I have a pair of white jeans that I absolutely adore. I scored them a few years ago at TJ Maxx. Though the brand (Pine IV) is now defunct, I only wear my white jeans in the summer so anticipate many more seasons of wear.
Contrary to popular belief, white denim can be extremely flattering! Also contrary to popular belief—as I’m learning and struggling to accept—the age old fashion rule “don’t wear white after labor day” is, like, so 2 seasons ago.
A long, long time ago, wearing white in the summertime was born of a few circumstances: no air-conditioning and the nouveau riche. Way back when people would rather be burned in effigy than caught wearing cutoff shorts in public, they wore formal attire that could be uncomfortably warm in the summer sun. White clothing was a socially acceptable way to stay cool.
Enter the nouveau riche. In the early twentieth century, the socially elite escaped the heat of the cities in the summer for waterfront vacation homes (i.e., the Hamptons). Adopting the social virtue “thou shall not wear white after labor day” was a way to distinguish oneself and one’s class from those who would evolve to wear jean cutoffs in public.
In an era with 15 million Americans out of work, it’s hard to fathom such social silliness, isn’t it?
With the famous and fabulous driving much of our fashion trends these days, it appears the fashion rules have been rewritten and white after Labor Day gets the green light. I’ve read many a fashion article about donning white apparel year round, especially in winter, and am still not completely sold on the idea. I like to save my hot white jeans for the hot summer season. This year I’m challenging myself: Labor Day is officially over and it’s high time I take the plunge, step out of my comfort zone and wear my white jeans!
Here are my Hikaru Wide Leg jeans in white from Pine IV (RIP) paired with clogs from a new favorite brand, Ugglebo, and the Willow Top from my longtime favorite She-Bible.
I’m going to give white a whirl in the coming months, what about you? Will you be wearing white after Labor Day?