White Skinny Jean FPO 1

White Skinny Jean

“Very rarely,” says Valerie Steele, Director and Chief Curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, “is there a functional reason for a fashion rule.” That’s all the information we need to feel good about breaking the rules, as we celebrate five ways to wear white after Labor Day.

Rebels wear white after Labor Day

1. lightweight fabric must hibernate

The color white seems to bear the burden of the post Labor Day faux pas, but it’s actually the lightweight summer fabric that’s responsible for your fashion fail. Breathable fabrics like cotton and linen won’t keep you warm in September, so box up your sheer duds and the white linen sailor pants so they can rest until Easter. Keep your white denim skinnies on hand, as they will look great with oxfords or riding boots.

2. head to toe white is for the bride

Unless you are trying to impersonate the abominable snowman (or bridezilla), stay away from monochromatic white ensembles. Create depth with variations of the white spectrum mixing creams and winter whites with bride white. Designers like Proenza Schouler, The Row and Chanel have embraced white for Fall 2012, be sure to layer appropriately, and pair with other “it” colors of the season such as burgundy or hunter green.

Merino Blend Harper Coat FPO 2

Merino Blend Harper Coat

3. winter white

Winter white offers a defiant, ethereal glow in the midst of a cold, dark season. Cool, creamy and sophisticated, a pair of wool slacks or cashmere coat in this sultry hue will never go out of style, and freshen up the darker pieces in wardrobe.

4. accessorize for the season

A creative way to pair down shocking white post Labor Day is to accessorize for the season. A chunky metallic belt paired with a delicate white blouse or chandelier earrings with a bone colored motorcycle jacket will bring enough edge to curtail the impression of delicate spring.

Eyelet Moto Jacket and Bermudas FPO 3

Eyelet Moto Jacket & Bermudas

5. confidence – your best accessory

If you aren’t confident in your white, it will wear you. There are plenty of old schoolers and die-hard debutantes that refuse to tamper with tradition. Establish your fashion guidelines for fall whites before you concept the outfit. If a naysayer approaches you, and you have to explain it to them, they won’t get it anyway.

Cheryl Says

I love white as I feel it’s truly an “I’m confident” color. And paired with a bold winter hue like chocolate or wine (two of my favorite things, just say’n) white makes a statement. So don’t fade into fall with everything dark, make fall come alive with white!