Rules for Wearing White: Breaking the Taboos

Can You Wear White in Winter?

If you were raised in the South, you were probably taught the rules for when it was acceptable to wear white. “No white before Easter or after Labor Day” was the usual guideline that women all over the U.S. followed for years and years.can you wear white in the winter?

Not any longer!

Fashion experts say you can break this dated rule and wear white any time of year as long as your make sure the material is seasonally appropriate. For example, wearing a white linen dress in winter is still a no-no, but wearing winter white in a chunky white wool sweater is perfectly acceptable and stylish.

So what or who created this fashion rule? According to fashion reporters, it began in the 1930s with the ultra-rich wearing white only in the summer. Light clothing gave the look of leisure, while dark clothing was mostly for working people. This idea expanded in the 1950s among the middle class. Southerners held to this hard and fast rule of no white before Easter or after Labor Day. Some say it’s a Southern thing, because it’s so hot in the South.

Now, wearing white after Labor Day is more widely acceptable, and it’s common to see ladies rocking a pair of white jeans late into September, especially in areas where the weather stays warm until late fall.

But what about wearing white before Easter? Do you really have to wait until then to wear white pants or shoes? Again, consider the weather. If it’s already in the high 70s where you live, wearing white linen pants or white sundress before the official Easter deadline is perfectly acceptable. But if it’s still snowing in April, hold off on the white linen until the weather thaws out.

When to wear white is ultimately a personal choice. But nearly all fashion experts say there is one hard rule of thumb—NEVER wear a white dress or outfit to a wedding unless you’re the bride!