The post Labor Day moratorium on white clothing and accessories has long ranked among the most sacred rules of etiquette. Comments on my recent facebook post stating my steadfast adherence to the rule “no white or seersucker after Labor Day” really got me thinking…
As a strict traditionalist I am inclined to follow tradition at most costs. That being said, I would be remiss to have not noticed recent skepticism of the Labor Day law and more people than ever breaking the rule.
I consulted Emily Post for her guidance on the matter as I do when questions of etiquette arise. I was a bit disappointed because while she usually lays down the law, she seems to leave this one up to individual discretion. The 2004, Emily Post’s Etiquette, 17th Edition alludes to the old rule about wearing white only between Memorial Day and Labor Day being a thing of the past.
So Emily Post, gives the go-ahead for wearing white after Labor Day. While you won’t find me wearing it, this may explain why some who would typically abide by the custom are now willing to compromise.
With experts telling us that the rule is passé, I can’t help but ponder, perhaps they aren’t necessarily saying that wearing white after Labor Day IS appropriate, but rather that it CAN BE appropriate. As for me and my house, the white will be put away along with the linen and seersucker. We will look forward to bringing it out again at Easter.