Buying White Jeans with Donna Ida

Ruth Crilly Donna Ida

(Me in my new jeans, with Donna Ida, denim JEANIUS. Geddit?)

I have always been very, very afraid of white jeans. Let’s face it; they really are not the easiest things to wear. They make your arse look massive even if it’s not, and you have to wash them about every three minutes unless you live in a sterile bubble and only ever eat water sandwiches.

Despite this, I decided to take the plunge and buy myself some. This is mostly because I have recently splashed out on a number of silk shirts with wild, bright prints on them and I think that they would look fabulous set against white. It’s also getting into summer and I want to try and look chic and sophisticated – I’m hoping that white jeans will look a bit smarter than my usual blue if I’m going somewhere special! Oh, I’ve just thought of another reason: my new Mulberry Tilly can’t actually be used yet because all of my jeans (and I prety much live in jeans until it gets absolutely scorching hot outside) are dark and they will gradually rub off against the pale leather leaving a big dark patch. I know this because it has happened to me before with bags, twice. Once in 2001, Gucci, total loss £500, and once in 2006, Miu Miu, damage £450.

So, white jeans! I was very pleasantly surprised to find a good few pairs that I deemed to look nice, and I do have a sneaking suspicion that’s because they were amazing quality. I tried on a few high-street pairs after my Donna Ida experience and they didn’t look so good on the backside region. Have I introduced Donna yet? Donna is Donna Ida, denim queen and general jeans expert – she has a brilliant boutique near Sloane Square and one in Westfield now and also a great online shop. We’re talking premium denim here, so there’s nothing at all under the £100 mark, but I don’t mind investing in a good pair of jeans. I wear them every day, after all! I do have a soft spot for Levis, but I wear them to absolute death and try to save my nice jeans for important days.

I decided before I had even stepped inside the boutique that I wanted ‘skinny’ or ‘slim leg’ jeans – I’m just used to wearing that style now, I suppose. If I had a 24 hour on-hand stylist I’d go for wide leg and wear them with big seventies’ heels and prints, but I have no stylist and I also have no chauffeur to cart me about in aforementioned big heels. So, it’s slim-fit so that I can wear with flat pumps and then change into tall heels when I need to. The jeans I finally opted for were the Citizens of Humanity ‘Thompson’ in Santorini White. Santorini White sounds nice, doesn’t it? They were £175 (major eeeeeek!) but apparently that’s not even expensive for jeans anymore!

I must say that they made the jeans experience pretty painless in Donna Ida – I tried on six pairs, but we all knew when the right ones were on. (I did try on some Goldsign but had a sneaky peek at the price when I was in the changing room and decided that no, they would not look good. Ever. Unless I start earning three times as much as I do now!) After I had settled on my brilliant jeans (they will never look so white again) we put together a little guide to White Jeans Shopping, with a few handy pointers if you’re thinking of taking the plunge.

1) Don’t buy white denim that’s too thin – you don’t want to be able to see through it. (My new jeans are fine, but not thin. They look quality, which you’d hope for at that price!)

2) If the pockets show through, don’t be scared to have them removed. (Use a skilled person though, don’t just tear them out yourself!)

3) Make sure they fit nicely when you buy them – quality white jeans will bounce back into shape every time you wash them. (Another reason, probably, to spend a bit extra on white jeans in particular, because you’ll be washing them pretty much after every wear.)

4) Wear the right underwear (nude for underneath white, not white which will show through) and bring the shoes you’ll be wearing with the jeans – heels, for example.

5) Be open-minded when trying on white for the first time, and don’t be shy about asking for a second opinion.

6) Start a size up from your usual and then work down if they are too big. It’s a mental positivity kinda trick, and I use it a lot!

Donna Ida Stores

Donna Ida Online


**UPDATE** Oh God, I must stop looking at things online. There’s a sale on. I want one of those Tucker blouses that comes up on the first sale page.. Can someone please phone Amex and tell them to stop my card?! Thanks.


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