Le.Minimalist: White After Labor Day - Yea or Nay?
- Article by: Katie Wiley
- Posted: 08/31/2012
- Related Links: As originally posted on Le.Minimalist...
"Rules are mostly made to be broken and are too often for the lazy to hide behind." - Douglas MacAurthur
I've never been one to follow rules, which could be why I was constantly in trouble as a kid, spending much of my childhood in detention for various offenses. I (unfortunately) went to a private school where punishment consisted of forced transcription of Bible verses and an occasional paddling (which happened more than just occasionally for me - hah.) But somehow I turned out alright...I think.
I remember most of my infractions were somehow fashion related, like wearing too many bracelets, or glitter eyeshadow. (It was so cool in middle school!) I was also constantly in trouble for my skirt length, shorts length or not having my tie correctly fastened to my blouse, (which, hilariously enough eventually led to my private school expulsion). So really, in essence, we can just go ahead and say that the end of my private school career was a result of breaking the rules. The fashion rules.
Rihanna has the right idea - wearing white at the Met Gala - via Getty Images
Speaking of fashion rules - and mind you, there exists quite a long list of faux pas to consider, (i.e. scrunchies, sweatpants, sandals with socks), the ultimate of which, and anyone can tell you, is "NO WHITE AFTER LABOR DAY!" I put that in caps for emphasis.
But let's forget our mothers' outdated rules! As much as I love the baby boomers - and I do - they have put far too much emphasis on this rule for most of their existence. I applaud your dedication boomers, but times are a changin'.
If you're still a little skeptical, that's understandable, but let's go over some facts for a moment. Is everyone ready for a brief history lesson? Okay good, lets go.
"No White After Labor Day" began around the turn of the twentieth century when wealthy upper crusters began to return from their lengthy and luxurious summer vacations. They put all of their summery white-colored rich people clothes away in exchange for darker winter shades due to the inclimate weather that comes with the changing seasons.
People spent more time walking out in the rain, slush, and mud at that point in history so it was impractical for them to wear white. It was pretty uncommon back then to see anyone at all wearing white after Labor Day unless, of course, you were standing at an altar.
And so began a trend that would ruthlessly rule us for nearly a century. But no more! To quote one of my absolute favorite designers (God rest his brilliant soul), Alexander McQueen, "It’s a new era in fashion - there are no rules. It’s all about the individual and personal style, wearing high-end, low-end, classic labels, and up-and-coming designers all together."
I had always wondered why we were ruled by such a silly decree anyway. Why should anyone tell me what colors I can wear and when? Maybe that's my inner rebellious middle schooler talking, but I honestly never could grasp the concept.
Lets break the rules together this season and wear some winter whites! Do I want you to look like a snow man? No. But it is totally possible to look chic and stylish without looking like you've tried too hard.
Don't be afraid to mix & match different shades of white either. I know it sounds awkward and possibly intimidating, but the end result is well worth it. You can also find a great guide on how to mix varying shades of white HERE via A BRUNETE.
Hakaan pencil dress / Alexander Wang crew neck sweater, $660 / Cropped t shirt / Alexander McQueen white jacket, $1,815 / Mango biker jacket / Stella McCartney wool pants / Alexander Wang studded heels /Patent boots, $160 / MeDusa white clutch / Beaded jewelry / H&M chain earrings, $4.74 / American Apparel leather hair accessory