But designers have been ignoring that no-white-after-Labor-Day rule for years.
In the cyclical world of fashion, conventional wisdom has long dictated that white shoes and accessories be given a hiatus after Labor Day until Easter the following year.
However, that rule of style, like most others, is not without exception. There are many shades of white, and current trends see some apparel and accessories in murkier whites transitioning well into fall and winter -- and we're not talking about winter white, either. It's nigh impossible to avoid white totally in any season. Consider the crisp white shirt, a must-have for every man and woman that can be dressed up or down. And this year, designer Alico Roi used lots of crisp white and black to accent burnt sienna and washed-out acid colors in her womenswear collection.
No one seems to know for sure how the whole Labor Day-white thing originated. Some say it's rooted in U.S. climates where seasons visibly change, and Labor Day began to be regarded as a time when summer tans were fading and once-tanned, now-paling skin looked ghastly against white shoes and clothes. Others say the holiday marks the psychological beginning of fall, and the white typically seen in summer fashion begins to appear hopelessly out-of-season.
Put to rest
But fashion designers have been ignoring the arguments for years. And while this rule may be flouted in some cases, there are other things that definitely need to be given a rest until spring:
Pure linen. Definitely not a fall-winter fabric. A linen-wool or linen-polyester blend might get a few more months as a layering piece, but the color has to be right.
Seersucker. It's totally, unapologetically summer, no matter what color the stripes.
These hallmarks of lazy summer days always need to be shelved until spring has sprung.
Flip-flops. Because they epitomize summer footwear.
Snow-white pants, purses, dresses, shorts, shoes and hats.
Anything with bamboo, such as jewelry, purses and shoes.
Hawaiian-inspired, tropical-print shirts and shorts. Unless it's cruise or resort, these should not be seen until summer.
Sundresses. Too light and breezy for fall-winter.
Bright citrus colors. Replace them with more subdued colors such as gem tones, berry shades or a pop of neon.
Polka dots. The ultimate summer print.
Tank tops and other sleeveless tees -- unless you're layering them under a couple of other pieces that provide more coverage.