Women / August 2020

How to Wear All White


Even around the Levi’s® office, where everyone’s used to seeing fashionable denim, Haley Slocum and Gem Mateo turn heads. Haley (an assistant designer of women’s knit tops) and Gem (a senior graphic designer) both like to wear all-white outfits, on the street and in the office—but they each do it in their own way.


Haley: I’m wearing a vintage Levi’s® Trucker Jacket. It’s actually my sister’s. She’s my best friend, and she let me borrow it…kind of. I actually got a text from her saying, “I wanted to wear that.”


Those are vintage sailor pants that I thrifted in Portland. The wool hat is also thrifted. And I’ve just got on some crazy chunky tennis shoes, and two shirts. The first one is a silk shirt, and a cream color. Then I put a red tie top over it. 

Gem: These are vintage Levi’s® 501® jeans that have been tapered. Fashion designer Rene Holguin used to work for Levi’s, way back when I first started 12 years ago. He’s since opened his own store, RTH in Los Angeles, but he gave me a pair of these custom jeans that he made for himself. They fit me great — looser in the waist, and they just taper perfectly. 


And this is the Levi’s® Made and Crafted Kimono Trucker Jacket. I’ve had it probably two years. And I’m wearing just a regular collared shirt and some Vans.


Gem: I started wearing all white like three years ago. All white, all occasions. All white anytime. It’s my uniform. You know how people wear all black? I just wear all white. I would wear it every day if I had enough white items. You don’t even need to layer. Just a white t-shirt, white jeans, some white shoes, and you’re good.


Haley: My style is usually really quirky. I like the element of surprise. I think you can dress all white in any sort of style. All white makes you feel cool — like crisp, you know? Like ready to show up. You can wear all white and be very vintage-looking, or you could dress it to look street-style. I think my red top gives you something else to look at. With the pieces I was wearing, it was good to break it up.


Gem: People are intimidated by all white because they don’t want to get it dirty. I have some whites I keep super-clean, but I like wearing whites that get naturally dirty. I bleach my 501® jeans if they get messy, but I have some white pants that I just leave dirty. If I’m going out to a nice dinner, a date, or some event, I make sure I’m crispy. But if I go to the park or the beach, I wear a little dirtier.


Haley: I like off-whites, maybe even more than crisp whites. Even with this outfit, it was a mix of  different shades. But generally, I like things when they’re dirty. It just is more interesting, which is why I think jewelry is great with all-whites, too. Accessorizing is pretty necessary with all white. It adds an extra element so the look isn’t so flat, you know?


Haley: The hardest thing about wearing all white is, I mean, I spill on myself all the time. It’s brutal. The other day, I wore all white to my sister’s birthday party, and I had to change my shirt twice. I spilled wine on it. I had just gotten there—I wasn’t even drunk! But you just kind of ride with it. 

Gem: If I know I’m gonna eat ramen, I won’t wear white because that’s just gonna rain all over me. But if you’re going to be in all white, just don’t be precious about it, because you can always bleach it or tie-dye it. Dive in, don’t worry about it.


Haley: Everyone looks good in all white. Whites draw more eyes, but I like it. I think you can wear it all year. I wouldn’t wear all white to a wedding. I wouldn’t wear all white to Thanksgiving, because you’re eating a bunch of food. And not a wine tasting event. Definitely not.

Gem:  People think white has too much of a pop. They think it’s like wearing neon—it’s too much. But I would say lean into that into that pop. You know how you’re not supposed to pull out the white jeans specifically after Labor Day Weekend? I wear it on that day—and after. Super hard.

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