The Right to White

Happy Labor Day! Let’s play a game in honor of Amurika’s least-hated Monday.

Ready, set, go.

Never have I ever…

  1. Been a member of an exclusive group of vintage Mean Girls who wrote their own freaky dress code
  2. Been hip (or frigid) enough to own a coal-burning heating appliance
  3. Been a true-life member of NYC Prep and taken a casual end-of-Summer escape to the Hamptons, dahling

If you still have three whole fingers to spare (and hopefully a couple more to boot), congrats! You keep on keepin’ on in those white jeans of yours all Fall long, and I’ll tell ya why.

Time and again, Labor Day creeps up and bites me in the booty, announcing the sad conclusion of summer (although San Francisco seems to be having a seasonal identity crisis that led to some head-in-freezer action this afternoon), and the prohibition of all things white. And time and again, I wonder why. Who came up with this bologna and more importantly, where can I have a word with this sartorial dictator?

Feeling seriously peeved about banishing all of my bright whites to the dark depths of my wannabe walk-in closet, I decided to do a lil’ research about the history of this bogus “rule”.

Turns out that the mysterious tradition of jettisoning white from one’s wardrobe post-Labor Day has more than one lame root. According to the Interwebz, the most factual of all the sources, Queen Bees who’d managed to profit from Civil War activity established some considerably bossy rules to delineate themselves as hot shots, and white was a big no-go (rumor has it, neither were sweatpants on Mondays…God Karen).

Another source states that wearing white was avoided during colder months when shoveling coal into monstrous furnaces was a necessary evil (where art thou, Shout pens?). According to the polite Ms. Emily Post, the ban on white used to mark the end of the summer season for those who vacationed in the Hamptons in the early 20th century. Not sure if these fancy pants had staffs to paint their wardrobes 50 shades of fall by the time they returned, but come September a white frock was nowhere to be seen in all of the Big Apple.

Bottom line, rules are for ninnies, sissies, and squares, and I plan to wear and inevitably stain all of the white in my wardrobe until winter finally comes and temperatures plummet to an incredibly balmy 65°. If you’re wondering how to fashionably rebel against this dated clause, here are some looks I’ve put together to transform white denim from a summer staple to a perfecly fall-appropro piece.

white jean3

white denim1

white jean 4

white jean2

PS, not sure about you but I fully plan on committing to a head-to-toe white look tomorrow. Take dat, Labor Day.

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