In Canada and the United States, there has been a long held fashion ‘faux pas’ that says, “Don’t wear white after labour day.” or “Don’t wear white shoes after laboir day.” Even though fashion has been trying to change that thinking, there are still so many people who gasp and tell others, “Why are you wearing white after labour day?” Do you even know why that fashion rule even began?
Well for those who don’t know one of the main reasons behind this rule comes from the late 1800s-early 1900s. During this time the rich, wealthy social classes would always wear white during the summer months. It was a social status marking that they could afford to change their wardrobes when the weather changed and they went on holiday. The poor lower classes, could not afford to do so and continued with wearing their dark colours. As the fall season returned the rich would resume wearing their darker colours leaving the white behind for the next summer season. This was a clear and obvious indication of who was of the upper class.
This became a normal practice and soon fashion publications adopted this as a rule. Editors of powerhouse magazines like Vogue declared it a fashion rule and thus the masses followed and accepted this as a golden rule. For decades since, people have accepted the idea of not wearing white after labour day.
I believe in wearing clothing based on the climate and temperatures rather than colours for a season. We’ve seen designers present ‘winter white’ in their collections so clearly the fashion industry isn’t opposed to the idea of wearing white after labour day. The key is in selecting fabrics suitable for the climate. You certainly wouldn’t wear white linen, chambray or lightweight cotton whites during sub-zero temperatures of winter. That wouldn’t make sense. Opt for lightweight wools and blends when wearing white in cooler seasons.
When it comes to white shoes, the obvious reason to avoid it would be during the winter when the snow, slush and salt mix with the dirty roads make for a difficult situation in keeping your shoes clean. We all know how hard it can be to keep white clean. You have to take extra care to maintain them. If you’re up for that go ahead, get a white pair of boots and a bottle of shoe cleaner.
At the end of the day when it comes to personal style you should wear what you’re most comfortable in and is wearable for the time of year.
So to answer the question yes wear white after labour day.