Nothing feels more summery than a bright white ensemble. But did you ever wonder why? White is not exactly a practical color for the summer — picnicking in it is a nightmare — nor is it a flattering one. And why on earth can’t you wear it after Labor Day?
Racked did an investigation into all of these important questions, and what they found was that the trend toward white in the summer, like many trends, started with the rich. Back in the olden days, rich people liked to escape the city for the summer because it was dirty, hot and just generally disgusting. While in the city, everyone would wear dark colors to hide the horse dung and other nasty materials that would cling to clothes, but once the rich were out in the country, where it was presumably cleaner, they could don their whites. In the fall, once they had returned to the city, they would put their whites away again.
Rich people kept to this tradition even after cities became cleaner — mainly as a way to differentiate themselves from the poorer classes. The trend toward wearing white in the summer later spread to the middle class, who (as usual) tried desperately to copy the rich. And so the rich, promptly, abandoned it and today they wear white all year long because they can do pretty much anything they want.
One tradition they keep? Escaping the city in the summer for the sweet, sweet countryside.