Yeah, yeah…white after Labor Day…but what about in Europe?

I’m pretty much knee deep in packing for the big trip (t-minus 14 days until take-off).

While I’d done a stellar job of organizing the process – with three different spreadsheets – I was having a hard time actually getting to the listed tasks.  Then on Monday, my brother called full of reasons as to why I should get cracking.  I suspect this phone call was bred from a phone call to my brother from mama indicating that I might be stressing out over the whole project.  Yes, my family knows me well….

So – finally, I scampered up the stairs and decided to use the series premiere of ‘Bachelor Pad’ as company to the chaos (on a side note – I’m now addicted to this show). 
I’ve opted to use actors to represent the stages so far.  (When did the word ‘actress’ go away?  Have you noticed everyone, male and female alike, is now an ‘actor’?)
Stage One:  Pull out everything I own and measure it up to the size of my suitcase (one suitcase per passenger please).  Feel a rush of panic as the realization that I cannot take everything I own with me washes over me like an ice-cold-now-you’re-awake! shower.
Stage Two:  Start digging through the pile and justify why each piece should make the trip.  Attempt to block out any voices saying things like, “But that shirt’s never been ANYWHERE outside of Raleigh – it DESERVES a trip” 
Stage Three:  Begin editing clothes down by color.  In my case – black and white (and a few odd colored pants for touring (well, not really ‘odd’ – just not black.  Or white)).  Please note the clothing below does not resemble anything I own in real life – however, they are all great looks for people who can pull them off.
Stage Four:  Ziploc and Suitcase.  If you ever travel abroad, it’s genius to pack everything in the two gallon Ziplocs…that way when your suitcase gets nabbed for a random search (which ALWAYS happens to me so I suspect it’s not so random…which is weird because I’ve never been much of a drug-runner) the authorities have an easy way to pick through everything without having to then stuff it all back in.  Just a few items per bag.  This also gives you more room in your suitcase if you squish all the air out of the Ziplocs before closing them.
And, I’m ready!  Well almost – as of yesterday, my suitcase weighed 34lbs -well below the 50lb limit.  Which leaves me room to pack 16lbs of underwear and hair care products.  Sweet!
I realize this seems early to be packed for a trip that’s two weeks away – but I’ve got some busy times coming up…so with this out of the way, I can free up some space to discuss my white capris…
I packed white capris – and Mama mentioned maybe that was a bit too summery (she’s probably right since it’s averaging 60 degrees where we’ll be).  BUT…now that all my Ziplocs match, there’s no turning back.
Then I got thinking – hold the phone – I realize we have an unwritten rule HERE about white after Labor Day ~ but I’ll be in Oslo…so I should be good right? 
Which, of course led me to some research on this rule…or, as I now will call it – this Old Wive’s Tale….
It seems that nobody really knows WHY we are relegating our white wear to the summer months…but here are some theories:
*  White reflects the sun better, so isn’t so neccessary in the Fall to Spring months (I’m guessing the people in, say, Cuba would disagree.  And it’s generally a ‘lighter’ fabric – so back in the day when folks didn’t wear shorts and tshirts…it was more comfortable in the hot months.
*  White used to symbolize leisure-time…like in the 1920’s…almost any picture you find from that era shows working folks in very dark clothing – therefore, during vacation periods, they switched to white.  (Although, I find this theory has some holes in it – what with all photography being BLACK and WHITE.
*  With the arrival of Fall came heavy Fall rains…and the danger of mud…so wearing white in the Fall was a laundry danger.  Which makes sense because back then I’m guessing washers weren’t the C3PO’s that they are today.
*  The white rule actually started with shoes…and then worked its way up until anything white on your whole body was included.  Of course, winter brides were exempt.
*   There is even a theory that the white rule started down south…here…and was more of a dividing of the classes between who could afford more than one wardrobe (summer…and the rest of the year…).  Although that one says you can start wearing white after Easter…much sooner than Memorial Day.
But, the best news of all – it seems the rule has gone out the window. 
Coco Chanel was considered super fashion forward for wearing white yearround…
Michelle Obama wore a white inaugural gown. 
Heck, the Pope wears white everyday!
Nearly every website I hit in this dubious research paper responds to the age old rule with encouragement to make your own rules… 
Which is lucky, because I always have. 

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