before I got fat … er … I mean before my wife shrunk all my clothes when I actually had a half decent wardrobe I could fit into, I used to concern myself to some degree with the rules of fashion. Gentlemen should not be deliberately foppish, but the proper gentleman should be concerned about his appearance and … well properness. I think also that it is an appropriate conservative concern to be mindful of tradition and custom with regard to attire.
That said, I have always considered the whole Labor Day as marking the end of the summer season an insidious Yankee plot* deliberately designed to make us Southerners chafe. (And I’m not the only one who has notice this outrage.) While this arbitrary line of demarcation may work in Boston, it doesn’t work in the Deep South. Anyone who has every spent any time in Georgia in September knows it is still quite hot. It is ludacris to start donning tweeds, felt hats and earth tones when it’s still 85 degrees outside.
Below a certain point (say south of Orlando) I think this reality has been conceded to. It is possible to wear tropical attire all year in South Florida without invoking a disapproving glance from the fashion informed. But us folks in the non- peninsular Deep to Middle South find ourselves in a fashion no-man’s-land this time every year.
So what to do? In reality, reality ends up trumping the rules. While I wouldn’t be so bold as to sport seersucker and white bucks post Labor Day, I do keep the dirty bucks, the straw hat, the stone colored pants, etc. in the rotation until about Oct. Maybe mid October if it remains hot enough, and I do so with only slight trepidation. The trepidation increases as the season wanes.
I have come to the conclusion that this Yankee inspired Labor Day tyranny must end (as if Lincoln wasn’t enough), and I am going to make it a personal crusade to see that it does. We either need to make the transition point more fluid and dictated by weather, or we need a fixed date that is more realistic. Anyone have any ideas for a more appropriate date? I willing to listen. Who’s with me?
*As much fun as it is to use any possible occasion to bash Yankees, the Easter as transition to Spring rule doesn’t really work up North either, and I’m sure some bitter Northerner has imagined that a cruel Southern act of revenge as well. How often can you wear linen in Boston in April? So a more fluid seasonal transition would benefit our Northern brethren as well. Again I say who’s with me? This vitally important crusade isn’t going to suceed without broad buy in.