Monday, September 24, 2012

Never Wear White After Labor Day...Cliche?

During a recent get-together, a young lady asked me if it was still wrong to wear white after Labor day. Since I was sporting a white top at the time, I responded "I don't have a clue." I've heard of this age old fashion rule but never really understood it so I decided to do some research and check it out. Although it's been around for over 50 years, I discovered there is no ONE reason as to why this rule was so greatly enforced.

Some believed that lighter colors where only meant for the summer months. Image consultant, Nancy Penn, suggests white reflects light and heat. She says "wearing white would make you cooler in winter, and thus should be avoided." Others believed it was all about social status and etiquette. Additionally, the affluent class used to wear white when they vacationed in warmer regions during the winter. The color white was considered to be the 'color of leisure'. Lastly, some believed clothing should match the colors of the season. After Labor Day, when leaves begin to change color, clothing styles should shift to earthy tones to match the browns, reds and oranges of autumn leaves. One exception to this longstanding tradition includes brides, who typically wear white wedding dresses regardless of the season.

I visited a few fashion websites to learn their views on the matter. Here is what they had to say:
  • Whites were shown with hair off the face, perhaps a pop of color at the mouth, and toned-down shoes, as if to proclaim that right now, white is the opposite of frivolous. Though the colorless color is definitely not just for the rich anymore, wearing all white still sends a message that's a bit standoffish.

  • When shopping for winter whites make sure to look for heftier pieces and steer clear of flimsy, sheer fabrics. That being said, clever styling can help you bring your summer whites into cooler months. Use layering and mixed textures to give your lighter pieces weight. And don’t be afraid to mix in shades of off-white and cream. Ann Deutsh.

  • When it comes to wearing white after Labor Day remember this, linen and light cottons are out and cashmere, heavy cotton, and corduroy are in.
For whatever the reason, I am tickled pink at the fact that this rule was created and followed by so many people who had no idea of its origin and meaning. On the other hand, it is important to remember fashion etiquette when applying for a job, attending a business meeting, conference or networking.

I'm not a Fashion expert but my advice would be to "Do You?" Only you can define you. Choose a fashion sense that reflects your taste and style then WORK IT!!!


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