The White Note

– By Teresa Greenfeld –

Remember the telephone game?  You whisper a message to the person next to you, then they whisper it to the person next to them, and so on, until finally the last person says the message aloud.  The message ends up changing significantly throughout the relay, so what the last person hears is often completely different than the original message.

The “no white after Labor Day” rule is like one big, long game of telephone.  Originally, the “rule” was much less restrictive, stating only “no white dress shoes after Labor Day or before Memorial Day”.  White sneakers, even white ballet flats are totally fine.  Admittedly, the version quoted today doesn’t vary too much from the original, but it does banish an entire color for over eight months.  And for what?  It’s not like some team of secret fashion agents (operation Little Black Dress, naturally) will swoop in, arrest you, and sentence you to mandatory wardrobe management classes.  For arguments sake, let’s say such a enforcement agency does exist – they’re fashion agents – chic rules above all.  For example, it’s November, and you’re wearing a gorgeous, chunky cashmere turtleneck, a pair of white skinny jeans and buttery-soft, rich brown boots.  Are you to be arrested because you happen to be wearing white jeans?  No.  You would be celebrated.  And photographed.  Certainly given a “get out of jail chic” card.

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