Labor Day is a day off for hardworking Americans and British comedians with late-night talk shows. John Oliver telecommuted in a web exclusive for Last Week Tonight, which is on hiatus until September 25. He suggested we expand on the fashion faux pas of wearing white after Labor Day.
“We should be using more holidays as arbitrary points to stop doing things,” he opined.
Proposed deadlines for other traditions include no gourd decorations after Thanksgiving and no drinking eggnog after at New Year’s Eve. Oliver added that after Labor Day there are some things we should never do again like disingenuously saying “that’s interesting” and winking.
“A wink is a gesture that is somehow both deeply sexual and incredibly unsexy,” he opined.
Oliver demonstrated with his own creepy wink but that probably had more to do with the unnatural amount of time spent with one eye closed. And we can probably all agree that Popeye is not sexy. After all, he wears white year-round!
It worth noting that wearing white after Labor Day wasn’t originally an arbitrary date. The lighter color was preferred in summer months in a world before air conditioning. Furthermore, formal clothes were the norm as opposed to modern short sleeve shirts. A white suit was “a look of leisure” for vacationers says Charlie Scheips, author of American Fashion. And it was back to school and work in the city by Labor Day.
“If you look at any photograph of any city in America in the 1930s, you’ll see people in dark clothes,” Scheips told Time.