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This guide shows you how to wear white after Labor Day, and look fashion-forward.



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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.



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.


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.


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



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.


zebra print Tee with leather skirt fall outfit
Sienna Studio leather skirt, dagwood flower bead necklace, Hermes collier de chien bangle, GNW tight, Harley Davidson booties, and Covered Perfectly zebra print V-neck Tee


You can wear the color all winter when you have a non-dyed Irish wool cable knit sweater.


fashion blogger in white leather pants with cable knit sweater
Newport News leather pants with oversize cable-knit sweater, heeled duck booties, driver’s cap, statement necklace


When living in the South, accessorize your LWD with fall color items like the tan bag, belt and shoes in the inspiration below.

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


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.


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 hounds tooth pencil skirt, Brooks Brothers mockneck long-sleeve cashmere sweater, Hermes collier de chien bangle, GNW semi-opaque tight, and Harley Davidson booties (all own)


White ankle boots are trend right now. Consequently, they are 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




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.

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
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. 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


Style white BF jeans or pants with red, oyster, shell or brown booties/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



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.


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


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


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.

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 cream statement wool coat.

mature lady in embroidered coat
Embroidered coat, LeatherCoatsEtc gloves, Calvin Klein sheath, GNW tight, green wool beret, scarf, and Musse & Cloud booties c/o Coolway



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 worn with a cream dress c/o Lookbook Store and Adea layering top


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.


Don’t let the right outfit be a random thing. Learn How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy my book now.



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.



casual cold season outfit with white boyfriend jeans and cable knit sweater
London Jean boyfriend white denim with Orvis Irish cable-knit sweater, statement belt, Söfft shearling booties, statement belt, Pavlova wool scarf, and Söfft booties


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.



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


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


style book author in Burberry blazer winterwhite pants, green sweater
Burberry wool plaid blazer with, Newport News leather pants, Brooks Brothers sweater, Kieselstein Cord belt, Nine West plateau loafers, Michael Kors satchel,  LeatherCoatsEtc gloves, vintage hat, shearling coat, and ethnic wool scarf


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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