Janci: White is all right, even after Labor Day

Guest columnist Jenelle Janci takes a stand against the age-old fashion rule.

It’s pretty safe to say that I have never been one to follow fashion rules.

I wore a Spice Girls T-shirt with a velour skirt on the first day of kindergarten at age 6, a neon hair extension to my cousin’s wedding at age 8 and suffered from a notable scene-kid phase in my early teens.

There is undoubtedly a picture of me floating around MySpace in bright blue pants and a purple Cobra Starship hoodie.

So, almost needless to say, I find the “no white after Labor Day” rule completely preposterous.

My first problem with the rule is that it’s nondescript. Do you mean to tell me that I am required to exile all of my white T-shirts for an entire season? You do realize that this would include my Pee-wee’s Playhouse shirt, don’t you? Forbidding me from wearing such a closet-staple is a crime in itself, if you ask me.

Additionally, if it were truly shameful to wear white in the winter, wouldn’t white sweaters, scarves, mittens, corduroys, fur coats and the associated fuzzy articles of the white variety be banned from production by merchandisers worldwide? If this rule were as well-practiced as it were versed, bunnies could sleep much sounder knowing that their alabaster fur wasn’t at risk of being robbed for the Angora market.

When the rule comes to distressed white pants, however, an absolutely impractical “statement piece,” the rule should extend to before and after Labor Day. Those are just never appropriate.

Secondly, when is it ever OK to begin wearing white again? Apparently I’m not alone in this thought, for Google attempts to answer my question with 318 million results. I wonder why the mysterious day of white reinstatement isn’t more celebrated. We could all get together and look like we’re going to some “Laguna Beach” theme party that Lauren “LC” Conrad invited us to in hopes of pissing off Kristin Cavallari, or perhaps if our hemlines were a little longer, like a troupe of hopefuls waiting for their confirmation or First Holy Communion. It could really be something special.

Additionally, doesn’t the term “White Christmas” have any significance to you? Bing Crosby would be embarrassed that you’re actually trying to avoid wearing white during the snowy season. That’s like praying for water but refusing to do a rain dance. It just doesn’t make sense.

Also, an online source I wish I had stumbled upon sooner named “WiseGeek” raises an excellent question: Where do brides fall into this equation? Do Vera Wang and Pnina Tornai make special “eggshell” and “cream” colored gowns for those unfortunate post-Labor-Day brides? Is a bride who truly deserves to wear white on her special day any less deserving because she planned a fall wedding? Fashion police are insensitive and impractical to matters such as these.

I’d also like to say that I personally take offense to the “no white after Labor Day” rule, for I am nothing but white after Labor Day. I don’t have a bit of Italian, Greek, Puerto Rican or any of the lovely bronzing ethnic genes in me. Am I myself out of style once the warm weather fades away too? If I’m wrong in the matter, then I don’t want to be right – because tan chicks in the winter will never stop being weird to me.

So, my fellow fashion rogues, I dare you to keep wearing white during these impending winter months. Let’s reclaim white once and for all.

Jenelle Janci can be reached at jenelle.janci@temple.edu.

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