Just Right White

The Labor Day holiday traditionally signals the end of summer and the beginning of fall, but with temperatures still screaming “summer,” it’s hard to pack away summer clothes. While I’m not suggesting we all start wearing sweaters, I do think some things need to be retired for the season.

The fashion industry is famous for not having any hard and fast rules about seasonal wear. You can now wear wool, suede and white in any season without risking an arrest from the fashion police. However, some one rule still applies – common sense. With that in mind, here’s my suggestions for post-Labor Day, pre-frost wear:

1. Put away anything linen, especially if it’s light or bright colored. A tailored linen jacket in a dark color can squeak by for another month or so, but I prefer to put all of it away. Besides, by this time I’m usually sick of it anyway.

2. White shorts and crop pants. Put these away now! Keep on wearing your other shorts as long as it’s warm but put away the white ones. They are just too summery for September. I don’t care what you pair them with, they aren’t going to transition well.

3. Lightweight white pants. Now, I keep out my white jeans but I trade my lightweight white cotton pants for black or grey. Personally, I’ll even quit wearing my white jeans until sometime in the winter. I love a pop of white in January when everyone (including myself) is wearing black and grey.

4. Bright, tropical prints. Summer is a great time for tropical prints, but they look garish once the fall season arrives. Go ahead and keep some of your solid brights handy (turquoise, lime, orange) because they look great with olive, brown, grey and black, but put away overly summer prints.

5. Shoes made of linen, straw or cork. I love my cork sandals but the Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to put them away for the season. The same holds true for any white shoes (if you have any). I’d love to tell you to put away flip-flops too, but I doubt you’d listen. Actually, if anyone wants my opinion on rubber flip-flops I’d tell you to only wear them to the pool or summer camp. Unfortunately, I’m in a vast minority on that one.

6. Handbags of straw, linen and canvas. Even if it’s your favorite bag in the world, if it’s made of these three materials, or a blend of them, please put it away. Same holds true for white bags even if they’re made of leather. Patent is fine and I actually carry my black patent bag all year ’round, but white leather should be packed away.

These are my suggestions for looking great while the weather is still warm. Now go out there avoid being arrested by the fashion police!

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