Friday, August 31, 2007

Wearing White After Labor Day

It's the age-old fashion question- is it okay to wear white after Labor Day?


I don't believe in hard and fast rules for fashion, as it takes the fun out of dressing up and trying new things, but I tend to give up certain white pieces after labor day, as an acknowledgement of the end of summer. White dresses and skirts in lightweight, summery fabrics go back into the closet, as do shoes and handbags that aren't accented in darker colors. But white t-shirts, sweaters, tank tops and dress pants are fair game year round.

But I'm curious what your take is- can one wear white after Labor Day? Do you?

23 comments:

cate said...

I follow the older version of the adage, "only wear white shoes between memorial day and labor day." all other whites are fair game!

Anonymous said...

i live in houston, where summer lasts well into October or November...so i tend to keep wearing white as long as summer lasts.

Deja Pseu said...

Here in LA as well, we're just now coming into our warmest time of year, so I imagine the white pants will get a few more outings before November. (I don't have any white shoes.)

Anonymous said...

In general it seems more important to tailor it to the weather--so if you live somewhere without conventional seasons, like San Diego, you can probably wear summer fabrics and colors year-round. In New England, I wear white sweaters and shirts year-round. White dresses and skirts don't get worn outside of summer, however, and I wouldn't wear linen or eyelet much past Labor Day even if it was black. White coats can be stunning in winter, but I could never keep one clean!

Chic and Charming said...

I have a white winter coat that I really love. Its not the most practical clothing, but it is a really beautiful piece. I think I tend to go with what cate said-no white shoes-everything else is fair game (but, that is probably only because I do not own any white shoes).

Anonymous said...

I think it's all weather dependent. Just as I wouldn't wear my heavier fall pants when it's 80 degrees outside, I wouldn't mind still bringing out some lighter white clothes.

I do think you need to practice a level of consciousness in how you wear them (ie: white strappy summer sandles and a white skirt with a light top is probably overkill after Labor day)

Mariah said...

with global warming, white can be worn well into November and sometimes December, even in some of the colder parts of the country (not Northampton perhaps ... I remember Noho being even colder and snowier than Boston, and that's saying something).

Of course, I love white more than nearly anything, and have been known to wear, even white shoes, well into the winter. it just depends on the overall effect of the piece in question. yes, i put away my tennis-outfit locoste white mary-janes. but i replace them with (tasteful, i promise) white moon boots worn with short skirts and tights.

if i wear white in cold weather, especially shoes, i try to channel Doctor Zhivago. this outfit was quite smashing (or here in color ... it's pink of course, but you can imagine it looking lovely in white and totally appropriate). Or here's another version of the same idea.

Teek said...

I think fabric is more important than color, really. I have a lot of white and ivory winter clothes - wool sweaters, dress cords, wool coats, a leather jacket, and of course seasonless pieces like crisp white blouses and cotton crewneck sweaters. But linen, eyelet, searsucker, raffia, cork, etc - they get retired when the weather gets cooler, not based on the date. When I lived in Phoenix, I wore "summer" fabrics pretty much year round - why not, when it's 80 degrees in February.

I think I only own one pair of white shoes, and they're casual sandals so don't get much use outside of summer proper.

Erika said...

As I'm in South Florida, we only really have two seasons hot and hotter. Therefore, there is no packing away of the summer wear and as such, I don't really follow that rule. I can see there in climates where there are seasons that it would be more appropriate.

Meg said...

The rule as I know it is only that white dress shoes are not allowed. Still, as I said on my blog, I don't plan on packing away my shoes. If the shoes compliment my outfit, I'm not going to let someone else's "rule" get in the way of me looking and feeling fabulous.

Meg, I'm hosting the next edition of the Fabulous! Festival on September 17th (deadline to submit is September 14th). The theme is color and I hope you'll consider submitting this or another post. You can find more info at http://www.allaboutappearances.info/fabulous-festival/

lisa said...

I agree with the other comments about the weight of the fabric being more important than the colour itself. Also, white can look really sharp after Labour Day if you pair it with rich colours like burgundy, teal, chocolate brown, and grass green.

sara said...

I also live in a warm climate and wear white much later than Labor Day, but am not the biggest fan of white shoes after a certain point. Although, a nice white leather *bag* for the winter season is an entirely different matter altogether. Especially if it has any amount of hardware. Like everyone else has already stated, it is more about the fabric and overall feel of the outfit. If I catch myself questioning whether or not something is appropriate, usually I just assume that it isn't.

willikat said...

well, just because the calendar turned over doesn't make it magically fall, so i think you can work it through september. officially it isn't fall til sept. 21 anyway, so...depends on weather. i'm not gonna sweat in a wool sweater because it's some old rule.

Anita said...

Dr. Zhivago.....Omar Shariff is so gorgeous in this movie...oh, hi! I still put away clothes and accessories that feel *summery* to me after Labor Day. I live in the northern US, we have four distinct seasons and fall is my favorite time of year. I'm always more than ready for deeper colors, plum lipstick and ambery perfumes by the time September rolls around.

Rapunzel said...

Some fashion "rules" are just begging to be broken and this is definitely one of them.

My opinion is if god deems it appropriate to clothe the world in white during the winter, then why shouldn't we? It's called winter white and it's fabulous.

However, that's not a reason to go bounidng about in sheer white sundresses in the middle of a snowstorm. There's also a little thing called common sense, which i'm pretty sure all of the wonderful readers here possess.

Etiquetteer said...

Everybody's so busy "rebelling" by breaking the rules that I think you're more of a rebel by following the rules.

White shoes, anything white linen, and especially white trousers/skirts get put away, lovingly, on Labor Day. I hang up my seersucker suit, too, after a visit to the dry cleaner.

Discuss Beauty said...

I've never understood this trend, and it would be nice to have someone explain it to me, lol.
Not something I worry about too much though, because there's not a whole lot of white in my wardrobe, lol.

Plumcake said...

I am of the mind that all-white shoes --regardless of season-- are only for nurses, brides and strippers dressed as nurses or brides.

Cynthia said...

Can someone tell me WHY the REASON you DO NOT wear white after Labor Day??? I've gotten numerous replies. Which led me to believe that no one really knows. We're all just following tradition and superstitions (as Stevie Wonder's record goes..."We believe in things we don't really know"). I also was one of those follow the crowd people until last year. I decided that it's a person's right to wear white anytime they please (including shoes)if they're comfortable in doing so. If it's 90 degrees after Labor Day, then by all means sport your white! To each it's own! You're not going to jail if you don't follow the crowd...are you? And, I've seen some people wear white and it looked really good yes after Labor Day). I think clothes should just be a nice tasteful ensemble. WEAR YOUR WHITE!!!

Sophia said...

Here's a thought. Since it isn't "correct" to wear white after Labor Day, what will a bride wear who's scheduled to marry in mid September or October. She definitely doesn't follow that idiotic rule...why should I! Just a thought. To me white signifies peace and serenity. It's a beauty to see all year long. Wear your white and wear it well!

Anonymous said...

I will wear white as long as I feel like it! Lol! I live in Texas...it is still hot well into october. My white capris and white shorts will be worn until it is to cold to wear shorts and capris!

Cormac said...

Shoes. The rule is white shoes and it is still thus. Global warming, solstice, and equinox are irrelevent. Clothing rules have never had much to do with the actual weather where you are anyway. This particular rule is the key bulwalk against anarchy. If you think global warming is bad, wait till you see what happens when people start thinking, "Gee it feels like New England summer into the fall here in Texas, so I think I can wear summer clothes into the fall." Oh no you can't.

Other than shoes, feel free to wear white. For the shoes, go with taupe, a two-tone, or some such thing.

Anonymous said...

I don't specifically follow the no white after labor day rule, but I've noticed that as it gets colder in fall and winter I tend to stop wearing my bright white clothes and start wearing more creamy and off white. I think bright white looks better in sunny weather than when it's dark and gloomy outside.