It’s a Whiteout – Or Is It?
Today is the last day I will wear my white pumps until Memorial Day. And, um, perhaps no white dresses as well. I will, however, add it is merely because I find it a bit more difficult to keep white crisp sparkle in the fall and winter. I do declare though I WILL continue to wear white pants, white shirts, white coats, white sweaters and whatever else white I please.
Did you know the belief that it’s somewhat wrong to wear white after Labor Day is primarily U.S. based? Many other countries never adopted this so-called fashion faux pas.
That brings me to a little history on how this “rule” even came about. Who created this “rule”?
Well, back in the 1900s those considered well-to-do or, put another way, “important” and “elite” were known to wear white after Labor Day and communities viewed them as braggarts. They wore white because they could. They had money and did not have to do manual labor, so they could keep their whites looking clean.
Nevertheless, the wealthy women known to have come from old money wanted this “rule.” These women wanted to be recognized as “high society.” It was all about social class — hence blue collar (manual labor) and white collar (those who had no idea how to do manual labor hehe).
Yet in Europe, this rule is obsolete. Look at luxury fashion, like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Cartier in France. How about Gucci or Prada in Italy? Maybe these designers might be a tad bit more elite than the women of old money.
Coco Chanel advocated wearing white year-round. Chanel’s designs changed the world of fashion starting in the 1920s.
Decades following, mainstream media pushed for the no white after Labor Day rule to be the norm. Slowly, much of society all around rejected this idea.
People became braver once the washing machines became household appliances. Many more people were able to dare to show their whites after Labor Day as the convenience of a home washing machine. It certainly aided in the challenges of maintaining a bright white color.
So, who says the no-white rule applies? While I agree white is more difficult to maintain in other months, there is no reason white cannot be donned at any other time. Not in today’s world and in today’s time.
If you still question society’s acceptance of wearing white after Labor Day, remember, what colors we wear that have nothing to do with where we come from and how well we have done for ourselves.
No one else has the power to dictate what you can and cannot wear. Be yourself. If you like it, wear it. The choice is yours to make.
If none of this convinces you it’s OK to wear white after Labor Day, I have the answer for that. To make you feel better and perhaps so you wear your white with confidence are two words: Winter white!