Group of five young children in summer clothes paddling in the sea off the coast of America circa 1924; some ships can be seen in the far distance.
The Montifraulo Collection/Getty Images
By Diane Tsai
August 29, 2014

Tradition holds that this is the time of year when wearing white becomes a major fashion faux pas. But it turns out that the history of the “no white after Labor Day” rule isn’t so black and white.

In the video above, TIME’s Archives Editor Lily Rothman explains why Americans stopped wearing white after Labor Day (and also why you should feel free to rock your white jeans well after summer is over).

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