white after labor day

“NO white clothes after labor day.” This is a misconceived notion that most of us have believed. I, for one, never follow such rules. I figured that if designers produce white apparel post Labor Day, then there is absolutely no reason why I should not wear white.

Nonetheless, I was curious as to how this belief came to be and why so many of us continue to follow it.

The origins of this “rule” stems back to the late 1800’s. Like today, the commencement of summer was the beginning of vacations, weekend getaways, and “fun in the sun.” Affluent families who could afford to vacation said goodbye to their work attire and hello to their summer white wardrobe; it was meant to distinguish themselves from those who could not.

From a practical perspective, white is the most suitable color as it reflects the most light. Dark colors absorb heat, hence why fall and winter fashions are associated with brown, grey, navy, black, etc. In the late 1800s, however, white symbolized the class division – the rich wore white and enjoyed those three months of summer, while the work clad laborers continued on. The end of summer marked the shift back to work, the end of the vacation season, and the start of the working year, so to speak.

White, just like any other color and shade, is just that. It’s a color that can be worn during any season.

Why this “no white after Labor Day” trend continued to thrive for many years, I do not know. Somewhere along the lines, it shifted into a fashion faux-pas. White, just like any other color and shade, is just that. It’s a color that can be worn during any season.

I personally love all white ensembles during the winter season. One of my favorite pieces to wear (throughout the year) are my white ripped skinny jeans. When paired with a chunky cowl neck sweater and booties, they make for the perfect fall casual outfit. For a cleaner more sophisticated look, wearing white trousers with a white turtleneck and black blazer, and topping it off with a bold lip color, is beyond perfection.

I encourage everyone to say good riddance to this rule as it holds no bearings, and enjoy wearing your “winter whites” this season.

Do you wear white after Labor Day? What are you favorite ways to wear it?

Image via Sean Drews



  1. How about fabrics though? I’m all for wearing white any way, shape, or form post-summer, but for example I don’t feel properly dressed when I’m wearing white linen pants in the winter, or a thin filmy white blouse. Does that make sense? I’ve got a fantastic pair of white corduroys, but they’re obviously heavy and warm, so I feel right.

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