The old fashion lore says that you’re only allowed to don this hue until Labor Day. After that, you’re supposed to wait until summertime next year.
In today’s fashion landscape, the rules are much more relaxed. It’s all about comfort and self-expression. That said, is white allowed? Let’s discuss first why and how this rule came to be and then ways you can buck the trend anytime you’d like.
The Inception of the Rule
The post-Labor Day bar on white clothing dates back to at least the 20th century, but it could be earlier. During those days, white was thought of as a “leisure” color according to Time Magazine. Americans routinely donned dark hues, so the reprieve into white clothing during the summertime was a welcome one.
Once summer ended, most Americans would just switch out their white clothes for dark fall hues, and that was that.
Besides the fashion and luxury tie-in, there’s also a very obvious reason white clothing was so favored in the summertime: it’s comfortable. Black and other dark hues are less breathable in the hot sun. White is crisper, airier, and more lightweight. It would make sense then that after the summer heat has passed, so too would any reasons to wear white.
Ways to Wear White Whenever
As mentioned, most of these rules about when white clothing is appropriate were coined in the last century or before. Why hold onto a silly old fashion rule so far into the future? Part of it is that it’s somehow been beaten into all our brains at some point not to wear white once September rolls around.
Today, though, if you want to wear white, wear white. For men, this could mean a sharp short-sleeved white button-down shirt as the hot temperatures linger into September. You could even wear white shorts on a weekend or invest in a pair of white jeans to don from fall into winter. All-white ensembles are allowed, too, if that’s your style. When it comes to footwear, a pair of pure white sneakers really makes any outfit look clean and put-together.
While the Labor Day white clothing rule isn’t some old wives’ tale, it is a commandment that’s steeped in a lot of history. In today’s world, there’s no need to limit yourself to wearing a single color at any certain part of the year. If you want to wear white, go for it!