I’ve been saying this for years: the “rule” on whether or not you should wear white after labor day is a bullshit myth created in the 1800s to provide another avenue for elitism and women to tear each other down.
As I blogged about a few years ago, here’s a little history on how this very lame rule originated:
Sometime in the late 1800’s, women needed to find another way to exclude other women. So, they created a nonsense rule. “It’s not acceptable to wear white after Labor Day.” Now imagine this being said with a lot of vocal fry, “We only wear white for weddings and resort wear.” If women wore their white clothes for other occasions and/or after Labor Day, they were judged. They were viewed as “less than”, because they didn’t have other options. (Imagine what they would think of a capsule wardrobe.)
Here are a few reasons why I completely advocate for wearing white in the colder months and taking full advantage of this versatile neutral after Labor Day.
- Black and grey tend to dominate winter wardrobes. White and cream can give you a much-needed brightness or bit of variety while still rocking a neutral.
- In winter, you inevitably have to layer. Your gorgeous pieces can sometimes get a little lost if there are too many dark or jewel-toned colors going on. Having a few white pieces in your cooler weather wardrobe can both visually break up your outfit and draw attention to that gorgeous sweater, jacket, blazer, etc.
Here are some ideas pieces to incorporate into your cooler weather wardrobe
- Badass feminine white leather combat boots from AllSaints
- Or something a little more sleek
- Go all in on some Valentino boots to die for!!
White knitwear is tricky. There’s something about most of them that (to be fair) does echo beach or resort-wear, or can immediately feel kind of frumpy. Try buying a couple of white sweaters that have some kind of embellishment or edge to them, like:
- Cross-back white sweater for a gorgeous but still subtle accent.
- Just a little bit puffy Puff sleeve white sweater
- Or a slightly more dramatic and fitted Puff sleeve sweater.
White outerwear can feel like a big risk, but I’m obsessed with this cozy teddy jacket from Boden that you can wear as your primary cozy layer in the Fall, or layer under your heavier outerwear as it gets colder.
Try something like this knit midi skirt – perfect for staying cozy without feeling bulky. Wear with a sleek blouse or a darker neutral sweater.
There is so much you can do with a white shirt dress in terms of cold weather layering, and it feels a little more fun and modern than wearing a white collared shirt under everything.
- Love a fitted basic like this one
- This one has a bow accent to help cinch in your waist, or go without when you’re layering with a sweater!
- A little more shape to play with in this tiered shirt dress
For something more formal that doesn’t scream “wedding”, I’m obsessed with this caped sheath dress.
Blouses & Tops
TEXTURE! White is so perfect for showing off fun texture that can get lost with a darker neutral or a bold color.
- Check out this high-collared Swiss Dot blouse
- This perfectly draped statement shoulder blouse
- Fun and dramatic bow blouse.
And there’s so much that you can do with a white blouse that goes beyond a plain white collared shirt. This one can stay in your wardrobe year-round, or go for something fun like this cropped button-up.
Want to know more about the history of style?
If you’re interested in learning about style “rules” and how to break them, you can order my book We don’t do “just okay” anymore.