Monday, October 28, 2013
Wear White In Fall??? What?!?
A few days ago I was working as I always do and part of my job is knowing all the current trends and knowing what is in the stores. Personal shopping is my thing and it's my job to spot items that were made for someone. I recently saw a friend of mine that I haven't seen in years and when I see someone in person items for them immediately start jumping out at me when I'm perusing the isles. I really have no control over it. It just happens. So as I was out and about recently I saw a sweater that may as well have had his name written all over it. It is actually a sweater from Target and I must confess I am generally not a huge fan of Target clothing for many different reasons even though I still make a point of knowing exactly what is there. It was a gorgeous rich cream colored zip front sweater heathered with rust speckles with the most amazing ribbing that not only trimmed the collar but also ran the vertical length of the sweater starting just inside the shoulder. Here is a photo of the details just to help you visualize exactly what I'm talking about.
Not only is this sweater the perfect color for his hair and skintone to make him look healthy and rich, but the ribbing adds both sophistication to the style and also length to the torso. He has a long lean physique and the ribbing going the length of the torso not only accentuates that in all the right ways, but because it starts just inside the shoulder it adds visual girth and bulk to the upper body which he has been working out for anyhow, and lets be honest ladies... who doesn't love a guy with nice strong broad shoulders right? The fact that the zipper runs the entire length of the sweater allows for a zipped up sophisticated look and leaves room for additional accessories like a luxurious scarf, but unzipped with a nice t-shirt underneath allows for a casual but still pulled together look that would be perfect on him.
Now, when I see something that is perfect for someone it basically haunts me until I do something about it. Our friendship goes back almost a decade, but he really doesn't know much about the business side of me and I really don't know at what level on the fashion interest scale he even falls. Anyhow, as I continued to walk around the store I just could not get that sweater out of my mind, so I took a picture of it, attached a "WARNING!!! Random text alert!" message to it and sent it to him just saying that he needed it in his life. Now, I know that there is a good chance that he couldn't care less about clothes and my beauty life and I also know that the photo was not the best quality. It was enough to give him the basic idea and that's about it. I also know that because our relationship does not really stem around my work it was a REALLY random text for him to get from me. I expected to get a less than stellar reply from him, but when he said something to the effect of "Don't you know you aren't supposed to wear white after Labor Day?" I was still shocked. Does he really think that rule still exists?!? In the fashion world that is basically like saying instead of feeding your newborn a diet of breast milk or formula you should give them whiskey in a gallon jug, line their crib with plastic bags, and then check on them about once a week. I mean the idea that people still hang onto that rule is as equally horrific of a thought in its own context. I politely clarified that the colors are actually cream and rust (which I do blame on the poor photo quality since even the photo above does no justice to the colors what-so-ever) and that the white/Labor Day rule went out decades ago. Now, I'm sure he was partially taken aback by my completely random text and had no idea how to respond and I'm giving him the benefit of that doubt that it was just sarcastic humor and he doesn't actually believe that rule to be true, but either way it prompted me to write this entire post.
SO... in case you have been living under a rock for the past 40 or 50 years YOU CAN ABSOLUTELY WEAR WHITE AFTER LABOR DAY!!!!!!!! (Sorry Southerners that are still hanging on. It's time to get with the program.) Most people don't even know why the rule came into existence and I say if you can't explain why you aren't supposed to do it then it's time to let it go. In case you don't know, the rule came about in the first place because during the days when my great grandparents were young and before, fabrics were generally thick and darkly colored by nature. Tweed and wool were staples. There weren't many fabrics that were a lighter weight and when they were available they were naturally lighter in color. They tended to be fabrics that were worn in the hot summer months, but could not withstand the mud and slush of winter and so you put them away to keep them nice during the winter months. Chances are if you ruined them you weren't likely to be able to afford anymore and frankly they just weren't warm enough to wear during the winter months anyhow. As time went on it took on a bit of a snobbery ideal with the idea that only the rich could even afford the lighter fabrics and yet they still had to keep them clean and nice in order to maintain them until the following summer. There was a time during my parent's childhood when it was a trend that white went away after Labor Day, particularly when you were talking shoes, but it still really boils down to the fact that you just couldn't afford to drag your white shoes through the mud and slush because if you did you weren't getting a new pair the next year because the family just couldn't afford more than a few pairs of shoes per person. Those were the days when you also took your school or church clothes off when you got home for the exact same reason. Times have changed though at least for now and clothes have become more of a disposable commodity and trends change almost from minute to minute. The truth is that now if you want to guarantee that you look out of style, out of date, and out of touch holding onto a trend for too long will do it. The worst offense is to tout that a rule exists that doesn't. This is why you should make it a point to wear something white right now. In fact, white and black is a very hot look for Fall 2013, but you don't have to take my word for it. Every fashion magazine featured the hottest black and white pieces so just Google any one of them and you will find loads of black and white looks for fall. Here are a few to get you started Black and White For Fall 2013. What is important to know about white in cooler temperatures is that the fabric is what is important. If you wear thin summery fabrics like linen in the winter regardless of what color it is there is a good chance you will get it wrong. So, if you are a guy and the only white you have is a thin almost see through pair of white linen pants then do yourself a favor and store them away until the warmer weather gets back and avoid standing out like a sore thumb. You would just as easily stand out like a sore thumb if you wear a long wool winter coat to the beach on a 95 degree day right? This is no different. Go for thick chunky knits or a sturdy cotton or any other fabric that makes sense for winter. It's really that easy.
So, what are my final thoughts aside from the fact that if you are still telling people they can't wear white after Labor Day you are basically announcing that you think dentures are still made from wood and probably don't own any pants with a button? Well, my final thought is just this... Hey Travis! You need that sweater in your life! :D