White on White Done Right
Who says you can’t wear white after Labor Day? With the help of the Internet, I discovered the origin of this antiquated “rule” thanks to Mental Floss:
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.
Not wearing white outside the summer months was another one of these silly rules. White was for weddings and resort wear, not dinner parties in the fall. Of course it could get extremely hot in September, and wearing white might make the most sense, but if you wanted to be appropriately attired you just did not do it. Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894, and society eventually adopted it as the natural endpoint for summer fashion.
This white rule has never been hard and fast for me. Maybe I want to keep that summer feeling all year long, or maybe I just enjoy breaking rules. White has been a staple in my wardrobe for years, and I can’t imagine having to put a color away for a season.
Check out some of the looks that may inspire you to become a rule breaker as well.
Illustration: John Vogt