Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Rules are made to be remade

There's little I look forward to quite as much as unpacking my giant tubs of summer clothes at the end of winter and preparing for at least a few weeks of novel outfits! Last year, I set a requirement that I could not do this until temperatures of at least 75 degrees occurred (or were forecast) for seven consecutive days—or, I could do it on June 1 if the weather wasn't cooperating. This is actually the first year ever that I've had to wait until my June 1 cutoff point. The temperatures have been swinging all across the board, from the 70's in February to the 80's in March, to the 50's in May, but have not once reached 75 for more than 5 days running—which has caused me to completely rethink my philosophy on Wardrobe Seasonal Switching.

My wardrobe schedule is based on a gradual increase in temperature over the course of several months—not wildly fluctuating weather that sees a high of 56° one day (May 13) and 92° 4 days later! Since late February (I was in New Zealand then, but it still counts!), Maryland has experienced 21 days with temperatures over 75, 14 over 80, and 4 over 90! Even if none of those days happened to be strung together, that was 3 cumulative weeks of summer-wardrobe highs! That's a lot of days to be missing out on the joy of shorts and tank tops!

So I'm thinking of adding a clause to my Seasonal Switching policy that allows for a partial switch in the case of incidents of unseasonable weather. If today's highs are in the 90's, I want to be able to wear my summer clothes regardless of whether the temps are going to drop tomorrow!

So this year, I kind of stretched the limits of my Seasonal Switching rules. When the second or third heat wave hit at the end of March and I had exhausted my small stash of easily-accessible-out-of-season clothes, I dipped into storage, grabbing a few T-shirts and tanks from the top of the pile. On Wednesday, May 17, now seven-ish heat waves into spring, I finally unpacked my summer clothes in preparation for a trip to Florida on Friday—but just my "old" summer clothes, not the new ones that I feel the need to take pictures of every year. Although the highs didn't stay high enough long enough to officially warrant the switch, by this time, there had been enough days of above-80 temperatures to make holding out any longer a completely stupid move.

This past weekend, I finally went all the way, opening up my favorite surprise—the collection of summer clothing I've been acquiring all winter, many of which I've already forgotten that I even got (which might explain why I bought two almost identical white/off-white lace-topped zipper-backed sleeveless blouses!).

Between bulk orders, 2 or 3 loads of hand-me-downs from 2 or 3 friends, and a couple of forgotten thrift store runs, I had accumulated quite the hoard.





I have so many new clothes this summer, that I decided to try something new: a "Save for later" box. Now this requires some explaining. I'm an Unfashionista. Part of my "charm" (you can use that word if you want to be charitable) is that I proudly wear stuff that's starkly out of fashion as long as I think I look good in it. However, even an Unfashionista has her limits. The time period of about 5-10 years ago is a fashion no-man's land. Things that were ultra-trendy back then appear ultra-tacky right now. Right now, you just can't be respected in embellished ribbed wife beaters or filmy lavender tanks with giant sequined flowers, no matter how much you love them. This is hard for me. I have a special affinity for the prevailing aesthetic of the 2007-2009 era, but nope! Those days are over and gone, and won't come back. At least not for another year. So I could choose to wear my really outdated stuff right now and feel happy in it but not fashionable, or I could hold onto it for a few more years, and wear it when the cycle of fashion inevitably makes it (or at least something passably similar) cool again.

There are also some garments that are too nice or useful to discard, but which I'm just tired of. They need to take a break. They need to be Saved for Later. So here's my plan. I'm going to take pictures of everything I want to Save for Later, store the pictures somewhere where I can reference them easily, and stash the clothes themselves in a far recess of my attic. Next year, I'll take them out and see if any of them strike my fancy.

Lastly, I'm making one bold move this summer—bidding adieu to the brown ballet flats that have been a staple of my shoe collection for longer than I can actually remember. It's been nice to always have these versatile and comfy shoes to fall back on, but since one of them fell apart in the middle of my workday yesterday, I can no longer deny that it is time to let them go. This is a bold move because...I don't have anything to take their place! The next time I need a brown flat shoe, I might just have to paint it on my foot!

Hello, toes!

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