Why I Wear White Past Labor Day, by Will Saunders
Happy Labor Day
Before I get into why I continue to wear white even after Labor Day, let me take a moment to explain why and how this antiquated fashion rule came into existence. Most people who follow this rule do so without understand the reason behind it, mindless puppets who follow the crowd. Sorry if that’s you, as you know I don’t mean to offend you. I’m just speaking the truth. If the shoe fits, wear it, you know?
Anyhow, as I was saying, why aren’t you supposed to wear white past Labor Day? There are dozens of sources of information on this topic. I’ll focus my energies on what I consider to be a reliable source. Old heads like me and VERY old heads who are older than I am, know well the reputation of Emily Post. Some of you enlightened not-so-old heads surely know of her too. She was the epitome of class and decorum: etiquette personified was her moniker. Sometimes called Miss Manners, she has written extensively on proper manners and etiquette, known primarily throughout North America. She was the go-to person on everything you can think of, including fashion.
Now that I have set the stage a little (you can search for info on her if you need more), let me tell you what she has said about wearing white after Labor Day. According to the Emily Post Institute, which maintains lots of Ms. Post’s writings, “City clothes were left behind in exchange for lighter, whiter, summer outfits. Come fall and the return to the city, summer clothes were put away and more formal city clothes donned once more. It was an age when there was a dress code for practically every occasion, and the signal to mark the change between summer…clothes and clothing worn for the rest of the year…”
Post goes on to say that it’s “more about fabric choice than color.” Back in the day, and to some extent still today, lighter colors were not as widely available in heavier fabric. But the bottom line is, if I like it and the attire is appropriate for the venue (irrespective of the color), I’ll wear it.
Wear what makes you feel comfortable. Wear what you want. That’s what I do. Yeah, there will always be a troublemaker in the crowd who will talk about you. Some will do so to your face, and if you’re one of them, I love you for it. Others will run and yap to anybody who’ll listen about how gauche your fashion tastes are and if that’s you, go drink a cup of tea infused with hemlock. j/k (LBVS)
I’ve learned to stop caring about what people think. Some of you know my departed father was an AME minister. I always listened to his sermons as if he was talking to me one-on-one, giving me spiritual advice. One of his most memorable sermons was titled “Pay No Attention to What They Say,” which was a message about being strong in your convictions regardless of those around you who talk about you and try dissuading you. Don’t listen to them. Just do you. That’s what I do, and that’s why – if and when I am so moved – I’ll wear white past Labor Day.