Monday, September 6, 2010

Don’t you sometimes wonder who declares rules of fashion? Is there a group of men and women, similar to a city counsel, who gets together every year and determines what’s acceptable and what’s off limits? If so, who deems them experts?

I understand changing of skirt lengths and color palates, but the one big fashion faux pas I’ve always accepted, but never understood, is no white shoes after Labor Day. So I decided to do a little research.

One source said the only explanation they could come up with is white reflects heat and for the sake of warmth during cold weather white shoes shouldn’t be worn. It sounds like that group was really struggling for a reason. What about those who live in south Florida? Shouldn’t they be exempt?

Others suggest it all started with the influx of people entering the middle class in the late 19th century. These “new money” folks evidently didn’t understand the social expectations of high society and they were offered some guidelines so they would fit in. Believable, I suppose.

But, the explanation I buy in to thinks it all started with G.R.I.T.S ... girls raise in the South. That makes total sense. Since I am one of those girls, I can talk about those girls. It’s similar to the unspoken rule, “I can talk about my Momma, but you’d better not.”

Our mothers told us what was acceptable in polite social circles and we never much questioned why. If we did, we were told it was because that’s what our grandmothers had taught our mothers. So every Easter I got a new pair of white shoes to be worn until Labor Day. Granted things have relaxed somewhat, but a guarantee you still won’t see white shoes at a southern social gathering in October unless, of course, they are winter white which is totally acceptable. It makes no sense.

I know fashion rules are not as stringent as they used to be, but coming from a long line of G.R.I.T.S, I still think it’s tacky to wear pajama bottoms to Walmart, especially with white shoes after Labor Day.