Wearing white in the summer makes sense. Desert peoples have known for thousands of years that white clothing seems to keep you a little bit cooler than other colors. But wearing white only during the summer? While no one is completely sure exactly when or why this fashion rule came into effect, our best guess is that it had to do with snobbery in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The wives of the super-rich ruled high society with an iron fist after the Civil War. As more and more people became millionaires, though, it was difficult to tell the difference between old money, respectable families, and those who only had vulgar new money. By the 1880s, in order to tell who was acceptable and who wasn’t, the women who were already “in” felt it necessary to create dozens of fashion rules that everyone in the know had to follow. That way, if a woman showed up at the opera in a dress that cost more than most Americans made in a year, but it had the wrong sleeve length, other women would know not to give her the time of day.

Not wearing white outside the summer months was another one of these silly rules. White was for weddings and resort wear, not dinner parties in the fall. Of course it could get extremely hot in September, and wearing white might make the most sense, but if you wanted to be appropriately attired you just did not do it. Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894, and society eventually adopted it as the natural endpoint for summer fashion.

Not everyone followed this rule. Even some socialites continued to buck the trend, most famously Coco Chanel, who wore white year-round. But even though the rule was originally enforced by only a few hundred women, over the decades it trickled down to everyone else. By the 1950s, women’s magazines made it clear to middle class America: white clothing came out on Memorial Day and went away on Labor Day.

These days the fashion world is much more relaxed about what colors to wear and when, but every year you will still hear people say that white after Labor Day is unacceptable, all thanks to some snobby millionaires over 100 years ago


Removing Fabric Stains Tips

Once again, the faster you treat a spill, the better your results.

Removing the stain: work from the outer edge of the stain toward the center. Apply a small amount of the cleaning agent to a white paper towel or cloth and gently work it in to the stain area. Problems can result from working with large amounts od cleaning materials, even water, so begin with a small amount and repeat the process as needed. Blot – do not rub or brush. Rubbing too harshly can cause unsightly distortion in your garment’s fabric. For fabrics, place the front face on a white paper towel or cloth and work the cleaning agent into the fabric from the back.

Be patient: Repeat the procedure with clean white paper towels or cloths until you can’t transfer any more stain to the towel or cloth. Do not proceed to the next recommended cleaning agent until this is done. Complete stain removal may require repeating the same step several times. In many cases it will not be necessary to use all of the recommended steps to remove the stain. When the stain is gone, flush with water to remove stain-removal products. Then blot.

If the label of the garment you’re cleaning says ” dry-clean only,” you may want to avoid using water-based cleaning agent. If you’re concerned that your attempt to remove a stain will cause damage, seek help from a dry cleaner who should evaluate the stain and material and inform you of ant potential risks. Tell the professional about any remedies you may have already tried.

Chocolate-covered laundry: Use your machine’s soak cycle and one of your higher-rated detergents that can be used in HE and conventional machines. Then wash. Don’t put them in the dryer until you’re satisfied with the stain removal. If the stained clothes have already been in the dryer, it will be even more difficult to remove stains, so you might have to repeat this process.

Ink and crayon marks: To tackle ballpoint-pen marks, place a clean white paper towel under the stain, then bot a small spot with rubbing alcohol and another piece of paper towel. Keep blotting the stain with a clean part of each paper towel over and under the stain until it is gone, then launder. For crayons, Crayola suggests scraping off as much as possible, then working liquid dish soap into the stain. Wait several minutes, then rub the fabric under warm water to remove the stain. Machine-wash using the heavy-soil setting, with the hottest water the care label recommends, and OxiClean. Air-dry the item and repeat is necessary.