The age-old debate of when you can wear white pants rages on seemingly perpetually. In the 1960s, it was a major faux pas to wear white pants past Labor Day. Since then, fashion designers have presented winter and spring lines that both included white pants. Designers also debate on which shade of white is acceptable. Winter-white pants, the color of which leans more toward the cream family, has been accepted on the runway any time of year. Stark-white pants are generally seen more during the end of spring and throughout the summer.

Wearing White Pants in the Tropics

Wear bright white pants or shorts in the tropics any time of year. The warm sun and summer-like year-round conditions make the environment ripe for summer wear even during the winter. If you are planning a beach getaway or are going on a cruise in January, there’s no reason why you can break out the white pants, shorts or skirt.

Fabric Matters

Linen is one type of fabric that is acceptable only between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Unless you are taking your white linen pants with you on a cruise or on a trip to the Bahamas, leave them at home after Labor Day.

White jeans tend to be acceptable any time of year, says fashion expert and writer Najwa Moses. White jeans come in a variety of designs that include rhinestones on the pockets and low-riders.

For a fall or winter look, pair warm winter-white wool pants with dark boots and a dark-colored jacket.

How to Wear White Pants

Adhere to a few undergarment and fitting rules when wearing white pants. White pants are somewhat see-through no matter how thick the material is. Never wear dark or brightly colored underwear underneath white pants, because the color will show through. Choose white or flesh-colored undies when you break out the white pants.

Look for a perfect fit. White cotton, wool and linen pants should drape well on the body. Avoid tight-fitting dress pants because they accentuate the bubbles and bumps in the hips and thighs.