“Is it okay to wear white after Labor Day?” is a frequently-asked question, especially around the fall season. You may be wondering how such a simple and benign color would be banished for a specific period of time each year. “No white after Labor Day” is a rule that one would likely think has to do more with function rather than it does with style and fashion.
However, there is much more to the story.
There is a prevailing theory that women hailing from wealthy families wanted to differentiate themselves from the women of “new money” families. With the growth of the United States after the Civil War, the number of “new money” women had dramatically grown as well, and the women of “old money” couldn’t stand to be seen on equal footing.
The theory is that to differentiate, these “old money” women set fashion rules among themselves in order to sniff out who came from new money. This includes the “No white after Labor Day” rule. So, if a woman was seen in public wearing white after Labor Day, the thought was there could be no way she came from a privileged background, and therefore was not respected as highly.
While the rule may have grown out of an outdated sense of one’s worth, there is some reasonable logic to it. Lighter, white outfits keep everyone cooler and more comfortable when temperatures soar than darker colors do. So when it became most popular to follow the “No white after Labor Day” rule in the 1950’s, far after it was being used as a class-identifier, vacationers packed away their linen button-downs and breezy white dresses in favor of gray sweaters and navy wool suits once fall arrived.
What does this have to do with office furniture, you may ask?
Labor Day will come and go, but your love for white decor should not suffer the same fate as your white clothing. What some consider a fashion faux pas after September is an excellent addition to any work space, at any time of the year—especially as you head into the cold winter months.
White surfaces tend to reflect light better, making your room and workstation appear bigger in the process. White is also known to bring a sense of sophistication, class, and freshness to an office space. Not only will employees appreciate working in a bright and innovative work space, but clients who pass through are bound to notice something that’s so easy on their eyes.
There’s also something very Zen about the color white. There’s a reason why wedding gowns are white, and doves symbolize peace.
So, to best give your work space a calming, contemporary feel while providing the best possible lighting, utilizing white furniture pieces is the way to go.
(And don’t worry, no one will call the fashion police on your office)