With the first day of school comes the realization that summer is officially over. But before the leaves change colors and you pull out your sweatshirts and jeans, celebrate by hosting a Labor Day party. Just follow the 4 Ds—dress, decorations, drinks, and desserts—and wave a white flag to summer.
So what exactly is a white-out Labor Day party?
You’ve heard the saying: “Never wear white after Labor Day.” But why is that and where did the idea originate from?
In September 2009, Time.com published an article titled Why We Can’t Wear White After Labor Day, which shed light on this peculiar societal faux paux. According to the article, some historians suggest that wearing white in the summer and dark in the winter was a status symbol of wealth. In the early 20th century, upper-class, wealthy Americans changed their clothing by the season; thus, it became part of proper etiquette, at least as far as the wealthy were concerned, to stop wearing white after Labor Day.
Many things have changed in the past century, however, one being that “winter white,” a creamy shade of white, is now a rising trend. Nowadays, no one is going to point and laugh if you are caught wearing a pair of white jeans to the store in October, but you probably should just play it safe and put those white tops and pants in the back of the closet with your bathing suits and flip-flops.
First, greet guests wearing all white—everything from your shoes to a white scarf tied around your neck or a classic white bow tie. Even a white tux if you still have one from back in the day!
For a bit of extra fun, pick up some white-framed glasses at the store or paint your nails white to complete the white-out.
Start with a white tablecloth and add some white napkins and plates. These can be paper, plastic, or glass depending on the location of your party. (You probably don’t want to have glass plates at an outdoor pool party.)
Make white centerpieces using white daises or roses in a glass vase
If you’re throwing an intimate indoor or nighttime patio party, add ambiance with white candles or tea lights. Use an empty bottle of white wine as decoration with a wine bottle candelabra and white tea lights. (Check out our recommendation for the perfect candelabra HERE.)
Offer your guests a selection of white wine
If you want a little more splash, make coconut-flavored margaritas.
Coconut Margaritas (recipe via)
2 ½ cups coconut water, chilled
½ cup sugar
1T. lime juice
¼ cup finely shredded coconut shavings
Ice, for serving
½ cup coconut rum
¼ cup white chocolate liquear
¼ cup tequila
In a small pot over medium heat, combine ½ cup coconut water with the sugar. Heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, add lime juice, and let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Place the coconut shavings on a small plate. Dip the rims of 4 margarita glasses into the coconut simple syrup just to dampen. Invert the glasses onto the coconut to coat the rims. Fill the glasses with ice.
In a pitcher, combine the remaining 2 cups coconut water, the rum, white chocolate liqueur, tequila, and ¼ cup of the coconut simple syrup. Stir and pour into the rimmed glasses.
#4: Desserts and Appetizers
Mix up a Mexican White Cheese Dip (recipe via)
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
4 oz. green chilies
¼ cup half and half
2 T. onions, chopped fine
2 t. ground cumin
½ t. salt
1 serrano pepper, chopped fine (optional)
1 T. fresh cilantro, chopped fine (optional)
1. Put all the ingredients in a double boiler and heat on medium
2. Cook until melted and well blended, stirring occasionally
3. Serve with fresh tostadas or hot flour tortillas
Other food ideas:
Serve Granny Smith apple slices and a white cheese such as Swiss or thin slices of Parmesan to complement the white wine.
Fill glass mason jars with white M&Ms or yogurt-covered raisins.
Make vanilla cupcakes with white icing.
Eat the go-to white dessert of champions: roasted marshmallows!
It will be a full white-out party as you celebrate a unique summer send-off!