Labor Day Rules – Diane Marlin-Dirkx (FGI Palm Springs)

A woman emailed: “I know the Labor Day rules, but are white shoes ever appropriate?”

We answered, “Only if your name tag reads Nurse Ratched–we’re not talking teen-queen Candy Stripers in tennies here.”

Call us biased, but women in white shoes who squeegee the floor on rubber soles while patrolling large institutions with industrial-strength locks should be given healthy doses of the same respect due to a hair dresser who holds your head in one hand and a scissors in the other. Like the gorilla, those woman can sit where ever they want to and we’ll say we’ve never seen a more darling pair of white shoes.

However, those cosseted in little rooms temporarily for a tug and a tweak, and the fashionably fit should think twice–or more if you have time between pedicures–about slipping into white dress shoes for the office or a night on the town. They’re about as attractive as that hair on your chinney-chin-chin that needs a snatch every now and again–as your friend is happy to point out when you’re at an event without a tweezer thingie.

Naturally, once someone gets a look at that curly strand, they can’t look at anything else. And if your feet are today’s average size–8 1/2 or 9–you might as well be walking about in toaster ovens. Clementine deserved better and so do you.

But we di-grouse. White shoes are appropriate at a wedding on a bride who wears white–even if she is only play-acting, pardon our sniff. A wedding gown is a costume of purity just as the nurse’s outfit is a uniform of cleanliness. We love white tennis shoes on the court. Role-playing means never having to say you’re sorry for wearing white shoes, you’re simply playing by the rules.

The bottom line: Do not wear white shoes after Labor Day, nor before, unless you plan to be in a parade snorting into a tuba–which at least would hide your face. Any other venue would be cruel and unusual punishment for inmates of the noble institution of fashion. Nurse Ratched would be displeased.

Author: Diane Marlin-Dirkx (Executive Member – FGI Palm Springs)

As a writer and columnist, Marlin-Dirkx has put her pen to a variety of subjects including fashion, food, home and lifestyle features. For over ten years, she covered the “Society” social scene and her weekly byline “Style Quest” answered fashion, beauty and style etiquette questions from readers of The Desert Sun newspaper, a Gannett Publication. She has also been a contributor to Palm Springs Life Magazine, Desert Magazine and Fashion Editor for Season in the Sun Magazine, an upscale publication in the Palm Springs area which, alas, passed away recently.   Prior to moving to the desert, Marlin-Dirkx lived in New York writing for major advertising agencies and retail accounts as a freelance writer. Marlin-Dirkx has been Copy Chief at I. Magnin in San Francisco, having honed her craft at Macy’s New York. She has written fashion feature articles for magazines and newspapers in major markets of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Minneapolis. Marlin-Dirkx has been Regional Director of the Fashion Group of Palm Springs and Desert Communities, a chapter of the global organization. She also served as director on the board of Palm Springs Women in Film and Television.

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