It’s almost Memorial Day so time to break out all your white clothing, or are you someone who wears white whenever you feel like it? Do you even know why this fashion rule exists?? Believe it or not, there is actually a practical reason……and there of course there is also a not so practical reason.
Let’s start with the practical reason……staying cool! Before air conditioning existed (I know the thought just makes me sweat) clothing played an important role in staying cool during summer months. Not only was air conditioning not a thing, it was not acceptable to wear skimpier more revealing clothing. Even shorts for women were considered scandalous! So, whites and light weight fabrics were essential. However, during cooler months, people tended to wear darker colors and heavier fabrics. In addition to temperature cooler months tend to have more rain, making it more difficult to keep whites clean. Since Memorial Day kicks off the start warmer months and Labor Day kicks off the start to cooler months these two holidays were used to make this fashion rule easier to remember.
Now for the not so practical reason……a sign of wealth. You’re probably wondering why does white signify wealth?? Well, think about how difficult it is for us to keep our whites white with all of our up-to-date technology and products……imagine having to do that without it!! It was expensive to keep white clothing clean. It was also expensive to vacation outside of the summer months. When summer months were over, the wealthy would travel to warmer vacation spots. Wearing white after the end of summer represented that one could afford to vacation after summer months. People who could not afford to vacation after the summer had to work and therefore could not wear white because their clothes would get dirty more quickly and need to be cleaned more often. Eventually not wearing white after Labor Day became a fashion rule that by following you showed that you were wealthy…..or at least knew how to act like you were.
Fast forward to today, does any of this even matter now?? It seems that this fashion rule may be the one most often broken. Will you continue to follow this rule or will you follow the trend and wear white all year round?