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Do Wear White After Labor Day!

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The first Monday in September marks an end to summer and for many women it is ingrained that it must also be an end to wearing white. I think it's much more fun to be a fashion forward trendsetter than to abide by this tradition. After all, this is not the 1950s when "ladies" wore gloves. To me it seems like an antiquated rule of fashion that should be more accommodating with some present day flexibility.

It should be all about practicality, really! Think about food...you don't have tomato basil pasta in the winter time because it's not in season. Changing of seasons means a change of textures in clothing. It's time to reevaluate the fabrics in your closet: linen, seersucker, and lightweight fabrics. It should be about the texture, and the color shouldn't matter as much as the older more traditional rules make us think it does. I always thought of back to school time as a time to rework the wardrobe.

The little black dress is so famous. All women should have a little white dress too. The little white dress doesn't get as much love or appreciation as the little black dress. Every woman needs a LWD because not only does it show off the skin but it just proves you have the self confidence not to be limited by the artificial antiquity of a "no white after Labor Day" fashion rule. Wearing white after Labor Day is NOT a fashion faux pas! After all, fashion is about knowing who you are and what feels right on you. If you love what you're wearing, and it feels good and makes you happy, then it's right. Just like Tim Gunn says, make it work!
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Even though I'm born and raised a Texan, I consider myself a G.R.I.T.S. girl (Girls Raised in the South). Having gone to college at the University of Alabama, as an Alpha Chi pledge, I remember getting a copy of the rules to follow that would ensured pledges be ladies. I saved them because they made me laugh and would like to share some of my favorites. The true south is so traditional.

1. Don't wear white dresses or shoes after Labor Day.
2. Don't smoke and walk.
3. Use the ten second rule when putting on lipstick in public.
4. Do wear bras.
5. Don't fall for silly pick up lines.
6. Do maintain a good reputation.
7. Watch out for drinking at football games.
8. Dress up for Sunday lunch.
9. Pass dishes to the right.
10. Be ladies!
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Photo: Notice the Alpha Chi in white! She stands out in a sea of little black dresses. The same is true for the White Swan from NYCB's Swan Lake; you can't take your eyes off her.

We should all be responsible for what we wear. I think of dress codes and how they restrict us in a way that doesn't always compliment good sense. A Kindergarten teacher who knows she will be working with glue all day should just be able to wear jeans and not have to wait for "spirit Friday" or use a "jean coupon." A gluey day when you know you're going to get messy, calls for jeans! Some of us have many restrictive rules to follow. As long as it is in good taste and respectful of others, I believe in flexible compliance with fashion rules. Defiance, however, is not really an option when it comes to rules promulgated by employers.

The only time I can think of that it is inappropriate to wear white is at a wedding if you are not the bride! The bride has the white rights, always!

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Coco Chanel made white a year round staple. One of my favorite fashion icons, Marion Cotillard accepted her Academy Award in a white dress! Fashion rules are meant to be broken by those who can pull it off. White looks incredibly fresh when people aren't expecting it.

I love this Indian Summer time of year because everything looks so golden. This is a wonderful time to wear white! It shows off the skin like no other color. Think beyond the sundress; white denim is incredibly chic! I also love a white ski jacket. Being a dancer, I love to layer! Anything that can make me feel as cozy as my legwarmers is a good thing. Try layering white tanks, slip dresses, silk blouses under (or over) warmer colored fall pieces. This can help you gradually find your fall style.

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White is so angelic, fresh, and clean. Look at the Pope! He wears white year round!! Think of baptism gowns, first communion dresses, brides...White is right! White is purity, cleanliness, and innocence. Like black, white goes well with almost any color. Think of professions: doctors, nurses, and dentists typically wear white. Angels are usually depicted as wearing white. Some of your favorite things might be white: snow, pearls, milk, lilies, seashells, lace, cream, paper, alabaster...

This Tuesday after Labor Day, I challenge you to see white with new eyes. Visualize the snow before the mountain and the clouds before the sky. Making white appear current doesn't necessarily require a lot of avant garde creativity. White is fresh, it is clean, and if your wear it with confidence, you can make it yours. How do you style white in the fall? If you're feeling really daring, send me your Indian Summer "white" outfit and I'll post your picture!  

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