Q. I read with some concern your ultimatum about not wearing white shoes before Memorial Day, since I have been wearing cream-colored shoes on slightly formal occasions (church, theater, concerts) since spring began. You'll be gratified to know that on these occasions, I also wear a dress and spring balzer. I've noticed that most other women have adhered to wearing their winter browns and blacks. Now that you have been so wonderful as to dictate when to and not to wear white shoes, would you please clarify this matter of when to wear cream-colored shoes?
A. Nothing is ever black and white, except the rule that white shoes may only be worn between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Nevertheless, there are some gray areas, which include everything cream-colored.
If you can call your off-white shoes cream, bone, beige or taupe, you may wear them whenever you like. However, if they are merely dirty white shoes, cleam them and put them away until Memorial Day.
If you are being married in a white dress, you may wear white shoes. In fact, you may not wear any other color of shoe, not even sensible brown and white spectator pumps. A white satin bridal slipper should not be open-toed in case the bridegroom is seized with the desire to drink champagne out of it. This is a messy way to start a marriage.
White shoes may be worn year-round in resort areas. However, if you live in a resort area, you may want to observe the regular rules, which orginated in places of erratic climate, first to give yourself some variety, and second to distinguish yourself from the tourists.