Florida International University

It’s time for linen, lace and light cotton, pastel colors and pretty flowers.

Easter is here. Spring is here. And as with every other Easter, Liberty City residents will attend church dressed in their finest threads.
Every year, as the men and women arrive at church, their ornate presence contributes to the multitude of colors in the spring fashion show.

“I’m going to wear a beige lace dress with fuchsia accessories since that’s my favorite color,” said Jasmine Greer, a member of the Peace Missionary Baptist Church. “Easter is the one day I get to show off my style at church.”

So why do people dress up for Easter? For many, it's to welcome spring; for others it's a celebration of rebirth or resurrection.

The custom dates back to the Middle Ages when peasants were sometimes invited to the houses of noblemen, and they felt it was important to look their best for royal families, author Ace Collins writes in “Stories Behind the Traditions and Songs of Easter.”

The tradition soon carried over to religious practices, as many people felt it was equally important to dress up to go to God’s house.

Accenting a basic color with bright accessories is both practical and fun. The “Fashion Trendsetter” Web site (www.fashiontrendsetter.com) says turquoise is the top color this spring.

Fancy hats are an Easter tradition for women, often matched with a purse, short gloves and shoes.

“Some women like small, some like large,” says Lucille Modest, the owner of Next Sunday’s Hat Designer Collection, 1059 NW 54th St., where many women shop for hats. “And the white hats are for the mothers of the church and the deaconesses.”

Some men also wear hats, along with a formal dress suit and tie they might find at Rasool’s Menswear, 6301 NW 7th Ave.  Shoes are  also a big deal. Some men prefer suede or leather, while the bolder go for alligator skin.

“Easter marks spring fashion,” said Ronald Malik, whose father owns Rasool’s. “And it’s the most beautiful time for fashion, especially in South Florida.”
So how much does it all cost?

“Holiday celebrants will spend slightly more this year with the average person expected to shell out $118.60, up from $116.59 last year,” according to a National Retail Federation’s survey. “Total spending is expected to reach $13.03 billion.”