White After Labor Day? Yes!!

How many times have you been told not to wear white after Labor Day? I’m sure plenty of us have heard that from our mothers and grandmothers, but it’s no longer considered a fashion faux pas. So, yes, you can wear white after Labor Day. Now, some of you may get flak from your mothers and grandmothers, but it’s a risk worth taking.   Sometimes old rules are worth breaking.


When I was younger, I can remember shopping for my Easter outfit which most times included white shoes. My sisters and I wanted to dress alike so we had to find the right outfit and shoes for all of us. But, even as young girls, we knew that come Labor Day, no more white shoes or white dresses. My Mom would make us put them away until next summer.

Joyce Chevelle Deborah(18)

I love white so as an adult I have always worn it year round and of course I hear people saying, “So, I can still wear my white shoes?” or “I put away all of my white dresses, because I didn’t want to be made fun of.”


Maybe we should start with a little history lesson about how this trend started. While no one is completely sure exactly when or why this fashion rule started, our best guess is that it had to do with snobbery in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. As more and more people became millionaires, it was harder to tell the “old money” which was considered more respectable, from the “new money” which was considered vulgar. In order to tell who was acceptable, the women decided to make fashion rules that everyone had to follow. That way if a woman showed up at the opera in a dress that cost more than most Americans made in a year, but the sleeves were the wrong style, other women would know not to give her the time of day.

Not wearing white outside of the summer months was one of those silly rules. White was for weddings and resort wear, not dinner parties in the fall. Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894 and society adapted it as the official end of summer fashion.

Not everyone followed this rule. Coco Chanel wore white year-round. CoCo also launched other huge fashion trends that are still popular today such as, wearing female trousers, the women’s business suit, wearing large costume jewelry, and the little black dress. Clearly, her opinion can be trusted. Even though this rule was originally adapted for a few women, it eventually was accepted by everyone else. Women’s magazines made it clear that white clothing came out on Memorial Day and went away on Labor Day. These days the fashion world is much more relaxed about what colors are worn when.



The rule is especially ridiculous considering nowadays, all rules are going out the window. Patterns on different patterns, jean on jean, solid colored outfits, and solids on different colored solids, the possibilities are endless! So don’t limit your clothing options this winter. Break out your white pants and white turtle neck shirts. Don’t be afraid to mix summer and winter pieces.


The trick is in how you wear your white clothing and accessories. As the weather gets cooler, go for fabrics that are a little heavier in weight and blend white with stronger colors. If you choose to wear all white, wear a winter white, which is a creamier white. Light, inherently summery textiles like white eyelet, linen, canvas, and seersucker will look out of place during fall and winter, so be sure you’re reaching for white wool, denim, cashmere, fur, mohair, flannel, silk, and leather. The combinations are endless. Below are some examples for you to consider.

How to Wear White after Labor Day:

Wear white with your favorite statement-making, bright-colored pieces that will provide you with the perfect foundation with which to steal the show.  These strong colors really stand out against the white.


For a bold winter look, wear bulky sweaters in white or winter white.


Wear white with leopard print.  I’m a leopard print girl, so leopard with anything works for me!!


Where white jeans with a sweater or a jacket


Add white accessories to your outfit, but nothing too light weight


Blue jeans and a white button down are always classic.  It can take you to the grocery store, PTA meeting or dinner with a friend.  This look is very versatile.


Add boots.  The boots can be of any color, that go with your outfit.


Wear all winter white.  Add accessories of another color to tone it down a bit.


Pair white with leather. Nothing says fall like leather.  These outfits are perfect for late September early October, when the weather is starting cool down.


Wear white with faux fur.  The faux fur lets everyone know that you ARE aware that the weather has changed, but you are not afraid to rock your white pants.


Remember that your style should be consistent with the weather.  You may not want to wear white on a day when it is storming outside.  This fall take it as a challenge on how you can include white in your wardrobe.

Post Dramatic Stress Disorder

I’m old school. As in school was roughly 30 years ago…(yeah, right, roughly.) Some people are always right there grabbing the ‘ol brass ring and embracing the new. Change is a type of adrenaline surge for them, and they are always up on the latest thing. Me, not so much. A DeLorean could blast me back to the past–anytime in the 1900’s–and I’d be good. (You’ll notice I didn’t go back further.)


I’m like an old granny…”What’s that new-fangled contraption you got there?” (an iPhone.) Well, that’s an exaggeration, but not far off the mark. I’m a foot dragger when it comes to doing/learning new things. Like technology. Technology….well, to be honest, electronics in general…intimidate me. Hand me a phone, tablet, or laptop, and I think either it’s the all powerful wizard behind the curtain who can grant any wish my heart desires, or I plunk out the basic tasks I’ve been using technology for in the last however-many years, never utilizing any capability higher than looking up recipes or checking email. That’s not to say technology hasn’t been life-changing for me, it has! I now bravely go where I’ve never gone before and recycle the phone book the day it arrives (you heard me right–from my doorstep to the bin). So liberating! Because I can find T J Maxx by looking in my magic phone, which will then give me magic directions. And sometimes when the stars are in alignment the GPS lady will even speak the directions out loud! Sometimes we have a fight, and sometimes one of us curses…but she’s working on it.

Needless to say then, but I’m sayin’ it anyway, I’m kind of a dork. I’m way behind the times when it comes to social media. The fact that I even have a (new) blog is a wonder to me. I do have Facebook. And I’m now “Linked In,” (whew, what a relief!) I don’t tweet and I don’t Instagram. Too much, too soon, people! Technology is a modern miracle though. I can FaceTime or Skype with my favorite (only) grandson. See him in real-time, doing what he does. So I’m there for the dailies. His world started out with technology, so if you hand him a phone he will look at the screen and start a toddler conversation, waiting for a talking head to appear. (not the cool singing kind) When my youngest son was on a mission for two years, email on Mondays was a blessed thing! I experienced the same sense of anticipation that I had getting a letter from my grandma while I was growing up. So in the words of a favorite song from Napoleon Dynamite, yes, I love technology. (It’s just not the same without Kip singing it.) My beef with technology is of a human nature. As in: it is human nature to use social media to share and over-share, boast and brag, criticize and critique, politic and propaganda behind the “curtain” of anonymity that technology affords. And with that chocolate mess comes addiction. Not only addiction to posting everything from the mundane to life’s glories, but an addiction to tuning in every day like a soap opera to see what everyone else is doing, saying, reading. So we become voyeuristic about our lives. Peeping and stalking toms of the Internet. That’s not healthy. That’s not social. And most of what’s out there is not even media!

social media

My daughter and I saw the wonderful play Wicked. In the play, Glinda the good takes on unpopular roommate Elphaba as her new project. As she warbles out a catchy tune called pop-u-lar, in her own do-gooder way Glinda is trying to sell Elphaba on the merits of conformity. The rah-rah-cheerleader, beauty queen, superficial-worlds view of popularity. Elphaba doesn’t fit the mold. She’s a braniac, she doesn’t so much care for others opinions of her, and oh, yes, she’s green. There is that. So to blonde, effervescent, pink-forever Glinda, she must somehow be “wrong.” Glinda is good. She is well-intentioned. She wants Elphaba to be the “right kind” of popular, “her” kind. She just doesn’t get that Elphaba is exactly who she is supposed to be. It’s okay to be an Elphaba, and it’s okay to be a Glinda.


The who’s who of social media would pressure us otherwise. As Glinda-like posts roll across our feed, there are lots of Elphabas out there. Although not necessarily malicious in intent, posting personal, embellished, pseudo-glamourous details of daily life makes it a social-media popularity contest- just like high school, only it’s NOT real life. But it does create real-life problems. It can be exclusive, rather than inclusive. Instead of feelings of connection and self-worth, it can warp into self-involved and disconnected. As selfies and parties and sleepovers and activities are paraded out day after day it can lead to feelings of inadequacy, depression, and sadly, bullying. In the hit musical, Glinda sings to Elphaba, “You’ll be popular-Just not quite as popular as me!” and that sums up much of what is wrong in the world of social media. The lie that for you to be successful, someone else has to be less-than. The lie that the right clothes, car, school, job, or popular friends are most important in the big scheme of things. The world lies to us. But we know better. Wicked is the sister story to The Wizard of Oz. Dorothy took quite a journey, only to realize she always had the power. The lion, scarecrow, and tinman learned the same thing. They were enough all along. They just had to believe it. On the other hand, the “wizard” who wielded all the power in Oz, turns out to be just a man behind a curtain, a grandiose man with no real power whatsoever. Smoke and mirrors.

There is much out there in social media that is good. I love being able to re-connect with old friends, and share in festive moments like new babies, graduation pics, weddings and other milestones. I enjoy blog posts, uplifting sentiments, recipe shares, and silliness on Facebook. I like grumpy cat and clever meme’s and life hacks. I am so grateful I didn’t grow up with the added pressure of social media where it is easy to feel measured and found wanting. Blue, stop-sign-shaped glasses, acne, braces, and a white-girl fro would not have survived Facebook scrutiny, I’m afraid. Oh, and did I mention the head-gear?

Recently, I coined my own phrase for all the hoo-hah and hullabaloo on social media. I call it “post dramatic stress disorder.” The “disorder” being that as folks “post” their “drama” I am “stressed!” There is a remedy for my problem. I’m just three-ruby-slipper-heel clicks away from a social media vacation. Unless there’s a flying house, in which case, you know I’m taking a picture and posting it on Facebook!


 “It’s good to see me isn’t it…no need to respond, that was rhetorical”