The summer is over and fall is here. Are you planning to put away your white clothes, or is it o.k. to wear white pants after Labor Day?
You probably grew up with the rule, “no white after Labor Day,” but that has pretty much gone by the wayside. This outdated way of dressing orignated in the 1800’s when wealthy city folk headed to their seaside summer homes between Memorial Day and Labor Day. White kept them cool in hot weather, and since it was not worn in the sooty city, white became a symbol of class and wealth. Once wealthy families headed back to work in the fall, white was retired until the following summer.
Of course, now anything goes, and it’s perfectly fine to wear white all year round. Some whites look more seasonal than others based on where you live. For example:
How to Wear White by Location
Florida, Southern California, or a tropical country or climate – You are fine to keep wearing your light, bright summer whites all year round.
East Coast, or in the Mid-West, or in any area with a colder climate. This is a little trickier. You can still wear white clothing but you are best to switch out the fabric. Put away white tops, dresses, and pants, made from light summer fabrics like linen, chiffon, and breezy cotton. Instead go for corduroy, cashmere, wool, denim, silk, or any type of white knit which is more suited to cooler temperatures.
Everywhere Year Round – A white shirt or blouse, or a soft, stretchy white t-shirt look great year-round, no matter where you live. (Check out my post on how to transition your white clothes into fall to see what I mean.)
How to Style White in Fall
1. Wear White Jeans with a Richly Colored Autumn Sweater
White jeans can easily transition into September by adding a rich autumn-colored sweater or top in colors like brick, burgundy, rust, plum, or brown.
2. Wear White With Black in Fall
Black and white look chic any time of the year. Team white or off-white jeans with a light t-shirt and a fabulous black poncho. Add some cool black and white plaid booties and a gorgeous black fall bag to tie the look together, and you’re good to go.
3. Create a White-on-White Fall Look
Varying shades of white from top to bottom in a mix of fall textures like denim and knit fabric create an elegant fall look. Honey nubuck-colored accessories ground the look in cooler weather.
4. Transition a White Dress into Fall
Some dresses can be transitioned into fall depending on the style and fabric. Try adding a fall-colored jacket to a white sleeveless knit dress and a pair of closed-toe shoes or booties. You could also try adding a long vest or a boyfriend cardigan. Sometimes you can even add a blouse under your white dress if it is sleeveless, but this is much trickier.
5. Ease into Fall with Off-White
Keep in mind that white in fall doesn’t have to be bright white. Soft white, ivory, or cream make your outfit look more fall/winter-like than stark white.
The bottom line is, if you’re struggling to make a white item work, it’s probably because it’s a summer white. You’re better off putting it away until it gets warmer!
What are your feelings about wearing white in the fall and winter? Do you wear it or do you have that old rule stuck in your head?