I was confronted with a decision this morning: to wear or not to wear white flip flops to English class?
The etiquette ingrained in my mind since childhood cried out to me that this was indeed a fashion no-no, but common sense said ‘why not?’ It’s well over 80 degrees outside and they complement my outfit perfectly.
I began to wonder about the origins of this Labor Day don’t and came to the conclusion that whoever thought it up certainly didn’t live in Texas, where the weather can change drastically on a day to day or hourly basis.
The rule, which to me seems archaic and unreasonable, popped up in the 1950s to remind those of us without common sense to wear clothing suitable for inclement weather.
White reflects light and heat, so wearing darker fabric during the winter months actually keeps you considerably warmer.
It’s also been suggested that in the 19th century and during the 1950s, more common folk were finding themselves among the middle class. Without knowledge of manners or etiquette, they created their own simple rules to guide them in these uncharted waters. This guide gave way to the Labor Day dictate that rules the present fashions.
Grey’s Anatomy star Katherine Heigl donned a beautiful white gown to the Emmy awards ceremony that took place after Labor Day last year.
As the starlet walked down the red carpet, she not only laughed in the face of a fashion faux pas, but she emerged victorious as well, winning both an Emmy and the esteemed best dressed award.
Many seem to follow her revolutionary footsteps as I’ve found the rule has become less frequently enforced over the years.
While people certainly still whisper, at least they don’t call you out for flip flop wearing. I think what it boils down to is being smart enough to choose clothing that’s functional given the circumstances and I think for the most people that’s a no-brainer.
Needless to say, my white flip flops got a tour of campus.