15 Ways To Wear White After Labor Day

spanx white pant
Photo: SPANX

We love tradition and etiquette more than most people we know, but just hear us out on this one. Call us crazy, but the time-honored custom of not wearing white after Labor Day now seems a bit outdated (if not a little archaic) to us.

While we can agree that there's a time and place for everything, we don't see the sense in tossing out perfectly adequate white wardrobe staples simply because "that's just the way things are done." And let's be honest, y'all—the turning of a date on the calendar does not mean that Southern weather is about to cooperate with our dreams of a brisk, early autumn.

If there's one thing Southerners have a knack for aside from our unwavering loyalty to tradition, it's our ability to repurpose almost anything to fit our needs at the moment, and our white wardrobe staples are no exception. If you were thinking about saying goodbye and packing away those white skinny jeans until Memorial Day, think again. While we'll likely (and regretfully) be leaving our eyelet dresses and seersucker shorts along with the dog days of summer, we have to make a few exceptions on white pieces we can't resist wearing after Labor Day comes and goes.

Because, when styled right, white shoes, clothes, and accessories can be closet staples no matter the season.

01 of 15

L Space Bahia Maxi Dress

white dress

BUY IT: $187; anthropologie.com

When it comes to white dresses after Labor Day, there's no hard and fast rule. Southern Living editor Anna Price Olson is a big fan of an all-white look year-round, so much that she'd argue that some of her chicest fall and winter looks are all white. Her advice for dresses? "Go for it!" Store your eyelet and sheer, willowy beach dresses for next season, but feel free to work with thicker white materials and transitional cuts (think button ups, long or quarter sleeves, nothing too revealing) for the fall. Consider pairing your LWD with a classic pump in a neutral suede or an over-the-knee boot for a dinner party or more formal celebration or even a simple brown cowboy boot for an outdoor party or tailgate.

Case in point: This easygoing closet staple will carry you through fall and winter—plus it'd be so cute with a wrap draped over the shoulders (think a big check or neutral hue).

02 of 15

Tecovas White Cowboy Boots

tecovas boots

BUY IT: $295; tecovas.com

The trick to wearing white shoes after Labor Day? Trade your open-toe sandals and easy, breezy espadrilles for low-heeled boots and booties that are well suited for apple-picking and tailgates. According to Olson, the trick here is to again lean into a neutral color palette by matching white boots with colors like denim, taupe, brown, and caramel. That way, it doesn't look like you threw on white boots and a jean jacket to make a sundress suddenly fit for fall. Also, bonus points for footwear that's not the stark white color of, say, a bottle of Clorox. More layered and muted whites—like these boots from Texas-based brand, Tecovas—can often appear more expensive (especially in shoes).

03 of 15

Spanx On-the-Go Ankle Slim Straight Pant

spanx white pant

BUY IT: $148; spanx.com

When you pack away the rest of your summer duds, keep the white jeans and structured pants in your closet. Wear them with chunky sweaters, knee-length coats, and suede booties for seasonally appropriate looks. This new pair from Spanx features state-of-the-art silver lining technology for "ultimate opacity and smoothing." Plus, we think this style, which is more formal and structured than a typical white jean, would make a great addition to a fall or winter wardrobe, as it can be dressed down with a sweater and booties as shown here, or dressed up for a holiday party with a silk blouse, heels, and accessories.

04 of 15

Teresa Ankle Wide Leg Jeans

white jeans

BUY IT: $109; nydj.com

Let's not rule out white jeans, though. There's a time and a place for a great pair of white jeans in your fall and winter wardrobe. Olson recommends this wide leg, flare-cut from Not Your Daughters Jeans because, despite what the brand name suggests, she says that she and her mom could both easily work these jeans into their individual seasonal styles. She might pair them with a chunkier clog and a printed blouse or tone-on-tone sweater, while her mom might pair them with a shorter heel clog, white button up, and sweater wrap.

05 of 15

Talbots Long-Sleeve Turtleneck

Long-Sleeve Turtleneck

BUY IT: $44.50; talbots.com

Usher your favorite sleeveless dresses into cooler weather by slipping a turtleneck on underneath. A white turtleneck is also a staple to have on hand for other reasons in the fall and winter. It can be thrown on under an open-knit sweater, layered under a wrap or cardigan, and, yes, added under a dress with an open neck and sleeves for additional coverage and warmth.

06 of 15

J. Crew Oversized Cashmere Wrap

cashmere wrap

BUY IT: $116.50 (orig. $198); jcrew.com

For white-after-Labor-Day skeptics, a scarf-slash wrap is a noncommittal way to introduce white into your fall and winter lineup. Plus, they're an A+ travel accessory for cold flights and road trips.

07 of 15

Banana Republic Factory Simple Classic Sneaker

white sneakers

BUY IT: $48 (orig. $80); bananarepublicfactory.com

If there's one trend with staying power, it's the ever-versatile sneaker-as-a-style-statement. These fashion-forward kicks work well nearly year-round, plus they look good with jeans and maxi skirts alike, so you're sure to get your money's worth—no matter the season.

08 of 15

ASN Wool Cowboy Hat

white cowboy hat

BUY IT: $89; anthropologie.com

A hat is fashionable finishing touch to any fall or winter outfit. Plus, it can help keep you warm on cooler days.

09 of 15

J. Crew Relaxed-fit Washed Cotton Poplin Shirt

white button up

BUY IT: $56.60 (orig. $79.50); jcrew.com

Talk about a classic! A go-to white button-up shirt is a staple year round. The closet staple is versatile in that it can be worn to dress up jeans (shown here), thrown under a blazer or cardigan, or even worn until a thicker dress (like a corduroy or overall style) much like our turtleneck recommendation.

10 of 15

GAP Factory Icon Denim Jacket

white jean jacket

BUY IT: $34.99 (orig. $69.99); gapfactory.com

Give your favorite denim jacket a break: This throw-on-and-go zip-up is an equally versatile answer to all your fall layer prayers.

11 of 15

Sam Edelman Linnie Bit Mule

white mules

BUY IT: $140; samedelman.com

These would look especially cute with white corduroy jeans, or slacks, but heads up: If you choose to pair white shoes with a darker color at the base (think pants in shades like caramel, wine, emerald, and even dark jeans), try to have a pop of white elsewhere in our outfit (like in a shirt or accessory) to tie the look together.

12 of 15

L.L. Bean Women's Mountain Pile Fleece Vest

white vest

BUY IT: $89; llbean.com

Save your most casual cold-weather looks from a bad case of the "blahs" with the addition of a plush finishing layer. This shearling vest can be worn with jeans and a flannel for apple picking but can also be worn over with a cut-off jeans and a cute top for a casual gathering or day of errands. A coordinated extra layer makes it look like you put more effort in!

13 of 15

Retro Two-Tone Headband

two tone headband

BUY IT: $24; anthropologie.com

Embrace the return of the preppy hair accessory, and top off your evening look with a knotted crown that stylishly holds hair in place. We love this particular style from Anthropologie because it incorporates a light tan hue at the base, making it feel as if it's tying in another color of the season and giving you another color to work with for outfit options.

14 of 15

Banana Republic Linen-Blend Cardigan Duster

white sweater

BUY IT: $95 (orig. $120); bananarepublic.com

Navigate fickle weather and changing temperatures with an open-front cardigan that's a cozy (and super flattering) alternative to bulkier coats.

15 of 15

J. Crew No. 2 Pencil Skirt

J Crew Pencil Skirt
J. Crew

BUY IT: $79.50; jcrew.com

A Mama-approved skirt that's great for layering and offers a convincing argument in favor of winter white. Pair with suede pumps or riding boots for a cool weather look.

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