Why You Don't Wear White After Labor Day and Other Fun Facts

Find out a little bit more about this nationally recognized holiday

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Find out why wearing white is considered a post-Labor Day fashion faux pas.

The Founder of Labor Day

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, it is a bit of a mystery as to who first suggested the idea of Labor Day, but some sources point to Peter J. McGuire, the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners. McGuire also co-founded the American Federation of Labor.

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The First LaborDay

The first Labor Day in 1884 wasn’t even a national holiday! It wasn’t until 10 years later in 1894 Labor Day was declared a national federal holiday that would consistently take place on the first Monday in September, after the Pullman Railroad strike. The reason for the official date fluctuation isn’t specified.

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The Unions
According to CNN, New York City has the highest number of union workers in the states — (24.4 percent in 2013).

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Rosie the Riveter

This brawny babe that we’ve come to know and love as the face of hard-working America actually isn’t the original Rosie. Inspired by the song “Rosie the Riveter,” illustrator Norman Rockwell painted a similar image for the Saturday Evening Post on May 29, 1943, the Memorial Day issue, as part of America’s WWII campaign.

Why You Don’t Wear White After Labor Day

There are actually several theories surrounding this old fashion practice. Some feel it was a practical decision, as white clothes were worn in the summer to keep cool, and Labor Day marked the change of seasons. Others say it was a New York fashion editor’s random, snobby decision to distinguish the fashionably forward from the rest of the sartorially challenged populous. And then there are those that feel it is a symbolic gesture, marking the end of lazy days and donning dark clothes to get back to the grind. Whatever the reason, it is pretty much an antiquated practice, as people can feel free to wear white without shame any time they please.

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