The One Time of Year You Can't Wear White. Hint: It's not After Labor Day.

We’re all pretty big fans of breaking fashion rules around here. Tell me I can’t wear that silhoutte on my body, and I’ll have it on the next day. Tell me I can’t wear white after Labor Day…well, I might have to say, “You win. Kinda.”

I don’t really and fully believe that the whole “no white after Labor Day and before Easter” is a plausible thing. It’s pretty silly, but it has some interesting possible backgrounds.

I won’t go super into them, because no one wants a history class after high school. The gist of it is, some old, rich, white ladies decided they needed to separate themselves from the working class. So, they made some silly fashion rules that only they could feasibly follow, like no white after Labor Day.

Screw fashion rules, especially oppressive ones. I’m a big fan of wear what you want, when you want. Except for that one time of the year I absolutely hate seeing anyone wear white…

Fall

I’m no WASP, so I’m not trying to oppress anyone with this style opinion. That’s all it is, an opinion.

So, why do I believe you can’t wear white during fall?

(Which is technicallyyyyy after Labor Day)

Plain and simple: it just doesn’t look right. Hear me out. I am a big fan of white in alllll three other seasons. In the spring and summer a bright white is fabulous. It looks airy, signifies the new life and renewal, and it’s just a heck of a lot cooler to wear than practically any other color.

White in the winter is crisp and clean, and it almost looks warm when paired with cozy creams.

But, white in the fall? When you’re surrounded by gloomy days and dying plants? Something about it just looks plain wrong.

White is too much in the fall. But, I wouldn’t go so far to say as anything white is wrong. The worst offenders are white bags, accessories, dresses, and bottoms.

We do have to accept that some colors just seem more seasonally appropriate. I don’t feel appropriate wearing a flannel with white jeans. I just don’t. I feel like I got mixed up in some fashion time-machine and spit out in between two seasons.

The fall colors we all love so much: mustard, olive green, denim blue, rust orange, cranberry red, warm gray, black, cognac, etc…their saturated tones are too much of a harsh contrast when paired with white.

Let’s look at some examples, before you call the conspiracy theory police on me.

white-after-labor-day

OPTION 1: NOT OKAY

Everything about this screams “I don’t know what season it is!” to me. I like the look if it was worn in the winter, but probably with black shoes to complete the crispness of the white.

white-after-labor-day

Option 2: Reallyyy Not Okay

I love a good, feminine dress paired with a leather jacket, but not with a white one in the fall. If you live somewhere where you can get away with a leather jacket in the spring/summer, go for it! The eyelet detail on this dress reads especially summer to me.

white-after-labor-day

Option 3: Okay

I’m not a big fan of white as a whole in the fall, but it is much less jarring in small doses like a white tank or blouse paired with other fall colors.

white-after-labor-day

Option 4: Perfect

These colors just pop! against each other. The black is the perfect complement to rust. Blacks and grays are my favorite fall and winter neutrals.


Now can you see why I kind of can get down with that stupid, oppressive rule? I don’t support the original reasoning, but after thinking long and hard about my own fall wardrobe, I figured out why white was so difficult for me.

But Lauren!! I loveeee wearing white all the time.

That’s fine! It’s not my taste or my personal rule, but you make your own personal rules. I wear a ton of white, but in the fall I typically replace my white with a light or medium gray alternative. I love the gray jeans in option 3 as an alternative to white jeans or shorts.

If you’re truly, truly suffering without the white clothing, try wearing cream. This shade of white is warmer and more appropriate for fall.

As always, all style rules are up to you, but I find it fun to experiment with others rules and try and understand why a rule is a rule in the first place. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll break my own rule and throw on an all white outfit in the middle of October!

My Favorite Fall Pieces