How the "Don't Wear White After Labor Day" Got Started?

posted by Todd Robbins - 

The old adage is you shouldn't wear white after Labor Day. But how did the whole "don't wear white" thing even get started? Well, the answer is no one actually knows for sure. But here are the two leading theories . . .

Some people think it was all about being practical. It made more sense to wear white when it was hot out. Especially since no one was wearing t-shirts or tank tops a hundred years ago. And there was no A/C.

But then the end of summer meant rain was coming. And mud and rain wouldn't show on dark clothes as much as white clothes. So it made sense to wear darker stuff.

But the second theory has nothing to do with being practical. It's all about class division and wanting people to know you're RICH.

Basically, people with money used to wear white on vacation as a sort of status symbol. Then they'd head home when summer was over, and go back to a whole different wardrobe. Which most people couldn't afford to do.

So rich people embraced the "rule", just to make sure everyone knew they had money. Then they got their snooty, writer friends at fashion magazines to start promoting the idea in the 1950s. And everyone else got pressured into it. 

(Thrillist / Mental Floss)

Photo:  Getty Images

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