Love wearing white dresses but can’t figure out how to do it without looking bridal? Not sure how to incorporate those styles after Labor Day?
Read along to learn how to stun in your vintage whites during every season.
Not Just for Brides
Although a white dress is strongly associated with matrimony, it doesn’t have to be relegated to weddings! White is a whimsical shade that especially suits a more free-spirited aesthetic.
Try these classic looks:
- Live your flower child fantasy in this groovy lace boho mini dress. Wear it with strappy sandals in the summertime, then, pair it with suede over the knee boots to transition into fall.
- The gorgeous pleating of this adorable gold brocade 60s cocktail dress calls to mind a Grecian goddess. Style with a laurel leaf headband or barrettes to feel truly unstoppable.
But Sometimes for Brides
That being said, a classic is a classic for a reason.
Historical records indicate that the first white wedding gown was worn by Phillipa of England in 1406. However, the wedding that really solidified white as the bridal color was that of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of England in 1840.
Traditionally, a wedding was an excuse to dress as opulently as possible, but as a gesture of humility, Victoria chose to wear simple white, putting their love above all else.
As the Industrial Revolution took over England, the newly formed middle class was quick to adopt the fashions of the monarchy that they saw in newspapers and magazines. Victoria encouraged her own daughters to follow suit for their weddings, and the spread of those photographs made white dresses a massive trend.
Its appeal lay in its accessibility: now, everyone could look like royalty. After WWII, as day-to-day fashions became more casual, people were inspired to return to more traditional formality in their wedding garments. The white dress departed from modern trends, embracing pomp and ceremony.
- Hearken back to tradition in this thoroughly impractical, 50s era tea-length cupcake of a wedding dress. Give a twirl: this dress was made for it.
Rocking it After Labor Day
As with wedding garments, no white after labor day is a more recent sartorial guideline than you might think. According to Valerie Steele, director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, the reason is simple.
She explains that in the 19th century, the “old money” population was trying to separate from the new. Steele said this was motivated by the historically wealthy attempting to alienate the newcomers to the upper classes: they created a new rule book that they alone knew how to play by.
It goes without saying that this rule is antiquated, and unless you see the value in sticking to arbitrary, classist dress codes, you should feel free to disregard it. A white wrap dress suits all body types. A white leather jacket keeps you warm while channeling summer vibes. Revel in your autumn and winter whites and stick it to the fashion fun police.
Bright, White, and Styled Right
Shine in your white dresses all year round, regardless of the occasion. You’re sure to pull focus as you make a splash in your fabulous vintage whites.