Dispelling the Myth: Wear White After Labor Day

By: Jaime Ganson

With the official end of summer just around the corner, the age-old saying “don’t wear white after Labor Day” comes to mind. According to a Time.com article from September 8, 2009 titled Why We Can’t Wear White After Labor Day, beginning in the early 20th century, white clothing was a symbol of “well-to-do” Americans. It was a status symbol for those who were able to change their clothes by season, white during the summer and darker colors in the winter. It wasn’t proper etiquette to wear white after Labor Day, specifically any clothing below the waist.

In recent years, fashion trends have dictated otherwise. The once faux-pas of wearing white after the first weekend in September has faded away.  With the right fabric and color shade, white after Labor Day is not only acceptable, but it’s on trend. It’s called winter white.

Winter white is a slightly cream shade of white that is worn during the colder months. The appropriate shade is important, but equally important is the proper fabric. When it comes to wearing white after Labor Day, linen and light cottons are out and cashmere, heavy cotton, and corduroy are in.  Shop around Boston and the suburbs and find that department stores and chain stores are featuring winter whites.

whiteafterlaborday image bykyleganson Dispelling the Myth: Wear White After Labor Day

Photo Credit: Kyle Ganson

Shop at Zara for classic, basic items. They are known for fashions that are on trend but can be worn for years, at affordable prices. Step into Zara these days, and coats are all around the store. Get the perfect winter white jacket here in a heavy cotton trench coast or wool pea coat.

The matchstick cord in graphite should be staple piece in a woman’s cold-weather wardrobe. The heavy fabric and skinny leg silhouette make this white pant quite versatile, pairing equally well tucked into winter boots or skimming the top of black flats. Check out the J Crew Outlet in Wrentham for a great deal on these pants.

Each year for holiday, Ann Taylor sells luxurious cashmere at affordable prices. From sweaters in various styles to winter weather accessories (hats, gloves, and scarves), an array of colors are offered, including winter white. Gift these soft, warm items for your mom, grandma, or best friend; however, with the lush quality and chic cream color, you may not be able to resist yourself.

Visit any of these high-end department stores and find the best in winter white handbags. A plush cream leather bag is perfect for carrying your daily essentials and gloves for those bitter cold days. Look for bags with heavy gold hardware and stay away from airy beach totes.

Would you wear winter white after Labor Day?

Jaime is a twenty-something blogger living, working, & shopping in Boston. Interested in all thing things stylish whether it be the latest fashion trend on the runways to the newest decor featured in home magazines, she blogs all about it, and tidbits of her life, at La vie…J’aime. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest, as well.

  • Ellen

    Why not. Wearing white after Labor Day for a lot of people down south is no big deal. Hey it’s still hot down there so why not. White keeps you cool, looks fresh, and something you can wear with anything.

    • Jaime

      So true, Ellen!

  • Daisy

    love the tips on how to wear winter whites. thanks Jaime!

  • CHar

    YES, I would wear white…but my husband is old school and can’t seem to get out of the thinking that you SO CAN’T!
    Miss A Loves white…and would wear it all winter long….I’m from England and we have no rules…especially when it comes to clothes!!!
    Jaime, brilliant article!!!

  • Kathy The Boston Sports Woman

    I make it a point to wear White the day after Labor Day, just to prove that white can be worn all year round!

  • anon

    This is stupid

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    […] don’t necessarily HAVE to do that! We can help dispel that myth and break you out of that mindset. Wear white – buck tradition – be bold! JUST DO IT! […]

  • http://pressonwebzine.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/baby-you-aint-in-the-south/ Baby, You Ain’t in the South | pressonwebzine

    […] proper etiquette to wear white after Labor Day, specifically any clothing below the waist.” (http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/08/30/dispelling-the-myth-wear-white-after-labor-day/). Therefore, wearing a pure white blouse, shirt, tie, etc. was acceptable and is still worn without […]

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    […] Rich People Wore White. This was one of the more intriguing reasons I stumbled upon. During that whole Gilded Age […]

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