White Shoes After the Day of Labor

By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo says, here is the latest column from the Manolo, in which he answers one of the most difficult of the questions in the world of the shoes:

Dear Manolo,

White shoes after Labor Day, yes or no?


Manolo says, ah, the eternal question to which the Manolo he gives the eternal answer: yes, yes, the thousand times yes, the white shoes they may be worn after the Day of Labor.

Usually, the Manolo, he is the man of traditions, however, some of the traditions, such as this one, they are the vestiges of ridiculous rules made by the petty peoples.

Instead, the correct rule it is always appropriateness. It is indeed not appropriate to wear the flip flops to meet the Mr. President. However, it is most appropriate to wear the super fantastic white shoes anytime the weather it is clement.

If the shoe looks good, the shoe it must be worn.

These white sandals, the Hilton from the Nicole Miller, would they not look good, even in October?

The Manolo he does not shy away from the controversy!
Nicole Miller Hilton   Hilton   Manolo Likes!  Click!


39 Responses to “White Shoes After the Day of Labor”

  1. Shiloh Says:

    May we please have a t-shirt with this pronouncement of the Manolo:
    “Yes, yes, the thousand times yes, the white shoes they may be worn after the Day of Labor.”?

  2. Wayne Says:

    Why shouldn’t white shoes be worn after the Day of Labor? Who came up with that (now) archaic rule anyway? Now that more people are now living in the Belt of the Sun, it is still warm many weeks after the first Monday of September.

  3. cybermick Says:

    The cybermick she is so devastated, Manolo, but her sainted mother strictly taught her that the white shoes, they may not be worn anytime in Nueva York, San Francisco, or the District of Columbia, before OR after the Day of Labor. The white shoes, they are so tacky, unless they are worn with the wedding dress. They are also difficult to keep from being marred with the scuffs. However, to the cybermick, the faux pas is nothing, if the wearer of the white shoes she is nice.

  4. megaera Says:

    The Megaera she is from the South, and as fashion foward as she would like to be, her mother’s voice is powerful in the back of her head. Much like the trend of the exposed lingerie, no amount of trendiness or social acceptiblilty is worth the consant refrain in the back of her mind going, “Tacky, tacky, tacky!” NB It is of worth to realize that the “Tacky” is the worst insult a Southerner can bestow upon another. (i.e. “It was wrong of her to kill her father, but doing it right before her sister’s wedding day, that’s just tacky”.) This of course, only applies to the shoes, not the clothes, and not to any off-white colors.

  5. zippy Says:

    Zippys’ Southern grandmother spoke the same words as Megaeras’ mother, “Tacky, tacky, tacky.” Even today zippy applies ‘tacky’ to behaviors that merit it. The apple does not fall far from the tree…

  6. Moira Says:

    Don’t white shoes make your feet look big as boats?

  7. Uncle Fester Says:

    Re-posted from the other thread:

    I am not in the agreement with the Superfantastic One. I believe the Commandment of the White Shoe is one of those “lines in the sand” rules that is most important. While it is indeed meaningless and petty, if we do not respect these rules of the petty, then what is next? Flip flops at the White House? Elbows on the table? Checkered prints with stripes? It will never stop!

    It will someday lead to the horrific sight of the maids of the brides in white.


    LaBellaDonna has advised that there have been maids of the bride in white as far back as the 17th century.

    Regardless of my faux pas of the history, the allowing of the white shoes after Labor Day is a foul thing. Such behavior should require one’s face to be blocked with an ugly rectangle of black such as I have seen in Mrs. Uncle Fester’s magazines for the womens.

  8. Beth Says:

    The Manolo, he may well appreciate the shoe of white, but I concur with previous posters. The white shoe, after the Day of Labor, or before the Day of Memorial is inappropriate, and yes, tacky and lacking in finesse.

  9. the Diva Leigh Says:

    The Diva Leigh, she must agree with the Moira and the Beth. The shoe featured above by the fabulous Manolo is indeed lovely to behold, but is undoubtedly more attractive without a foot in it than it will be with a foot in it. As a general rule, the white shoe is not an attractive look, either before or after the day of labor. Of course, the blushing (or not) bride and the registered nurse may properly wear the white shoes at any time.

  10. schelarian Says:

    I say, “You go, Manolo!!!” The white shoe rule is so out of date. As you said, it’s about the appropriateness of the occasion. Not having been raised in the South, I find it hard to understand clinging to traditions…I agree with Shiloh that we need a t-shirt with the pronouncement: Yes, yes, the thousand times yes, the white shoes they may be worn after the Day of Labor.

  11. The Charlotte Allen Says:

    Holy cow! Like many of the commentators above, for once I must dissent from the Manolo’s usually impeccable judgment in matters of taste.

    As my beloved mama–and also the redoubtable Miss Manners–have always insisted, white shoes are unacceptable in the Northern Hemisphere between Labor Day and the advent of spring (exceptions: brides, athletes, nurses). Unless you want to look like a hick, of course. Indeed, as Cybermick points out, white shoes should never be worn in any season during daytime business hours in any “real” city (such as New York, Paris, D.C., etc.)–and the same rule applies to summery pastels. These rules may seem “petty,” as the Manolo puts it, but they’re the rules that ensure that city gals look smart and sophisticated.

    Furthermore, I share the Diva Leigh’s reservations about white shoes in general. Like white clothes, they look crisp, cool, and fabulous on people with dark skin (like my mama), but on fair-skinned ladies like me, they make you look as though you’ve been wrapped in your winding sheet, with matching footwear. Those very pretty Nicole Kidmans also come in “hazelnut,” a color that’s most flattering to the fair and freckled and is also quite appropriate for After Labor Day in still-warm climes.

  12. The Charlotte Allen Says:

    Nicole Kidmans–ayyyy! I meant Nicole Millers!

  13. Your Granny Says:

    Another who agrees with the wisdom of previous posters. White shoes very rarely look good, they look especially awful on drab wet days when the shoes are scuffed and scarred and flecked with mud or damp. Additionally, we do need rules.

    That said, having a rule that no one can wear white shoes after Labor Day has a bonus side: we can all have that much more respect for the super-fantastic woman (or drag queen) who pulls off a bright white dress and white shoes for a New Year’s Eve party.

    With much respect, I must agree with that traditional posters and not the Manolo on this issue.

  14. Mam'zelle Says:

    The only wearer of the white shoes who truly looks smart in them is the Minnie Mouse. Enough said.

  15. TrishTales Says:

    I have always felt the big love for the Manolo. To know that he sees the wisdom of abandoning the archaic white shoes rule makes me love him even more!

    Add me to those who want a T-shirt adorned with this magnificent pronouncement.

  16. Bridget Says:

    Perhaps the white shoe rule should just be MODIFIED… Perhaps the white shoes should only be worn after the day of the Labor when the temperature outside is no lower than, say, 70 degrees? When it is still so hot during September days those sexy white Hilton Nicole Millers would be most wonderful for those of us living north of the 45th parrallel. And what of the hot, hot days of Spring before Memorial Day? I think this rule would also apply.

    Manolo, give us guidance! (And that new tee shirt with the Labor Day quote.)

  17. Jenzilla Says:

    I don’t see that we are all in such disagreement. Even those who do not approve of white shoes after Labor Day have acknowledged that there are exceptions (even if said exceptions are for brides and nurses, or for the ultra-super-fantastic who can pull it off under other circumstances). So, as Manolo said, appropriateness is the real rule. Perhaps there is disagreement on precisely where to draw the line, but we are not really debating whether or not such a line exists at all.

    Personally, I think the real problem is white shoes. White shoes just tend to not be as flattering, and also show wear and tear more, and are therefore more likely to not look very nice.

  18. woodcock Says:

    Dear Jenzilla, there is a line and the fact that the Manolo has crossed it has broken my heart, small as it is. I cannot look at the blog anymore for the fear and the disgust towards what he will recommend next – the clear heels for the brides, maybe. Ciao, and good luck with the journalism, Manolo.

  19. Mimi Says:

    I won’t do it. I will not wear white shoes after Labor Day. Not because I was raised in the South (although I indeed was), but because I think there are certain colors and fabrics that belong to certain seasons. For example, I also would not wear corduroy in the summer, nor a straw hat in winter. That’s part of my standard of dressing well; however I do not demand or expect that others agree with me just as I do not expect others to demand or expect me to agree with them.

    I do hope that woodcock reconsiders the decision to boycott the Manolo’s blog, for diversity of thought in this group of people is a strength, not a weakness.

  20. cybermick Says:

    The cybermick, she is pleased to be in the company of so many ladies with the good taste. For those who believe that the rule about white shoes after the Day of Labor, it is outmoded, the cybermick asks if we are better off with the sartorial standards of the Britany Spears, or with the rules that forbid the white shoes and the straw hat after the Day of Labor.

  21. Annalucia Says:

    Well, now, the Annalucia she is in a quandary. Tomorrow morning she is going to the Art Institute of Chicago to visit the show of the Toulouse-Lautrec, and she is going to wear her white silk shirt and a skirt of bright red. But the Annalucia has only two pair of dress shoes: the white heeled sandal (for summer) and the plain black pump (for the rest of the year). And the weather here, it is still quite summery. What say the readers of the Manolo blog?

  22. The Scarlett Says:

    The Scarlett, who has the dainty feet, has two pairs of white shoes … a casual, flat pair of sandals (not unlike the kind the Jackie O. would wear on the Isle of Capri) and a pair of Italian kid, kitten-heeled thongs. The Scarlett carefully checked each pair for scuffs and then dutifully put them away on Labor Day. Is it because she is a slave to rules or is it because she has better choices at this time of year?

    Annalucia, I would wear a comfortable pair of shoes (such as ballet flats) rather than a white heeled sandal. If those are your only choices, I, personally, would go with the pump.

  23. Mimi Says:

    Annalucia, I say go with the white. It is still close to summer on the calendar, the weather still feels like summer, and the sandals sound like a better match than the black pumps. Logic must prevail over “rules.” And besides, the Manolo has already given his blessing on wearing white shoes after Labor Day.

  24. Mimi Says:

    And no, that suggestion is not a double standard. The Mimi considers herself fortunate to have the luxury of many options concerning her shoes, but if she had only the two options of Annalucia she would wear the white. “Personal standards” are one thing, while practicality is another.

  25. the Diva Leigh Says:

    To the Annalucia, I must concur with the Scarlett and suggest the black pump with the red and white ensemble. Not only is the artistic color combination perfect for the visit to the Art Institute, the Toulouse-Lautrec produced some magnificant work with those very colors of the palette.

  26. JayKay Says:

    Well, raised in the south or not (which I was), you’ll never catch me wearing something on my feet that can be repaired at a moment’s notice with White-Out.
    That is all.

  27. The Charlotte Allen Says:

    Annalucia, I hope it’s not too late–but do wear the black pumps. White shoes after Labor Day look especially out of place in downtown-y cities such as Chicago. This isn’t an arbitrary rule. It’s the way things are.

  28. Another Liz Says:

    I wore white flat pointy 60’s-style boots with a white belt and bag and miniskirts pretty much all the last two winters, and I looked pretty damn good, even if I do say so myself. I’ll probably do it again this year, as Mod-ness is “back” (chuh, like it ever went away!). But I live near London, so there are less rules around here.

  29. Another Liz Says:

    (Annalucia, I’d go with the white, and red-and-white accessories. If you wear the black, have a black necklace, bangle, or belt to match. And a white bag and red lippie!)

  30. Sulee Says:

    With sophistication and sense of adventure, fashion rules can be broken with aplomb and style. Perfectly non-atrocious white shoe options in the fall/winter months: white leather thong sandal on vacation in South Beach or Santorini; winter white boot with winter white slacks and cashmere sweater though not practical in the city is still a glamorous look; a white leather mule with stacked heel paired with a geometric print dress (like Pucci or Missoni) that has white shapes would be fabulous through the fall; the mod outfit by Another Liz would look just as awesome in LA and NY as it would in London (altho the Sulee acknowledges perhaps not in more conservative cities like Boston or DC). These are but a few examples of the thinking outside of the box.

  31. Mimi Says:

    Sulee, you have said it so well.
    I wish I’d thought of the following sooner, but for the Annalucia (did you have a nice time, and which shoes did you wear?) and for anyone faced with a fashoin choice or dilemna…listen to what others have to say, then try on both or all the viable options, and then, according to your own taste and style and judgment, wear what you like best. Come to think of it, that might work well for life choices in general…
    (I still won’t wear white shoes between Labor Day and Easter if I have the choice, but I’m stubborn like that. Winter white, oui. White, non.)

  32. Wayne Says:

    Frankly, I’d also like to see a return of the high heel white pumps of the “Pretty in Pink” era (but no legwarmers, please)…

  33. Annalucia Says:

    Why thank you Mimi, I had an excellent time, and thank you also to the kind readers of the Manolo who offered their advice. In the end I went with “practicality” – the weather was brutally hot (the temperature reached 90 degrees early and stayed there) and I preferred to wear sandals (barelegged under the skrit) rather than pumps (which would have required stockings, and let us not think about stockings in 90-degree humid weather). And I carried my white handbag, since my black one would have overpowered my white silk shirt.

    Another Liz, what is a “lippie”?

  34. Another Liz Says:

    Lippie – lipstick! I’m glad you had a good time – I don’t think I could have managed to in such heat!

  35. Beth Says:

    A handbag of the white AND shoes of the white? After the Day of Labor? The Beth, she feels faint.

  36. VeddyVeddyBadAng Says:

    Oh for F’s sake! If it’s within a month of Labor Day, and it’s super-hot, go ahead and wear the white. The weather dictates the clothing. To do otherwise is silly. If you go about ignoring what the weather will be when you get dressed, eventually you’ll have young women wearing long, heavy, hot jeans when it’s 90+ degrees and middle of summer.

    Oh, wait.

  37. Tammy Says:

    Even white – I love the beads on these shoes. Thanks for showing them – jewelry for the feet!

  38. the white wearer Says:

    I went along with the no white shoe rule, not just after labor day, but never, until I passed buy shoe heaven and found these gorgeous patent leather peek toe shoes technically they were cream but the were white enough for me. I bought them and I have since, never looked back, call me tacky, but I refuse to feel guilty.

    “If the shoe looks good, the shoe it must be worn.”

    I agree.

  39. dolikocefalo Says:

    It’s Labor Day Weekend. Have a nice day!!

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