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My Blog

Time to Stop Wearing White After Labor Day?

Well, good morning to all.  If you have been in the Chicago land area, I hope that you weathered well after the storms that rolled through yesterday.  The winds were over 60 mph and hail was panging against the homes.  Trees knocked down and power lines knocked out.  Oh Mother nature!!  She must have been heated up yesterday!
Well, today is another day.  temperatures are much cooler, but humidity is high.  Big day ahead for me...teaching art with the topic of Labor Day to Alzheimer patients.  The question for me is what do you teach...brings to mind....what exactly is Labor day?  I had promised that I would touch on these subjects...so here goes.
Todays blog is on the OLD belief that you begin wearing white after Memorial Day and stop wearing white after Labor day.  I pondered where in the world that idea came from.  It was the golden rule when I was growing up.  But today...I am wondering where it started and why. 
In my investigations...it seems that it started around the 19th Century.  It all had to do with the types of textiles that clothes were made of.  We all have learned that through the years, wearing certain colors can be hotter than others.  Black for instance is always been associated with taking in the sun and being much warmer.  Color therapist will tell you that the color red is the warmest color and will actually keep you warmer.  Well, back in the early 1800's, the textiles used were limited.  There were cottons, linens, silks and satins and then there were wools predominantly.  The types of colors were limited as well.  The lighter fabrics tended to be lighter in color.  The wools darker.  Well, the clothing options were not the same as they are now, they were not able to run around in tank tops and shorts back then, so the wisest choices were lighter clothes, which meant light colors.  When the season of fall came near...about Labor Day...Which had not yet been established, the heavy and darker clothing began being the clothing of choice.  Therefore light clothing was put away until the end of Spring...which turned out later to be Memorial Day. 
Now, this is a regional thing that occurred due to the fashion industry being in New York.  So then it began as a fashion statement.  If the industry would have had a Southern location, fashion statements might have been a whole lot different. 
I remember growing up, these were the rules that we abided to.  I remember at one point the fashion industry came out with a color called WINTER WHITE.  That gave way to abolishing the idea of only wearing white for the summer seasons.  Now a days, if you asked anyone from todays generation about the proper use of wearing white, they would more than likely have no idea of what we were referring to.  Today, anything goes.  The only time was permissible in the old days was on a girls wedding day...and today...that has even changed.  Brides are opting for other colors on their special day. 
With all the options we have for clothing these days along with air conditioning, the old saying or mode of fashion has become extinct.  White is no longer just white. As a painter I have a bevy of whites to choose from.  There is snow white, cool white, warm white, vanilla milkshake, cloud white, cotton cover, winter white, white dove, and the list goes on and on. 
There is a book called Fifty shades of Grey....Perhaps I will write one on the shades of White.  I have an idea in mind.  Let me copy right this....Fifty Shades of White...Pure and Simple. 
So, if the question ever ran through your mind where the seasonal fashion statement came from.  I hope that this answers your question.  Times have changed, but for the older generations...we still think of white as the color that end on Labor Day.   I think that Labor means some hard and dirty work..and maybe that is why you don't wear white once the labor begins.  Whatever the reasons, it is nice to look back and know why we did things.  Funny how I never questioned it before today!

1 Comment to Time to Stop Wearing White After Labor Day?:

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vistshop.com on Thursday, June 05, 2014 11:35 PM
Have you ever considered writing an e-book or guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog based upon on the same topics you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my subscribers would enjoy your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an email.
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