Monday, August 29, 2011

Wearing White After Labor Day

My friend, Dorothy, and I were walking down the aisle at work when we ran into two other coworkers.  Ms. Paulette was decked out in her usual attire--all purple everything.  The lady that was with her, whose name I don't know, had on an all white outfit.  Dorothy told the lady in white that she looked nice and she responded, "Thanks.  I figured I'd go ahead and wear it one last time."  I smiled and nodded but I was thinking, huh?  The outfit didn't look like it was too little and about to burst at the seams so what was she talking about.

As Dorothy and I walked away, it finally dawned on me what the lady in white meant.  The Labor Day weekend is fast approaching and she wanted to wear her outfit before it became taboo to do so.

For the rest of the day I wondered about the "don't wear white after Labor Day" tradition.  I even asked some of my other co-workers what the big deal was.  I mean I had heard about it all my life but I didn't take it very seriously.  Heck my grandmother forbade me to wear red because she said it was the devil or Jezebel-like or something.  (She would smack me with her cane if she could see this red fro on my head, but I digress...)

I asked Sandra, who sits in the cubicle across from me, her opinion about the issue.  She said that since they make white winter clothes, including a leather white skirt set that a friend of hers has, she didn't see anything wrong with wearing white or pastels during the fall and winter months.

Three other female coworkers said that they didn't know where the tradition originated but they were always taught that it was safe to wear off-white, cream, and winter white (whatever that means), just not plain white.

I sat down and continued to work but the notion wouldn't stop nagging at me until I made up my mind to write this blog post.

Last year, I asked a young lady on Twitter about this "no white" thing.  I can't remember her exact words but I do remember feeling kind of dumb and backwoods-ish after she finished her spiel.

Sandra told me to just Google it so I did and found a number of sites that gave me a lot more info than I bargained for.  It talked about people wearing white during the summer to keep cool but not in the winter because it wouldn't keep them warm enough.  They also mentioned that they didn't want to mess up their white duds during the rainy and sometimes muddy months.  As I continued to read, I happened across another reason.  Back in the day, early 20th century, middle and upper class people used the "rule" to differentiate themselves from the poor underprivileged souls who weren't worthy of being in their hoity-toity presence if they didn't know about the only wearing white between the beginning of spring and Labor Day thing-a-ma-jig.  This had to do with knowing which fork goes with which dish too but I don't get that either. *shrug*

This all sounds like a bunch of bull... spit to me.

Personally, I wear any color at any time as long as its clean and not so tight I have to hold my breath most of the day to keep from bursting it wide open.  But hey, that's me.

What are your views?

Are you for or against wearing white after Labor Day?


Julie Butcher-Fedynich said...

I wear white but not white shoes, silly I know but white shoes end up an ugly mud brown and they're never quite white enough afterwards. I won't wear an entire white outfit ever because I'm not a bride or a marshmallow :D

Susie McCray said...


I never wear a full white outfit either because I eat messy sometimes and it'll just end up being a different color. I know what you mean about the white socks. I always have to buy new ones.