Wearing White after Labor Day: Why and How

07 Sep 2016

Have you ever wondered about the phrase, “Don’t wear white after Labor Day?” Well, today is your lucky day. Not only do we know the origin of that  divisive idiom, but we also have some modern and timeless ideas on how to navigate it.


The History

It would seem that since the dawning of our fine country, New York City has been the epicenter of women’s fashion and fashion rules. The wealthy elite in the city had the money and the power to dictate the height of fashion for the entire country, and they did so with gusto. The white after Labor Day rule came directly from these fashion elites in the early 1900s.

It would seem that this particular dictation had its roots in practicality--in the frigid winter months in Manhattan, coal was used to heat most homes and businesses. The ashes would float through the city, and land on people’s clothes, staining light colored items with dark ashy marks. Hence, no white after Labor Day, because it was then that the weather would start to change.

They took it one step further though by wearing only white in the summer. To escape the summer heat in the city, the wealthy would flock to the Hamptons, the surrounding beaches, and the mountains to enjoy the cool beach air. Not only were white clothes more practical and cooler, their entire wardrobe shift distinguished the American aristocracy from the rest.

And thus we have one of the most well-known fashion rules in the books. The real question now is, how much should you care about that rule? And what are some ways to break it tastefully? We’ve got you covered. Here are 3 of our tried and true tips.




heirloom model wearing an olive vest over a white long sleeve shirt

Add your favorite white winter vest to any outfit to warm up on those chilly days. Or flip the outfit inside out and wear a white shirt and spice it up with a colorful vest. Either way, the white of either the vest or the shirt makes a great combination for a snowy winter.




an heirloom model wearing a white cardigan

Cardigans are a jacket’s little sister. They can be cozy and comfy, structured and professional, trendy or timeless. Cardigans are a winter staple, so we recommend having a couple of different colors available to go with everything. Light greys, creams, and whites, are ultra versatile and go with almost any wardrobe. Invest in a cardigan or two that you really love; cute women’s clothes should be fun to wear, and easy to implement.



Layering Ts

Our specialty. A white shirt below a black jacket, a light grey long sleeve below a big navy scarf, a cream tank below a cranberry dress with a deep V neck. The possibilities here are endless, and so many of them include light and even white pieces. No need to be afraid of color in the winter, use it to spruce up the winter darks. Layering T’s are also a great way to stay on top of trendy clothes for women. While the trends may change, your timeless layering T’s will make sure your look is signature, no matter what the season.


We hope these tips helped! The real deal about whites after Labor Day is this: wear what is comfortable, convenient, and suits your style no matter what the season. Dress to suit you and never an old rule. We hope your winter wardrobe is perfectly colorful this year.

Happy shopping!



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