Daily Outfit: 8/23/11

Already Pretty daily outfit featuring white cigarette pants

Striped shirt, via consignment – similar collarsimilar stripes
Cigarette pants, Banana Republic (no longer available) – similar fitsimilar but jeans
Pumps, Faryl Robin Suzu (no longer available) – similar pairmore Faryl Robin
Bracelets, thrifted and gifted
Watch, Skagen
Shell pearls, Target (no longer available) – similar
Chains, thrifted

Although I rail against style rules, some of them are surprisingly hard for me to break. For unknown reasons, the “no white shoes/bottoms after Labor Day” rule has lingered long after I’ve discarded similarly stifling rules, and I’ve been subconsciously trying to pack in all of my white-wearing during these last few weeks of August. Even though I have every intention of breaking this rule come fall, something in me is just itching to wear loads and loads of white. NOW.

The only advantage I can see to adhering to an arbitrary rule like “no white shoes/bottoms after Labor Day” is that it lends the restricted items a special, seasonal appeal. Bright white just FEELS like summer to me, and reserving its wear for warm weather helps preserve that feeling.

But I’m still gonna trot these pants out in October sometime. Unless, of course, I forget all about them until next June.

Do you wear white pants, skirts, and shoes after August? Why or why not?

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49 Responses to “Daily Outfit: 8/23/11”

  1. Hayley

    That shirt is amazing. I love the collar detail and how it’s so chic and not distracting. Love the buttons too. Great combination to pair with the white pants!

  2. Angela (Cottage Magpie)

    I almost never wear white bottoms at all because I feel like they make my already wide hips even more wiiiiide. But what you’ve put together here looks SO chic yet comfortable, I’m really tempted to give something similar a try. LOVE love love the shoes especially. Somehow I need to figure out how to do really awesome shoes with that feel, but without the heels — I’m 6′ tall and I just would rather not wear heels, you know?


  3. Megan Mae

    Love those pumps, and the collar of that shirt is really unique.

    I have before, but I do the see the benefit of making some items specifically for certain times of the year. Even if they could be styled towards any season. I think white can work year round, but I agree it does scream “summer”.

  4. Amy

    The collar on that shirt is just extraordinary. And I love the pop of color and pattern from the shoes. So summery, and so crisp!

  5. eek

    I love the tiny details in your outfit like the ruffles on the shirt and those fabulous printed shoes.

    I wear white year ’round – we barely even have a winter in Texas, which is why!

  6. Margarita @ Weightless

    Sally, you look gorgeous! LOVE this outfit. 🙂 The shoes are a really cool pattern, and I like that you paired it with a patterned shirt, too.

    I actually wear white bottoms and white shoes pretty much year-round but that might be because I live in Florida. When it does get chilly here, I definitely find myself leaning toward darker colors. Still, though, when I think of white, I also think of snow and icicles, so to me, white seems appropriate for cold temps, too!

  7. Lisa

    Pearls! You’re wearing pearls! I love it when you do ladylike with that little twist.

  8. Cynthia

    I don’t wear much pure white on the bottom, but I could imagine wearing an off-white skirt or pants well into October while it’s still quite hot here.

  9. anna

    I agree; white is so refreshing and cool that it just screams “summer” to me…but I’ll wear it before Memorial Day and after Labor Day. For me it all has to do with the weather. Instead of being dictated by dates, it’s by temperature; anything over about 80* has me in the coolest floatiest white skirts I can muster!

  10. Eleanorjane

    I just tend not to wear white (even though it suits me) as it can be pretty bland and it’s harder to care for i.e. don’t like ironing and white attracts stains and get dingy. I do have a white top (just one) and an off white patterned linen skirt that I only wear in summer ‘cos they’re summer clothes – they’d just be too cold otherwise.

    I like the idea of white jeans or whatever, but like the person above, don’t think they work on my figure…

  11. Katy

    I don’t stand by the no white in the fall rule. I figure if it looks good and works for the season – why not wear it. Your heels here are adorable; you know how I like funky shoes! – Katy

  12. Rebecca

    I don’t own a lot of white, since I spill on myself a little too often. I do avoid white more in the fall/winter, but that also has to do with fear of getting things dirt in the snow than fashion rules. I wish I was better at styling white garments, but I don’t always feel polished enough to pull them off.

  13. Natalie

    I LOVE this outfit. Especially the necklaces and neckline. And the shoes. And how adorable you look.

    I wear white skirts & shoes (and would wear white pants, if I owned them) after Labor Day. I grew up in Florida, where we have 3 seasons: hot and sticky, REALLY hot and sticky, and hot and sticky with a side of hurricane. The seasonal fashion rules just don’t seem to apply in a place where various shades of summer are the only seasons. Even though I’ve moved to a place with winter now that I’m an adult, I’ve kept that season-less attitude towards fashion. If I’m dressed appropriately for the weather, I figure I’ve followed all the seasonal fashion rules I need. I’ll wear white, flowing skirts and bright, colorful prints in winter as long as I’m warm.

  14. Andi

    I don’t wear white bottoms at all, but that’s because I’m accident prone and not really inclined to look where I sit. I do own a pair of white wedge sandals and they do feel very summery, but our summer weather lasts into fall. I think I draw the line at November but if the weather and occasion are appropriate, I’ll wear them.

  15. KWu

    I really like this outfit! Something about the jewelry + shirt + the new short ‘do + brightly colorful and fun heels really appeals to me. I think maybe the pants could be a bit longer and skinnier, but perhaps I’m just channeling too much of the “long skinny pants + heels” formula from the last few years.

  16. jen

    I pretty much stick to the no white (bottoms or shoes) after labor day — I wish I could “break” the rule but it bothers me when I do. I think someone might be thinking “goodness doesn’t she know not to wear white after labor day” — or before memorial day for that matter. I love to wear my white jeans, white jean skirt and white shorts! Probably because I have always lived in the north where summers are pretty short I feel its not that hard to follow the rule. However, I will say if I go to Florida or further south in the winter I do bring and wear my whites!

  17. Robin

    Funny story, but the first time I ever even HEARD about this rule was the first time I saw “Serial Mom”. LOL. So, I never really have been big on it myself. But it makes sense to not wear white in CO in the winter. Slush sucks! Love your pretty top and colorful shoes!

  18. Anonymous

    Nice shoes, Sally!

    I don’t wear white pants period, mainly because I just don’t like ’em much. I might make an exception for white skinny jeans, which can look sharp with a black top, but other than that, I don’t really get what everyone else sees in white pants/skirts. (Plus, I drop coffee all down myself on a regular basis, so they are impractical, too!). I do feel that they look better in warmer weather, though. The month of the year matters little, but the weather outside matters a lot. In San Francisco, white pants in late October look perfectly acceptable, because it’s still warm and dry (warmer, often, than in summer). On the other hand, white pants in October in Vancouver, where it’s cool and the streets are likely wet (even if it’s not pouring rain) seems like a recipe for a disheveled mess.

  19. coffeeaddict

    One of the fundamental clothing rules I live by isthat in the period of transition from one season to the next always wear clothing from the passing season not the coming one. Which essentially means I won’t be packing linen just yet.
    The wisdom behind this rule is one of our grandmothers, because in September and October the ground is still radiating heat accumulated during the summer and say 20 degrees Celsius in October is entirely different than in April.

  20. Laura

    I have one pair of white jeans which are reserved for summer. They are harder to keep clean and not the most flattering, but I think they are a really fresh summer look. There aren’t super-distinct seasons where I live at the moment, so I like making those distinctions via clothing colors among other things. For example, I tend to wear darker/more autumnal colors in fall as opposed to spring even though the temps are much the same.

  21. Sylvia

    I read that it’s chic nowadays to wear white year round? As for me I wear white alot, but then again it’s summer here year round in Singapore

  22. Anat

    Anyone care to clarify to a non- American what is the meaning and origin of the “no white after labor day” rule?

      • Anat

        Thank you! Very interesting.

        What I still don’t understand is, what does it feel like to transgress this rule? Is it considered tacky, backwards, sloppy, what? Sorry to press the point, I just find it such an interesting concept when such “rules” are in place, and what is the cultural significance it holds for people who stick to it.

        Also, you mentioned white shoes and bottoms, the article talks about any white clothes, which seems strange, as a crisp white button-down is a closet staple for so many women.

        • Sal

          No prob! To me, it just feels like I’ve committed a very minor faux pas, and one that is very temperature/weather-related. I don’t wear velvet in summer because it just seems inappropriate, and wearing white pants in October feels similarly weird.

          And yes, the “rule” applies to bottoms and shoes but not tops. White tops get a pass year-round for some reason!

  23. The Cheap Chick

    I don’t, but not because of an out-moded fashion rule. In MN, winter = dirty slush. And I don’t want to stain my nice white pants! So I preserve them for when I can wear them without slush kick-up decorating the backs.

  24. Bubu

    Beautiful, elegant outfit. I love how you play up the accessories and shoes against the more neutral outfit. And the shoes, oh those shoes.
    I don’t follow a strict rule, I just find by labor day I’m really itching to get into fall colors more: purpes, greens, etc, so tend to move away from the whites and pastels.

  25. JG

    Oh my gosh, this is so fabulous and crisp—I love the way you pulled it all together!

  26. T.

    I don’t wear white bottoms at all because they don’t suit me, but if I did, I would wear them through September. I live in the same climate as Minnesota, and white pants in winter are impractical. In fact, I lived in Minnesota for a few years, and I remember seeing a college student wearing cute white pants on a slushy spring day, and the back of her pants were completely spotted with slush and mud.

  27. Mel

    Lovely outfit! You look so crisp and cool! Those shoes are the best part.

    Funny about the white rule. It’s a generational thing to some degree, I think. Our mother strongly believed in this rule.

    To annoy her, my siblings and I always have a White Party in September. Everyone must wear all white….including shoes/bag. The brothers have an especially nice time collecting white outfits for themselves, usually at the Goodwill. One of them always wears his best white dress and a white blonde wig. A lovely time is had by all.

  28. MelD

    Actually, no one outside the US has ever heard of such a silly rule, which dates from times long ago when fashions and opportunities to clean/wash white were very different from now.

    So yes, of course we wear white bottoms/shoes – whenever we feel like it, sometimes in winter if they’re warm enough. Why ever not?!

  29. Becca

    That striped button-up is über neat-o. I’m not always a huge fan of button-ups, but striped ones are an obsession of mine right now. I love how this outfit, especially coupled with your haircut feels very European – a bit Audrey Tautou.

  30. April

    I don’t wear much white after Labor Day, but I’ve got a terrific pair of white jeans that I’ve mixed in with some early fall orange colors to make a fun outfit, and those jeans look terrific in the dead of winter with a cozy pastel blue or gray sweater.

    Gorgeous outfit Sal!

  31. Rita

    Like others, I do not hold to this rule and wear white during hot weather months. September and October can be much hotter than June in So. Cal. A white skirt seems so cool and summery on a hot day even if the hot day is not technically during summer. However, when the weather does turn a little cooler, I tend to move to darker colors.

  32. pope suburban

    I avoid this neatly by just not wearing white bottoms. I’m not a fan of them, and now that I think about it, I don’t own any white shirts either– just one long-sleeved off-white one. I’ve heard the rule but I think it’s pretty silly. As far as season-specific style rules go, I just try to pick stuff that’s appropriate to what I’ll be doing. Usually, where I live, that means covering up quite a bit every time I go anywhere between November-April. I’ll bend that if I’m going somewhere I know will be pretty warm; I’d rather throw on a long coat than swelter all night. That’s the limit of my rules about clothing and seasons, and it works pretty well for me.

  33. sarah

    re:diner en blanc mentioned above, there are a number of copycats sprouting up all over the US now; I missed our Seattle one (only because I didn’t *know* anyone was going to do one here! alas!).

    I wear white after labour day; I must have been in high school before I even knew there was such a rule and by then, i thought, “well, it’s never stopped me before!” I wonder sometimes if these rules matter less out here in the west?

  34. anne

    One your most elegant outfits. And one where the new cut really shines. ( And I’m not a fan of the pixie). Very classy lady!

  35. Susan

    I love you in this ensemble. It is VERY flattering.

    I took one of my pairs of white slacks to the cleaners today–not sure I will wear them again this season, but they will be ready for next summer. I could not get through a summer without white pants (I live in Texas). And no, I will not wear them past Labor Day. I WILL wear winter white pants in a suitable fabric.

  36. Cel

    I actually only started wearing white clothes this year. I was too terrified of stains. Behold, it’s not as bad as I thought, and I actually dig wearing white now. And I will probably continue to wear white past labour day, until whatever white items they are, are no longer weather appropriate.

  37. laura

    This necklace layering is fantastic – my inspiration for this weekend is to work this look. Just got a box full of great granny’s costume stuff – have been trying to figure out how to work them in…this is it. thanks Sal