• Carmen Milligan

Shut that antiquated notion down, fashionistas!

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

A lot irritates me. A LOT. People who put their cell phones on speaker in public. People who are mean to old people because they are slow/hard of hearing/slow to make a decision. Anyone who is cruel to a pet. People who tailgate (others in their car, not at SEC football games). People who lie about drinking alcohol. It really does go on and on and on.

Right now, though, I am particularly peeved by the handful of self-righteous, self-appointed fashion police who tell you that you can't wear white after labor day. Do you even know where this "tradition" came from? Do you know what you are perpetuating? Or are you just an ignorant mouthpiece for class exclusion from the 1800s?

Bingo! We have a winner!

As temps lower, it is natural that you will turn to wool instead of linen. Science proves that dark colors absorb heat while light colors repel it. You know what, Tiffany Olivia Opal Lucinda? We no longer work the fields, so that's not really a consideration. Historically, the Navy changed their dress whites to dress blues after labor day. Are you in the Navy, Tiff Oliv Opal Luci? One last bit of historical evidence points to a separation that you can probably understand: In the late 19th century, rich, high society women who came from wealth found themselves rubbing elbows with the so-called "new rich." In order to distinguish old-money families from the newfound millionaires, they used fashion rules that only those who were "in" would know about. And the reason for the made-up name in this paragraph are the certain-to-be-embroidered initials: TOOL.

These rules included things like wearing the correct sleeve length for certain events and, of course, only wearing white in the summertime. Eventually, when Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894, the holiday became a natural end point for summer and wearing white.

And then it became a point of derision. I'll give those southern buttercups who may read my blog a minute to look up the word "derision", which is not a good thing. So, to all of you antiquated purveyors of negative southern stereotypes who are trying to diminish people who are feeling their true selves: Shut the fuck up. If you don't want to wear white capris in September in Alabama when it's 92* because convention tells you that you need to wear khakis with a denim long-sleeved shirt (with the sleeves rolled up, of course, because it's so damn hot out), keep it to yourself. Because it's the 21st century, and we no longer have to separate ourselves from the "nouveau riche". All of us, unless your name is Astor, Vanderbilt, Livingston, Schermerhorn, de Peyster, Schuyler, Havemeyer, Van Rensselaer, Stuyvesant, Rhinelander, Jay, Rutherfurd, Chanler, Goelet, Cushing, Van Cortlandt, or Whitney, can wear anything you want because no one is chasing you with a camera and a set of archaic fashion rules.

On a last note: do you know who wore what she wanted, when she wanted? Coco Fucking Chanel. So, do not come to me, wearing your elastic waist Alfred Dunner navy pants that are machine-wash-tumble-dry-low, telling me that I can't wear white after labor day. Because, well, you are an idiot.

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