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White After Labor Day?

Posted on: September 4th, 2015 by Leah No Comments

Labor Day Weekend is upon us which means it’s time for a long weekend and time to enjoy celebrating with family and friends!  This Monday, September 7 marks the national holiday dedicated to honoring all the hardworking Americans which is typically celebrated with parades, barbecues and time on the water.

Labor Day also signifies the unofficial last day of summer and the end date for wearing white.  I remember as a child growing up in the Midwest that Memorial Day weekend was the date we began wearing our summer wardrobe and Labor Day Weekend was when we packed it all away.  These two weekends marked the start and end of summer and typically the change in the weather.  Wearing white after Labor Day was as much a practicality as it was a fashion faux pas.

Coco Chanel, fashion designer and trend setter, was well-known for wearing white year-round

Coco Chanel, fashion designer and trend setter, was well-known for wearing white year-round

But where did this fashion rule come from?  Originally, the restriction applied only to white shoes which were deemed inappropriate for winter.  However, the rule was extended to white clothing.  In the early 1900s as city dwellers flocked to their summer cottages and seaside escapes, resort wear was their wardrobe staple.  The no-white-after-Labor-Day rule had more to do with the timing of returning to the city than it did to the return of cooler weather.

Wearing white in the hot summer months is sensible as this light hue will keep you cooler than darker tones.  Tradition held that white was reserved for summer resort wear according to older society families concerned about fashion etiquette.  This was also an age when there was a dress code for every occasion.  And returning to the city after Labor Day meant wearing a more formal wardrobe for such city events.

White has now become the color to wear all year long.  Just make sure its appropriate for the weather, the season, and the occasion.  For example, you shouldn’t wear a white sundress when the weather gets cooler, but sporting your white sneakers year-round is now a fashion do according to fashion designers.   For those traveling or living up north, wearing white in luxurious cashmere, wool or cotton are perfect for cooler days. You may also want to try wearing other shades of white such as winter white or cream for a chic alternative to the classic hue.  The rule of thumb, if you can’t keep it clean, don’t wear it.  In other words, stay away from wearing white on rainy or snowy days when it would be next to impossible to keep clean.

In the Florida Keys, our year-round warm weather makes white a wardrobe staple. White jeans, capris, blouses, and tanks can be worn throughout our warm weather seasons and is great for keeping cool.  The only time white should never be worn is to a wedding – this hue is reserved solely for the bride.  So embrace wearing white and be a fashion trend setter this year.