Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Labor Day

Don't forget that we will pass the Labor Day milestone this weekend. If you are of a traditional mindset, as I am, you will put away your brightest, lightest summer whites no matter what the outdoor temperature is. That especially includes bright summer white shoes, sandals, and purses. You will probably also put away your most summery looking prints, particularly if those prints show a lot of white background. True white blouses and T-shirts are appropriate any time of year, particularly if they have a bit longer sleeve, so you don't need to be concerned about those.

Of course, this is a cultural norm and a changing one at that, so no one's going to turn you into the fashion police if you prefer to keep wearing your whites. It is entirely a personal decision.

There is, however, some merit to the idea of dressing with seasonal colors in mind, even if you live in areas where the seasons don't really change that much. The fact is, bright white sandals and shoes do not look fresh with our more fall colored items -- even if those items are of a lightweight fabric. Even if you dress in your favorite colors year-round, as I do, you may still find that you look and feel fresher if you put away your brightest, lightest whites for the season.

Note that soft white, winter white, ivory, buff, oyster, champagne white, eggshell, and the like are lovely year round. However, even at that, you might want to pair these with slightly darker shoes, though, of course, it all depends on the overall look of the outfit. These soft or off whites are as flattering -- if not more so -- to the complexion as true bright white is. If you like the wonderful effect of wearing white, use these whites instead of bright white in the fall and winter months. Again, note that you can always wear a true white blouse with any outfit, provided that the cut of the blouse is appropriate to the outfit. However, unless you are one of the lucky 1/4 of the population that wears white well, you might consider using soft white even for blouses. This is particularly true during the cooler months, when you might not have as much sun-kissed color in your cheeks

When should you break out your summer whites again? Miss Manners would tell you that you should not don them one minute before next Memorial Day. She would tell you to wear bone shoes or a bone purse in the spring. I, on the other hand, side with the tradition of Easter as being fair game for wearing summer white -- weather permitting.

So, one of the first things to consider when looking at your wardrobe during our 12 week mission is whether or not you'd like to put away your most summery items for the time being.

Some summer clothing has a season-less look and can be worn until the weather turns too cold to wear your lightest weight items. You can extend your summer wear by pairing summer items with fall-weight or fall-colored items. For example, some summer skirts and blouses look lovely when paired with a light-weight sweater or jacket. Though this year may be the exception to the rule, we usually have a long, long fall here, and people can usually wear short sleeves, summer weight fabrics, summer capris, etc., for weeks and weeks to come. Even so, I stop wearing the most summery looking items of clothing after Labor Day. For example, I will put away my white capris, but continue to wear my khaki ones for a while.

Don't forget to clean your white clothing, white shoes, and white purses before retiring them for the season. Even if you continue to keep them in your regular closet, rather than storing them away, be sure that you leave them fresh and clean. You don't want to reach for them on a beautiful spring day next year, only to find that stains have set in and the item is no longer wearable. You should also take care of any raveling, missing buttons, etc. Tending to that now means that your wardrobe will be spring-ready. Also, if you clean your summer items thoroughly now that will keep these items smelling sweeter, which also makes for a sweeter smelling closet and/or storage area.

Enjoy!
elizabeth

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