Your Guide to Wearing White After Labor Day

Forget About the Old Rule and Follow Us...

The rule about not wearing white after Labor Day is probably one of the most misunderstood sartorial edicts of all time.

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.

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