Do You Wear White Before Memorial Day?

Can you wear white before Memorial Day?

This is a question that comes up around this time every year, as people start digging out their summer wardrobes and desperately waiting for it to be warm enough to actually wear them. Which brings us to the question: can you wear white before Memorial Day? White tends to form a large part of many summer wardrobes, but some of you may have been raised with the old rule that you shouldn’t wear white before Memorial Day or after Labor Day. So, can you?

can you wear white before memorial day?

Dress: La Redoute

First things first: if you’re from anywhere other than the US, you may not have a clue what we’re talking about here. Memorial Day is celebrated in America on the last Monday in May every year, the idea being that it’s inappropriate to wear white before then. Sound familiar? It should do: it’s the other side of the “No white after Labor Day” rule we wrote about last year, and our response now is exactly the same as it is now:

Dress for the weather and the circumstances, not for some dated fashion “rule”.

While there ARE some practical reasons to avoid white in cooler weather (The fact that it’s harder to keep clean than darker colours being the main one), it seems pretty silly to us to avoid it just because of the date on the calendar. Here in Scotland, for instance, May tends to be one of the warmest months of the year, and the weather then is often much nicer than it is in the actual summer. If we were to refuse to wear white until the last week of the month, we’d probably be depriving ourselves of the opportunity to wear it at all – and wouldn’t that be silly?

How to wear white before Memorial Day

Our tips for wearing white in Springtime are much the same as the ones we gave for wearing white in winter, so all we want to add here is that the warmer, hopefully drier weather will make it even easier to apply white to your Spring wardrobe. If the weather is particularly nice, you should have no issues at all, in fact, but should it turn cool, a lightweight white sweater, trench coat or even pair of jeans will be totally appropriate for this time of year: or any other time of year you want to wear them, for that matter – who wants to  live according to so-called style rules, anyway?

Do you wear white before Memorial Day, or do you think it’s still a fashion faux pas? Do tell…


  • April 10, 2013


    I couldn’t care less. When are you supposed to wear those off-white wooly sweaters if not in winter? They don’t look summery to me, at any rate. Anything that’s wintery, and does not require light-colored shoes with it, I wear in winter. I do not wear white jeans, though, in winter, but I have seen people do this and it looked good. It’s just that the hem will get dirty so fast.

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  • April 10, 2013


    I live in West Texas, where we have 3 seasons: Hot, Too Hot to Move, and Frigid. Hot and Too Hot to Move encompass 9 months of the year. White is the coolest color to wear, ergo, I wear it all year long (except in a dust storm.) To hell with Gramma’s rule, I like comfort.

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    • April 12, 2013


      Hello, fellow Texan! And I agree about the weather. Here in East Texas, we have the humidity to make all 3 seasons even worse. Thank heavens we’re not in Houston!

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  • April 15, 2013

    Emily S.

    I wore white pants last week.

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  • May 17, 2013


    I don’t really care at all. I’ll wear white at any time of the year. Rules like this have always seemed ridiculous to me.

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  • January 3, 2014


    Ridiculous! Dressing for the weather is more appropiate, specially in my hot, damp hole-in-th-ground of a hometown.

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