And especially now that we’re living in a post-rules menswear society, we need to retake stock of what it all means. (Hint: it’s more about seasonability than it is merely about a color.)
So we’ve put together this handy guide on what to keep wearing, what to buy instead and what to pack away till Memorial Day. You may want to take notes.
White Pants: Buy.
The Rationale: The old convention started with not wearing white pants after Labor Day, which makes only partial sense: if your white pants are too lightweight to keep you warm in the cooler months, then you should definitely not wear them. But if you can buy yourself a more formidable pair of jeans or trousers, in a less glaring white, it makes it much easier to break the rules.
The Strong Buy: Something like this rinsed pair from J.Crew.
White Canvas Sneakers: Wear.
The Rationale: Keep wearing your white sneakers—especially because by now they’ve lost their blinding whiteness and they’ve worn into a pleasing off-white patina.
The Plan: Just continue letting these take you into boot weather.
White Linen: Pack.
The Rationale: For the same reason stated above for the pants, it’s just not going to keep you warm enough. Whether it’s a linen blazer, shirt or otherwise.
When You’ll Know It’s Time to Pack It Up: Once it dips below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
White Bucks: Pack... or Wear.
The Rationale: The safe move is just to pack these up till next spring, but you can opt to wear them a little later in an Indian summer—which is possibly the most low-key sartorially subversive move you can make in a buttoned-up office setting.
But Wearer Beware: You’ve been warned, you daredevil, you.
White Seersucker: Pack.
The Rationale: The telltale pucker is just one of those warm-weather textures that looks out of place anywhere outside of garden party season.
The Moment You’ll Realize It Looks Ridiculous: The season’s first cocktail party replete with dark wools and even darker lighting.