Sarah Thomas, Guest Writer
Labor Day, the American holiday celebrating the working people, signifying the end of summer and bringing an end to wearing white clothing for the year. At some point you are bound to have heard the words “Don’t wear white after Labor Day!” But while we’ve all heard it, why is it that no one knows why we can’t?
Ask anyone who says that you shouldn’t wear white after Labor Day, and they typically have no reason to give. As strange as it may sound, it’s true. Thousands of Americans have been abiding by this old adage and putting their white clothes away during the fall and winter months from Labor Day to Memorial Day. While no one being certain about the fashion faux-pas should be enough to keep you from following the rule, there are a few theories that I can put to rest.
One theory suggests that white shouldn’t be worn after Labor Day out of practicality. If that’s the case, there is nothing impractical about a cozy white coat in the winter months. Sure, white is cooler to wear than darker colors in the hot summer weather but that does not translate it into making you cold during winter. While this may have been the case back in the day when people wore what we now consider formal clothing, today Americans can keep cool in any color t-shirt or tank top over the summer.
Historically, white has been a summer fashion trend. It may have started because it was light and kept you cool in the heat, but it eventually became one of the most fashionable and timeless summer trends. While sure, white is on trend over the summer and seems it always will be, it does not mean that white can’t be pulled off during the winter months. Adding a little white to your winter wardrobe can be just as trendy and attractive as it is over the summer.
Another theory is that white is symbolic of leisure. This theory comes from looking back at old photos of life in big cities and seeing that everyone wore dark colors opposed to photos from seaside summer vacations where people wore lighter colors. Yes, white can symbolize leisure but it can also symbolize a number of things, even things that have to do with winter like snow. Today white can be worn in the office or the city, just as easily as it can be worn on the beach.
Personally, I love wearing white. It’s simple and timeless and goes with all of the outlandish things that I like to pair it with. A change in season will not keep me from breaking out my favorite white bandana or pair of converse in the fall and winter months, nor should it.
So, here’s the truth about wearing white after Labor Day: it’s an ancient rule that has no real meaning in 2019 when people are wearing socks with sandals and hooded sweatshirts as dresses. Besides, there have been a number of fashion icons that have broken the rule themselves. If Coco Chanel wore white year-round, I’m wearing white year-round. Rules in the world of fashion were made to be broken so channel your inner Chanel and sport your favorite white pieces all year round!