These days, our season-less approach to fashion says there’s nothing wrong with wearing all-white after Labor Day. Lighter shades help brighten up long work days and are a smart way to transition your summer pieces for fall — that way, you don’t have to ditch everything as the temperature drops. But the “no white after Labor Day” rule is still widely researched and remains an intriguing concept, even though it has long since been discarded.
This is confirmed by ivory, cream and milky-white separates stocked just as prominently in the pages of online retailers in late summer, making way for monochromatic dressing in shades even as the heat subsides. And, we’ve got plenty of easy style tips to take the look from summer to fall, even if that means trading in your open-toed sandals for pumps, platforms or sneakers, and adding extra layers and bold accents in the form of belts. , bags, and other accessories.
Ahead, we shed more light on the background to the whole “no white after Labor Day” rule, then offer up some great outfit ideas to dispel any myths you’ve heard that white is still just a seasonal color.
Why can’t you wear white after Labor Day?
The “no white after Labor Day” rule can be attributed to its most basic purpose – that light colors and fabrics are reserved for the warmer months, where when the temperature drops we start pulling out darker tones and thicker materials. But historians also speculate that in the early 20th century, wearing white was a symbol of high status and wealth, representing a well-seasoned traveler who could escape the city for a summer vacation before returning to work in September. “It is [was] “Insiders are trying to keep other people out, and outsiders are trying to climb in by proving they know the rules,” Valerie Steele, director of the Museum of Fashion Institute of Technology, told TIME. Of course today is neglected, because white is a shade suitable for all outfits in all seasons.