If there’s one fashion question I get asked often, it’s “Can I wear white before Memorial Day?”.
It’s going to be 100 degrees here in Arizona and we still have a few weeks left until Memorial Day. So our summer outfits are definitely out in full force.
See, most of the fashion “rules” are according to the season, and rightfully so. After all, how ridiculous would you look trekking through the snow in a pair of white pants? They’d be muddied up, ruined and ready for the trash.
But here in Arizona, our seasons are pretty simple: hot, not as hot, and then cool (which lasts about 5 minutes).
If East Coasters were sweating like us this time of the year, they’d be sporting white pants, too. The calendar may not say it’s “officially” summer until mid-June, but our summer starts right about now.
Why is Wearing White After Labor Day Bad?
There are a number of theories floating around the web on why and how the whole “no white after Memorial Day” thing started. Another to consider is, it’s just practical.
White reflects light, making this perfect for warmer weather days. This could easily be another reason white was traditionally reserved as an appropriate color to wear only AFTER Memorial Day.
“Not only was there no air-conditioning, but people did not go around in T shirts and halter tops. They wore what we would now consider fairly formal clothes,” said Judith Martin, Miss Manners etiquette columnist Miss Manners to Time Magazine.
If you’re really a fashion history buff, check out this article from Time which breaks down some of the reasons this fashion rule may or may not have come into fashion. (See what I did there? Yes, PUN INTENDED!)
Can I Wear White Before Memorial Day?
If it’s hot enough for you to ask the question, then yes.
And just to be confusing, I’d also say you can wear white year-round. It just depends HOW you wear it and what you style it with.
You wouldn’t, for example, throw on beachy, white linen pants like these in the middle of November. While they’re technically white pants, these are obviously better for an occasion like a summer pool party, cruise or the beach.
How to Wear White Before Memorial Day
If it isn’t as warm in your neck of the woods, there are still some beautiful ways you can wear white in the spring, before Memorial Day.
The first is with a little white dress. This is one fashion “trend” that never goes out of style!
A beautiful white eyelet dress is perfect for spring and looks great for Easter, Mother’s Day or a nice brunch with friends.
Plus, white dresses look gorgeous in the summer, too!
RELATED: The Best White Dresses From Amazon
If it’s a bit chilly in your area, try topping a casual white dress with a denim jacket. A little leather jacket looks cute too and gives a little edge to your look.
When Can You Wear White Jeans and Pants?
I love a good pair of white jeans. They’re crisp, clean and beautiful for spring and summer!
Now, do I wait until Memorial Day? Absolutely not. In fact, I recently wore white jeans in this post about how to transition to spring fashion.
Here are a few guidelines for wearing white pants or jeans before Memorial Day:
- If it isn’t hot in your neck of the woods, hold off on the all-white outfit
- Bring in a cold-weather piece to your outfit like a leather jacket or sneakers
- Do consider layering with other neutrals like grey and taupe
- White against a pop of color is always pretty! This works well anytime of year.
- If it’s still winter, consider winter white instead. These colors tend to be a bit more creamy-colored.
Remember: Fashion Rules Are Meant to Be Broken
Fashion should be fun, rules are meant to be broken! So if you want to wear white before Memorial Day, go for it.
If it’s winter, you can easily winterize your white outfit by layering, incorporating fall colors or choosing winter whites.
In the spring and summer, have fun with it! You can definitely wear white pants and dresses if it’s warm out. And, even if it isn’t.
What do you think? Do you wear white before Memorial Day or do you only do so in the summer?