As I shiver and work on coats, I plan for summer. Despite my current geographic location, I find my mind hard-wired to Northern Hemisphere seasons. The only way for me to organize my mind involves thinking of seasons here as “cold summer” and “hot winter.” In the middle of cold summer, I must think of summer clothing. Last hot winter I kept trying to plan coats and sweaters. I’m working through all that planning now.
Hot winter really gets me down, I want to hide in my house. Hot winter lasts for 7 or 8 months. I can stand the heat, I can stand the sticky humidity, I can get used to central A/C being viewed as a luxury rather than a necessity. I can not abide the sun.
It hurts my skin. It hurts my eyes. The sun is stronger and harsher here. Some people like it. I do not. I have a constant headache in hot winter from squinting or wearing sunglasses without my glasses. Signs bidding you to put on sunscreen, clothes, and hats proliferate in parks and on the beaches, basically any public space. Every new freckle sends me scurrying to the doctor because commercials like this play during prime time TV.
What’s a fair-skinned lady to do? I pondered this one for a while, then it occurred to me: dress like a fair-skinned lady, of course!
- Big Hats, big beautiful hats
- Breezy coverage. Flowing sleeves, wide leg pants, swirly skirts
- More and more sunscreen
- Use of fibres that won’t stink when I glisten. I find cotton (not to speak of synthetics) smells horrible after I sweat in it, even when I soak the garment and hang it in the sun. I want to experiment more with wearing bamboo, lightweight merino jersey, hemp and linen for summer wear.
- Light colors / very bright colors that won’t appear washed out in the sunlight.
- Parasol, possibly. Some Asian ladies here carry around umbrellas, but I would want an actual parasol.
- Perscription sunglasses. Or perhaps I should start wearing contact lenses more.
It should be noted that I dress my daughter like this in the summer, and learned to dress this way in a North African summer as a student. I was so cool and comfortable that summer.
It is hard to remind myself to dress this way, because the people around me don’t. Standard summer wear includes shorts, shirt and shoes optional for men (even in public), some sort of tank top for the women (don’t forget to show your bra-straps!), and flip-flops (called thongs). Some people might wear hats, usually mommies and their kids. That’s also pretty standard summer wear back home in Texas and indeed most of the world.
A thin, flowy pintucked shirt. Sleeveless with ruffles down the front? Why not? I like the tulip skirt with the sash to be a bow, but I’m not so sure Sarah would approve. The other skirt looks non-descript, but the back has a pleated bias ruffle and another *ahem* bow. I would do away with that bow. The funny double-breasted shirts are not without their charms.
I like the cocktail dress, but I don’t have a yearning for another one right now. This is filed away under “splendid.” The other dress is made of a double layer of lightweight knit, I think it could be very pretty and comfortable and casual for summer. Sorry, S.S., I kind of like the weird pleated bib front pants. I’ll try it out with a pair of shorts. I don’t actually own any and haven’t for years. I hate showing my legs. Weird shorts could kill any sexiness factor, and I like that. Check out the last pair of pants. Wide legged, cuffed, contour waistband, sleek side pockets. I suppose S.S. is right, you could get these patterns more or less anywhere, but they are just what I’ve been wanting all tied up neatly in a little magazine.
I also have a few knit tops drafted with flowing sleeves for summer, to be made up in a stink-resistant bamboo jersey. I’m pleased I didn’t cut into my wardrobe fabrics in any meaningful way before I found this magazine.
I have a linen waistcoat planned, too. For a little summer smartness. I’m toying with the idea of engineering a lightweight hemp unlined jacket to wear over sleeveless shirts when I sally forth. I found a jacket I like in a book and sketched my own version. Kind of a 1930’s German Imperialist Safari Jacket.
So while I work with wool which won’t form a meaningful part of my wardrobe while I live in Queensland, most of my thought work goes to Hot Winter. Already.