The Day After Labor Day, Mother Nature, and the Belle

I adore this illustration by Elizabeth Graeber. (You'll be able to see it soon on our bedroom makeover!)

I adore this summery illustration by Elizabeth Graeber, and it will be hanging in our bedroom soon!

While I recognize that I should feel a little more affinity for Mother Nature, her being a “she” and all, I have to admit that Labor Day always tends to make me a little bitter. You see, here in the South the heat and humidity reach their peak in late August and early September making the fact that we must put away our linen and seersucker today all the more excruciating. Nevertheless, in the words of my own mother, “There are rules for a reason.”

Do you remember when you were little and your mama told you not to pull your skirt over your head? No? Maybe that was just me. Hmm… It’s not like pulling my skirt above my head was a particularly big deal. It didn’t hurt anyone. I was always wearing an adorable little crinoline underneath or, at least the very least, lacy boy shorts that I got to show off. Plus, everyone looked at me! And who doesn’t want to be the center of attention?

However, a lesson my 2-year-old self quickly learned is that not all attention is good–sometimes people are just laughing at you because you’re crazy. “Bless her heart, maybe she doesn’t know any better.” “Well for Heaven’s sake, do you think she even knows it’s Fall?” There are rules for a reason. It may not be hurtful, it may not have consequences, but it will most definitely separate the women from ‘Belles.’

When I see grown women wearing maxi dresses and cork wedges in September, they aren’t really hurting anything but my soul. You see, there are rules for a reason. In the old days the ‘No White After Labour Day’ rule may have been a clear way to segregate those that had been on summer holiday from the blue collar workers. It was also just a matter of practicality–white reflects the light and therefore doesn’t draw in the heat so it’s worn in the summer. However, living in a region that can stay brutally hot well into the Fall, Southern Belles pack away their white shoes, linen, and seersucker (neatly with tissue paper in a sealed garment bag, of course!) for a different reason. The fashion-literate Southerner needs a way to delineate the styles from one season to another. It may not feel like Fall when it is 95°F and you’re cheering on your SEC team of choice, but wearing your white capri pants aren’t going to help anything.

So happy day after Labor Day. Now go clean out your closet, and will the cooler weather to get here ASAP!


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