The Rule Women Are Afraid to Break

Thank heavens fashion has changed over the last decade.

Even those pioneer women who crossed the plains broke the rules. Oh…they wore long

dresses and corsets….but they didn’t tighten them.  Walk 20 miles cinched up in whale bone staves?? No Way. These women knew how to survive and it wasn’t in a corset.

That brought up a hot discussion among the Lutheran Ladies

What should Women Wear to Special Occasions Now Days?

(Weddings, Funerals, etc)

Dresses?   Yes, everyone agreed.

Slacks?  Okay. As long as they’re elegant. A few ladies admitted they don’t wear dresses anymore…only slacks.

Jeans?  HA.Ha.  Get out of here.

Zara Phillips, Daughter of Princess Anne at the Royal Wedding

Hats?  Wear ’em if you got ’em.

But there was one powerful rule most women were afraid to break. They’d heard it since they were born. Everyone agreed it had changed, but rarely did anyone break it.

What was this powerful magic forcing its domain over a woman’s closet????

 The No White After Labor Day Rule

The why of the rule has been lost, but like a ghost story, it still haunts fashion.

The myth is that in the 1880s, there were complex social rules for those in the know. Show up to a gala in a puffy-sleeved gown when the “cool” ladies wore straight sleeve and you and your vulgar new money could expect to be snubbed (just like at a Jr. High Dance.)

Not wearing white after Labor Day seems to be one of these rules.  By the 50s, the No-Summer-No-White  had become a commandment for everyone.


You can blame Coco Chanel for changing the rules.

She introduced:

The Little Black Dress

Tweed Suits

Bell Bottoms.

And She wore white year-round.

Go ahead. Free your white clothes.

Let them enjoy Christmas. 

Do you break the “no-white” rule?
SmileyHo Ho Ho Santa Smiley


15 thoughts on “The Rule Women Are Afraid to Break

  1. I absolutely break ALL the rules about everything – especially the no white after Labour Day. However I NEVER wear white shoes. They make my feet look like a cartoon Minnie Mouse. And of course we all know that the latest shout is the beige platform shoes that Prince William’s Kate wears – and wears – and wears. It makes your legs look long, long, long. And that is a good thing. Virginia

  2. I have one pair of white “silk” slacks which I wear all year round, if the occasion warrants. I try to avoid white shoes if I can. I had to wear saddle shoes in school and learned to loath them. White tends to make things look larger, and believe me, my feet don’t need THAT!

  3. Comfort is my fashion creed. Which almost always means trousers. Not (usually) elegant ones either. It never means heels. Not even little ones these days.
    I am more than grateful the ‘no white after Labor Day’ rule escaped us here in Oz. I am also a little surprised because we imitate you much more than I am comfortable (mentally not satorially) with.

  4. I generally don’t wear white shoes, although I have some, because we live in the country and white soon becomes brown or gray. I think white carpets are silly, for the same reason. But for tops, dresses, or slacks, white is fine. Sometimes it is a good match for the snow!

  5. I’ve just passed the Big Bad Birthday on which all bets, rules, customs, mores and MUST DOS take a backseat to comfort, convenience and finding my glasses.

    Never DID care much really, for I loved and still love white shoes—sandals and flats and smart pumps and even that pair of antique saddle-oxfords kicking around the store-room. I spent an hour every Saturday evening of every Summer of my youth gathering up and polishing all the “whites” for a family of five, and I STILL love the scent of that bottle of chalkyGriffin Allwite with the the little round dobber on the end of the applicator,

    Sometimes I wish I DID care what people think of how I dress, but as long as it’s clean and comfortable and modest, I’m happy. And YES, I’ve broken that rule for YEARS.

  6. Didn’t know about the rule of not wearing white after Labour Day – maybe because I’m a Brit – and I wear pretty much what I like, when I like. Have to add the coda that it’s usually jeans, they’re usually disreputable (the alternative to my pj’s). Going out of the front door, I change to (slightly) more respectable jeans unless I need to dress up. And then it tends to be trousers again. Really posh: I have a couple of posh frocks. Neither are white. Christmas? Usually try to have something red – hopefully not my nose. 🙂

Add your 2cents to the discussion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s