Archive for August 10th, 2016

No White After Labor Day?

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016


The rule that you shouldn’t wear white outfits before Memorial Day and after Labor Day has been around for a long time. And while people don’t really pay attention to it these days, it keeps hanging around. So where did it come from, and does it matter anymore?

In the nineteen 00s, 10s and 20s… the summer season was bracketed by Memorial Day and Labor Day. Society came in groups to escape the heat. City clothes were left behind in exchange for lighter, whiter, summer costumes. Can you imagine those huge, thick dresses the ladies had to wear? Ugh! Come fall and back to the city, summer clothes were put away and more formal city clothes too over once more.

The wives of the super-rich ruled high society with an iron fist after the Civil War. As more and more people became millionaires, though, it was difficult to tell the difference between old money, respectable families, and those who only had vulgar new money. By the 1880s, in order to tell who was acceptable and who wasn’t, the women who were already in the “it crow” felt it necessary to create dozens of fashion rules that everyone in the know had to follow. Not wearing white outside the summer months was another one of these silly rules. So we are the blame these stuck up rich women for creating this non-sense!

I think the ultimate answer to any of this is, wear whatever you want, because we are making up the rules now!