Author Topic: White after Labor Day  (Read 2114 times)

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DuBois

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White after Labor Day
« on: September 26, 2011, 03:32:43 PM »


Ok, I have read this rule once or twice on here, and I am confused by it. Is it a real rule of etiquette, ie, would people give you odd looks in the US if you wore white in late September? Or is it an outdated rule? Sorry if it seems a really stupid question, but it has been bugging me!

Yvaine

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Re: White after Labor Day
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2011, 03:43:49 PM »
It's not so much an etiquette rule as a fashion rule, and it's becoming more and more commonly broken, and I don't think you'd get any weird looks if it were still hot out. It's a "rule" like "don't mix plaids" is a rule, not a "say please and thank you" kind of rule.

jibby

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Re: White after Labor Day
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2011, 05:09:21 PM »
What Yvaine said.  :)  It's 60 degrees F today, but is supposed to be in the low 80s by the weekend.  I probably will wear my white city shorts one day bc I have one top that looks great with it, and I refuse to accept that winter is fast approaching.

Also, a lot of people seem to now interpret the rule more toward fabric.  So, a white sweater is fine, but a white linen skirt might get one or two odd looks.

Pinky830

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Re: White after Labor Day
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2011, 05:16:11 PM »
A generation ago in very conservative areas like the rural South, wearing white after Labor Day was considered a faux pas. It's not really true anymore.

Thipu1

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Re: White after Labor Day
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2011, 07:41:23 PM »
I grew up in lower NYS during the 1950s and 1960s. 

As I understood it, early September was the time to put away white shoes and white purses.  White dresses were also discouraged.  No matter how hot it got, September was the time to wear 'dark cottons'.

There was always the 'winter white' dress that was appropriate for holiday parties.  The dress was always made of a fine wool.  The winter white was more of an of an ecru  or egg-shell color than pure white.  For the festive season, it was always adorned with a colorful piece of costume jewelry.  Winter white was always worn with black or brown shoes and a matching purse.     

VorFemme

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Re: White after Labor Day
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2011, 07:52:29 PM »
Winter white is more of an off-white than the snow white worn for summer.

Why white sandals and shoes are worn when you are outdoors more I have no idea.  Maybe just because white linen and cotton are "cooler" than darker colors? 

I haven't quite put away my summer clothes - Houston is no longer 100 degrees F plus (high fever for the metric minded) but it is still hot enough that my glasses slide down my face on a film of sweat when I bend over outside...............

The white sandals and other shoes are put away.  I don't own any white purses.  But the black, brown, and bone sandals are still comfortable in this heat...........

SHOES will come out after it cools off a little more - or maybe after the first of October..............
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crella

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Re: White after Labor Day
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2011, 07:55:19 PM »
I thought it just applied to shoes and purses, but I could be mistaken.

kitty-cat

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Re: White after Labor Day
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2011, 10:47:33 PM »
I always thought that the "no white after Labor Day" rule came from there being no way for it to be really cleaned after fall started what with rain and mud.




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jmarvellous

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Re: White after Labor Day
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2011, 01:16:30 AM »
Yeah, it's almost October and I wore a ruffly, bright white cotton skirt in the last few days ... and it was well over 100 degrees. I make no apologies.

I don't really know many people who wear bright white (as opposed to cream or other, more nuanced shades) once it actually gets cold out, but I wouldn't be shocked if I saw it done in otherwise appropriate clothes.

demarco

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Re: White after Labor Day
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2011, 06:21:49 PM »
I thought it just applied to shoes and purses, but I could be mistaken.


Me, too.  I can remember one of my "friends" pointing and laughing her head off when I showed up with white shoes prior to Memorial Day (back in the 1960's) but people wore white blouses and sweaters all winter long. 

JoW

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Re: White after Labor Day
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2011, 07:32:28 AM »
According to my 80-year old mother the rule is no white SHOES after Labor Day.  The rest of your clothing can be white, but you can't wear white shoes in the fall, winter, or spring. 

My mother is the enforcer of this rule.  As long as you never run into her you can dress any way you want. 

zoidberg

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Re: White after Labor Day
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2011, 07:46:52 AM »
According to my 80-year old mother the rule is no white SHOES after Labor Day.  The rest of your clothing can be white, but you can't wear white shoes in the fall, winter, or spring. 

In that case, I'm in the clear. I have an unhealthy hatred of white shoes and therefore never ever wear them. I wore red shoes with my ivory wedding dress.  :)

Thipu1

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Re: White after Labor Day
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2011, 10:40:26 AM »
If the weather is warm enough, I don't think there's any real prohibition on wearing white.  Certainly, it's perfectly acceptable when visiting the Caribbean in January.

I do have a somewhat humorous story about an acquaintance who spent a summer holiday in Vienna during the early 1970s.  As was the NY fashion of the time, she did her sightseeing with a dress, white shoes and a white purse.  She was disturbed to find that the men of Vienna were extremely forward in pushing their attentions upon her. 

A sympathetic desk clerk at her hotel clued her in.  At that period in Vienna,  a white purse and white shoes was shorthand for a street-walker.  You can bet she started wearing other color shoes very quickly and enjoyed the rest of her holiday in peace.

Twik

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Re: White after Labor Day
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2011, 10:37:30 AM »
Yep, just shoes. (And Emily Post circa 1960s said that this rule is relaxed in "resort areas".) You also were not supposed to wear black shoes during the summer, although shiny black patent leather was OK.

Presumably, the point was that it was sensible to wear light-coloured shoes in warm weather, darker ones in cool weather. Why it became an etiquette rule rather than a fashion one is obscure.
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holly firestorm

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Re: White after Labor Day
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2011, 02:01:47 PM »
Definitely it used to be a rule.  Now, people are more practical.  We just had a heat wave last week.  Summer clothes made perfect sense!  Any color.