“The dictum that you shouldn’t wear white outfits before Memorial Day and after Labor Day has been around for a long time. And while people don’t really pay it much heed these days, it keeps hanging around. So where did it come from, and does it matter anymore?” (Fallon) We typically associate the color white with light, purity, and perfection. Wearing white in the summer makes sense as well as the desert. White attracts less heat than darker colors such as black, navy, and red. But why do 21st century fashionistas wear white only during the summer? While no one is absolutely sure when or why this fashion rule came into place, my best guess is sometime between the 1800’s and early 1900’s. A lot of people wonder why it is a huge fashion “no-no” to wear white after Labor Day. The truth is that few people know the exact logic behind this antiquated fashion “law.” There seems to be no one explanation.
So, what would cause anyone to determine that it’s bad to wear white after Labor Day? Or, conversely, why is white a summer color? It seems likely as well that the rule stems from a class concern. As more people entered the middle class through the first half of the 20th century, those who were already in the upper echelons of society wanted the rich to adhere to certain standards of behavior. As in past times when certain colors were inappropriate, so it was that the rich wanted those gaining wealth to conform to social manners and mores.
So is it still bad to wear white after Labor Day? There are some people who are shocked to see it, and would never dream of doing so themselves. However, they can’t really say why except that it’s what they’ve always been taught. If the rule does originate in practicality, that obviously does not apply in warmer climates. Additionally, most people can figure out that they will be uncomfortable if they wear a lightweight fabric when it’s cold. In so far as showing one is serious is concerned, that could perhaps be considered a fair point, although the evolution of both men’s and women’s fashions has been such that it is less color, than print and cut that project seriousness. Some woman may not want to wear a white business suit either because she will look silly or bad-mannered or she doesn’t want to risk getting it dirty while she goes about her workday, or possibly both. Ultimately, it’s all about gauging what feels appropriate and comfortable for you. With that being said, I personally have grown up knowing not to wear white after Labor Day. Although, it is your choice I believe that wearing white after Labor Day displays a lack of seriousness, carrying summer vacations into your day to day work life.
Fallon, Dan.”What’s Behind ‘Don’t Wear White After Labor Day?'” – Digg. Web. 18 Nov. 2015.