We’ve all heard the adage “You Can’t Wear White After Labor Day” and despite really not knowing where it came from, some of us blindly follow it. But why? For us, white is a very summery color, and here in Miami, why not rock white bikinis all year long? For example some of our favorite pieces of designer swimwear are white. Also, hello, white t-shirts are a fashion staple nowadays.
But for some the “white-after-Labor-Day” rule has long ranked in the fashion world. Why? Where did this rule come from?
One common explanation involves practicality. For many many years, wearing white in the summer was simply a way to stay cool. Air conditioning was non-existent, and most people did not run around wearing crop tops or heck, bikini tops with jean shorts. People wore more formal clothes, and since white is of a lighter weight, it just made sense.
But beating the heat became fashionable in the early to mid-20th century. In the hot summer months, white clothing kept New York fashion editors cool. But then comes fall, which introduces chillier climates and heavier rainfall, and wearing white just didn’t make much sense. (Imagine walking to the train in a pair of white pants and passersby are trampling through mud and puddles and……gasp, they didn’t carry Tide To Go pens.
This explanation surely makes sense — but that’s exactly why it may be wrong. “Very rarely is there actually a functional reason for a fashion rule,” notes Valerie Steele, director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Another speculation toward the “white-after-Labor-Day” rule involves some sort of symbolism. In the early 20th century, white was the uniform of choice for upper class Americans who shed their colder, heavier clothes to dictate their class. Light summer clothing provided a pleasing contrast to drabber urban life. In New York in the 1930s, many of the lower class fashion involved heavy, dark jackets, dark pants, and dark dresses, indicating a level of poverty and unhappiness. By contrast, upper class New Yorkers showed off their white linen suits and Panama hats indicating “a look of leisure.” This added a clear sense of re-entry into the city after summer — you dusted off your darker, heavier clothing, you’re back at school or work, and you have a new wardrobe.
Labor Day, celebrated in the U.S. on the first Monday of September, marks the traditional end of summer. Wearing white after Labor Day indicated that you weren’t “in-the-know” on class/fashion differentials. But at Orchid Boutique we say, forget that nonsense. It’s a new dawn on the fashion world, and we say YES to white swimsuits after Labor Day. We say HECK YES, as a matter of fact. Take a look at some of our favorite white bikinis that you can wear all year long.
BOAMAR Landscape Gaze White One Piece
MAYLANA Steff White One Piece
TOUCHÉ Cloudy Bandeau Top
-Bandeau top provides additional padding
-Bandeau top provides removable pads and straps
-Bikini bandeau top features solid textured fabric
-Bottom features solid textured fabric
-Moderate swim bottom in a high cut leg design
-Bottom provides moderate coverage at rear
BOAMAR Tropical Infusion Opera White One Piece
-White one piece provides cheeky coverage at rear
-Rash-guard features cut out details at sides
-Open back design
-Monokini ties at neck
MALAI Silent Vegflor Ruffle Bikini