The dilemma of whether to wear white after Labor Day has been a discussion for a long time. I remember my Mom telling me that I shouldn’t wear white clothes or shoes before Memorial Day or after Labor Day, but why? I never questioned it until now! What is the reasoning behind the so-called “rule”?
It started way back in the early 1900s when the elite would leave the city for their summer homes out in the country. It was a time when the elite wore formal clothing and there were strict guidelines regarding what was appropriate to wear as the seasons changed.
Summers were hot and wearing white was a sign that you were wealthy enough to purchase clothing that would keep you cooler in the summer months. Wearing white was a summer-specific social statement for the time. Pre-AC days, wearing white meant that you could afford it. Major statement!
Labor Day was deemed the last day you could wear white because on Labor Day most people were coming home from their vacation homes and back to the city. There has always been one famous person that famously wore white all year round, Coco Chanel. She was ahead of her time.
So, what is the rule today? For the most part, most women wear what they are comfortable wearing. The consensus is that yes you can wear white after Labor Day, wear what’s appropriate for the weather, season, or the occasion. I think since I am living in the south and it stays fairly warm most of the year I will wear white when I have an opportunity but I think it is going to take some time getting used to it.