Winter White, Vol. 18, Issue 7

Etiquetteer’s opinion about white after Labor Day has been pretty well established, so you can imagine the consternation when That Mr. Dimmick Who Thinks He Knows So Much came home from an impromptu shopping expedition with a new winter overcoat . . . in white! Etiquetteer and That Mr. Dimmick have disagreed before, but you can imagine the shock . . .

Still, what about winter white? Is winter white the same thing as white after Labor Day? The what-aboutists are always eager to ask! And actually, it isn’t. The kind of white known as “winter white” differs from summer white in that it is Never Actually White, but cream or ivory or bone. You can see the difference between That Mr. Dimmick’s overcoat and shirt collar.

How does one wear winter white with Perfect Propriety? Just about anything in a thick wool should do: gigantic sweaters, scarves, knitted caps, and of course gloves. Especially for the ladies, who always seem to have more leeway that gentlemen. But while many would disagree, Etiquetteer doesn’t really think that white jeans in winter are Perfectly Proper, nor white athletic shoes. But this is perhaps more a choice of Style than Etiquette.

Etiquetteer would exempt, of course, the basic white dress shirts and blouses that are the staples of a Perfectly Proper wardrobe. They look correct all the year round. Even white-based T-shirts. if you’re going someplace where you’d ordinarily wear a T-shirt, white is OK.

But if you’re going to wear more than one piece of winter white at a time, make sure they match! You don’t want to look all tuppence ha’penny and have people saying “Oh, she’s trying to make everything match.”

So . . . what about this overcoat, readers? Etiquetteer thinks it a bit too showy and ostentatious, but clearly That Mr. Dimmick just loves it, while Etiquetteer is a bit aghast. What do you think? Just right, or too flashy? Use Common Courtesy to share your opinion yea or nay on Etiquetteer’s Facebook page, or on Twitter.