Wearing White After Labor Day

Thursday, September 03, 2009 | Tips & How-Tos, Uncategorized

While it’s been long said that you shouldn’t wear white after Labor Day, the origin of this fashion faux pas is shrouded in mystery. Originally intended only for dress shoes and pumps, at some point the “rule” was extended to include all white clothing. However, as newer generations of fashionistas continue to push the envelope, many are questioning the shelf life of this once summer-only color. Here’s the scoop on this white-hot topic:

White Shoes
With the exception of sneakers, most white footwear—especially open-toed shoes, sandals and flip-flops—should be retired after the first Monday in September. Besides clashing with the generally darker, heavier fall/winter wardrobe, these patently summer articles are often made of lighter material that’s simply unfit for the colder months.

White Tops
When it comes to white tops (and dresses), pretty much anything that can be described as strappy, stringy, beachy or breezy is out. (Same goes for anything linen.) However, heavier collared dress shirts and off-white sweaters (think oatmeals and creams) can lend a chic, smart contrast to darker bottoms. More often than not, the material—not the color—should decide what to save and what to stow away.

White Jeans
While some fashion experts insist that white denim is a summer-only trend, others claim it’s a year-round look—as long as it’s paired properly and worn in moderation. Matched with leather boots and a dark (read: black) sweater or blazer, white skinny or straight jeans (save the flares for summer) can create a sophisticated black-on-white look that even the strictest fall fashion police won’t question.