It's after Labor Day and I'll wear white if I want to
September 6, 2016
Step into my closet and you will see fifty shades of neutral. Black, white, grey and every hue in between greatly outnumber the colors of the rainbow in my wardrobe. I love neutrals almost as much as I love warm weather. That’s why it pains me when naysayers still look at white after Labor Day with disdain. It’s an antiquated fashion faux pas and it’s time to put it to rest.
The rule originated in the early 1900s--think zero air conditioning and lots of modesty. Skirts and sleeves were longer, and sheer fabric was a no-no. So obviously lighter colors..aka white were the color of choice..but unless you were Gatsby-rich, your wardrobe wasn’t busting at the seams. Consider the fact that modern plumbing wasn’t a thing yet, and your white maxi might be dusted with actual shit at the bottom. Basically, if you were wearing white in the city, it’s because you could afford to-and if you could afford to, you got the hell out of there to more affable climes.
So the who’s who of society ventured to the beaches and mountains for the summertime. The period, as it is now, was timed between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Heavy, formal city clothes were replaced with happy-go-lightly-and-whitely frocks. This was an era when every season and occasion had a dress code--especially in high society--and donning resortwear after the summer had ended was a big fat no. Since we all bow down to the rich and famous’ fashion commandments, no white after Labor Day was born.
But that was a time when women didn’t have rights and Diet Coke wasn’t around--so it's time for a change. Fashion rules are meant to be broken and the sartorial supreme herself, Coco Chanel, broke the post-Labor Day dictum as early as the 1920’s by donning all white suits year-round. Today, top stylists like Rachel Zoe and Monica Rose have proclaimed year-round white an absolute must. Even Emily Post decreed, “it’s more about fabric choice than color. Wear what’s appropriate for the weather, the season, or the occasion.”
So put away your linens and chambrays, but think twice about stowing the creamy cords and cashmeres. If it's still 90 degrees out in October, you best believe I'll be on my rooftop getting my tan on (even if there's no water in the pool) and you know what makes a tan look great? White clothes.
So be a hater if you must, but I urge you to defy what grandmothers everywhere will be rolling in their graves over--and put your most fashionable feet forward. Rock the white all year round. It's sexy, slimming and chic--so why limit it to just three months a year?