TIME marked Labor Day yesterday with a video on their website purporting to explain why it’s now okay to wear white after Labor Day. The reason, apparently, is because fashion editors say so. Using photos from the magazine’s archives, Diane Tsai showed how the no-white-after-Labor-Day tradition began primarily among well-to-do East Coasters returning to the city from their summer homes. The fact that East Coast summers were frequently followed by cold, rainy autumns contributed to the aversion to lightweight summer clothing. And the shoes just followed along. But it was never a rule, she says, just a tradition.
My West Coast fashionista daughter has always laughed at my adherence to that tradition. “We don’t pay attention to that out here,” she’d say. She’d also laugh when I’d tell her I’d spent the weekend changing over my closet from summer to winter wear. “We don’t do that,” she’d tell me. Now I live in the perpetual summer of Southern California and my closet has winter (such-as-it-is) wear hanging right alongside summer – because you never know when the temperature could change.
But white shoes? They’re relegated to an upper shelf until Memorial Day. For me, some traditions will stick around as long as I do.
[Photo: Shoes by George Hodan]