Wearing White After Labor Day.… Fashion Faux Pas?

The first Mon­day in Sep­tem­ber is a hol­i­day that hon­ors all work­ers in Amer­ica also known as Labor Day.  It is the unof­fi­cial end of sum­mer and come Tues­day it is back to work, back to school, and time to put your white suites, dress, etc. away.… or is it?

The tra­di­tion  of wear­ing white between Memo­r­ial Day and Labor Day started in the early 20th cen­tury and it is spec­u­lated that white was the color of choice for the well-to-do as it was cooler to escape the sum­mer heat.  Once they returned from their vaca­tions after Labor Day they would put their white away and bring out their fall wardrobe.

In the 1920’s Coco Chanel made white a year-round sta­ple and a per­ma­nent part of her wardrobe.  In the 2004 man­ners bible “Emily Post Eti­quette” says it’s ok to wear post-summer white.

Although wear­ing white after Labor Day is no longer a “fash­ion faux pas”, I’m amazed at how many peo­ple still fol­low this tra­di­tion, myself included.

Etiquette Tip — Small Talk Faux Pas

It is hard to believe sum­mer is here.  With the sum­mer get-togethers comes meet­ing new peo­ple and  mak­ing small talk here are some top­ics to stay away from…

  • Inap­pro­pri­ate Subjects:
  • Per­sonal issues such as fam­ily & health
  • Reli­gion
  • Pol­i­tics
  • Salary
  • Inti­mate Relationships
  • Death
  • Sales (Do not try to  sell some­thing to some­one you have just met)
  • Off Color Jokes
  • Gos­sip

Would love to hear your Small Talk Faux Pas stories.

Jules Hirst is a sought after speaker and a rec­og­nized eti­quette
coach.  She con­ducts lec­tures, work­shops, sem­i­nars and webi­na­rs  in busi­ness,
social & wed­ding eti­quette she is also co-author of Power of Civil­ity where she
shares strate­gies and ­tools for build­ing an excep­tional pro­fes­sional
Jules can be reached at: www.juleshirst.com or 310–425‑3160

Eitquette Daily — Don’t Soil The Air

Dont Soil The AirToday’s Eti­quette tip… Wear­ing too much cologne or per­fume is just as offen­sive as not wear­ing deodorant

What’s All The Fuss?

For the two weeks lead­ing up to the Super Bowl, there was as much talk about the game as there was about the com­mer­cial to be run by Focus on the Fam­ily, a pro-life group.  The Super Bowl is one of the most watched shows on tele­vi­sion each year.  In fact, this year was the most watched show ever!  As such, Super Bowl adver­tis­ing time doesn’t come cheap and this year a 30-second spot cost around $2.5 mil­lion dol­lars.  When women’s groups found out that Focus on the Fam­ily had pur­chased a spot, they got on the warpath and began to mobilize.No one had seen the spot.  It was known that the spot was going to tell the story of Pam Tebow and her son Tim.  When Pam was preg­nant with Tim, she became sick while in the Philip­pines and doc­tors sug­gested she have an abor­tion.  Obvi­ously, she didn’t and her son grew up to become one of the great­est col­lege foot­ball play­ers in history.


CBS said they had approved the script and felt the com­mer­cial was appro­pri­ate.  Did this stop the women’s groups?  Of course not, they were on a mis­sion to gen­er­ate as much hate towards CBS regard­ing their deci­sion that they would be forced to pull the com­mer­cial.  They accused CBS of tak­ing the money – can you blame them in this econ­omy?  They were mak­ing $83,000 a second.

Jehmu Greene of Women’s Media Cen­ter said, “This cam­paign is about hold­ing CBS and the NFL and the other Super Bowl adver­tis­ers account­able for insert­ing an exceed­ingly con­tro­ver­sial issue into a place where we all hope Amer­i­cans will be united, not divided, in terms of watch­ing America’s most-watched sport­ing event.“  She went on to say, “An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year — an event designed to bring Amer­i­cans together.”

Another women’s group said, “By offer­ing one of the most cov­eted adver­tis­ing spots of the year to an anti-equality, anti-choice, homo­pho­bic orga­ni­za­tion, CBS is align­ing itself with a polit­i­cal stance that will dam­age its rep­u­ta­tion, alien­ate view­ers, and dis­cour­age con­sumers from sup­port­ing its shows and advertisers.”

For­tu­nately, it didn’t work and after see­ing the com­mer­cial, I can’t believe all the com­mo­tion.  There was no men­tion of abor­tion..  There was no men­tion of pro-life.  Mrs. Tebow referred to her son as a mir­a­cle baby.  The tagline read “Cel­e­brate Fam­ily.  Cel­e­brate Life.”  That’s what all the fuss was about.

This is a clas­sic exam­ple of jump­ing to con­clu­sions.  If I wasn’t aware of the com­mo­tion, I would have won­dered what the spot was for.  It def­i­nitely would have forced me to visit the Focus on the Fam­ily web­site to learn more.  In the end, Focus on the Fam­ily received two weeks of free pub­lic­ity and had a com­mer­cial that left their oppo­si­tion with egg on their face, which can def­i­nitely hap­pen when you jump to conclusions.

To save face, the National Orga­ni­za­tion of Women is say­ing that the com­mer­cial glo­ri­fied vio­lence towards women because it depicts the foot­ball player tack­ling his mother.  Seri­ously?  That’s the best you can do.  If that is your argu­ment, why don’t you bring up the Snick­ers com­mer­cial where the foot­ball player tack­les 88-year-old Betty White?

Every­one is enti­tled to their opin­ion.  How­ever, it is best to make that opin­ion after all the facts are known and, espe­cially in this case, to voice that opinion.

Metropolitan Etiquette Authority: Signs of Civility Hitting the Streets

Jason Shelowitz, a 31 year old graphic designer from New York City, is fed up.  He’s reached his boil­ing point and he’s doing some­thing about it.

Shelowitz started the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Eti­quette Author­ity — his one man cam­paign to enforce eti­quette in New York City.  In an effort to gen­tly remind New York­ers of civil­ity and man­ners, Shelowitz has posted 40 imi­ta­tion street signs through­out the city with help­ful reminders like “Pull up your pants”, “Don’t flick your butts on the ground” and “Clean up after your horse.”

Shelowitz was inspired to do this after his dog stepped on a lit cig­a­rette while they were out­walk­ing.  He feels “it’s a mat­ter of say­ing what everyone’s thinking.”

Last year, Shelowitz tar­geted sub­way rid­ers with a poster cam­paign that pointed out dis­gust­ing sub­way behav­iors.  Now he’s taken his work above ground.

Justin Timberlake: Man of His Word


Justin Timberlake and Cpl. Kelsey De SantisWhen deal­ing with eti­quette, I am con­stantly point­ing out people’s short­com­ings and turn­ing those into learn­ing sit­u­a­tions. Finally, I have the oppor­tu­nity to point out some­thing that some­one has done right.

Justin Tim­ber­lake is a man of his word and attended Saturday’s Marine Corps ball with Cpl. Kelsey De San­tis. Back in July, Cpl. De San­tis posted a YouTube video ask­ing him to escort her to the the ball and he accepted. Sat­ur­day he proved he was a man of his word by escort­ing her to the ball.

Reports are that he had a good time, was a nor­mal per­son and posed for pic­tures with other guests. While many might con­sider this a pub­lic­ity stunt, Tim­ber­lake was moved by the event and posted a let­ter about his evening on his website.

Tim­ber­lake said, “To all of you that serve every day for us… Ensur­ing our free­dom, I say: My deep­est grat­i­tude to you. I’ve met so many of my heroes… From Michael Jor­dan to Michael Jack­son. And, noth­ing makes me feel more honor and pride than when I get to meet one of you. Last night changed my life and I will never forget it.”

We can all learn from this and should always give our mil­i­tary men and women the respect and honor they deserve. Thank you for all that you do.

Just in case you want to link to the full letter:

Justin Timberlake’s night at the Marine Corps ball

It’s Only A Game



Coach Schwartz & Coach HarbaughWhen most peo­ple think about eti­quette, they think about table man­ners and which fork to use while eat­ing their salad. Eti­quette is also a pop­u­lar topic in the busi­ness world. Hir­ing man­agers judge their prospec­tive employ­ees to see their knowl­edge of eti­quette and man­agers have their employ­ees take eti­quette train­ing to help improve their skills in hopes it will increase sales.

Most peo­ple do not real­ize that eti­quette is also a part of sports. Webster’s defines sports­man­ship as con­duct becom­ing to one par­tic­i­pat­ing in a sport. In other words, sports­man­ship is a form of eti­quette and as such your con­duct should be reflec­tive of you and the orga­ni­za­tion you are representing.

Recently, two foot­ball coaches almost were involved in an alter­ca­tion after their game. At the end of a foot­ball game, it is cus­tom­ary for the oppos­ing coaches to shake hands. Some­times they share a few words, wish the other luck and then go on with their busi­ness, but, at a min­i­mum, they shake hands. At the end of this game, the los­ing coach took offense at the win­ning coach’s exu­ber­ance dur­ing their hand­shake. The win­ning coach shook the loser’s hand and gave him a slap on the back. Already upset with los­ing the game, the los­ing coach men­tally lost it after this hand­shake and began chas­ing the win­ning coach down. Thank­fully, cooler heads pre­vailed and kept the two separated.

Per­cep­tion played a major role in this eti­quette break­down. Your actions are per­ceived by oth­ers and it is impor­tant for your intent to be per­ceived cor­rectly. I’m sure the win­ning coach had no intent to embar­rass the other coach, how­ever, this is how it was per­ceived by the los­ing coach and it almost resulted in a fight. Every­body loves to win, but it is impor­tant to win with dig­nity and con­duct your­self in a man­ner that is respect­ful to the loser and is pos­i­tively rep­re­sen­ta­tive of your organization.

Things to do in Los Angeles: dineLA is back, but don’t forget your Manners.



Hey, Ange­lenos.  Have you ever dreamed about din­ing at Spago?  How about sam­pling the sushi at Nobu?  Fight­ing the paparazzi as you pre­pare to eat at BOA Steak­house in West Hol­ly­wood?  Now is your chance as dineLA restau­rant week has returned.  Hun­dreds of local restau­rants are offer­ing spe­cially priced three course meals for lunch or din­ner, so why not go out and sup­port your local restau­rants and taste some of the food that makes Los Ange­les one of the great­est places to eat in the world.  Make your reser­va­tions today.


While you’re out, don’t for­get to bring your man­ners with you.  Din­ing eti­quette is an often for­got­ten con­cept as peo­ple are more con­cerned with the instant grat­i­fi­ca­tion that comes from fill­ing their hun­gry stom­achs.  How­ever, per­cep­tion doesn’t stop at the din­ing table.  In fact, many com­pa­nies test din­ing eti­quette as one of the last steps in the inter­view process.  By using proper din­ing eti­quette, you will look more pro­fes­sional and attain a self con­fi­dence that will ben­e­fit you in work and social set­tings and set you apart from the crowd.