Nugget of Knowledge: Wearing white after Labor Day


Len Rome's Daily Feature of Little Known Facts

(WYTV) – Labor Day has come and gone this week, but you can still wear white after Labor Day.

Yes, you can.

How did the rule start?

The wives of the super-rich ruled high society in this country after the Civil War.

By the 1880’s, these women felt they had to create dozens of fashion rules.

Breezy and expensive white dresses, white linen suits and Panama hats were considered the “look of leisure,” the vacation look.

The Labor Day, the first Monday of September, became a federal holiday in 1894, and it came to mark the end of summer.

Rich vacationers packed away their white dresses and summer suits in favor of darker clothing for fall. They were going back to the grimy cities, back to school, back to fall.

By the 1950’s, women’s magazines were telling middle class American women: take your white clothing out of storage on Memorial Day and put it back into the closet after Labor Day.

These days, the fashion world is much more relaxed about what colors to wear and when.

There is one more theory about putting away those white clothes.

White is harder to keep clean in the fall and winter.

Most fashion designers lived in the north, especially New York City, where all four seasons could affect your wardrobe.

And what designers said and designed, the rich wore: white in the summer.

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