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- Article author: kimberly Ramey
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Growing up in the South in the land of debutantes and cotillions, I often heard the fashion rule of "No white after Labor Day." Another influencing factor comes from growing up in the nineties and watching "Serial Mom," the scene where Kathleen Turner beats a lady to death for wearing white shoes after Labor Day during her murder trial, literally put the fear of God in me to never wear white. But where did this crazy rule originate?
A few theories have been developed over time, but they pretty much boil down to two distinct points: "it's kinda rich people's fault" to "it's ALL rich people's fault." And let's be honest here... like most things are in life. 😝 There are a couple schools of thought circulating over the decades: Some deduce that the white clothing was worn due to the lack of air conditioning in the summer months (logical); others blame the rise the Gilded Age and summers in the Hamptons (think The Great Gatsby); while a few posit that it was an earlier segregation in New York's high society (old money from the nouveau riche- Think Titanic's Molly Brown). Either way, the rule came from New York and the fashion editors that lived there and dictated fashion to rest of the country....so imagine my surprise when I learned that this came from New York and not handed down from Scarlet O'Hara.
Luckily, Fashion has changed, Kathleen Turner!! You can wear white all year around- thanks to Coco Chanel, who broke this rule by instituting a year-round white ensembles circa 1920! Over the past couple decades, this rule has went out the window. Even Emily Post’s Etiquette, 17th Edition, gives approval for wearing white after Labor Day. Just one minor guideline when wearing white during the winter months- it's all about the fabric! When wearing white, steer toward more luxurious fabrics such as a thick cotton, wool, or cashmere which will add a streamlined element to your all-white outfit or create a stunning contrast when paired with other colors. But when in doubt, you can always rely on a cream color, which be worn all seasons and go with most skin tones.
Here are a few of our favorite white or cream pieces....