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Fashion moving forward: Is wearing white still in?

We are about two weeks post-Memorial Day weekend, which has been the official kick-off of summer post-pandemic!


It's so easy to get into traditions of "Don't wear white after Labor Day or before Memorial Day weekend. While growing up, I always wondered where this rule came from. I had family members who held very prestigious positions in the 30’s and 40’s and they'd pass down these notions to generations. I also had family members who weren't as affluent and I always wondered why they tried to "Keep up with the Joneses," especially if the people making these rules budgets didn’t match theirs.


So, let's do a little research.

 

Based on multiple reports, the "No white after Labor Day or before Memorial Day" came about as a status symbol. Just as the British purposely changed their accents to stand out from Americans, there's always something about the upper class always wanting to differentiate themselves. In the 1930's, given the new climate of America only being a generation out of slavery, this definitely surfaced in fashion when segregation laws were still in full effect separating the masses.


Throughout these times, it was popular and known in elite circles that the very wealthy only wear white in the summer. The rich felt that lighter colored clothes gave off a certain aesthetic, the look of leisure. Many affluent people deemed dark clothing to be mostly for working class people.


Others say the "No white before Memorial Da


y or after Labor Day" was due to the schedule of the very affluent, the people who were in a position to live a luxurious life and had vacation homes. When you think of vacation, one might think sun, beach, recreationa


l activities, etc. The wealthy adapted and adjusted their wardrobe to still reflect status and to literally go with the breeze.

 

I remember being 15 and vacationing in Mexico and several European countries and being so captivated by all of the fashion houses


and the fashion culture in general. Though I had already been in love with fashion because I had recently learned to sew, seeing the finished product and the look on some designers' faces is something that I will never forget. I met a designer in an Italian leather store and one thing I learned after speaking with hi


m is that though fashion carries many historical roots and influences, it is still largely opinion based: who is wearing what, what a person feels like wearing, and most importantly...INNOVATION.