Labor Day Blues
Fashion rules are silly! I have always said that it is best to wear what makes you feel the most confident, after all, nothing is sexier than confidence. While I have primarily always chosen to focus on the plight of the plus size woman, I can’t help but consider the general fashion rules for all.
Have you ever wondered, where do these rules come from? Don’t pair black and navy. No socks with sandals. Don’t mix prints (I love to break this one!). No white after Labor Day. I may not have all the answers but I can give you the break down about Labor Day whites and why they give me the blues.
Once upon a time…
During the late 19th and into the early 20th century, the rich and elite, decided to express their status in a way they still use today, fashion. The Civil War prompted many changes in the way society interacted not only with race but also with class. The upper class opted to set themselves apart with specific fashion rules. One of the major rules that came to be was that white would only be acceptable for summer. At first, I wanted to be outraged by how outlandish this seemed, until, I realized it makes perfect sense. Scientifically, white does not absorb any light, therefore, this shade will keep you much cooler than if you were wearing a darker shade (Black, for example, absorbs all light and will make you feel hotter when standing in the sun). As logical and as lovely as this all sounds, one major class of individuals would be excluded .
The industrial revolution was in full force until around 1840. This just about coincides with the beginning of the Civil war (1861) as slaves were used in a major way to drive industry; this was especially true in southern states. Once the Civil War and Industrial Revolution came to an end, there were still a great many people employed in factories, fields, and other dirty work. The working class would most likely not have the privilege of wearing white, as it would become dirty rather quickly. An upper class individual wouldn’t have such a worry and thus this, mainly unspoken, fashion rule was a way of distinguishing the classes.
Considering that many of the more fashion forward capitals in the United States are Northern, like New York, after the first week of September temperatures tend to cool. This means that one can wear a darker shade of clothing without getting swamp ass. Lets be honest, no one wants swamp ass. Its just logical.
The Villain Emerges
The actual holiday of Labor Day was created to celebrate the working class and it became a federal holiday in 1894. If you’re a sucker for numbers you’ll begin to see a timeline emerging. At the end of the 19th century, the United States entered a period of stability and property. The unspoken fashion rule among the elites had now trickled down to the working class.
This header is a bit dramatic, but non the less, in a somewhat ironic twist, the upper class, who primarily had never really favored the working class or the labor movement, devised a way to turn the lower class celebration into an unofficial end of summer holiday. Summer does not officially end until around September 22nd so this was highly a symbolic celebration rather than a literal. The end of the summer social season meant that only those in the know, knew to wear white on it and not to wear white after it. In working class social circles it also became a faux pas to wear white after this holiday in an effort to appear more sophisticated. Many were unaware as to why this was a rule but followed it regardless as to not seem ignorant. This trend continued into the 1950’s/1960’s at which point white and pastel themed resort wear was the du jour style until that first Monday in September.
At What Point Do We Break The Rules?
For many, white doesn’t reappear in the wardrobe until mid winter. At this point it has lost its sigma and can easily be reintroduced without judgment or scrutiny. As for modern fashion, this rule is still a staple and has transcended into end of summer all white parities, which for the most part, are thrown by the upper middle class and upper class. While there is nothing inherently wrong with wearing white or enjoying a fabulous party, we must consider that this rule was originally instated as a silent diversion of the working class holiday. Anytime you follow the “no white after Labor Day” rule, you are a part of it. So I say break the rules! Wear what makes you feel comfortable, confident, and beautiful- whether its white before, on, or after Labor Day!
My Labor Day outfit consisted of an American flag motif as I payed homage to the working class and all that the holiday stands for, and yes this included incorporating a little white!
I paired @rebelwilson @rebelwilson#TeamRebel The Pin Up mid rise ultra skinny jeans with a @rainbowshops red peplum style top, @forever21plus cropped blue stripe blazer and @torridfashion tan wedges. I love the causal sexy vibe I get from these jeans #getyourrebelon They seriously hugged my curves and made me feel confident and sexy! I don’t really have a booty but these pants really made my derrière look lifted, curvy, and sculpted. You can find these online and in stores at @dillards , @nordstrom , @lordandtaylor , @diaandco and @additionelle
#ipsyos #ipsyosmember #contentcreator#microinfluencer #plussizeblogger#plussizevlogger #plussizefashion#plussizestyle #plussizeclothing#newyorkvlogger #newyorkblogger#beautyvlogger #forever21#forever21plus #torrid #torridfashion#torridinsider #torridinsiderplatinum#torridplatinum #rainbowshops#rainbowstyle #recycledstardustfashion#torridshoes #recycledstardustfashion
I hope you enjoyed this brief history lesson. I personally am always asking “why?” and google random facts in my spare time. If you ever want to know more about any topic I would be happy to research it for you! In the meantime, do you follow the fashion rules or are you a rebel? What trends or rules do you think are silly? Which ones do you love? Let me know in the comment section below!