ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The “rule” you can't wear white after Labor Day had its beginnings around the 1900s when there was a dress code, especially for women, that would make them stand out in society.

Memorial Day was the beginning of summer and Labor Day was the end of the season.

The first Monday of September became a federal holiday in 1894.

During the hot summer, people with a better economic status went on a vacation.

To get away from the heat, people traveled to a seaside cottage or mountain cabins leaving winter clothes behind.

Summer dresses and any other white clothes were the right things to wear during the season to stay cool.

When they returned home, the summer clothes were put away and “formal clothing” or clothes appropriate for the fall needed to be used again.

According to an article on the Emily Post Institute, “it was an age when there was a dress code for practically every occasion, and the signal to mark the change between summer resort clothes and clothing worn for the rest of the year was encapsulated in the dictum 'No white after Labor Day.'"

So, fast-forwarding to 2019, the “don’t wear white after Labor Day rule” doesn’t really apply. Especially in Tampa, where the fall is just an extension of the summer, with temperatures in the 80’s and 90's before they drop to the low 70s for winter months.

“Very rarely is there actually a functional reason for a fashion rule,” said Valerie Steele, director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology to the Times.

Nowadays, white is a color to use all seasons, white cashmere coats, white jeans, etc. 

So, feel free to wear white at any time of the year. You're not breaking any rule.

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