With Labor Day just around the corner, you may be trying to get a few last wears out of your white summer garments. The traditional fashion rule that whites come out around Memorial Day and get tucked back away after Labor Day, until the next year, is one that many people still hold to. This may leave you wondering: is this notion still relevant? Can we continue to wear our white skinny jeans and blouses even after Labor Day has passed? We, like many, believe there IS room in fashion for breaking the rules.
First, let’s look at the origin of this fashion rule. Labor Day officially became a federal holiday in the U.S. in 1894, and was considered the traditional end of summer. For those upper class citizens who could afford to spend the summer months in their second homes, Labor Day signified the literal return to normal life. Therefore, when they returned home, they put away their white clothes and pulled out darker garments for the new season. As the middle class expanded through the mid-1900s, this fashion rule became widely adopted as more people sought to keep up appearances.
While this rule has long been ingrained in the American memory, it has not gone unbroken. Fashion icons such as Coco Chanel have famously broken this rule. Beginning in the 1960s, many trendsetters have been known to wear white after Labor Day. Today, we see this fashion rule being broken by fashionistas and politicians alike, with Michelle Obama notably wearing white dress at the 2009 inaugural ball.
So, can you wear white after Labor Day? Given recent trends, if you are up for it, you can continue to wear white. If you’re unsure how to tastefully wear white into fall and winter, start with these tips:
• Wear winter whites, which tend to be a cream or ivory color
• White clothing that comes in a heavier winter fabrics such as wool, certain knits and heavy materials in sweaters, coats, capes and scarves
• White blouses are always acceptable, as long as they are paired with a darker pant or skirt
• White blazer paired with a turtle or skinny jeans to make the look seasonably appropriate
What should you steer clear from? In general, it is less desirable to wear white shoes, dresses, pants, or skirts as the summer season comes to a close. Replaces these items with darker tones that carry a heavier weight. For instance, trade your flowy white skirt in for a warm, cream-colored sweater dress or replace your white pumps with a pair of dark fall riding boots.
So when Labor Day rolls around, don’t be so quick to pack up all of your white clothes. In fact, you might even find a great bargain on some white pieces at a Labor Day sale! While you are at it, get ready for Labor Day weekend by getting a patriotic manicure and pedicure at the Health and Style Institute! You can find our service and price menu here. Have a great Labor Day weekend!