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The Reason We Can't Wear White After Labor Day Will Make You Roll Your Eyes

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Fall technically starts on September 23 this year, but Labor Day weekend is when we actually say goodbye to summer. We go to the beach one last time, book a last-minute long weekend vacation, or invite friends and family over for a barbecue. Labor Day is *known* for being the last hoorah of summer, but it's also known as the holiday that tells us we can't wear white anymore until Memorial Day. You've probably heard about the rule: You can't wear white after Labor Day. But why the heck not? And where did this ancient adage come from? We did some digging. 

So, really: Why can't you wear white after Labor Day? Where did that rule originate from?

Spoiler alert: It's unclear where the fashion mandate comes from, but there are a couple theories. The first one speculates people are told not to wear white after Labor Day so that Americans could easily separate working class from the well-to-do in the early 20th century. According to TIME, white was considered a "uniform" for folks who were wealthy enough to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and take a vacation. While they vacationed, they wore white, lighter clothing which was considered "a look of leisure," versus the dark outfits they wore day-to-day. After September 1, the people who could afford to take a vacation returned back to the city and their darker wardrobes. In the '50s, it's speculated that this rule was followed by those who wanted to climb the social ladder. If you knew the rules, then you were more likely to be accepted by the upper class.