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Why Not to Wear White After Labor Day? These Could Be the Reasons

Why Not to Wear White After Labor Day
Don't wear white after Labor Day! Heard that 'rule' often, but don't know the reason behind it? Join the club. There isn't really a particular explanation as to why this tradition came to being. Nevertheless, let's see some of the factors that might be responsible.
Foram Mehta
Last Updated: Mar 11, 2019
Follow the Fashion...
Designer Coco Chanel didn't give a hoot about the no-white-post-Labor Day rule and made pearly-whites a permanent part of her wardrobe.
The summer is gone. Along with it goes the opportunity of donning the brighter and lighter colored clothes that we're all so fond of. Falling on the first Monday of September, Labor Day is supposed to mark the end of summer. According to historical fashion etiquette, people aren't really allowed to wear whites on any day between Labor Day and Memorial Day.
Thankfully, in this Lady Gaga-age, fashion rules are meant to be broken with unrestrained glee. So not many adhere to 'traditions' as far as fashion is concerned. Labor Day and no white is one such tradition. Let's explore its (apparent) origins.
Climatic Factor
Woman walking on road
The first logical reason is that white is a color to be worn in the summer. This is because it reflects sunlight.
Dark colors absorb light and in turn make you feel hotter. This same theory can be reversed and can be applied to wearing white in winters. White absorbs the cold and makes you feel colder than what you'd feel in darker shades. So basically, darker shades provide more warmth in winters.
Visibility Factor
Beautiful girl in snowing
Also, another reason that comes to mind is that, it is advised to wear bright clothes during the foggy period, so that you don't merge with the color of the fog and can be clearly visible to others around you. It's more like a safety code.
Cleanliness Factor
Woman holding umbrella in rain
White is one color that gets dirty very easily.
Winters are usually wet and cold, therefore anything white can get very dirty and will take a lot of time to clean. This is definitely a logical reason, but logic doesn't necessarily have anything to do with fashion every single time.
Class Factor
Another school of thought believes that this rule was made to 'sophisticate' the nouveau riche crowd. This growing class wasn't really aware of culture of the old-moneyed class and were looked down upon, when they wore white clothes for a casual event. This rule was probably made to teach southern migrants the dressing etiquette. Can this really be a reason?
This thought was strongly opposed by Judith Martin who is popularly known as 'Miss Manners'. She said that, "There were many little rules that people did dream up in order to annoy those from whom they wished to disassociate themselves. But I do not believe this is one of them."
Symbolic Factor
Another explanation behind this rule could be symbolic in nature. After Labor Day, the Navy swaps its white uniforms for blue ones. Additionally, the affluent class wore white when they vacationed in the warmer regions during winters. Hence, white was considered the 'color of leisure'.
Did you know...
In a 1994 movie, Serial Mom, the protagonist murders another character as a punishment for wearing white shoes post Labor Day!
Wearing white between Labor Day and Memorial Day, therefore, is no longer a social crime or a fashion faux pas. However, as we all know, old habits die hard. You might think twice before stepping out of your home in your white shoes during winter. After all, you cannot completely ignore the practicality of this rule.