This article was published on August 27th, 2016
For over a century now, the mantra of ‘don’t wear white after Labour Day’ has forced people to bundle up their palest items into the corners of their closet until the following season of acceptability. This restrictive and utterly silly fashion rule is thought to have come into the mainstream following the upper class adopting of it in the late 1800s. Back then, white was the colour of resort wear and the summer season. This makes sense when you consider white is a cooling colour to wear and there was little in the way of air conditioning back then. Many upper class folks sought to distance themselves from the common riffraff by adopting restrictive fashion rules, one of them being reserving white purely for summer. Labour Day, when it became a National Holiday in 1894, quickly became the accepted end point of summer, and so the rule of not wearing white after Labour Day was born.
Now this rule is ridiculous for three main reasons:
- Any true fashionista or style bunny would not let their wardrobe be dictated by last seasons fashion rules let alone last centuries. To not wear white after Labour Day would be to play into the rules of a group of 19th century millionaires seeking to protect their upper class status, unless you are a 19th century millionaire and you need to protect your upper class status this rule doesn’t really apply to you.
- White is an excellent colour, it’s the definitive colour of winter, what colour screams winter wonderland more than the colour of snow and frost and everything wintery and wonderful. If anything this rule should be flipped and white should only be worn during winter.
- Nobody ever made fashion history by adhering to the rules, rules were made to be broken. Fashion has always been the industry that moves forward by taking hold of this attitude and running with it. Not wearing white after Labour Day may be safe, but it’s sure as hell boring, and if there’s one thing worse than being safe, it’s being boring.
So be daring, throw caution to the fashion wind and wear those white cloths with pride in your stride after this Labour Day.