White Linen Trousers, good or bad?!

Every summer, women drag their perennial wide leg white linen trousers (WLTs) out of the back of the wardrobe, dust them off, and wear them in the same way that they have done for the past 3,4,5, or even 6 summers…

I agree that they can look splendid, but here are a few tips to pulling them off 2012 style!

This video gives a good round up of WLT for different body shapes:


Key things to remember:

1.) Are they REALLY white?

There’s nothing worse than a yellowing, or greying pair of age-old WLTs, so make sure you properly launder them before you wear them again.

2.) Is the shape still flattering?

We all change year to year, as do fashions. If the trousers are meant to be wide leg, they should be loose all-over. I often see women with loose leg trousers, which are tight across the bum… this is not a good look!

3.) Do Wide Legged, White Linen Trousers suit you?!

Most women crave the Joanna Lumley, long-legged, loose limbed look on holiday, but a sad fact is that Wide Legged trousers suit some people more than others..

  • Generally, (and sadly), the longer your legs, the better you will look in WLT.
  • If you have a big bum, choose WLts without bulky pocket details.
  • If you are slightly shorter-legged than Ms Lumley, just try and get a slightly narrower pair- it will make a huge difference. These are cleverly almost bootcut, which is much more flattering… 
  • White is less flattering than Black, so the usual tricks apply: a slight wedge/heel will help elongate short legs, wear a top that stops on the hip (halfway down your bum) to make it appear smaller, pair with a fitted top to balance the loose bottom. Or, buy Black, Red, Cornflower Blue or Navy Linen! (Next have them for £20)
  • To make your WLTs more 2012, pair with grey/marl top and cool necklace to lessen the ‘white and a bright’ sunburn look. 
  • Go for a roll-up/more relaxed feature, like these BHS ones (£13!)

The reason people reach so easily for their WLT seem to me to be the following:

  •  They are cool
  •  They are light in colour and therefore ‘summery’
  •  They cover sun-shy legs

The Alternatives:

There are many alternatives to the WLTs these days…

Maxi Skirts, capri pants, pyjama trousers and coloured jeans are now are everywhere this summer. Why? Because they are a modern, easy update to the loose, linen look.

1.) Maxi Skirts

  • Fantastic for all figures
  • Can be worn with comfy flats
  • Can give a much needed hint of colour/print to a bland wardrobe
  • Gives full coverage
  • Banana Republic Silk Skirt (Now £39.99)

2.) Capri Pants

  • Flattering! (Go for a small elastane content for a great silhouette)
  • Lots of bright colours around at the mo
  • Always casual and effortless looking
  • Very versatile
  • M and S side-zip, roll up cotton pant £19.50

Pyjama Pants

  • Pull-on/Drawstring so very comfy
  • Lovely Patterns to add interest to plain wardrobe
  • Can be worn in the evening as a sophisticated alternative to a dress
  • These are £38 from Next

Coloured Jeans

  • Go for a 100% cotton content.
  • Buy a size too big! This way, you’ll achieve that lovely preppy look (surprisingly flattering)
  • Roll up the hems twice and wear with flats for a relaxed appearance
  • Boden’s Shrimp Washed Chinos £45 

If I still haven’t convinced you… here are some amazing bargains available now:

Wallis have reduced there’s to £14

Marks & Spencer have a wide-selection of colours at £19.50 (but PLEASE do not attempt Twiggy’s look here)


… and if you ARE tall, slim and Lumley-esque… this looks like an interesting company:



One thought on “White Linen Trousers, good or bad?!

  1. This is so useful – I’m going to print it off.
    Went to M &S yesterday and bought some slim leg cigarette length white trousers. Haven’t tried them yet but up for some new looks.

    Looking forward to our Oxford shopping day – any suggestions anyone on where to shop in Oxford?

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