The old adage of ‘no white after Labor Day’ no longer holds water. Fashionistas and trendsetters in the know don’t fall prey to such archaic beliefs. They beat to their own drum turning a cheek to the majority and shunning convention. Coco Chanel, one of the greatest fashion icons of all time, balked at the notion of banning white after Labor Day and made it a permanent staple in her wardrobe.
Historically, white garments were associated with a look of leisure reserved mainly for the privileged. They were a status symbol for the fortunate souls who were able to change their clothing with the season. Many of the well-to-do adorned themselves in white linen pant suits, light cotton shirts, and white Panama hats as they escaped their sweltering city dwellings for more appealing climates. When they returned from their vacations, they would deposit their summer duds and circulate a wardrobe that consisted of darker, heavier material.
Nowadays, we hold a different perspective. Rather than scramble through the closet searching for white dresses, white pant suits, white flowing tops, any significant white piece of clothing to get our hands on as a last ditch effort to make sure it is worn before the clock strikes midnight, we may regard the cleansing of our white clothing almost as a symbolic ritual. It is a purging of sorts that helps transition both mentally and physically from the light and carefree days of summer into the more industrious and diligent days that make up the fall season.
But white is, in fact, embraced and acceptable any time of the year. You’d be hard pressed to find a closest that doesn’t contain a white button down men’s dress shirt or a woman’s white button down blouse. These are one of the few essentials of every wardrobe paired beautifully with a pair of dark denim jeans and a blazer for a more casual look or worn with a tailored pant or skirt suit for a formal business meeting. It is one of the top items female executives will wear for their press photo presenting a no-nonsense look with a sense of approachability. White sneakers are also all the rage making their debut years ago by famous entertainers and athletes and still a mainstay in fashion, particularly the white leather variety which may be worn in summer or winter. And, let’s not forget winter white with its slightly creamier shade of white and heavier fabric which is very much on-trend in the winter months. The fashion magazines sing its praises and dedicate pages of styles after Labor Day to the cozy look.
So while we pay tribute to the laborers who toiled away in the trenches and stood on the picket lines fighting for their rights, step out this Labor Day with confidence wearing your white. Confidence is, after all, the number one accessory that is appreciated any time of the year.
And for all you wine and champagne lovers like myself, I raise my glass to you! Just a couple more whites that are savored and welcome all year long.