Monday, April 25, 2011

White Shoes, Straw Hats, and Southern Traditions

Here in Tennessee, you just can't get away from Southern traditions. And why would you want to anyway? Even those that are outdated bring back wonderful memories and make for interesting conversation.

Yesterday was Easter Sunday, the day we Southern girls bring out our white shoes and spring finery. Women all over the South were decked out in light dresses of pretty pastel colors like dyed eggs in a basket. Little girls had satin bows in their hair and sweet ruffles of lace on their socks. It wouldn't matter if it was raining, or cold, or snowing, the Easter outfit would be worn, even if you had to toss a white sweater over it on the way to church!

Southern fashion rules dictate that white shoes, sandals, pants, dresses and skirts should only be worn on or after Easter. That also goes for certain fabrics like linen, seersucker, dotted swiss, chiffon, and voile. The only possible exceptions are your wedding gown or if you are in a tropical climate on vacation. 
Although I didn't make an Easter dress this year, I did whip up an apron to wear with my white jeans and sneakers. Here's to straw hats and spring days, in honor of Southern ladies everywhere.

By the way, Southern tradition says no straw hats or bags until Easter. Hats haven't really made a comeback, although a few ladies can and do wear them on occasion. I mean, other than in the garden or to the Steeplechase or Derby. Caps with logos don't count. Last week my mama came to visit wearing a cute black fedora. She looked pretty sassy for a woman of a certain age, but then she always has.

So from now until Labor Day, all the above items can be worn without fear of being talked about in whispers. Of course, if you have visible panty lines or your bra shows through your blouse, we'll probably whisper about you no matter what color you are wearing.

Useful Notion: Embrace the best old Southern traditions, like pretty spring dresses, strappy sandals, chocolate Easter bunnies, and sweet ice tea. Tell stories about the silly ones, and be bold enough to make some new ones.

All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt!” 
– Lucy Van Pelt



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