Jan 282014

In the aftermath of my recent wardrobe trauma, I have been strategizing how to avoid such trouble in the future. Realizing that it happens most when I am going to a daytime social event is a clue. I may be overthinking the impression I want to make on people. Or I may just not have the right undergarments 😉

The first thing I tried on that day didn’t work because it didn’t fit at all. I had gotten a pair of purple, patterned tights at a clothing exchange and it never occurred to me that I should try them on. They came up just above my knees! Oh well.

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image1.jpgIf, for some reason, I had rejected the suit I ended up wearing, my next option was this (dress from youngest daughter’s wedding, with tights and sweater). Wearing it to church the next day seemed like a good opportunity to test-drive an outfit. Although it was fine, it was not great. The dress is sleeveless and the sweater was a little bit itchy.

Many people use this template to wear their summer dresses year-round.

Sundress + tights + sweater

This year I kept my summer clothes out, going for more variety, but I haven’t found them very useful. Do you have separate summer and winter wardrobes?

  4 Responses to “Wearing Summer Dresses Year-Round”

  1. I definitely have separate wardrobes here in the midAtlantic area. On the one hand, I’m not a fan of torturing summer dresses in the hope of winterizing them. We have large enough wardrobes that it seems like a conceit plus I’m not the fondest of looks with tights. I do have them and wear them, particularly the fleece lined ones but I keep wondering why I am not wearing regular sheer pantihose that were good enough for Joe Namath. The clinginess can be helped with wearing a half slip, particularly the old style taffeta ones designed for knits but I also have one that is the cut out lining to a discarded dress and that is more a firm knit. I also wonder about anti-static spray but never get around to buying it. I wonder if it would keep the white dog hairs off my dark tights. 😀

    All that said, people always did wear thin printed silks, say, in winter. I think the trick to the “summer” dress then, is to look as though you are not cold! So I would wear a jacket – I have a nice fitted black crepe one that is a current favorite – and the nude or dark sheer hose. This is very different psychologically than the look of dark tights and a heavy looking sweater. Obviously warm garments thrown together with a thin dress is a kind of stubborn or castles-in-the-sky look, in my book and no matter how many photo editorials of it I see, I still find it unpleasantly quirky.

    We have 4 seasons here though fall is usually lovely and gradual and spring is non-existent with miserable winter dragging on, sometimes interspersed with horrid little heat waves.
    And summer is mostly so steamy that I can’t get much use out of little jackets or lined or fitted clothes. I try to picture myself, when buying summer items, mad with the heat, drenched in sweat and ripping off my clothes, uttering, Never again. This helps with totally unrealistic purchases. How many clothes do I need that will see very little wear?

    The main seasonal change is to consider the change in light and the psychological feel of the seasons. So I would continue to wear dark lightweight fabrics in fall, like dark linens.
    And I would lighten the weight of woolens for those cold spring days or I suppose wear thicker pastels, had I any. I am more and more persuaded of the worth of tropical wools or lightweight merinos as summer fabric and aim to search some out over time and give it a try.

    I definitely have tended to have different palettes and feel to cold weather and hot weather clothes. Hot weather has more prints in my closet, stronger contrast prints – often two color. Crisper color combinations – often black and white and raspberry. Then I wonder why I don’t take this idea into winter but despite my intentions I seem to end up in a lot of what I think of as dessert colors: enrobed in chocolate, textured buttercreamy lace, caramel colors. So one set of things is peppier or crisper and the other more languid. Perhaps my own brand of defiance of and opposition to the weather.

  2. For me, it isn’t just a meter of not looking cold, I AM cold ;). And, like you, I melt in summer. I was trying to keep the summer stuff going because I like those colors, but the fabrics just don’t translate for me.

    I think perhaps people who work in climate-controlled offices can have one work wardrobe for all seasons, but not me.

  3. Even though I live in the Sunshine State where we can wear summer clothes just about year-round, I have found that I STILL crave something fall-ish or winter-y when those seasons roll around. Maybe because I’m tired of what’s in my closet because it’s seen so much wear? Anyhow, I notice this particularly in dresses. I have some cute knit summer dresses and those I feel like I *could* layer them. However, their colors and feel still say “summer!” to me, so I don’t try to winter-ize them. I love the idea though. And maybe I just don’t have the right basic dresses to do that with. ::shrugs::

    Also…I LOVE the look of that yellow sundress ready for winter! Too bad it wasn’t a love for you. The picture looks really cute.

  4. Jenna – I was thinking about that this morning, when I realized how tired I am of my winter clothes, just that needing some variety would be reason enough for someone in the south to want seasonal wardrobes.

    And, thanks for your feedback about the dress. I think the look works, but not the feel, so maybe I can find a cotton sweater to do similar. It will be July here before I can really wear the dress with bare arms and legs. And I can probably wear tights and boots until the end of April.

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