Reasons behind the no-white-after-Labor-Day.....
Because Rich People Wore White. This
was one of the more intriguing reasons I stumbled upon. During that
whole Gilded Age period in American history (late 1800s, early 1900s),
wearing white was a symbol of One Percent braggadocio. At summer's
onset, the laborers who couldn't afford a 'vacation' because they were
too busy slaving away on crumbs in the tenements on the Lower East Side
would keep on the black, drab suits often seen in some of the earliest
photographs. While on vacation, the hoity-toity would bask in their
Standard Oil money by wearing white to distinguish themselves from the
flock and show off the privileges of knowing Nelson D. Rockefeller to
fellow caviar eaters. Nowadays, this top-down sentiment is similar to a
decked-out Mercedes Benz or a multi-million-dollar condo in SoHo. In
this sense, 'white' was seen as fashionable liberation... to those who
could afford it.
So, when Labor Day came around, the
elite's fun in the sun came to an end; September signified a re-entry
into the Dickensian society they had left behind in early June. Still
unsure if this is a smack in the face to the whole notion of collective
action and unionized power on Labor Day. But so is every Labor Day sale,
Over time, the emphasis on what the rich was
wearing shifted a bit as the progressive politics in the Great
Depression gave way to the rise of the suburban-hunting middle class.
Now, everybody could wear white! You didn't have to sit on a trust fund
or reap the profitable sweat and tears of child workers in Chicago to
buy a white tee or go on vacation. Leisure and Levittown were the Great
Equalizers. That doesn't mean we stopped caring about what the rich wore
at all times [insert E! Fashion Police joke from before].
2. The Time of the Season.
I don't like this reason because it doesn't have an overarching social
message like its predecessor but, what the hell, we're looking for the
Truth, not an Aesop fable. I also do not like this reason because it
makes no sense at all. Should I tell you what it is? Well..
white best reflects heat from the sun, it can be said that white is a
symbol of the summer (along with beaches, burning school textbooks,
outdoor music festivals, drinking on weeknights, fifteen layers of
sweat, A/C, etc.). It's a light color with light attributes: dark colors
are more associated with heavier clothing; hence the white tee and
anything and everything made by Hanes. With Labor Day as a mark of
summer's end, that would mean that all of the season's symbols must go
into hibernation as well. Voila... no white after Labor Day. Pea
coats look much better in dark colors, anyway.
what doesn't make sense is that 'white' is the first word that comes to
mind when someone mentions the word 'winter' to me. Snow, sleet, hail,
holiday lights, December, January, February, snowflakes, Santa Claus's
beard, dreidels, white people shopping like maniacs on Black Friday -
all of these things happen throughout the winter and have some sort of
'white' concentration. If anything, this logic tells us we should
all-out embrace white after Labor Day, simply for preparation of what's
3. Because Fashion Editors Said So. Before
the great urban sprawl westward, the people who dictated fashion trends
resided in New York - these were the forces behind Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan,
etc. As we all know, the Big Apple's climate is more or less the same
every year, with a hot summer, rainy fall, freezing winter and a
refreshing spring to start the cycle back over again. Well, since all
the fashion editors lived in New York, they produced magazine layouts to
reflect what they dressed in without the rest of the country's climates
in mind. This meant light whites in the summer vanished from the glossy
pages once the rain of autumn settled in. And that change in pace
usually happens around Labor Day.
Full Blog here
Do you adhere to the rule of not wearing white after Labor Day?
on Sep. 4, 2012 at 9:12 AM