Up until recently, I didn’t know where I stood on the whole “white after Labor Day” debacle. On one hand, I get it; white reflects the most light, keeping you cooler in hot summer months. On the other hand, I actually like how it looks in a sea of navy and olive tones during cooler months.

Honestly, I was torn. Do I pull out my favorite pair of creme American Apparel Easy Jeans or not? I knew that perfect little answer was not enough to satisfy my curiosity. I still wondered how long people had been following this rule and if they still were. So with a little digging, I was able to discover the answer to these questions and lots more.

A Quick History Lesson

After the Civil War, an influx of millionaires made it nearly impossible to tell respectable families with old money, from those with vulgar new money. To weed out the inferior, women from these elite families created many obscure fashion rules. That way if a woman showed up to the soiree with the wrong sleeve length or improper skirt shape, the rest of society knew not to take her seriously. The rule was passed down over decades. By the 1950’s fashion magazines had capitalized on the idea, and it swept the nation.

The New Rules

As glum as things were back then, not everyone was bossed around by the high society. As a matter of fact, fashion icon, Coco Chanel was a regular rule-breaker who donned the color year round. “Fashion has no rules, dates or deadlines,” local Houston stylist to the stars, Derrian Marquise shares. And thanks to the emerging popularity of ‘winter whites, today the “no white after Labor Day” rule is pretty much antiquated. Layering shades of white to pair with various textures creates a fresh look. Marquise, who has styled for several high-profile clients in the entertainment industry, forecasts an edgy winter filled with white furs, skulls, and distressed denim.

So What to Wear?

Mix it up: Don’t be afraid to step out the white box. Layer colors like alabaster, cream, ivory, or eggshell for a combo that is fresh and feminine.


Material is Everything: Choose heavier material like wool or cashmere to complete your icy ensemble.


While you’re at it, pair different textures like fur and cashmere for an interesting contrast.


So there you have it, the once infallible rule is not nearly as important as it once was. The fashion world has completely redefined what it means to wear white after Labor Day, a trend definitely worth exploring in the coming months.

One thing’s for sure; I’ll definitely be channeling my inner Lisa Raye more often.

Brianna Drisdale


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