Fashion Looks That Prove the Whole ‘White After Labor Day’ Thing Is a Myth

We’re all familiar with the rule stating you can’t wear white after Labor Day. So once this long weekend is over, we should all pack up our white jeans, dresses and the like until next summer. It’s one of those mandates you learn early on, but are never quite sure where it originated. Some say it was born before air conditioning was invented when people relied on sun-reflecting colors and fabrics to stay cool. Others say it was a way for the rich to differentiate themselves from the poorer working class. (The latter lived in dirty cities and wore darker colors.) If you could afford to escape the city in summer, you could afford to ditch dark clothes until it was time to return in fall. Whatever the original reason, skipping white after Labor Day is no longer in style.

The street style set has been breaking the so-called rule for a while now. Street stylists rock white button-downs all year long. They step out in stark suits and separates. And love flaunting white boots straight through winter. To get you started on the road to fashion freedom, we’ve rounded up 12 expert street style executions. See below for the best ways to wear white after Labor Day.

A basic white button-down works year round. Style your favorite with a vest and matching pants. Wrap things up with a statement belt and black pumps.

White jeans can stay in rotation straight through fall if you wear them with a polka dot blouse, a black belt and black pumps.

Break up a white tee and coordinating trousers with a tan blazer. Roll up the sleeves on said blazer and add in some strappy sandals to complete the post-Labor Day look.

Top off a black midi skirt with an outsize sweater in a creamy shade of white. Cap off the look with black and white kicks.

If you’ve been wondering how to wear those harnesses from the Fall 2020 runways in the real world, here’s the answer. Place one over a classic white shirtdress layered under a trench. White pumps perfectly punctuate the outfit.

Use a cropped white shirt as a cardigan over an eggshell top tucked into blue-gray slacks. Black shoes along with a black and blue clutch give the look a cohesive feel.

Fall is a great time to rock head-to-toe neutrals. Team a beige cropped jacket with white slacks, stark footwear and a complementary bag.

It’s totally acceptable to sport different shades of white in one look. Complement an ivory sweater with a starker pleated skirt. Then add in darker accessories.

Make a bright white suit more seasonally appropriate by teaming it with a black top and a black belt. Tuck your pants into a pair of lace-up black boots and you’re good to go.

Looking for a way to still flaunt those statement sleeves once there’s a chill in the air? Slip a sweater vest on top and work in gray trousers. White boots bring it all together.

Go ahead and show off the shearling lining on your heavier coat when the weather turns colder. Slip the coat on over a striped dress and round out the look with black boots.

One of the trendiest ways to keep white in your wardrobe come fall is to rock a half-black/half-white midi skirt. A black turtleneck layered under a camel-colored coat and slouchy boots elevate the ensemble.