It’s one of the most debatable topics in fashion and is always front and center for many fashion-forward divas or gentlemen before and after Labor Day. Weeks before Labor Day, we are in a rush to wear so many pieces of our wardrobe that are this color. After Labor Day, we begin purging the closets. We’re removing all traces of this color from our fall/winter wardrobe until Memorial Day, the official start of summer. What color are we talking about? The color white. It’s a tradition for brides to wear white regardless of the time of year, and for everyone to officially indulge in the color white after Memorial Day or the official first day of summer. For three short months, we can all wear white, from bathing suits and sandals to linen suits, country hats, miniskirts and shorts, as well as flowing wraps, shawls, dresses and scarves. But as the last hoorah of summer dies down on Labor Day night, the task of shoving those beautiful white wardrobe essentials to the back of the closet or tucking them away in tissue paper becomes drudgery. fall for the first consecutive weekends in September. It’s a sad, thankless routine that’s been deeply embedded in black culture for generations. But where does this tradition of “no white after Labor Day” come from?
Fashion historians say the “no white after Labor Day” rule has its roots in elite white American society of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Wearing white during the summer months was fashionable for wealthy Americans who made the pilgrimage from grimy city life to the refined life of summer residences along the coastal and southern regions. Once summer was over, these upper-class Americans returned to industrial-age cities where wearing white was more than a fashion faux pas; it was downright impractical. Splashes of mud, animal manure as well as other unsavory debris and mechanical pollution filled the air and streets of many cities and the acquisition of fashionable pieces of white color was considered impractical given that much of the white fabrics such as linen, silk and satin were expensive and considered a luxury. Thus, the rule to stop wearing white after Labor Day was a sustainability rule accepted by the wealthy and was quickly adopted by middle and lower class Americans.
However, fast forward to 2022 and the taboo of wearing white after Labor Day is rapidly eroding fashion consciousness. Fashion has leaned on its love and desire for the color white for years cutting it with creams and beiges, winter white and off white. These shades of white were considered acceptable fall and winter wear. Yet time has changed the perception of wearing white after Labor Day and many popular designers are including white label clothing in runway collections across the fashion world. Wearing white all year round is no longer a fashion faux pas, as the fall-winter 2022-23 collections revealed. Want to slowly indulge this old taboo and look stylish and comfortable at the same time? How about a Gucci white pleated skirt ($1,275), in a vintage 1920s style, in duchesse silk viscose paired with a white wool double-breasted blazer with gold buttons and a peak lapel, with a pair of white Chanel Open Shoes in suede calfskin ($1,350) with a black toe and gold buckle strap? Great visual, right? For weekends at the fruit and vegetable market or for thrift stores, do it in a super thin white wool and viscose Prada sweater ($1,350) and a pair of worn jeans with Valentino white calfskin loafers ($895) for added comfort and style. The sweater dress is a favorite for the fall-winter season and 2022 is no different. Saint Laurent offers a beautiful white wool turtleneck maxi sweater dress ($3,990) that would look brilliant in smooth leather heeled Sue pumps ($895) in white. Prada’s fashion-forward design features a flowing ethereal white crepe midi skirt ($2,500) in nylon with tape at the waist that makes it a closet staple this season as it can be worn to the office and on the go. transition. pleasantly at a night out with a small white Prada bag ($3,750) with a leather top handle and removable shoulder straps. For days when Florida temperatures turn cold and chilly, the Hermès White Poncho ($1,300) in cashmere and silk is a good option, as well as the Valentino White Draped Compact Cape ($5,500) with a hood, in wool and cashmere, both good options as they are light as a feather, but are designed to keep its wearer warm.
Adding a touch of white to the fall-winter wardrobe is no longer a taboo. It can be done now effortlessly and attract second glances of admiration. Give your favorite ensemble a treat by adding a white belt to a pair of jeans or a dress. Make your handbag stand out with a nicely draped white scarf tied at the handle. Put on several strands of white pearls with this colorful blazer or wear white pants with a crew neck sweater. White is in fashion. So instead of packing your white or putting it in the back of the closet, why not give it a seasonal update? Because wearing white after Labor Day is no longer a fashion faux pas. It’s just fabulous fashion!