Where Does the No White After Labor Day Fashion Rule come from?
No White after Labor Day? I’m sure we’ve all heard the fashion faux pas before. If you haven’t, it is a long-lived fashion don’t which says that you should not were anything white after Labor Day.
All your whites are to be put away the day after Labor Day and not to appear again until Easter. This fashion no-no is long-lived and followed by many fashionistas. Especially, in the South among southern bells who would not be caught in white during the fall and winter months.
My mom followed this fashion rule and so did her mom. She passed this tradition down to me and would not allow me to wear white during this time. That is until I started buying my own clothes and this wild child broke all the rules.
I love wearing winter whites during the winter months, it reminds of snow, something rarely seen in south Louisiana. But, I also remember the comments that came with it like, don’t you know you’re not suppose to wear white after Labor Day? Didn’t anyone ever tell you not to do that? Don’t you know you can’t wear that until after Easter?
So where does this fashion rule come from? Who decided that wearing white after Labor Day is a bad thing?
I did some research and couldn’t really find a valid reason you shouldn’t. Here’s what I found. It seems to date all the way back to the 1800s through the early 1900s and rich Northerners.
It is said that, rich elites of the north packed and went away on Holiday to their beach getaways. While there, they wore cooler colors like white to keep from sweating. It is a fact that white reflects light, unlike darker colors like black which absorb light. So, they wore white to stay cool.
They also wore it to separate themselves from the working class who could not afford it. It showed their status in high society and separated them from the not so rich laborer.
This was not something that the working class could afford to do, but they aspired to be like the rich élite, so they did their best to follow suite. Eventually, everyone was doing what the rich were. Which maybe where the confusion comes from on whether it’s no white everything or no white shoes and accessories.
Some say it’s okay to wear white clothes during winter months as long as you do not wear white shoes or accessories. Oppose to those who say no white anything. This discrepancy may have happen when the lower working class, who could not afford to buy a white wardrobe during summer months, opted for white shoes and accessories at Easter. No one really knows.
Well, there you have it. This age-old Fashion Rule is nothing more than the result of economic separation that is still relevant today. So, whether you follow the no white rule or you don’t is up to you.
I say do what makes you happy and winter whites make me ecstatic!
How about you? Do you wear whites during the winter months?