This guide shows you how to wear white after Labor Day, and look fashion-forward.
- Where Does No White After Labor Day Come From?
- Is White after Labor Day a Fashion Faux-pas?
- When to Wear White after Labor Day?
- How to Wear White after Labor Day
- Is White after Labor Day Still a Thing?
- Outfit Ideas How to Wear White in the Cold Season or Alaska
- Are White Pants ok after Labor Day?
- How to Style White Trousers in Winter?
- What Winter Outerwear Goes with White Pants?
- How Not to Wear White after Labor Day
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Where Does No White After Labor Day Come From?
The fashion rule to not wear white after Labor Day is so yesteryear or better yester-century. It’s related to rich Americans wearing white in summer when they fled to their estates in the country-side to escape the muggy summer heat of the polluted cities on the East Coast around the end of the 18th century.
Later, this dressing behavior led to the (old-fashioned) style advice handed down for generations:
Don’t wear white before Memorial day and after Labor Day.
Is White after Labor Day a Fashion Faux-pas?
Today we have air conditioning. Thanks to the clean air act in the 1970s, air pollution has gone down. Furthermore, doing the laundry became easier thanks to the invention of the washing machines, driers and efficient laundry detergents. Today your can even dry clean at home. This means no reason anymore to follow that rule.
Consequently, wearing white after Labor Day is not a fashion faux-pas.
When to Wear White after Labor Day?
In fall, wear white denim trousers only on sunny days because rain causes spots on the legs. Weather conditions to wear white pants in winter require temperatures well below freezing to avoids spots from splash.
Corporate style as well as business casual style look crisp with the classic white button-down year round. In other words, when the temperatures permit wearing a shirt with a skirt or pants the American Classic snow-white button-down shirt works year round.
When layering military style with a white T-shirt peeking out under a button-down shirt. Layering ups your style, and increases insulation for protection from the elements.
The color is always ok to wear in a print like snow leopard, zebra or polka dots.
You can wear the color all winter when you have a non-dyed Irish wool cable knit sweater.
When living in the South, accessorize your LWD with fall color items like the tan bag, belt and shoes in the inspiration below.
Of course at your own winter wedding, when you want to.
Is White after Labor Day Still a Thing?
Hounds tooth or herring bone are classic weaves that traditionally feature the color. Winter accessories like a hat, beret, scarf, gloves in the color are always stylish. they make a stark contrast to the standard dark coat wardrobe.
White ankle boots are trend right now. Consequently, they are the easiest way how to don the color after the end of summer.
How to Wear White after Labor Day?
Work with classic color combinations like blue and white, or black and white. For instance, combine a white jeans with a plaid button-down shirt and a navy in fall on a day without rain in the forecast.
Style white BF jeans or pants with red, oyster, shell or brown booties/pumps.
Try different shades and hues of the color like a cream sweater, with a white cardigan, leather jacket or wool blazer. More on desaturated looks with gray.
A blazer in powder creates a preppy style look.
While you can wear leather in spring and summer, it’s typically considered a cold season material. Therefore, try a leather coat in milk shade for a posh fall and winter look.
Try a cream statement wool coat.
Wear fall or winter dresses or sweaters that don the color or don it as an accent.
More Outfit Ideas to Try
- Go for a monochromatic look with a pop of color
- Try to wear white with winter-white.
- For a Casual Friday outfit, swap your blue denim for an undyed denim jacket. They both provide the same insulation unless your denim jacket is an iconic trucker jacket with teddy faux fur lining and collar. The lack of color makes a real statement.
- Try boot toppers with faux snow fox print on very cold days.
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Are White Pants OK after Labor Day?
The best time to wear white (wool) pants is at temperatures way below freezing. Then, there is no risk to get spots from splash. Furthermore, there is no risk of an unexpected rain shower.
How to Style White Trousers in Winter and in Alaska?
Dark shoes under white pants provide too stark contrast. Instead, tan or chocolate brown footwear are great options, especially, when these colors pick up a color of your outfit like the cable-knit sweater and coat in the example below.
Stylist tip: When wearing white jeans in winter go for light color with the shoes.
Adding a pop of color is a good way to accessorize with scarves for style. This scarf picks up the white, tan, gold (yellow) and chocolate brown of the look. This means it ties the elements of the OOTD together. Its additional colors makes it the statement piece.
Another aspect that makes the look interesting is the eclectic style mix of clothing items from different countries. There is no item that is so American than jeans. The floral print wool scarves with fringe are famous for Russia worldwide. An Irish cable-knit sweaters is a classic ever since the Kennedy boys wore them. Read more about the history of the cable knit sweater.
What Winter Outerwear Goes with White Pants?
The legs of trousers show under every outerwear. Therefore, wear a season appropriate coat or jacket in the vibe and color of the footwear. Alternatively, go for a different color coat, and accessorize with gloves, scarf, hat, and bag in the color of the shoes.
Stylist tip: It is best if one or two of the items have all the colors in common.
More on how to style your outerwear.
Interested in more dressing tips? Then my style book “How to Dress for Success in Midlife” is perfect for you. Buy it now.
How Not to Wear White after Labor Day?
Never wear a white down-coat. It looks like you are a sleepwalker carrying your blanket like Linus van Pelt.
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Photos: G. Kramm
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