Conventional wisdom says “don’t wear white after labor day.” Wearing white in the fall and winter months has long been seen as a fashion faux pas amongst older generations. While this guideline is certainly dated and is viewed more like a punchline in 2021, it does make us wonder how this “rule” came to be.
“Conventional wisdom” can sometimes have a questionable basis. According to an article in this author’s favorite fashion publication, Marie Claire, this rule of the fashion world could have snobby origins. The article by Chelsea Peng suggests that this guideline dates to the 19th century. The wealthy class would wear white to give the appearance of living a life of leisure, vacation, and travel while the working class wore dark clothes to hide the grit of the factory or farms. In the 19th century, work was messy and physical, and, by wearing white, the elites were showing that they were not among the working class.
There are, of course, practical reasons for wearing white. Nobody wants to wear a black tee-shirt in the July sun.
Here at Unofficial Networks, we don’t claim to be fashionistas, but we encourage you to go ahead and wear white this winter…if you feel like cleaning sap and beer off your white ski pants, that’s your prerogative.
Images from: Burton Menswear Facebook Page