Social Norms

Why Aren't You Supposed To Wear White After Labor Day?

They say you shouldn't wear white after Labor Day. But who are "they," and why not? Apparently, no one knows for sure why or how this fashion rule started, but there are several likely theories. Many people believe that Labor Day, which lands on the first Monday of September, signifies the end of summer. One origin theory for the fashion "rule" says, simply, that white clothing should only be worn in the summer, and once the season passes, those clothes should go away.

But some theories are more specific. Mental Floss reports that this trend may have started in the late 1800s, when the wealthy members of high society were looking for a way to distinguish "old money" from "new money." The story goes that wealthy folks who came from old money put the rule in place so that if they saw someone in fancy white clothing after Labor Day, they knew that person came from new money. The "rule" has been repeated again and again, and is still observed by plenty of fashion-conscious individuals, but that doesn't mean it must be followed. (If there's one true rule of fashion, it's that there are no rules!) Watch the video below to learn what Coco Chanel thought of this fashion rule.

Why Can't You Wear White After Labor Day?

Turns out, no one really knows.

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The Mysterious "No White After Labor Day" Rule

It's likely just based in snobbery.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. One theory behind the "rule" of not wearing white after Labor Day is that affluent women in the 1800s designated white as a "summer uniform." 01:22

7 Outdated Fashion Rules

You can wear white after Labor Day, and your shoes don't have to match your belt.

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Written By Curiosity Staff September 1, 2016