Wearing White After Labor Day; Is It Okay Or An Outdated Rule?

There's still the seasonal raging debate at the end of August about whether or not it's okay to wear white after Labor Day. While some of us think it's an outdated rule, there are just as many who think it's a fashion no-no to wear white after the beginning of September.

According to Kathy Benjamin with Mental Floss, no one is completely sure when or why this fashion rule came into effect. Benjamin says her best guess is the late 1800s and early 1900s when the wives of the super-rich ruled high society with an iron fist after the Civil War. As more and more people became millionaires, though, it was difficult to tell the difference between old money, respectable families, and those who only had vulgar new money, she writes. By the 1880s, in order to tell who was acceptable and who wasn't, the women who were already "in" felt it necessary to create dozens of fashion rules that everyone in the know had to follow. That way, if a woman showed up at the opera in a dress that cost more than most Americans made in a year, but it had the wrong sleeve length, other women would know not to give her the time of day.

And by the 1950s, women's magazines made it clear to middle class America: white clothing came out on Memorial Day and went away on Labor Day.

Although, there are 'seasonal' colors and everyone has become more relaxed about what colors to wear and when, the White after Labor Day debate just won't go away.

While you may feel comfortable wearing white after Labor Day, don't be surprised if some people frown at you. There are still the die-hard believers who say wearing white after Labor Day is -- just unacceptable!


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