white attire after labor day

Post Labor Day attire: white on white with gold and gray accessories.

Post Labor Day attire: white on white with gold and gray accessories.

It is speculated that decades ago dark colors signified the working class, whereas, light colored fabrics and linens signified the leisure class or pursuit of such status in the summer months. Labor Day was the national declaration that the fun was over and everyone, children included, needed to pack away their summer attire, acquire a new, more serious wardrobe–and attitude–and get back to work. 

Somewhere within all of the striving for class distinction and the politics of work and leisure the idea was born that it was déclassé to wear white after Labor Day. Even Emily Post, the author of etiquette books first published in the early 1920s, supported this notion that informed our mothers’ decision to pack away the whites in the month of September each year. 

In 2004, thankfully, "Emily Post Etiquette" gave a thumbs up to wearing "post-summer white".


For those of us who love white and want to wear it year-round, Coco Chanel has long been the outlier. Chanel Introduced white as a year-round staple as far back as the 1920s. Thank you Coco! 

How to wear your whites:

• Layers of white-on-white in different hues can be lovely and ethereal. But if you are thinking white head-to-toe consider accessories in chestnut, cognac or gray. To make a bold statement add reds or blues to your whites and as you get closer to the holidays you can spice things up with metallics such as silver or gold.

• White jewelry with white jeans and a pale gray [ blush, brown, berry, black ] blouse or sweater is a great way to incorporate white into your year-round wardrobe. 

• Light-weight tops of any kind tend to be impractical in the fall and winter months so think of keeping your heavier whites out when the temperatures drop a bit. 

M, I love this shot of you with a warm white sweater and bright white jeans. 
P, growing up in Texas it was considered a HUGE no-no to wear white after Labor Day. So glad those days are behind us. 
M, we both know that all of our mothers from that era are cringing right now!

Let us know about your own experimentation with this style in the comments section below. Or you can send us a photo and email it to be added to fb page.