According to superstition, wearing new clothes on Easter Sunday ensures good luck throughout the coming year. Those with a cynical bent might suspect this superstition was developed by retailers, but it predates contemporary holiday-themed marketing campaigns. A saying attributed to Poor Robin's Almanack, a series of almanacs first published in the late 17th century, indicates the belief is at least several hundred years old: "At Easter let your clothes be new, Or this be sure you it will rue."
Poised between winter and spring, Easter marks a symbolic transition from cold weather to warmer temperatures. During the Victorian era, Easter was both a solemn religious occasion and an appropriate time to replace a tired winter wardrobe with cheerful spring attire. It marked the beginning of the spring social season and the first time it was permissible to wear new clothing after the austerity of Lent. In 1890, Harper's Bazar described Easter Sunday as the day that "new bonnets and spring gowns first see the light."1