17 outfits that prove you can — and should — wear white after Labor Day

17 outfits that prove you can — and should — wear white after Labor Day

10 mins read
meghan markle white dress and beret
Meghan Markle sporting a coat and matching hat.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

  • The idea that people shouldn’t wear white after Labor Day until Memorial Day is a fashion “rule” that many no longer follow.
  • The idea may have originated in the early 20th century out of necessity, when people wore white to stay cool during hot summers, but switched to darker colors with the chillier fall season.
  • From winter coats to sophisticated pantsuits, here are 17 outfits that that white looks great year-round.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

As the end of summer nears, some people may feel the urge to stow away their white clothing items until the following year, the “no white after Labor Day” idea niggling at the back of their head.

According to a video from TIME, this “rule” may have originated in the early 20th century out of necessity: Before people had air conditioning, they wore white during the hot summer months in order to stay cool. However, with the start of rainy fall weather, wearing white outfits was no longer practical — so white became an out-of-season color, and swapping light shades with darker-colored ensembles was a sign of re-entering the workplace or school.

However, celebrity fashion stylist and co-founder/style director of Athleisure Mag, Kimmie Smith previously told Insider that this is an outdated concept today. “The biggest fashion myth that I don’t agree with is this imaginary rule of not being able to wear white after Labor Day,” she said. “White is a neutral and can be worn at any time. It gives most skin tones a natural glow and shouldn’t be relegated to a certain time of year.”

Read more: 11 style rules that are now OK to break

Stacy London, a stylist and former host of TLC’s “What Not to Wear” agrees, telling The Baltimore Sun, “There is no such thing as rules. Rules like ‘don’t wear white after Labor Day’ or ‘shoes matching the handbag’ are antiquated. Modern women should feel free to experiment.”

Here are 17 ensembles that will inspire you to put your white clothes to good use, no matter the time of year.

Meghan Markle also looks dazzling in a white coat, especially with her coordinating hat.

Meghan Markle.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

A nice leather jacket will turn any piece, no matter how summery, into a perfect fall outfit.

Priyanka Chopra Jonas.

Raymond Hall/GC Images

When debating whether or not to sport white after Labor Day, people should remember that white is a neutral color, and as such can be worn with anything.

“Like black, white is a neutral that matches everything,” said Southern California stylist Catherine Bachelier in a previous story for Insider.

Wearing white from head-to-toe can make for a classy look that adds brightness to even the gloomiest of winter days.

Jeanette Madsen sporting all white during the Copenhagen Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 18 on January 31, 2018.

Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Sporting the “winter white” is all about pairing the right layers, like warm sweaters and heavy coats.

Wearing post-Labor Day white can come in the form of a boxy, comfortable sweater that makes a statement.

Caroline Daur wearing a white sweater, black pants and brown bag outside the Boss show during New York Fashion Week: Fall/Winter 2019 on February 13, 2019 in New York City.

Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images

A thick mockneck sweater is a stylish as well as practical winter wardrobe staple, and wearing it in white adds a touch of light on a cold day.

White jeans were once thought of as being strictly for summer, but they can easily be worn in any season.

A guest at Paris Fashion Week.

Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

Stylist Megan Georgiane told Insider she recommends pairing white denim with sweaters or tunics.

Darker-colored accessories and a jacket can give contrast to a white-on-white outfit.

Kaia Gerber.

Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images

Cindy Crawford’s daughter Kaia Gerber proves that white-on-white can also look super autumny.

Ashley Graham’s take on wearing white after Labor Day came in the form of a two-piece ensemble with draped fabric.

Ashley Graham in February 2019.


Despite clothing rules of the past, wearing head-to-toe white is now a popular look among celebrities and style influencers. In fact, one stylist previously told Insider that ” winter whites” would be an upcoming trend.

Wearing white-on-white has never looked as effortless as when Gigi Hadid sported this mostly monochromatic look.

Gigi Hadid.

Raymond Hall/GC Images

Gigi Hadid’s snakeskin-printed boots are a fashion-forward addition to the crisp ensemble.

Adding a brightly colored accessory to a mostly white outfit can make a fun statement.

Gwyneth Paltrow.

XPX/Star Max/GC Images

Gwyneth Paltrow’s wide-leg trousers, sneakers, and bright blue bag prove that post-Labor Day whites can be casual and customizable.

Sonequa Martin-Green wore an all-white pantsuit and blazer that would look beautiful any time of year.

Sonequa Martin-Green.

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly

In recent years, oversized blazers and pantsuits have become a huge trend.

This white and cream outfit proves that even light-colored linen pants can be worn year-round.

A guest at New York Fashion Week.

Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images

Adding chunky scarves and sweaters will turn even the most summery piece into a solid fall staple.

    Wearing whites year-round can also look amazing with other neutrals, like cream, tan, or taupe.

    Charly Sturm in Berlin in February 2019.

    Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

    Adding other patterns via accessories like snakeskin booties or textured outerwear can dress up an otherwise all-white outfit.

    Not all white garments are designed with spring or summer in mind, like this unique blazer worn by actress Logan Browning.

    Logan Browning.

    Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter

    The stunning blazer with black appliques proves white-colored statement garments aren’t only reserved for warm weather.

    Diane Keaton’s sophisticated belted coat turns white outerwear into a special ensemble.

    Diane Keaton.

    Vera Anderson/WireImage

    “White adds a refreshing crispness to any dark seasonal wardrobe, so it’s no wonder [that] celebrities, bloggers and stylists are decked out in this invigorating trend,” Raleigh, North Carolina stylist Megan Georgiane told Insider.

    Adding denim to an all-white outfit is another stylish way to wear the neutral year-round.

    Heidi Klum in 2018.

    SMXRF/Star Max/GC Images


    Celebrity style

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