Is it okay to wear white clothing items post Labor Day? The origins of wearing white only in the summer were more society based than fashion obsessed. In the good old days when it seems that folks had much more decorum, class, and might I add, dignity, men and women didn’t expose much in the way of flesh in public ever - let alone during the sweltering summers. Wearing white in the hot and humid months made sense, because white linen, cotton and silk fabrics were much more breathable than the traditional winter woven such as wool. Even etiquette columnist Miss Manners, Judith Martin, says, “Not only was there no air-conditioning, but people did not go around in tee-shirts and halter tops. They wore what we would now consider fairly formal clothes.”
It started as a fashion trend later on in the mid-twentieth century as popular magazines and trendsetters were based in big cities, like New York, which had changing seasonal climates. It gave fashion editors something to write about and promote as a trend. Thus the wearing of white only in the summer months became something of a rule not the exception. Valerie Steele, the director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, has been quoted as saying, “Very rarely is there actually a functional reason for a fashion rule.” Now that is something to think about. You know the drill; don’t wear brown accessories with black shoes and so on and so forth. Fashion’s arbitrary rules were always meant to be broken, and I’m going to show you how to do just that with my tips for wearing white year round.
What white items can be worn year round? Well, that would totally depend on the fabric. Heavier weights of fabric would lend themselves ideally toward year- round wear, such as denim, cotton, woolens and leather because that is how those fabrics were meant to function. A great pair of white jeans can be worn all year round. Depending on what you pair it with will mitigate the seasonal quality. For example, white jeans + colorful tank top + sandals is a summer go-to fashion recipe. While those same jeans + button down shirt + argyle sweater + woolen blazer + wingtip shoes could go the distance all winter, and be a breath of fresh, preppy air during those traditionally darker (in tonality) months.
It goes without saying that white sheer cottons and silks could be layered with other items during the cooler seasons, but not as the primary item of clothing. Makes sense doesn’t it? While at the same time woolen items like cable knit sweaters, scarves and all kinds of heavier “winter white” items should only be worn when the whims of the weather dictate their use. Follow that same kind of thinking with any shoe or accessory that is made of shiny patent leather, or any fashion item that just screams “summer time.” It will be harder to find a place for these at the “I can wear it year round” fashion table.No matter what, just remember that fashion and style is all about you and feeling happy with what you wear. There is no zip code, price tag, or location for fashionable attire, just common sense and the ability of said attire to be worn confidently. So go ahead and shop at the Goodwill store nearby for ANY item that you think might feed your stylish needs. After all, at our prices you don’t have to be dependent on the weather to pull off a cool look!