At this point it seems that the only reason anyone ever mentions the adage “no white after Labor Day” is to demonstrate just how outdated it has become. If anything, the pendulum has now swung in the opposite direction and the notion of “winter whites” has become as prevalent as anything in those months post September 1st. While some may advocate for white denim, the thought of wearing jeans with a sport coat is a bit too much for many, and so I personally favor pale-toned flannels this time of year.
As these sketches from Apparel Arts show, cream and ivory flannel were incredibly popular trouser options throughout the thirties and forties back, when men were getting their clothes made for them as opposed to buying them off the rack. Thanks to the rise of ready to wear though, snowy flannels fell out of favor because for most men they were far too ostentatious and so you’d be hard pressed to find a pair of white flannels in any post-mid century menswear collection.
Contemporarily though, as designers have looked to the dirty thirties for inspiration, lighter colored flannel trousers have made their way into collections once again. Traditionally white pants are associated with warmer months, but a heavier weight flannel trouser plays quite nicely off the colorfully patterned tweed and houndstooth sport coats that are common in these cooler months. So go ahead, be bold, and go for blank.