Part of me chafes at the old rules of what you can't wear past Labor Day or before Memorial Day. Another part of me likes the ritual of seasonal "musts" and "must-nots".
Every Memorial Day weekend I ditch my winter leather bags and pull out a 1950s wicker bag with a brown Lucite handle and load it up with my wallet, calendar, and a pen. I know I can use the purse any time of the year I want, but there's something I love about marking the beginning of the season with a change of purse--even if it's cold and raining. The day after Labor Day I dump out the bag (now holding a few dozen crumpled receipts, five lipsticks and two half-used chapsticks, some business cards, and a pair of broken sunglasses) and make the switch to a leather bag.
Memorial Day is also supposed to be when you can start to wear white shoes again. Although they suit some people brialliantly, white shoes aren't for me any time of the year, so I don't worry much about this rule. (An aside: The Xtabay now has a pair of mint condition Charles Jourdan over-the-knee white suede go-go boots, size 9, for $85! They're fabulous, and they're the perfect reason to wear white on your feet in the winter. I saw a pair of over-the-knee Fendi suede boots in the June Vogue and they cost over two mortgage payments.)
As for seersucker suits and straw boaters--well, those don't concern me much, either, and probably don't concern you, unless you're a man reading this from the South. (Many Portlanders are more likely to see Memorial Day as the time to wear their Tevas without socks.)
The Xtabay has some good summer purses in stock now, including two raffia bags with jeweled wooden handles and flower appliques--one in white and one in black. They look like something Kate Spade might have dreamed up, but they're a tiny fraction of the price. Maybe this should be the year you take Auntie's advice and take on a summer purse. Memorial Day is just around the corner.
--posted by Angie