by Jean McCamy
I really like white pants — short, medium and long. That’s about all I wear in the summer.
They go with everything. If you get something on them (think tomatoes, squashed mosquitoes, grass stains) that won’t wash out, you can bleach them.
They seem cooler than dark colors.
So, I am feeling very sad as I pack up my white pants for this year. It’s probably silly, knowing that we still have some warm weather ahead, but my Southern genes will not let me wear white pants or shoes between Labor Day and Memorial Day. Doing so is committing the crime of being tacky.
Now, I have no idea who decides what is tacky and what is not; it’s something you just know and you try to avoid.
If you didn’t grow up southern, you probably don’t care, and that is probably an enviable position. However, it is still not going to get me in off-season white.
Actually, there has always been something called “winter white”. It’s almost as hard to identify as “tacky.” Best I could ever tell was that it was something slightly off white that was too hot to wear in the summer, like maybe wool pants or a jacket.
Actually, when I packed away this summer’s crop of white pants, I left out the jeans. Maybe they are heavy enough to qualify as “winter white.” I’m working on it, but if I haven’t gotten up nerve enough to wear them in public in the next couple of weeks, fearing the tacky label, they’ll get stashed with the lighter weight cottons.
Then, there are the pink and pale green jeans. No old-school southern rule maker ever mentioned those, so are they okay? (Never mind that it has only been recently that denim even came in any color except blue and ladies didn’t wear pants in public anyway).
Yep, I think I’ll go ahead and wear those. Who knows, maybe by next year, I’ll even go with the white.
— Jean McCamy is a Wake Forest artist.