Let’s talk rules. It is perplexing that this generation is obsessed with everything old fashioned, but doesn’t want to follow any traditions or rules.
Wearing white between the months of June, July and August once symbolized being wealthy. There has always been a stigma that once Labor Day rolls around, the whites and linens get hung up in the closet, not to come out until the next Memorial Day or occasional family portrait on Easter weekend.
In the past, when September hit and it was time for well-to-do families to leave lake houses and head off to work and school, men put away the white pants and women did the same with white blouses. Today, it would be comparable to white shorts for the ladies and white button down shirts for men, if not worn with a full suit.
In recent years, even GQ Magazine has advocated wearing white after Labor Day. Many others are also calling for the reintroduction of white clothing to the full year’s wardrobe. It’s 2014, anyone can wear what they want, when they want. No black and white photo from the good old days or tradition can stop them.
I’m all for it, but there is a catch. If you don’t wear it with confidence, people will notice. That goes for everything you wear, not just breaking the mold on the traditional no-white-after-Labor-Day rule. Remember that it is not just the clothes that show the person has style, it is the confidence of the person wearing the clothes.
If you want to wear cargo shorts, wear cargo shorts. If you prefer skinny jeans and rolled up shirt sleeves, wear them. If you like to wear things that are vintage, or things that are new and dirtied up to be sold as vintage, wear them. If you want to wear white after Labor Day, do it.
Let’s not go off the deep end, however. We need to remember that there still are rules to everybody’s style and fashion in general. Dirty and wrinkled clothes are not stylish. Similarly, smelling like a combination of sweat and the dryer sheets your mom sent you off to college with at the beginning of August is a sure-fire way to keep away strangers and friends alike.
As important as it is for millennials to feel they have an identity unique from their parents and past generations, we have to remember that there are some rules that can’t be trumped by individualism. Anything that bars sanitation or overall impression of cleanliness is not something to forsake for style.
Wear what you want and wear it confidently. It’s great that everyone has their own style and it’s alright to break tradition, but remember not to dismiss some of the fundamental rules. Most importantly remember that if you like it, wear it proudly.