Should you wear white after Labor Day? Where did this rule come from? Why did our mothers tell us this was a fashion don’t? And how can you make this look work for you? Read on…
There are a few perspectives on how this became status quo. Some speculate that this fashion rule dates back to the early 20th century when people wore much more modest clothing than today. Wearing white in the summer months was used as a function to stay cool, as there was no air conditioning and people were not wearing sundresses and tank tops, according to Miss Manners, Judith Martin.
Another class of thought is that the rule was born out exclusivity. Those who were well off enough to ditch the urban life to spend the summer months on the coast donned white linen and Panama hats as a contrast to their everyday lives. White was the summer uniform of choice at resorts, a look of leisure. At the end of summer, marked by Labor Day, these folks returned to their city lives and stowed their lighter colors for another year and returned to the darker colors of fall.
Whatever the origin, this “rule” has faced opposition since as early as the 1920s. Most notably, Coco Chanel owned a slew of white suits which she wore year round. As time goes on whether born out of functionality or snobbery, this rule like so many others has become less relevant. We no longer fear sullying our whites in the daily city life and many have found white to be a lovely look throughout the year.
So how can we incorporate white into our post Labor Day lives? Try a pair of white jeans tucked inside some boots. Wear a white suit at Christmastime. Don a white skirt with some suede ankle boots. Opt for a white wool coat this winter. Be a bit daring a try something new.
Here are a few tips for pulling off this look:
-Ensure your white is clean, no matter when you decide to wear it.
-Linen, regardless of color, should be relegated to summer. Choose a heavier fabric for cooler months, like denim or wool.
-Pair with black, brown or camel for fall or winter. Navy and white should be reserved for spring.
-When buying fall/winter pieces look for cream or ivory as they are less jarring than white.
-Avoid wearing all white.
-Most importantly, love what you’re wearing. Confidence is the most elegant thing any woman can sport.
Until next time! ~ Sara