Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Seasonal Attire Disorder



How is it that I am never prepared for the seasonal change? It isn’t that the weather hasn’t given due notice. For more than a week the evening air has had a slight chill to it. Mornings have been shrouded in fog if they’re not dripping with rain. The warmest part of the day is the middle, and even then, many evenings a sweater has not been amiss.

A few days after the traditional late August storm on whose heels trod the first breath of fall, I rounded up all my summer clothes and put them in a box. I hauled out all my winter clothes and put them in the closet. Two days later, the sun made a summer comeback and the humidity that I welcomed in July made me sweat in my turtleneck. I opened up the summer box, pulled shorts and tees back out, and stuffed them in amongst the woolies. The next day, the wind blew cold, the rains poured down, and I sat huddled in a tee shirt and two sweaters.

I’ve never perfected the art of layering, a dressing skill that would no doubt stand me in good stead in the changeable New England weather. The catalogs that come at this time of year (if they aren’t already shouting about what fun 20º below zero will be) mention pieces that “layer well,” but I get tired just thinking about all those clothes. If I put on an undershirt and a long sleeved tee shirt and a button down flannel shirt, (not to mention a sweater and a jacket), I’d look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. It’s not a fashion statement I want to make. It amazes me that after spending most of my life in New England (where the old adage, “if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute,” is learned at your mother’s knee), I still can’t manage to dress appropriately for the season.

12 comments:

Towanda said...

After living in San Francisco for years, I learned the art of layering. For me, the date to change the clothes around, pack up summer and unpack winter, is Halloween. Regardless, last night I was looking for winter. Go figure.

Brian Miller said...

ha...i wont put away the shorts for a month or two...the weather changes too much...today i need a life preserver as i might float away...

Reya Mellicker said...

I love warm clothing. Also: learned how to layer when I lived in California where it truly IS necessary.

I can dress for the weather, but to be stylish? I was born without that gene.

Judith said...

I'll never to be able to see SAD again with a straight face!
Okay, let's get down to brass tacks.
Stylish? Fugeddaboutit!
Layering IS the answer. But if being the P. Doughboy doesn't turn you on, then try
another box, to hold a few summer garments. Then grab what the morning brings you from the appropriate box. If by evening you need additional, it's winter in your closet.
(You only need a small transition box, you'll have room. And anyway you can make the full switchover at Hallowe'en, that seems appropriate since it's all about costumes!)
Your paper doll is wonderful, and yes, so well dressed! But just think --- wouldn't she look sadly out of place in Sheffield? Not to mention she'd be suffocating or freezing to death!
An amazingly cheering lament, P!

Out on the prairie said...

I keep a few things from previous season just in case when I finally change my closets.

Pauline said...

T and Reya - I'd have no problem if layering looked like art on me but I'm too rectangularly shaped to wear more than one garment at a time. Once I cover it all with a coat I can barely move!

Brian - I do leave some summer clothing out but if all worked as it should, what would I write about? ;)

J and OOTP - the stacked boxes reach from floor to ceiling - the one I want is invariably under something else!

red dirt girl said...

I'm hopeless at layering as well, though in my climate, summer 9 months out of the year, it's more about trying to stay warm indoors where there is air conditioning, and cool outdoors where it is suffocatingly hot!

xxx

Anne said...

Here in the Pacific Northwest it's pretty easy to dress -- especially in the rural environment of an island. Tee shirt and jeans. If it's cold I add a sweater and wrap a scarf around my neck -- or perhaps include a fleece vest. If I want to dress up the scarf is silk. If it's warm (it's almost never hot)and I want to dress up I add a necklace and omit the scarf. Earrings and shoes other than running shoes complete the impression of elegance.

Friko said...

You must have a lot of clothes if you need to change from boxes into closet and vice versa.

I change drawers, tees go in the bottom in autumn and jumpers come up one.

I would love it if you could tell me what the picture at the top is called. before I had real dolls I had such sheets of paper with detachable dolls and clothes, way back in the distant past. I've never found out what they are called in English. It would help with articles about childhood toys in Germany after the war.

Pauline said...

lol RDG!

Anne - that would work for me except I can't wear jeans to work and I don't have enough neck to tie a scarf around without looking as though my head sits directly between my shoulder blades...

Friko - they are called simply Paper Dolls and I played with them as well when I was a child. As for lots of clothes, it's more a case of very little storage. Off season clothes are stored in two boxes in the closet and there's just enough room in my bureau for one season at a time. The clothes closet is really just a tall box dividing rooms...

herhimnbryn said...

I know the feeling! Cold nights and balmy spring days here.

Kerry said...

I have the same problem. My clothes are a jumble of seasons because on any given day almost everything is required, from sweatshirt to tank top.