Labor Day 2014 has decidedly come and gone, and the Perfectly Proper now complete their workday toilettes without the summer staples of seersucker, linen, and especially for those who are sticklers of tradition as Etiquetteer is, white shoes. Each year Etiquetteer feels a tinge of sadness treeing and bagging his white bucks. This is not helped by fashion gurus like Tim Gunn saying all the old rules need to be broken! Perhaps the thrill of white shoes is made more special by the artificial construct of an "official" season in which to wear them. And why not? We only eat Christmas cookies at Christmas. Special things are reserved for special times. Etiquetteer is happy to go along.
Fashion has ever been ephemeral, fleeting, nonsensical, and often frustrating. Abigail Adams herself, fresh from colonial Boston in London, observed "There is a rage of fashion which prevails here with despotick sway. The couleur & kind of silk must be attended to; & the day for putting it on & of[f], no fancy to be exercised, but it is the fashion & that is argument sufficient."* But let's face it, the everyday dress of Americans in the 21st century has much less to do with Fashion, or even with Style (alas!) than it does with Careless Convenience. And that, dear readers, is a sad state of affairs.
And with that, Etiquetteer is quickly going to knot a neat bow tie and head to the office.
*Quoted in Dearest Friend: A Life of Abigail Adams, by Lynne Withey, p. 161.