There are those who choose to ignore the rubric of no white until Easter and none after Labor Day. Coco Chanel wore white year round. The “winter white” fashion trend rears its head of temptation routinely. Spring’s first warm days entreat girls to glide around in white sandals. And though I hate to say it, some folks’ mamas failed to educate them. It’s a real shame. Coco Chanel, bless her heart, was raised in orphanages, so she at least had an excuse.
Grandmothers, living and deceased, are horrified at these gross indiscretions. Out-of-season donning of white shoes and ensembles is a garish display of poor etiquette and inconsideration for others. Pushing the season is an understandable desire but a horrendous character flaw. Flagrantly wearing white when it isn’t acceptable simply because one “can” is base. It’s like chewing gum in church. Proper people don’t do it.
Nonetheless, I believe we need to ease up on the Easter start date for enveloping ourselves in crisp, luxurious white pants, skirts, dresses and footwear. Easter bounces around the calendar in unpredictable ways. It can fall in March, when cold weather makes us wish we could wear wool to Easter services without turning heads. Knowing, however, what poor taste that would be, we dress in frilly frocks and seersucker and bear the brutal chill.
Other years, Easter arrives as late as the end of April. Meanwhile, we suffer through the rising spring heat, mopping our brows, anticipating emancipation from dull winter wardrobes. The waiting renders jumping into white garb all the more surreal. Pudgy fingers smearing melted chocolate bunny down the side of a white linen dress welcome the wardrobe change.
Abiding by when and when not to wear white keeps Southerners grounded, keeps us close to our roots. But I think we have tied our kites to the wrong arbitrary go-ahead. With good reason, I motion we attach the rule to a more predictable calendar event: The Masters Tournament.
Yes, yes, I know we’ve celebrated Easter for the last 2000 years and can count on it to rescue us from Lent and winter doldrums. And I think we should go right on with it despite what we decide to do about this white dress problem.
The Masters arrives the first full week of April each year, sometimes after Easter, sometimes before Easter, but always the first full week of April. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if golf patrons and Augusta National members, especially now that there women in the club, could break out their whites? No one would be in danger of making a pre-Easter fashion faux pas for the world to see. Imagine the panoramic camera sweeps capturing a crowd dressed head to toe in white back-dropped by bursts of pink azaleas and expanses of green grass.
Since my proposal doesn’t touch the Labor Day end of things, I expect the folks at the Augusta National to throw their support behind modernizing our thinking on this social concern. If we can’t get the remainder of the Southern states or even all of Georgia to go along with this, let’s settle for a CSRA amendment to the white rule. Does anyone second the motion?