“Autumn-ize” White

It’s that time of the year again. The time when the age old “no white after Labor Day and definitely not after the first day of autumn” fashion rule rears its ugly head! Whilst there is no concrete data on how this became a rule, there can still be damning ramifications for those who break code.

Caution: History Alert Ahead! As I was taught, white was worn during “season” – the summer of debuts and cotillions. In order to help distinguish the aristocracy and upper class from the nouveau riche and the middle class, the little secret was hatched. At a glance, social position could be instantly determined. No respectable lady, or gentleman for that matter, would wear white at summer’s end. (They later began teaching the newly rich proper dress codes such as which wool was for walking and which was for shooting matches, black tie vs. white tie, and they gave up the little white secret as well. Then, it became another piece of folklore.) Remember, practicality factored in too, of course. Those were the days of muddy roads, dirty snow-blanketed sidewalks, and most of the elite no longer had servants to unroll a carpet for them to step onto (roll out the red carpet – more on that at a later time).

So, now it’s 2014 and most fashion designers and icons alike are certain they have debunked the code, yet everyone is still talking about it!! I’m certainly not suggesting that anyone follow or break the “no white” rule. However, I also don’t believe in the “anything goes anytime, anywhere” fashions of late. There is a place and time for everything! There is a fine line with late year whites and I believe it can be achieved gracefully not by relinquishing your white pieces to the back of your closet, but rather by intermingling them with autumn colors! Here’s a suggestion: how about we wear our whites, just “Autumn-ize” them. That’s right – add the autumnal colors with white and create a new look. Here’s an example that works (note the dark knee high boots) even if you’re not to the manor born! Autumn-ize White

And a more casual variation for those autumn cooled evenings on the veranda:

Autumn-ize Whites

Here’s another proving that the crisp white shirt will never be restricted by season.

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As for white shoes, bags, and jeans – I still follow the rule. Wait, sneakers don’t count do they?

Fifty, Fashionable, & Fabulous! Really???

I keep reading that fifty is the new thirty. Honestly, I feel about thirty most days, but I can promise you fifty is definitely NOT thirty! In my late teenage years, I spent eighteen months under the tutelage of Miss Prentiss learning the social graces a young Southern lady is supposed to possess. Most of what I learned has helped me in both my private and professional life. 20140527-220843-79723721.jpg However, as I’m aging apparently more rapidly than I ever imagined, one of the things I learned is troubling me – “women over forty should dress their age.” What exactly does that even mean? Well, back then it meant matronly suits, low chunky heels, long sleeves, loose trousers paired only with loose, long blouses, and by all means no cleavage or even décolleté! Admittedly, I’ve seen women who could benefit from that piece of wisdom and some of them were in their twenties! When I was eighteen, I agreed with said notion. Now that I’m staring fifty-three smack in the face, I’m thinking that saying has passed into folklore without a shred of evidence!!

Shouldn’t fashion be more about what we like, how we feel in it, and how we look rather than a number? I think so! Am I destined to loose trousers and blouses just because of my age? God, I hope not! Some of the most fashionably dressed, and beautiful, women I’ve seen are over 40, 50, even – dare I say it, 60. Just to be clear, I am excluding Hollywood’s elite for we mere mortals don’t have their stylists, trainers, chefs, dietitians, plastic surgeons, and such.
So, what are we do to – us older ladies? Bow to the rule of “dressing our age” or dress as we want? My vote goes to dress for confidence! Find your own personal style and enjoy it. In the end, all that matters is that we had a good time while we were here, so ladies over forty – let’s unite and debunk the myth!