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Are You Game For Secondhand White Jeans?

Think finding white jeans secondhand is too hard? Here’s proof it can be done (and a few tips to find out how to do it for your own closet). 

Are white jeans not one of the hardest things to find?!

Jeans alone provide enough trouble. Add in the white factor, and it sometimes feels nearly impossible to snag the right pair.


Three years ago, I owned a pair of white jeans that I absolutely loved. They were simple, but it took me a while to find them. I even rounded up a handful of my favorite outfits wearing them and wrote a little love letter to them.

Then I got pregnant with J and never made it back to my pre-baby body. Maybe I will someday, who knows… But for now, those old white jeans don’t fit.

I really don’t like clutter so I’ve successfully parted ways with a lot of clothes that no longer fit, even if I loved them. But those white jeans are one of the few items buried in the back of my closet I hope to make amends with.

A Replacement?

Recently, however, I stumbled upon this pair of white Vince jeans at the Salvation Army. I liked the fit and they had a bit of stretch, just as I’d hoped. The only problem resided in two small stains – a mascara swipe on the back of the waist and a dirt stain on the ankle hem.

Despite the marks, I brought them home in hopes I could clean them up. Given their length, I knew I’d always roll them, which hid the small stain near the hem. But the mascara mark would drive me nuts if not fixed.

Thrifting Imperfections

As you may expect, buying secondhand is not always a streamlined process. Pieces pursuing second lives may have traces of their first life remaining. Most of the time, I pass on anything with a stain or hole or mark. But on occasion, when I’m fairly confident I can fix it and I really love the piece, I give it a shot.

As you can tell, these pants got the call of duty despite the makeup mark.

Removing Stains

Depending on the type of stain, they can sometimes be removed. This mascara mark looked fairly new and just on the surface. Once home, I scrubbed the stain with a little detergent and a toothbrush (one dedicated just to this purpose, obviously). Most of the stain came out.

For a second round of treatment, I let the pants soak in OxiClean according to the instructions on the package. Later that day, I had a brand new pair of white denim with no mascara stain. Ta da!

While it’s really important to inspect items thoroughly when purchasing secondhand, a small stain doesn’t always have to be a deal breaker. In this case, I would have missed out on an otherwise wonderful pair of white denim in my size. I paid $25 for a high-quality piece that retails for about $220 according to their website (not to mention I prevented one more article of clothing from being dumped in a landfill or sent off to disrupt the economic functionality of the apparel cycle in a third world country).

Are You Game?

Have you tried thrifting? If you don’t think it’s up your alley, consider thredUP. As an online reseller, they vet the articles for quality and style trends to ensure they’ll feel current and nearly new when you receive them.

Secondhand shopping can be a great way to build a wardrobe over time while being conscious of the social impacts of our shopping and the impacts on our own financial budgets.

Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to help get you started!

Sweater – Tibi (secondhand) | Jeans – Vince (secondhand) | Shoes – Bucketfeet

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