Footsteps of a Southern Lady Centerpiece

Footsteps of a Southern Lady

Phyllis People 19 Comments

I had the privilege of speaking in Mobile, Alabama last week at the Signature Fundraiser of the Assistance League of Mobile. The theme was “Footsteps of a Southern Lady.” Carol Bishop and Elizabeth Harrison came to Birmingham several months ago when they were planning this event and we shared some fun ideas on decorating for ladies luncheons. Elizabeth chaired the event and with her team, put together a beautiful party.

I just loved the centerpieces and thought I would share some of them with you. On each table was a stiletto, filled with beautiful flowers. The bouquets were in tiny containers tucked inside the shoe and a few lucky recipients got to take the bouquets home.

Footsteps of a Southern Lady Centerpiece

Beside each shoe was an evening bag and the whole centerpiece was draped with pearls or beads. The tables were gorgeous. They had fun collecting the shoes from various stores and charity outlets at bargain prices.

Attending the luncheon was Gloria Puckett, one of the members. Gloria Puckett subscribes to every magazine that we publish at Hoffman Media. I was thrilled to meet her and talk about her favorite magazines. She loves them all!

Footsteps of a Southern Lady

I shared many memories and thoughts on growing up and celebrating the things that our Mothers and Grandmothers taught us and how we still hear those glorious voices in our heads every day, just like they did and their mothers before them. This particular time of the year, I always think about white shoes and how you never wear them before Easter of after Labor Day. Why? Because our mothers said so! Isn’t it funny how things stick in our minds? I wonder when that tradition started. I would love to know.

I hope you have a beautiful week and that something wonderful happens to you!

Comments 19

  1. Quite honestly, in researching the question about when and why only wearing white during the Summer came into being, I found that it seems to have started with the wives of millionaires during the late Victorian/Edwardian Eras.
    Kathy Benjamin’s article on the website, Mental Floss states:
    “Labor Day became a Federal Holiday in 1894 and society eventually adopted it as the natural endpoint for summer fashion. But even though the rule was originally enforced by only a few hundred women, over the decades it trickled down to everyone else. By the 1950s, women’s magazines made it clear to middle class America: White clothing came out on Memorial Day and went away on Labor Day.”

  2. As I grow older I am thankful for not only my mother and grandmothers, but also my many aunts who helped me and loved me as I grew up. Their influence was huge and we shared many laughs,hugs and love along the way. Such great m e memories now that they are gone.

  3. What a great idea for centerpieces. There is great value in remembering what our grandmothers and mothers told us. One of my favorite sayings from my grandma is “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should” and one from my grandma and mother that I’ve heard my own girl’s repeat is “….because nothing good happens after midnight”

  4. I still go by that rule of thumb:) I don’t plan to wear white shoes until after Easter and I put away all my really summery things – including white pants after Labor Day. I have been to several places recently selling shoes and have been amazed at the number of suede shoes available right now. I am surprised because that’s another thing that I wouldn’t wear between Easter and Labor Day.

  5. How well I remember the rules about white shoes exactly the same rule from my beloved mother. Also, we always had church purses, gloves and a spring hat. Your gloves were to be removed and placed in your church purse before the service began. My mother also had my sister and I practice in the house when we were ready to wear high heels with a book on our heads back and forth across the living room.

  6. Each and every centerpiece is gorgeous. You are so right about the rules concerning when and when not to wear white shoes.

  7. What a great story and the centerpieces are gorgeous!!! My daughters and I are going to have to “steal” your idea! Within the next year we’ll be hosting some events to raise funds for Pitt Hopkins Research. It’s a rare and severe genetic syndrome that my little granddaughter was recently diagnosed with. Many children may never walk or talk but reasearch is making great strides for a possible cure. Centerpieces of shoes would be perfect..,whether they’re in stilettos, ballet slippers, high tops or even football cleats! Thank you Phyllis, Carol and Elizabeth for your beautiful inspiration!

    1. Tracey, I loved your thought of using all kinds of shoes for your future fund raiser. It will represent the many types of children who have been & will be diagnosed with this disease, as well as the many types of people who will step up to help them. And don’t hesitate to throw in a few soccer shoes, since so many people, of all ages, play soccer these days. I did an event over 20 years ago using high heels, flowers, pearls & ladies gloves in centerpieces. We spent 9 months visiting resale shops to find appropriate & gently used items to use and saved lots of money. (Many of the heels were worn only once it seemed.) We didn’t think to put them on a pedestal, as this group did, but that does give them a bit more emphasis. Our theme was ” Walking In Your Shoes” for breast cancer……and most everyone made the connection.

      My growing up memory concerning the Easter right of clothing……….was not only white shoes (usually new ones), but white socks, gloves & wearing pastel colors no matter what the weather was like. I loved Spring then……and still do……but here in Florida, whites are worn all year round and it doesn’t seem so special anymore. But thanks for the stirring up the memories Phyllis.

  8. I enjoyed the comment, “Because our mothers said so!” It reminded me of the advice my mother gave me years ago regarding appropriate apparel for weddings: never wear white (it’s for the bride), never wear red (it’s for a party) and never wear black (it’s for a funeral). Lately, she says forget the rules, everyone else has. So, I did, wearing black pants to a wedding; however, it felt strange breaking those rules that had been instilled for years!

  9. What a fun event! I love the centerpieces. What a great idea. I have a feeling your talk was excellent…would have loved to have heard that! I wish you would be able to do your Southern Lady events again! Loved them!

    1. I second the motion on returning Southern Lady events! It would be impossible to say which one was the best….every year topped the previous one!

  10. What a wonderful time you all must have shared! And a delightful interpretation of the Footsteps theme! I’m sure many will benefit from the funds that were raised through this event…

  11. It looks like a perfect ladies’ event. The centerpieces do give a new meaning to “well-dressed” table. Your topic sounds as if it would have resonated with the audience, certainly as you do so well with your writing. Congratulations!

  12. As a member of The Assistance League of Mobile I would like to personally thank you for being our keynote speaker. The luncheon was wonderful and my guest raved about how funny and relevant you were. I loved the magazines that were provided to each of us in our chair and plan to buy subscriptions for myself and my family as gifts. Keep up the great work! I hope you will visit us again soon. Larinda Gann Moore

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