As the old rule goes, now that Labor Day has come and gone, we’re all meant to pack up our white outfits and put them away until next spring. It’s one of those mandates you learn very early on, but are never quite sure where it originated from — or why. Proving that seasonless style has taken over, fashion insiders no longer adhere to those tired old rules, rocking white pieces long past the standard due date.
The “no white after Labor Day” rule comes from curious and often disputed beginnings. Some say it was born out of function before air conditioning was invented and people had to rely on sun-reflecting colors and fabrics to stay cool. Others say it was a way for the ultra rich to differentiate themselves from the poorer working class (who lived in dirty cities and wore darker colors) and also from the dreaded nouveau riche. If you could afford to escape from the urban environment for the summer, you could afford to abandon your dark clothes until it was time to return to city living in the fall. Whatever the actual reason, we’re happy to see the style statute fading into oblivion.
If it feels less than natural to wear white after Labor Day, that’s OK. To get you started on the road to fashion freedom, we’ve rounded up 12 expert street style executions that will give you guidance — just click through the slideshow ahead.