Speaking of change….
I have the fashion sense of ranchers on a three-day ride to the circus. I’m not quite sure what that means, but it conjures up some interesting images of attire.
I recently wore white to a social function AFTER LABOR DAY. Now, I don’t usually wear white at all because too many of my body parts are turning white (hair, eye brows, elbows). Zombies seem to have more color than me anymore. So the only reason I wore white to this fa-la-la affair was…all of my more colorful costumes were dirty.
The fashion police gave me the ol’ up and down look, accompanied by the knowing smirk we’ve come to recognize since junior high. And these were my friends. I shudder to think what others were saying. Well…actually I didn’t give a damn. If I had—I would’ve followed the rules. But that got me thinking….
Who Made the Stupid No Wearing White After Labor Day Rule???
No one’s sure, but they think it had to do with snobbery.
After the Civil War it was hard to tell the difference between the Old-Money Rich and those Yankee-Carpetbagger-Upstart-Vulgar Rich.
So, in the 1880s, the women of old money, and even older family name, created complex social rules for the “knowing.” If a lady showed up at the ball in a gown that had the wrong sleeve length, the other fine ladies could shun her and her new money in a seemingly gracious, but truly smirky manner.
Not wearing white for fall galas seems to be one of these rules. When Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894, it became the official cut-off for summer, thus the unspoken end of white clothing. So this snooty rule trickled down to the rest of us middle class cretins, aided by women’s magazines which made it dogma.
By the 2000s, the rules have thankfully relaxed, due to a woman’s best friend, Coco Chanel. She made her own rules for which we ranching/circus/fashion-challenged are thankful
She wore white year-round.
and gave us….
- The “Little Black Dress. (1926)
- Tweed Suits (1920s)
- Bell bottoms (1954)
She also felt, “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it’s not luxury.”
Now there’s a woman who knows fashion. And I bet she could smirk, too.
What fashion rules do you follow (or break) ?