Home Opinion and Features Wearing your label on your sleeve

Wearing your label on your sleeve


A few years back, students from Cornell University did a study which found that turning off the lights in your home can help save a significant amount of money per kilowatt hours and reduce your electricity bill every month.

SO HERE’S the thing gentlemen; that little label stitched to the sleeve of your jacket is not stylish. In fact, that little tag is not meant to be there after you get home from the store.

The label on a jacket’s sleeve is put there so that a customer can see the brand of the item they are looking at without taking it off the hangar in the clothing store. You have to admit that looking at a few sleeves is much easier than taking jackets off their hangers.

So this week’s fashion tip is for us to go home and carefully snip off those cuff labels.

There is a funny story about how wearing sleeve labels became popular. One source tells how the labelled sleeve was a trend with people attending dance parties called ‘voguing balls’. These folk often wore merchandise ‘fresh from the store’. This means that they either ‘purchased’ the item before the weekend with the intention of returning it on Monday, or they simply shoplifted the item.

It was considered popularly rebellious to attend functions with labels and security tags attached. It was cool because just by flashing the label on the sleeve in the right way, you could show off with your high-class duds.

So, if you don’t want to be suspected of stealing your jackets, do what you did to the pockets after you bought the suit. They were stitched closed and you had no problem unpicking them … go and do likewise to those sleeve labels.

Another fashion nightmare that bothers me is the thick fabric that is being used these days to make neckties.

Look, I agree that a necktie is one of the most pointless clothing items ever created, but you have to admit that it finishes off a look rather well … provided there’s a neat ‘samoosa’ shape at the base of your neck.

Horror of horrors! Have you taken a look at the tie knots on display on television and the big screen? No longer are there the neat samosas. No, nowadays it looks like deformed sausage rolls!

These days there are ties with amazing colours, patterns and designs, but they are far too thick. When I try to do my traditional Half-Windsor knot, it looks like someone’s huge colourful fist is holding me at the base of my throat.

I have tried to learn new ways of knotting my thick neckties. I have been on Wiki-How and YouTube, but at the end of the day my muscle memory refuses to learn new knots just to accommodate material as thick as winter socks.

And before I get more carried away, one last fashion tip. Guys, you okes who wear socks with sandals … just stop it!

Awww, come on socky-sandal guys, I am only joking. You guys have every right to wear any footwear you enjoy. Besides, my letters to Parliament have probably not been opened yet, so wearing socks with sandals is not a crime … yet!

But I can wait for the socky-sandal law. For now, Parliament is probably juggling the country’s power issues, so I will leave them to focus on that for now.

Come to think of it, I actually wonder if our parliamentarians switch off the lights when they go home at night. Even that simple act could make a tiny difference to the current state of affairs. (Did you notice the word ‘current’ I used there?).

But seriously, think about it. If street lights in cities and towns across the country are left burning through the day and entire office blocks are illuminated throughout the night, doesn’t that put a strain on the power resources of a country?

A few years back, students from Cornell University did a study which found that turning off the lights in your home can help save a significant amount of money per kilowatt hours and reduce your electricity bill every month. However, they found that the savings would grow more rapidly if more and more people did the same thing.

The students named their power-saving committee ‘Lights Off Cornell’ and as a movement they set out to conserve energy by turning off the unused lights inside the campus. This initiative had come about because, in 2010, the university calculated an estimated amount of $60,000 that they could have saved every year if those lights that weren’t in use were turned off.

So you see, street lights burning during daytime and illuminated office blocks at night serve no purpose other than to make those responsible look either silly – like people wearing sandals with socks, or worse, a bit dishonest – like someone who would keep a label on their jacket sleeve so that they can take the garment back after they’d had some fun.

The way I see it, be it silly or dishonest, irresponsible or indifferent, whatever the reason, having unused lights that serve no purpose putting extra strain on our country’s already strained grid is, to me, like having a large fist-like knot around my throat choking me.

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