How to Wear White After Labor Day

With the passing of Labor Day comes the end of summer and wearing white, right? Wrong! Just because the first Monday of September has come and gone doesn’t mean you need to pack up the grill and your carte blanche clothes.

Latease Lashley, founder and fashion personality of Creatively Speaking in Baltimore, shares some stylish secrets for incorporating white into your wardrobe after the holiday.

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“Tell grandma to clutch her pearls because the traditional fashion ‘rule’ of not wearing white after Labor Day is so passé,” says Lashley.

To further demonstrate her point, Lashley points to celebrities who’ve been known to break the rule from fashion icon Coco Chanel, who was known for donning classic white suits year-round, to first lady Michelle Obama, who made fashion history at the  2012 Inaugural Ball  in her stunning white chiffon one-shoulder gown adorned with snowy appliques and beading by Jason Wu.

So how did this antiquated rule come about, anyway?

“The ‘rule’ may have originated from the Victorian echelon under the notion that the color white was a status symbol for new members of the upper and middle classes in the late 19th and early 20th century,” says Lashley. “But whoever is responsible for this myth, it is clearly outdated. It’s 2013!”

Want to know the best way to wear white after Labor Day? Here are a few tips from Lashley:

Shady: From crème to offwhite to eggshell, look for a shade of white that best suits your skin tone and makes you pop.

Don’t overdo it: Trade in your summer Great Gatsby white suit and accent your black monochromatic suit with winter-white accents, such as a winter white scarf for men and stackable crème and gold bracelets for women.

Attitude: While some people may raise an eyebrow to your look, wear it with confidence knowing that you are stepping out with great style and clearly not guided by rules of the dark ages.

When the weather gets a little cooler, Lashley suggests looking for winter-white capes, coats and leather whites.

“White is a great transitional color that crosses seasons seamlessly from a crisp white blouse that is a closet staple to a crème chunky sweater, ivory belt, white booties or a pearlized scarf,” she says. “Break the rules: go edgy with a white leather motorcycle jacket or casually chic with an ivory blazer paired with dark trousers. Go classic with a LBD with the season’s signature accessory- a white clutch bag and hit the town.”

Avoid becoming a fashion don’t by ditching bright and/or floral undergarments while wearing white and opting for black or flesh-toned. “Your unmentionables should be unmentionable,” says Lashley.  

“Simply put, white is hot. The color, in its variations works on most skin types and always reads: pure, timeless and comes across chic if you know how to pull it off,” she says. “Wearing white after Labor Day is like wearing black to a wedding. Everyone is afraid to do it, but you will stand out, in a good way, if it’s done right.”