Published On: Mon, Sep 1st, 2014

It’s Not a Fashion Travesty to Wear White on Yom Kippur, Labor Day

wearing white

So it is official. One is no longer said to be a fashion violator for the sake of religious faith for wearing white on Yom Kippur, even though it usually comes after Labor Day. As Cole Porter wrote in his immortal song, “Anything Goes” and if it was true in the 1920s, its true nearly a century later.

Everybody is wearing whites into the fall, ” says Liz Rymar, owner and creative director of ellelauri. “It’s another way people are able to experiment. We are selling so many textured and tweed items this year, presenting them with the whites we sold the summer months.”

Not to accuse a fashion maven of thinking oh-so-practically, but that is one way to work off one’s summer inventory.  And the current mood in fashion is contrasts, so how can you  have contrasts without white? Silk with fur, striped with printed, black with white (chareidim must be all the rage). The fashion mavens are finally telling us to break free from the old-fashioned fashion Orthodoxy of no white after Labor Day. So don that white dress on Yom Kippur without feeling your fashion violations are yet another affliction, and don’t think yeshivah bochurim are committing fashion faux pas with their white shirts from fall to spring.

But with fashion, alas, nothing lasts. If “everybody” is wearing white after Labor Day, pretty soon it will be important to avoid doing something “everybody is doing.” So I can enjoy this year, but next year, I’m likely to be a fashion outlaw yet again on Yom Kippur, as I’m sure white after Labor Day will go back out of style.


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