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We were taught the rule like our mothers and their mothers, and their mothers, … . While there were cultural, economic, fashion and maintenance related reasons for not wearing white from early fall to the beginning of summer – maybe until the middle of the last century, today these reasons are no longer valid. This post shows you how to wear white after Labor Day and look fashion-forward.


  1. Why to Toss Old Fashion Rules to Not Look Old Lady
  2. How to Wear White after Labor Day
  3. Outfit Ideas How to Wear White in the Cold Season
  4. When Can You Wear White Pants in Winter
  5. How to Style White Trousers in Winter?
  6. What Winter Outerwear Goes with White Pants?
  7. How Not to Wear White after Labor Day

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Why to Toss Old Fashion Rules to Not Look old Lady

The fashion rule to not wear white after Labor Day is so yesteryear or better yestercentury. 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. Today we have air conditioning. Thanks to the clean air act in the 70s, 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. Let’s move to today and …

stylist wearing a white button down shirt after Labor day

two-tone Nordgreen watch with white mother-of-pearl dial

influencer donning a white button down shirt in fall
Oliveo bootcut jeans, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Ralph Lauren pumps, statement belt (all own), button-down shirt c/o Coolibar and two-tone watch with mother-of-pearl dial c/o Nordgreen. Use code HLSTYLE for 15% off. Valid until September 15, 2021


How to Wear White after Labor Day

Here is a list of easy ways how to wear white after Labor Day using pieces from your closet that you already own.

  • Work with classic color combinations like blue and white, or black and white. For instance, combine a white boyfriend jeans with a cotton plaid button-down shirt and a navy blue, gold button blazer for the commute on a chilly September day (without rain in the forecast as otherwise you would look unworldly because wet sideways cause spots). The blue patent leather pumps, embellished gold and blue belt, and the structured blue off-white black bag give this menswear inspired outfit a feminine vibe.
    fashion blogger in business casual work outfit with white pants in fall

    midlife blogger in white boyfriend jeans with navy blazer, plaid shirt, and pumps in September
    Outfit details: Oliveo plaid button-down shirt, London Jean white boyfriend jeans, Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle, statement bag, Ray Ban sunglasses, L.K. Bennett navy blue patent leather pumps, and Vittoria navy blue blazer (all own)


  • White denim is perfect for winter when temperatures are so low that no splash occurs. In other words, under such weather conditions you can wear white in winter. So chic.
  • On days with temperatures way below the freezing point style white BF jeans or cream wool pants with red, oyster, shell or brown booties or pumps.
    style book author in American West casual work look of white jeans with brown shoes and suede blazer after Labor Day
    Orvis suede blazer, GNW sweater, INC leather pants, silk scarf, Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle, and Coach booties (all own)


  • White ankle boots are trend right now. Thus, getting a pair is the easiest way how to don the color after the end of summer.
    over 50 years old fashionista in wrap dress, pantyhose and downcoat with trendy booties
    Pantyhose, Fendi boots, baroque and triple-string necklaces, structured briefcase (all own), Akoya saltwater pearl necklace c/o The Pearl Source Inc., layering top c/o Halftee, downcoat c/o Happy Goat Lucky, and Samantha Brown faux wrap dress c/o HSN


  • The American Classic snow-white button-down shirt works year round when the temperatures permit wearing a shirt with a skirt or pants.
    posh chic midlife woman in black and white outfit after Labor Day
    White shirt, black studded skirt both c/o Misook, styled with own Max Mara boots, Chanel belt and necklace


  • Try different shades and hues of the color. A cream cashmere sweater or cardigan, leather jacket or a wool blazer.
  • 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.
    over 50 years old blogger in tall boots white leather jacket straight skirt
    Graham and Spencer motorcycle leather jacket, Brooks Brothers mock turtleneck sweater, Eddie Bauer tweed skirt, GNW tights, tall black Sanchez boots and statement necklace (all own)


    mature woman in long oyster leather coat with faux fur trim
    LeatherCoatsEtc red gloves and leather coat with faux fur details, Celine bag, Pavlova Russian scarf and Double H lace-up booties (all own)


  • Try a statement wool coat in milk or cream.
    mature lady in embroidered coat
    Embroidered coat, LeatherCoatsEtc gloves, Calvin Klein sheath, GNW tight, green wool beret, scarf (all own), and Musse & Cloud booties c/o Coolway


  • Look for a non-dyed Irish wool cable knit sweater.
    fashion blogger in white leather pants with cable knit sweater
    White Newport News leather pants with oversize cable-knit sweater, heeled duck booties, driver’s cap, statement necklace (all own)


  • Wear fall or winter dresses or sweaters that don the color or don it as an accent.
    over 50 years old fashion blogger in a cream dress styled for fall
    GNW tights with Nicole fall sandals (all own) worn with a cream dress c/o Lookbook Store and layering top c/o Adea


  • Go for a military inspired look with a T-shirt peeking out under a button-down shirt. Recall: Layering ups your style, and increases insulation for protection from the elements.
  • What about accessories like a hat, beret, scarf, gloves in the color? It makes a stark contrast to the standard dark coat wardrobe.
  • 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.
  • A blazer in powder creates a preppy style look.
  • over 50 years old style book author showing what pants go with a white blazer in fall
    Anne Klein blazer, Moda International leather pants, Harley Davidson booties, Great Northwest press button shirt, three string pearl necklace, brooch, Kieselstein Cord belt (all own)


  • Try a snow leopard or zebra prints or a polka dot sweater or dress with long sleeves.
    Sienna Studio leather skirt, dagwood flower bead necklace, Hermes collier de chien bangle, GNW tight, Harley Davidson booties (all own) and 3/4 sleeve zebra print v-neck Tee c/o Covered Perfectly


  • Hounds tooth or herring bone are great weaves that traditionally feature the color after Labor Day.
    mature woman looking chic in a hounds tooth skirt with down vest outfit
    Shearling cap, Be by Blanc Noir puffer vest, Kieselstein Cord belt, Banana Republic houndstooth pencil skirt, Brooks Brothers mockneck long-sleeve cashmere sweater, Hermes collier de chien bangle, GNW semi-opaque tight, and Harley Davidson booties (all own)


  • Try boot toppers with faux snow fox print on very cold days.
  • Try a 3/4 sleeve length jersey dress like the Victoria Beckham inspired dress below. Add fall color accessories like the tan bag, belt and shoes.
    style influencer in a sheath showing how to wear white after Labor Day
    mature blogger in Victoria Beckham inspired V-neck dress styled for work with tan accessories, sandals and bag

    blogger of High Latitude style in a body concious white sheath summer dress after Labor Day
    Lookbook Store, Longchamp satchel, Michael Kors sandals, Ray Ban sunglasses, statement necklace, Hermes collier de chien bangle, and Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle and Bulova watch


Wearing white after Labor Day is a Do, and not a fashion faux pas. #styletip Click To Tweet


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When Can You Wear White Pants in Winter

In Alaska, the best time of the year to wear white pants is when the temperatures are way below freezing. At these temperatures, there is no risk to get spots from splash. Furthermore, there is no risk of an unexpected rain shower like on a hot summer day. Even though there is a long history of why Americans wear white in summer that even led to the (old-fashioned) style advice handed down for generations,

Don't wear white before Memorial day and after Labor Day. #styleadvice Click To Tweet

for Alaska this style advice should be changed to

Don't wear white before Labor Day and after Memorial Day. #Alaska #styleadvice Click To Tweet


How to Style White Trousers in Winter?

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.

When wearing white jeans in winter go for light color with the shoes. Click To Tweet

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.


fashion blogger over 50 donning a casual winter look with white BF jeans and a cableknit sweater and Russian floral print wool scarf

casual cold season outfit with white boyfriend jeans and cable knit sweater
Outfit details: London Jean boyfriend white denim with Orvis Irish cable-knit sweater, statement belt, Söfft shearling booties, and Russian Pavlova floral print scarf with fringes, statement belt, Russian Pavlova wool scarf and Söfft booties (all own)


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 booties and legs of trousers will show under every outerwear. Thus, you best go with a season appropriate coat or jacket that picks up the color and vibe of the footwear. An alternative is to go for a different color and add accessories (gloves, scarf, hat, bag) in the color of the shoes, best if one or two of the items have all the colors in common. For illustration see the examples below. Read more about how to style your outerwear.


over 50 years old stylist in white boyfriends and fur coat in winter

winter coat styled over white pants and shearling footwear

style blogger wearing winter outerwear over white jeans
Striped coat with London Jean white denim, LeatherCoatsEtc gloves, Söfft buckle shearling booties, Pavlova scarf, vintage hat and Philip Lim 3.0 tote (all own)


Interested in more dressing tips? Then my style book “How to Dress for Success in Midlife” is perfect for you. Buy it now.


stylist in outerwear and hat with milk color trousers

stylist in plaid blazer, green turtleneck leather pants

style book author in Burberry blazer winterwhite pants, green sweater
Outfit details: Burberry wool plaid blazer with, Newport News leather pants, Brooks Brothers turtleneck sweater, statement necklace and earrings, Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle, Nine West plateau loafers, Michael Kors leopard satchel, statement belt with tiger eye buckle, LeatherCoatsEtc gloves, vintage hat, shearling coat, and Indian wool scarf (all own)


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. #Whiteafterlaborday Click To Tweet

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Photos: G. Kramm

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