You know that ancient rule that you can’t wear white after labor day? It seems that big fashion enthusiasts enforce this rule. Athough many of us may abide by it, most don’t understand the meaning behind it. After some brief research, I’ve found a few examples that justify the reseaoning. For centuries wearing white during summer was a way to stay cool– like swapping out hot cocoa for a watermelon cocktail– yum. And, this action rings more true in regions along the East Coast and in those areas where there are actual seasonal changes. “All the magazines and tastemakers were centered in big cities, usually in northern climates that had seasons,” said Charlie Scheips, author of American Fashion. So, this concept of changing your wardrobe with the change of the season makes perfect sense.
Other sources states that the origin of the no-white-after–Labor Day rule may be symbolic. In the early 20th century, white was seen as a luxury compared to the urban working class wardrobe. “If you look at any photograph of any city in America in the 1930s, you’ll see people in dark clothes,” says Scheips, many scurrying to their jobs. By contrast, he states, the white linen suits and Panama hats at snooty resorts were “a look of leisure.”
Lastly, I understand that some people associate the change of wardrobe color with the end of summer. When summer comes to an end, its time to put away your sundresses and get out your boots. Which after the heat of Northern California, I am thrilled to do so! But, because I often see fashion through a black and white lens, I think I’ll stick to Coco Chanel’s philosophy, who made white an integral part of her wardrobe year round. White looks really refreshing when you wear it properly. I’m not suggesting wearing white cotton dresses when its snowing or raining out. But, with the right textures, fabrics and layers, I don’t see anything wrong with integrating your summer pieces throughout the rest of the year.
Here are some of my favorite picks right now that enable you to wear white all year long!