Author Topic: Dear US, what's up with Labor Day?  (Read 2604 times)

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Carotte

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Dear US, what's up with Labor Day?
« on: October 01, 2013, 02:22:20 PM »
As long as I can remember I've seen references on tv and in books about labor Day, and mostly not wearing white after it. But there was never any indication of what is labor day.
So, what does it entails? Why the 'not wearing white' after it, and when can you start wearing white again then?

Yvaine

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Re: Dear US, what's up with Labor Day?
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2013, 02:27:09 PM »
It's a day to celebrate people in the workforce, and sometimes specifically people in labor unions, and a lot of people get the day off. It has also become a big shopping day.

As for what it has to do with wearing white, it also serves as sort of an arbitrary endpoint to summer, and Memorial Day in May is the arbitrary beginning point. These are also when outdoor ice cream shops and swimming pools, etc., will often open/close. (This may be because the actual solstice and equinox don't correspond to how the weather works in a lot of places! By the time the solstice rolls around, it's already been hot for a month where I live, and it often stops being hot before it's officially fall.) So it has become the time people switch to a fall wardrobe. Some social circles are way stricter about this than others.

Two Ravens

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Re: Dear US, what's up with Labor Day?
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2013, 02:31:35 PM »
For an history of Labor Day, you can read the wiki article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_day

But basically, as Yvaine said, it's the unofficial end of summer/start of fall.

And the rule about not wearing white isn't really a rule anymore. Plenty of people continue to wear it all winter long, and nobody really cares.

lowspark

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Re: Dear US, what's up with Labor Day?
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2013, 02:32:04 PM »
Ha ha. This is a pretty funny question. The "wearing white" part anyway.

Labor Day is a day to honor "Labor" as in labor vs management.
Here's a history. http://www.dol.gov/laborday/history.htm

The wearing of white is an arbitrary rule made up by who knows who!
It's a sort of guideline as to when summer starts (Easter) and when it ends (Labor Day) as far as the fashion police are concerned. So, if you are one who is concerned that wearing white, a summer color, is gauche if it's worn out of season, then don't wear it before Easter or after Labor Day.

It's pretty silly but some people adhere to it blindly. No one's going to arrest your or even comment if you don't follow that unless maybe you're in the fashion industry, I dunno.

This reminds me of the movie, Serial Mom. Spoiler Alert!!!
After being acquitted of multiple murders (of which she is definitely guilty) Serial Mom proceeds to kill a jury member by beating her over the head with a pay phone receive because she's wearing white shoes after Labor Day.
Hilarious.

lowspark

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Re: Dear US, what's up with Labor Day?
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2013, 02:35:06 PM »
I should add that white means bright white. There is a color called "winter white" that is just slightly off white which is definitely "ok" to wear in winter.

Again, it's all arbitrary and as Two Ravens notes, totally outdated.

And I'm pretty sure it's Easter, not Memorial Day, which marks the beginnning of "ok to wear white" season. Lots of white shoes, hats, etc. get sold for that holiday.

eta to fix typo
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 02:40:35 PM by lowspark »

Yvaine

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Re: Dear US, what's up with Labor Day?
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2013, 02:38:10 PM »
I should add that white means bright white. There is a color called "winter white" that is just slightly off white which is definitely "ok" to wear in winter.

Again, it's all arbtrary and as Two Ravens notes, totally outdated.

And I'm pretty sure it's Easter, not Memorial Day, which marks the beginnning of "ok to wear white" season. Lots of white shoes, hats, etc. get sold for that holiday.

Ah, yes, you're right about Easter, I was conflating it with the typical "season" for outdoor fun spots.

Twik

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Re: Dear US, what's up with Labor Day?
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2013, 02:43:34 PM »
It's simply another fashion rule. In northern areas, the nice white shoes would get taken out at Easter (or, in Canada, Victoria Day), but by summer's end, it was time to go back to darker, richer colours.

Which reminds me that the nice pale tops I have that looked so light and airy in May are now looking faded and inappropriate for the rich colours of fall, so I'd better start switching out my clothes from the cedar chest.
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BarensMom

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Re: Dear US, what's up with Labor Day?
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2013, 09:27:30 PM »
I always heard it was Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Does anyone remember (without looking it up) who played the unfortunate juror?  I think it was that person's only appearance in a movie.

Thipu1

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Re: Dear US, what's up with Labor Day?
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2013, 09:46:31 PM »
As I understand it, the prohibition against wearing white after Labor Day referred to ladies wearing white shoes and carrying white purses from early September to late May. 

A friend who visited Vienna in the early 1970s had a bit of a problem. She visited in July and wore white shoes with a stylish white purse.  She spoke German and found that strange men were making indecent proposals to her when she went out shopping or sight-seeing.  A helpful clerk at her hotel tactfully clued her in that the white shoes and white bag in that time and place sent the message that she was a 'lady of the evening'. 

 

   

Luci

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Re: Dear US, what's up with Labor Day?
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2013, 10:10:54 PM »
It's just a sharp deviding line between summer and autumn, and a Monday off.

It has to do with celebrating unions, which is political stuff that is not universally appreciated in the US - no opinion here.

(Lucas was born in Labor Day. If I hear one more joke about it, I may barf. His 70th just was celebrated with a nice family dinner and no mention of the "holiday".)

WillyNilly

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Re: Dear US, what's up with Labor Day?
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2013, 01:21:49 AM »
Labor Day is a holiday that is supposed to be a day off to honor workers. Of course like so many other things in this country its been perverted to the point where laborers - people who work on their feet, with their hands, outside, etc are stuck working and people with "white collar" jobs (office jobs, "professionals", etc) get the day off.

Harriet Jones

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Re: Dear US, what's up with Labor Day?
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2013, 06:47:58 AM »
Does anyone remember (without looking it up) who played the unfortunate juror?  I think it was that person's only appearance in a movie.

I went ahead and looked it up - that person has 13 items in their filmography.  Serial Mom was their 2nd movie.

iridaceae

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Re: Dear US, what's up with Labor Day?
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2013, 07:53:52 AM »
I always heard it was Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Does anyone remember (without looking it up) who played the unfortunate juror?  I think it was that person's only appearance in a movie.

Patty Hearst.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Dear US, what's up with Labor Day?
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2013, 04:18:22 PM »
I should add that white means bright white. There is a color called "winter white" that is just slightly off white which is definitely "ok" to wear in winter.

Again, it's all arbitrary and as Two Ravens notes, totally outdated.

And I'm pretty sure it's Easter, not Memorial Day, which marks the beginnning of "ok to wear white" season. Lots of white shoes, hats, etc. get sold for that holiday.

eta to fix typo

In the US South, the no white rule referred to primarily white shoes, hats, and purses. A white shirt was fine year round, but not so much a white dress, suit, or skirt. You were allowed to wear your white shoes and purses for Easter Sunday but then they had to go back into the closet till after Memorial Day.  I remember being a little girl getting to go buy my new patent leather white Mary Janes for Easter and being so dissapointed I wasn't allowed to wear them again for another 2 months or so.

camlan

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Re: Dear US, what's up with Labor Day?
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2013, 06:02:55 PM »
Another thing about Labor Day is that it is a holiday that most people get off from work. Not retail workers, or restaurant staff, or health care workers or staff at amusement parks and the like. But the average office/factory worker will get the day off. 

But the US does not have any holidays where an employer is *required* to give employees the day off. Many employers follow the Federal Government's holiday schedule, which has ten holidays per year:

    New Year's Day
    Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
   Washington's Birthday
   Memorial Day
   Independence Day
    Labor Day
    Columbus Day
    Veterans Day
    Thanksgiving Day
    Christmas Day

But many do not. But the majority of people do get Memorial Day and Labor Day off, giving us two three-day weekends to bookend the summer season.

In addition, most people get New Year's Day, Independence Day (July 4th), Thanksgiving and Christmas Day off. But Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day are really done on an employer by employer basis.

And since most of us get less vacation time off than people in Europe, we value each and every holiday.
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