It has become common practice in the United States to retire white clothing after Labor Day. According to a report in Time magazine, historians believe the custom may have been a way for the upper crust to separate itself from laborers during the summertime.
The Daily Press polled its Facebook friends, asking how they feel about wearing white after Labor Day, and the responses were mixed:
Stacy Pratt: I retired my white sandals. It makes the white clothes special to only wear them at certain times of the year, and I like doing things like the women in Mississippi, where I went to school. They are even stricter about the white shoe rule than Oklahomans.
Olga Hoenes: The young do not go by this rule anymore but I just canNOT wear white shoes or carry a white bag after Labor Day. It just isn’t right and in my mind anyone who does these things looks SOOOO out of fashion. LOL!
Tracie Martin: That practice went out with June Cleaver. I live on the beach; white never gets retired.
Grace Audrey Clain: I’m only 22 and after reading these comments I’m actually surprised. I always thought that was more like a joke, like only crazy fashionistas followed those weird rules. I didn’t know that some of the older people actually had to follow that so strictly.
Kelly Baltes Davis: I still have a hard time wearing white pants or even linen after Labor Day; mama’s word had a lot of influence.
Jenny Senters Conner: I am wearing white right now. I have never cared about that kind of stuff and probably never will.
Patti Gulager: I always associated the color change from summer to fall as having something to do with the weather. Darker warmer colors for fall, and white, which is thinner for summer. I guess we all have seen how that changes. I think it is what ever floats your boat these days. Mix and match so to speak. Although I tend to follow style changes when appropriate, I have to admit that I do go darker as the weather gets cooler. Justa habit, I guess. I also find myself wondering if people who don’t switch over have anything else to wear. My roots run deep.
Anile Locust: Looking at my closet and drawers, I realize that I don’t have the luxury to follow any trend or make any fashion statement. Mostly I don’t care to wear white, except for my capris, which I wear until its too cool for them.
Billie Ruth Walker: I only retire those things when it gets too cold to wear. If I want to wear white clam diggers in October, I’ll do just that. I’m not a fan of white shoes, so I can’t comment on that.
Kathy Williams: I do not wear white after Labor Day. I put all of my whites in my “off season” closet last night. I observe this custom because its been around since the 1950s, when Labor Day marked the beginning of cooler weather and white was worn to keep cool in the summer. I’ve just always been a stickler for that custom.
Samantha Sanders Benn-Duke: I’m wearing white capris today. I thought the white thing was pretty much limited to shoes. As long as the weather is so warm, I will continue wearing white capris.
Donna Davis Huddleston: White pants with a pair of tall black boots or dark brown boots with a long sleeve sweater for cooler fall and winter days - perfect - but that’s how I roll!