For some odd reason every person thinks that it is a huge fashion faux pas to wear white after Labor Day. Well I am here to tell you that this is false, those people are crazy, and to inform you about a little thing we call WINTER WHITES. Before I do this, let me tell you how this fashion “rule” came to be. First off, no person of legitimate fashion authority created this “rule”. It was the high society filled of snobs in post civil war society that created this “rule.” During that time, more and more people became millionaires and it soon became quite difficult to tell the difference between old money and new money. By the 1880s, in order to tell who was acceptable and who wasn’t, the snobby women who were already “in” created dozens of absurd fashion rules that everyone who was in the “in” had to follow. Not wearing white after Labor Day was one of these rules. It came about when the high society city folks of the 19th century would summer in the Hamptons, donning whites in an effort to stay cool due to the lack of air conditioning. When Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894, society eventually adopted it as the natural endpoint for summer fashion. The well-heeled vacationers would stow away their summer whites and bring out their heavier, darker-colored fall clothing. Through the 1950s, the snobbery against the rising middle class added to the elitist encouragement of the fashion “rules” in an effort to keep the middle class disassociated from the upper class. Regardless, everyone from socialites to suburbanites have been ignoring this rule. Most famously Coco Chanel was a fan of white post Labor Day and she was known for her white suit being staple in her closet year round. Finally, in 2004, Emily Post wrote in her manners bible that you should go ahead and wear white after Labor Day. And we all know that if Emily Post says it’s okay, then it must be. My advice, choose the white pieces you wear carefully but it is perfectly fine to wear white in the winter. You know I will be.
See below for examples of winter whites to wear.
*originally published on November 2, 2013*