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Manolo the Columnist | Manolo's Shoe Blog

Manolo the Columnist

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

Can I, or can I not, wear white shoes after Labor Day. My mother says “no”, my sister says “yes”. I’m confused, please help.


Manolo says, it would not be late August if the Manolo were not required to answer for his friends the eternal question, “when is it proper to wear the white shoes.”

Happily for many, and to the chagrin of the few, the Manolo’s response to this question has not changed for many years now. Yes, you may wear the white shoes after the end of the summer.

Certainly, the Manolo is the traditionalist, one who believes that our standards of dress and comportment have slipped badly in recent times, but the Manolo is also the realist one who recognizes that this ancient and petty dictum had outlived it usefulness in the modern age.

So, unless you are having the high tea with the ladies of the Biloxi Garden Society, this is the rule you can safely ignore well into the fall, but only if the weather remains hot and sunny, as white shoes are indeed summer weather shoes.

Here is the Emmy by Kate Spade the white shoe with the brown leather trim that would allow you to stylishly make the transition from summer to fall.

Emmy by Kate Spade   Manolo Likes!  Click!

11 Responses to “Manolo the Columnist”

  1. Poochie August 24, 2007 at 8:30 am #

    I totally agree! I lived in Florida most of my life and I love (well-made and designed) white shoes. Due to the weather, it seemed silly to limit white shoes to the “summer” months because white-shoe weather was most of the year. Actually summer was one of the worst times to wear white because you got rain nearly every afternoon.

    You don’t want to ruin your pretty white shoes in a mud puddle or get splashed after the deluge.


  2. WL39U4jL_oneixCK2kdjTi62HkCSAtkcM-xy49bpvuE. August 24, 2007 at 8:49 am #

    I’ve always felt that unless you are a nurse or playing tennis one should never, ever wear white shoes. They make anyone’s feet look enormous, get scuffed and dirty almost immediately and just seem a little bit tacky. Better instead to wear a neutral, like a bone color, or some metallic, which is still fashionable.

  3. Toby Wollin August 24, 2007 at 9:14 am #

    Ah, but it always looks so much fresher and more stylish with navy and red than bone – that’s the “I’d like to wear white but I’m hedging my bets” sort of shoe. Blech. Wear white and wear it proudly!!

  4. deja pseu August 24, 2007 at 9:26 am #

    Once again, the Manolo speaks with wisdom. Here in the Land of LA, when the weather is often the warmest of the year between Labor Day and Halloween, it would be a shame to relegate the white shoes to the back of the closet.

  5. Annalucia August 24, 2007 at 9:37 am #

    “…white shoes are indeed summer weather shoes.”

    A most succinct answer. Molte grazie to the Manolo.

  6. Joan August 24, 2007 at 12:41 pm #

    Those shoes are gorgeous…

  7. LaVida2 August 24, 2007 at 3:31 pm #

    Manolo, you won’t have the fashion police surround, arrest and place me in jail for 82 hours…..Nicole Richie.
    I will never, ever wear white shoes after the labor day. I don’t care what the weather is like in my region of the world.

  8. dangster August 24, 2007 at 6:54 pm #

    No offense, but the no-white-shoes-after-Labor-Day (sometimes no white clothing period) is such an outdated rule. It’s a stuffy Southern constraint that makes little sense.

  9. Lindsay August 25, 2007 at 9:14 am #

    My beloved grandmother said not to wear white shoes after Labor Day. She was a Southern Lady (although not stuffy, dear dangster). And if she said it then it must be true.

    It is a nice break to suddenly stop wearing your summer wardrobe at Labor Day and bring out autumnal clothes—or clothes/shoes with fall colors. A tradition with school starting and, hopefully, cooler days arriving. This same grandmother sewed for me (she was a seamstress as a hobby, but her clothes did not look home-made). I had wardrobes for each season growing up so my clothes changed with the calendar year and I thought nothing of the white shoe rule. I still would not wear white shoes with summer clothes after Labor Day as that would be, well, weird.

    White shoes can again be worn after Easter, so the tradition says. Tourists here in Florida wear white shoes whenever they feel like it. Of course they also wear fanny-packs and Birkenstocks with white socks, and touristy shorts to nice restaurants (so I don’t think the Florida rule applies to many who care).

    It is a much better trend–to put white shoes up for a nap until Easter– than wearing running suits with flip-flops and bearing my tatoos 12 months a year (or worse still, wearing shorts so low there is no doubt if you wear a thong).

    Class never goes out of style, and my Grandmother had a lot of class. I wouldn’t mind the trend returning of wearing gloves and hats again myself…

  10. dangster August 25, 2007 at 10:38 pm #

    But why Labor Day? What is so important about that one particular day that one must supposedly shelve their white shoes until spring? And by the way, after Labor Day, summer still goes on for another 3 weeks (autumn equinox does not occur until the end of September), so any “it’s autumn, time to bring out the fall wardrobes” justification doesn’t work.

  11. roz August 27, 2007 at 2:41 pm #

    I simply can’t imagine any white shoes I’d ever want to wear (trainers when working out excepted.) Including the ones in the photo. Sorry, Manolo. They just scream suburbia to me.