- The Washington Times - Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day has arrived, and while green leaves have yet to morph into that glorious copper hue, Washingtonians already are thinking fall — and getting back to business. President Obama and his family have rolled up the beach towels from their Martha’s Vineyard vacation, and members of Congress are making their way back to town.

Dinner table debates about health care have grown tiresome. However, there’s another one that’s just as contentious and even more timely this time of year: the age-old controversy about wearing white after Labor Day. Perhaps your mother or fastidious aunt may have told you that wearing the pristine shade was a major faux pas, especially in a town so constrained by tradition as the nation’s capital.

Post-Labor Day white-wearers, though, may have found a powerful ally.

The Vermont-based Emily Post Institute states that “white can be worn 365 days a year. The old rule about wearing white only between Memorial Day and Labor Day is a thing of the past.”

The majority of Americans, it seems, agree with the Institute, founded by Mrs. Post, the Baltimore-born author and grande dame of American etiquette who died in 1960.

Our friends at PriceGrabber.com, in fact, surveyed its shoppers to get their take. The survey, conducted between Aug. 29 and Thursday, included 540 respondents. According to the results, over 70 percent of those polled admitted to wearing white after the passing of the holiday.

And when it came to the question, “Do you think the ‘rule’ about not wearing white after Labor Day is outdated?” 66.3 percent answered yes and 12.78 percent said no. Most notable, though, is that nearly 23 percent said they’d never heard of the “white after Labor Day rule.”

Still, despite public opinion, we have a hard time envisioning white linen trousers on the floor of the Senate — even on a balmy September day. But G2 loves to play fashion police, so our eyes are sure to be peeled.

Mrs. Shriver: star

Our friends at the Greater Washington Sports Alliance, which will hold its SneakerBall Sept. 15, have announced the group’s plans to induct Eunice Kennedy Shriver into the Greater Washington Sports Hall of Champions during the annual gala. The event will take place at the National Building Museum.

An activist of international renown, Mrs. Shriver — sister of President John F. Kennedy and the mother of former NBC newswoman-turned-California first lady Maria Shriver — died last month. Mrs. Shriver founded the Special Olympics, now the world’s largest year-round sports program for mentally disabled children and adults. Its more than 2.5 million athletes in 180 countries take part in competitions each year. The Greater Washington region is home to over 2,000 Special Olympics athletes.

We hear Mrs. Shriver will be the first honoree inducted posthumously.

To contact Stephanie Green or Elizabeth Glover, e-mail undercover@washingtontimes.com.

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