No whiteout on white

August 13, 2014


For years, we’ve heard that tired old adage, “no wearing of white after Labor Day.” Thankfully, times have changed and this boring rule has disappeared.

But, how did it start and why did it last so long? Traditionally, wearing white in the summer was simply a way to keep cool. But in the 1930s, well-off city folk headed out of town to summer resorts wearing white linen suits and Panama hats. The practicality of wearing white had morphed into a status symbol of the wealthy.

So, by the 1950s, the “no white” dictum had turned into a hard-and-fast rule. One notable exception was Coco Chanel who wore white year-round and in the late 1960s was often photographed wearing one of her signature white suits.

This outmoded custom gradually eroded as America shifted from an elitist society where one adhered to tradition – to a more democratic one where individual tastes were deemed relevant.

Fast forward to today where no one looks askance at wearing white after Labor Day. One of the smart ways to approach this is whole subject is to consider variations of white, namely: cream, linen, bone, eggshell, champagne, vanilla and ivory.


A white top with sleeves and either a V-shaped or scoop neck paired with a blue blazer highlighted with snappy brass buttons makes a perfect outfit that’s offbeat and fun.

Or, how about this: a more casual white top teamed with distressed jeans. For total coolness, we believe the same top would look great with white jeans and a faded denim jacket making a classy transition from late summer to early fall.      

- Shaun

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