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Why Can’t We Wear White After Labor Day?

By Judy Collier, Features Writer

I often see the Twizzler commercial with the gentleman sitting on the beach, slowly chewing on his Twizzler, thinking “why can’t I wear white after Labor Day?” I love this commercial because I have been wondering the same thing since I was a child, and never got a good answer, mostly “Just because it’s the way it is!” Not good enough!

The tradition began in the 1800’s, and was started by the elite of society as a way to use fashion to distinguish those with money, and those without! When summer was over, typically on Labor Day, the affluent could afford to get out of the city and vacation where they often wore white clothing for it’s cooler properties. It was a sign of entitlement.

The “rule” was set that you couldn’t wear white after Labor Day if you couldn’t afford or have the money to vacation in the fall and winter. It was also a way to establish between those who had to work, and those who didn’t. Those who didn’t need to work could wear white because it didn’t get as dirty as someone who had to labor all day. Wearing dark colored clothes could hide the daily grit and dirt of the work they did. Wearing white after Labor Day back then was just showing off!

As with most fashion statements, rules are meant to be broken. Wear white year round if you have favorite white clothes that are appropriate for the season. Here in the mountains and valleys, there are no real fashion police! No one can tell you that you can’t wear white whenever you want. It is more about the fabric than it is about the color! There is nothing more attractive than either sex wearing a white cashmere cable knit ski sweater!

Even Coco Chanel wore only white clothing all year long. Emily Post agrees, you can wear white all year long. This author and volunteer at Angel’s Attic will be seen in white any time of the year, and I invite you to join me!

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