, go for it, without fear of criticism, without fear of what they'll say. Especially if you'll allow me to give you a few tips on how to do so, I'll be content with that. I tend to like white pants with a wide hem. In other words, no skinny jeans, God no. As I've said before, skinny jeans are only if you're Nick Valensi playing the Reptilia solo. Otherwise, no. Regardless of whether they're white of course.

The best part is, there are historical references. Each of the people I've mentioned has made a show of wearing white pants in a brilliant way.

Pastel colors, baby blue, beige, even white itself, are good on top. But also if they're in a military green -a M65 with white pants is synonymous with success- or floral prints. The latter, reserved for summertime.

Paul Newman

The shoes one wears to flaunt his pants is important. Suede works well, as well as unlined and Belgian shoes, even better. Calf is for other occasions, although if you can make it work, go for it. In the wintertime, combine them with boots that are not too thick. Chukka boots by Galea Bespoke in light brown suede are a good option.

Doek, Vans Authentic, Stan Smith, or All Stars CT70 also manage to give that look informal vibe that is never overdone any day of the week. Wear them, in any case, with navy blue, gray, or white. Vans with drawings along with white pants we'll leave for Squarzi.

Socks? Man, socks, the eternal debate. In summer, they should be invisible, and when it gets chilly we like off-white, especially if you're going to wear white pants. But if you're not a Michael Jackson fan, go for something more discreet. Less is more.

The +Related


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