phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: Only wear white shoes...

Posted by Smokey Stover on October 09, 2005

In Reply to: Re: Only wear white shoes... posted by R. Berg on September 07, 2005

: : : : : : : We are trying to learn the meaning of the phrase "White Shoes Permitted After Labor Day". What does it mean?

: : : : : : I assume it is some 'rule' of etiquette: a dress code of some sort?

: : : : : : DFG

: : : : : It is a fashion rule: "Originally, the rule was more along the lines of 'Only wear white shoes between Memorial Day and Labor Day.'"

: : : : : More details are on Ask Yahoo at http://ask.yahoo.com/20020913.html Accessed September 3, 2005.

: : : : Sorry to restate the obvious, but the rule is, don't wear white shoes after Labor Day. Therefore the phrase "White shoes permitted after Labor Day" indicates an exception to the rule. I'm sort of curious about the context of the phrase. Surely no one would ever post a sign to that effect. So it must be some ironic expression of an author. SS

: : : In days gone by when ladies of 'quality' wore hats a little white gloves it was the rule that white shoes (and the matching handbag) were only worn between Memorial day and Labor day. After labor day it was considered very gauche to wear white shoes and a lady who did so was somewhat ostracized (fashion-wise), talked about and had her 'quality' questioned. I don't know how this rule started it or who started it, but it was taken very, very seriously in those days.

: : P.S. Today the rule is considered outmoded and has gone the way of most such rules. Today anything goes, much to my chagrin, and people feel free to wear anything they want to meet any kind of occasion. This rule, similar to the red wine/white wine rule is looked at as: "I'll wear what I want" and "It's my wine and I will drink it how I want. Sad.

: There's no culinary reason for the "red wine with red meat" rule. I've seen it cited as an example of a sort of modern taboo with no basis except the idea that colors should match.

Is this better late than never? The sign saying "White shoes permitted after Labor Day" is posted on the TV show, What Not to Wear. The clothing/fashion/makeover advisers on the show wish you to know that that is their opinion regarding white shoes. SS