Short answer: of course! The “don’t wear white after Labor Day” rule is incredibly outdated. However, many people still question whether it’s a fashion faux pas to don white once the temperature takes a nosedive. But this is a new age, so the question should be instead, “How should I wear white after Labor Day?” There are so many fashionable ways you can transition your summery whites into the fall and winter seasons. Plus, there are cold-weather appropriate clothing and shoes available in this bright hue. White is a versatile color for any season, and it comes in plenty of shades and textures to keep things interesting. So have fun styling your favorite white clothes and accessories.
But where did the outdated rule come from, and why do people still hesitate to rock chic white fashion after Labor Day? The fashion rule originated in the 19th century. To this day, people still debate the reason behind the rule. But thankfully, many people agree that wearing white is stylish, no matter the season.
Why do some people feel the need to pack away every white clothing article they have along with their cotton sundresses, tank tops, and sandals once summer is long gone? The not wearing white after Labor Day rule stretches as far back as the 19th century. The culprits? It’s a bit unclear who came up with the rule. But a common belief is that the wealthy elite pushed their agenda to maintain their place in society. Why would they do this? White is so versatile and beautiful, so tucking away every white item in one’s wardrobe seems a bit much, to be honest.
If you know a thing or two about popular culture, not wearing white after Labor Day is akin to “On Wednesdays, we wear pink.” Snobbish society ladies wanted to separate old money elitists from the nouveau riche by manipulating the fashion rules. If you knew the rules, you were in the club. If you didn’t, you didn’t fit in.
Wealthy people, especially wealthy people who lived in major grimy cities, could travel to the countryside or seaside when vacationing in the summer. White was a part of their vacation attire, especially white linen suits, Panama hats, and breezy dresses. White does have its benefits, to be fair, if you’re sweating in the heat. It helps to keep hot weather at bay, especially under the summer sun. Plus, even if their clothes got dirty, the rich could afford to have their servants launder them rather than having to clean them themselves like people with less money to spare. As time passed, and as more people begin wearing white anyway, the rule seemed to transition into, “Don’t wear white shoes after Labor Day.”
Other people seem to not agree with the wealthy elite creating this rule. They believe that the reason is much simpler than a group of individuals playing with fashion rules for the sake of power. After Labor Day became an official holiday in 1894, it also marked the end of summer. Sometimes, switching up your clothes can make transitioning into another season that much more official. Therefore, as vacationers begin returning to the city for work and school, they packed away their white and popped out their darker-hued apparel to get ready for the cold. Navy, gray, and black were all great choices to mark the beginning of the colder seasons.
Regardless of the origin of the rule, it’s harder to follow it these days, anyway. Doing laundry is easier than ever with more dry cleaners, in-home washing machines and dryers, and laundry products and techniques to help us take care of our clothes and shoes. So, we can keep our adored white apparel and kicks looking as good as new for way longer. White boots are all the rave, especially when paired with mini knit dresses. And there are so many sweaters available in all shades of white, from bright white and frost to cream and ivory. White is a winner when it comes to chic cold-weather styling.
Sometimes, it’s best to do away with how things have always been or how they once were. Wearing white after Labor Day is subjective. Some people still won’t ever be caught wearing white in the fall or winter, not even if it’s just a cozy hat. Other people adore the ethereal effect donning white has. White is indeed a beautiful hue and so versatile. And if you can pull it off, just like with any other color in the rainbow, wearing white looks fabulous. More fashion brands and designers are producing white winter gear for the colder seasons, such as fur stoles, winter accessories, stylish boots, knit sweaters, and puffer down coats. So, you have plenty of options to play with when coming up with outfit ideas.
Now more than ever before, fashion is for everyone, with a range of sizes, styles, and fits for everyone. Fashion designers come in all shapes and sizes, and there’s a range of fashion personalities and tastes. Better yet, fashion is what you make it. Yes, there are still fashion rules out there that aid in having people looking and feeling their best. For example, you may want to stray from wearing breezy white linen apparel or spaghetti strap dresses once the weather takes a dip, especially if you’re trying to keep warm and toasty.
Also, white can be a bit tricky depending on how dirty your city is, so if you just love to don white, try to be careful since you’ll easily notice any dirty spots. However, you make the rules you want to follow. So, throw on a long coat over that camisole dress, and go about your day! Here are some suggestions for wearing white in fall or winter to keep you looking fabulous and feeling comfortable.
If you’re still worried about wearing white during the colder seasons, you can always play it safe by layering cold-weather appropriate outerwear over your white blouses, cashmere sweaters, button-down shirts, T-shirts, and long-sleeved tops. Try to stick to cozy layers with seasonal hues, like browns, camels, cranberries, burgundies, and dark greens. Tweed jackets, puffer coats, chunky knit women’s cardigans, and fleece vests are all stylish choices.
If you’re not ready to hang up your white skinny jeans and pants just yet, don’t worry! However, make sure they’re hefty enough to take on colder weather. If not, that’s just another reason for you to go shopping for new apparel. Pair your white bottoms with turtlenecks and crewneck sweaters with the shades you fancy, like gray, navy, orange, and camel. Elevate your look with a classic pattern, like stripes. And throw on a winter scarf to tie together the ensemble.
Instead of wearing a blue or black denim jacket, wear a white one. Or wear an oversized colored denim jacket over your white jeans. Look out for cool embellishments, like rhinestones, studs, buttons, lace overlays, and epaulets. Denim-on-denim never gets old.
Who said white means solid white? Zebra stripes, leopard patterns, and snakeskin-inspired prints all look good in white. Plus, you don’t have to worry about going all-in when styling white apparel. Wear a pattern head to toe or stick to one white piece with a chic pattern or even a vibrant graphic.
Monochromatic outfits just look stylish. If you love white, go all out and show your love by rocking it from top to bottom. An easy way to accomplish this is by wearing a thick denim white jumpsuit with white booties or a mini long-sleeved white dress with knee-high leather boots. Play around with various textures or hues. A cream faux fur or wool coat looks stylish with a crop top and jeans. Or try a silky white maxi skirt with off-white women’s tunic sweaters. You don’t have to be matchy-matchy with the shades. You have plenty of options: bright white, eggshell, silvery-white, ivory, cream, and more.
White booties are a hot trend as of now, so buy a pair or two. Sleek solid white leather booties, croc-inspired patterns, square toes, and pointed toes are all options for updating your fall and winter ensembles.
You can play it safe by just wearing a white accessory, like a designer belt, headband, beanie, or scarf. As long as the chic accessory matches your entire getup, you’re good to go. Or switch it up by wearing all white but adding a pop of color through your accessory of choice. Wear all white with bright red winter gloves, for example. Experiment to add some pizzazz to your fall or winter getup.
Not wearing white after Labor Day is a rule of yesteryear. As time progresses, and as fashion becomes more of a personal choice rather than one ruled by the elite, people are becoming bolder with their style choices. Even some die-hard fashion traditionalists believe that it’s okay to wear white past September. Wearing white just like any other color allows you to showcase your personality, style, and creativity. So, wear your white apparel, accessories, and footwear with confidence all year long.