When you have doubts about wearing white, all you need to do is consult a few simple rules of timeless elegance. From the old-fashioned “No White After Labor Day” rule to some practical considerations for sporting this color, discover the fashion rules for wearing white and find out which are still currently relevant.
Start enjoying wearing more white, but if you want a flawless style, begin by getting yourself acquainted with a few simple rules. They’ll help you make all the right decisions for wearing white.
No White After Labor Day
The most renowned among the fashion rules for wearing white, the old tradition related to Labor Day (the first Monday of September) has definitely lost its power. White is a part of many contemporary fall/winter collections, from separates for warmer weather to cool winter coats. Forget about this old rule and enjoy white in any season.
photo: Connie Cao
Don’t Wear White to a Wedding
It may be just as old as the outdated Labor Day tradition, but the rule that you shouldn’t wear a white dress to a wedding still stands. You don’t have to go to the extreme, you can still wear a white piece, but the head-to-toe all white look should be reserved for a single person at the wedding, the bride. That also counts if the bride chooses a blush or ivory gown.
photo: Jennifer Wang
Choose the Right Shoes
When you’re wearing a white dress, skirt or pants, shoes become more important than ever. While white shoes are mostly a summer option, you can go darker, as long as you don’t go for black and bulky when you’re wearing a delicate white dress. In colder weather, one of the fashion rules for wearing white is that you can choose darker shoes, but it’s still a good idea to avoid black.
photo: Micah Gianelli
Wear White for the Right Occasion
Crowded city environments aren’t exactly the best fit for white clothing, so keep in mind the potential risk of staining when you’re choosing any white item of clothing, whether it’s a top or bottom. The easiest way to wear a pristine white item is to go for a blouse in a delicate fabric, worn under a jacket. White tailored shirts are another elegant options.
photo: Emmi Malmberg
Wear White to Make Your Tan Pop
While most fashion rules for wearing white focus on the style restrictions, feel free to wear white after you get a beautiful tan, whether it’s natural or fake. If you’re using self-tanner to slowly get a tan, start introducing more white into your outfits, but pay attention to the drying process of your tan. White can really make your tan pop, but it can also easily get stained by it.
photo: Kate G
Try Off-White In Cold Weather
If you’re worried about wearing bright white during the fall and winter, simply go for the next best thing. If you go for a hint of cream, beige or gray in your off-white pieces, that also comes with an extra rule. Never wear bright white and off white in the same outfit. While the white item will look brighter, the off-white will look very dirty and dull next to the white.
photo: Jessica Stein
White Is Not Optional for “White Parties”
One of the newest fashion rules for wearing white involves “White Parties”, were the dress code is white from head to toe. While there isn’t a lot of tradition behind these parties, it’s considered polite to follow the dress code set by the host, so make it an all-white outfit, no off-white or ivory allowed. You can add a bit of color with your jewelry, but avoid big and colorful pieces.
photo: Jennifer Grace
Always Carry a Stain Remover With You
You have to accept that white never stays pristine for long, because it’s important that you be prepared for the inconceivable: a nasty stain on your flawless white garment. Instead of stressing out over it, make sure that you always carry a special stain removing stick when you’re dressed in white. Using it right after the garment was stained increases the chances of getting it out completely.
Keep the All White Looks for Summer
One of the fashion rules for wearing white that has replaced the old Labor Day tip, restricting all white outfits to summer is probably a good idea. White dresses can be worn year-round, but if you’re wearing separates, keep the white to just top or bottom.