How To Wear White After Labor Day

by Melodi Erdogan

When it comes to fashion "rules," I'm a little bit of a rebel. In my eyes, though, the silliest rule in the sartorial book is the one that says you can't wear white after Labor Day. I don't care how old a tradition it is, and I really don't care whether I'm going to get flak from my grandma for it. Frankly, I'm going to wear white whenever I want, even if that is after the first Monday in September.

When it comes to my style, I typically pair black and blue together, show off my bra straps unapologetically, and mix prints on a daily basis. My philosophy is to wear what I like — what I feel most comfortable and confident in. Although people are generally happy to leave me alone for eight months of the year, it's when Labor Day rolls around that I begin to get criticized. I realize that the holiday typically draws the line between summer and autumn and that, well, white's not exactly a practical color (as my beloved white jeans stained with hot sauce can attest). However, I still believe that fashion rules are made to be broken.

Here's my effort to completely re-write the rule book and proclaim that you can wear white after Labor Day. Yes, your elders may complain. Yes, you may be teased. But at the end of the day, you should be able to wear whatever you want, whenever you want. Here's how to do it.

1. With A Little White Dress

Come September, I'm dying for the cooler weather so I can break out my leather boots and suede jackets. But the reality is that summer often lasts well into September and anything more than two layers will still be completely unbearable. Why wouldn't you wear that gorgeous white summer dress you have hanging in your closet? A LWD would be a perfect ensemble to wear to a party, a dinner, or even on a date. When you're in a style rut and have no idea what to put on, it will come to your rescue.

2. Mixed White Print

I'm a huge fan of mixing prints and in many prints, white tends to be a very important color in the design. So embrace the ivory in your favorite printed pieces and rock them with your more fall-appropriate items.

3. White Denim

One day I went to campus clad in white jeans and a T-shirt. One of the first people I saw, an adviser from the student newspaper I worked at, gasped once she saw my jeans and proceeded to shake her head. White denim is one of my favorite things in the world to wear, though, and it's my prerogative to keep doing so.

4. White Shoes & Other White Accessories

When it comes to accessories, I'm all about making a statement. Obviously I'm not being shy about wearing my favorite high top white Converse sneakers after Labor Day. If you have a beloved pair of white shoes, you shouldn't be either... or a scarf, or a headband, or even sunglasses.

5. White & Black

There's no color combination quite as classic as white and black, and it's just as pretty after Labor Day. For me, the ideal white and black combo is either a lovely black dress and a white denim jacket or white denim shorts and an easy black sweater. The pairings always look sophisticated yet fun, even when the weather turns dreary and gray.

6. With Bright Colors

If there's a go-to way to make bright colors stand out, it's to wear them with white. Instead of storing your white clothes with the rest of your summer garb, pair them with your favorite statement-making, bright-colored pieces that will provide them with the perfect foundation with which to steal the show.

7. All White

Once the temperatures actually start dropping and you're reaching for your warm, cozy clothes, white will be a great way to get a fresh, chic look. Pair your favorite white pieces with more white pieces, or stick to a more subdued, pale color scheme. Just don't be afraid to layer similar tones because that's what makes an all-white ensemble really stand out.

See what I mean, guys? Rules are made to be broken.

Images: Melodi Erdogan