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OK to wear white after Labor Day

Photo Illustration: Kayla Stroud/SPECTATOR

Written by Hunter Terrell, Circulation Manager

The leading American tradition of not wearing white after Labor Day, used to be more than the suitable; it was a social standard established in the late 19th century after the Civil War.

Recognized women of higher society, established this fashion decree to determine if someone was of a previous respectable title of results of new money.

Labor Day was recognized as a national holiday in 1894, rendering it as the closing for all summer trends.

Over the decades, this rule began to apply to every member of American society, with constant regard to social class.

Wearing white was reserved for weddings or an expensive summer getaway, not fall get-togethers.

“I like looking at old images of American upper-class women and their attire anyways. I can look at something taken during the summer and see women decked out in light colors and white, and then a winter gala, dark blue or emerald greens. It’s pretty remarkable how closely they followed fashion rules” Ashley Edwards, sophomore anthropology major, said.

When the 1950s introduced itself, fashion magazines made it clear to middle-class America that white clothing would come out on Memorial Day and end abruptly on Labor Day.

Popular figures tried to knock the fad, Coco Chanel being most recognized, was noted as wearing white year-round. After surviving bell bottoms and the later neon and shoulder pads, over the last two decades the no white rule has “dyed” down.

Scott Christian of Esquire magazine wrote, “The point is, times have changed. And with them, the antiquated notion that you can’t wear white after Labor Day. The truth is, even if your name isn’t Tom Wolfe, you can wear white any damn time of year you want.”

Trevor Parks, junior said,“I really did not know it was a thing until a teacher mentioned it in middle school. I don’t think people care as much now, so I guess that’s a good thing— we are becoming fashionably liberated.”

Now that we are in the middle of 2016, I do believe we should not have to adhere to such fashion/social standards. If I want to wear white pants or jacket a few days into October, then I will. Jaden Smith wore a skirt for Vogue magazine, and Lady Gaga continues to wear inanimate items as clothing. Fashion has pushed boundaries and there are trends that are making big comebacks. This generation is innovative and welcoming to any and everything that makes people’s style truly unique despite previous criteria.


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