Talking about the weather - une femme d'un certain âge

Talking about the weather

We’ve had quite a long cool and cloudy streak here in LA. I’m in the minority here; while the rest of the region seems to be longing for warm and sunny weather, I’m quite pleased to be able to wear my sweaters and big scarves a while longer. The truth is, I have a very hard time feeling stylish in warm weather. I don’t do dresses (well, I would but really don’t find anything in between skin-tight sheaths and smocked styles which could rightfully be mistaken for maternity wear), I can’t go braless (eliminating as options many of the cute tops I’ve seen recently) and find that most short skirts really aren’t my thing. I tend to fall back on t-shirt-and-capris or tunic-and-white-jeans when temperatures climb into the 80’s and above, and in general am just not at ease baring a lot of skin, especially at work. Thus, summer and autumn in LA are my least favorite sartorial seasons, and I’m secretly dreading the onset of warmer days as something to get through until next winter.
What about you? What seasons really let you express your style? How do you cope with hot summer days?
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21 Comments

  1. June 15, 2009 / 1:33 pm

    I wear a lot of linen, which means that I spend a lot of time ironing! But, it is the most comfortable fabric. I agree about not showing too much skin at work, and it’s easy to look too casual. I think it’s harder for women to look nice in hot weather.

  2. June 15, 2009 / 2:00 pm

    I don’t remember a June this cold, damp and cloudy, ever. Except for yesterday, I haven’t seen the sun for days and I confused, so confused about what to wear. Obviously summer clothes are out.
    While sartorially I prefer autumn and winter because I love coats, scarves, boots and sweaters I prefer hot and dry weather.
    My summer wardrobe consists of skirts, tee shirts and ballet flats or flowy summer dresses.
    I’d prefer to wear my old summer staple, white jeans and white button down shirt…but “bloggers butt” has ruled out jeans and long trouser shorts this year.

  3. June 15, 2009 / 2:08 pm

    it gets very hot here July and August, with steamy humidity also. And then you go inside and freeze with the air conditioning!

    I am with you on skirts. I’m short and curvy, too. I have found I just love linen pants, especially wide legs. I have a pair by Gap and a couple of pairs by Level 99 that I really like. And then a light sweater or jacket, that I always end up carrying when I’m outside. It’s a pain, but I’m too much of a baby to freeze inside!

  4. June 15, 2009 / 2:22 pm

    Hot is challenging. I find skirts so much cooler than pants, and like RIta, love linen. The French attitude is: linen wrinkles, so what? They do not try to look creaseless. (But to be fair my French GF likes her linen “wrinkled just so” (whatever that is!)

    If you do want a dress, you might have been away when I posted on Dress by Design- a web-based company that has some great styles and many, many options. You can choose a fabric of theirs or send your own, and they will even make and send a muslin.

  5. June 15, 2009 / 2:46 pm

    When I lived in Brisbane which is a hot humid city, I had to get over my phobia of showing my arms, as it just wasn´t possible to survive otherwise- sleeveless tops, skirts or a sleeveless dress and a cardigan for the evenings.

  6. Anonymous
    June 15, 2009 / 3:20 pm

    It’s the worst season for me. I love dresses, but you’re right, there’s little between fitted sheath and dresses more appropriate for my nieces, aged 7 and 14. Jeans, which I hate, are too heavy, and the best I can do is very lightweight linen or cotton pants. In the hottest summer days, I can be found wearing one of three OSKA dresses, found on sale in Florida. I’m lucky I don’t work outside the home, and I really don’t care what I look like walking the dogs.

    I currently have two pair of pants for summer, but due to Weight Watchers success, they are too big.

    I much prefer autumn and winter, when you can layer. But, all year round, I wonder where the nice skirts are? They are either black, or weird patterns. I have a great olive green silk skirt, knee length, with subtle copper and silver threads. (Looks better than it sounds). The only thing I seem to find to wear with it is black or white, neither of them great colours near my face.

    Christine

  7. June 15, 2009 / 3:41 pm

    I’m with you. The cool has been nice in LA. I’ve finally assembled a light-colored but medium weight wardrobe for spring so that I am not freezing but still not wearing dark chocolates and rusts that are better suited to fall. I will say that yesterday and today, it was clear and sunny and warm where I live, but by the time I got to work (an hr’s drive) it is cloudy and cold again.
    I like it because I don’t like to sweat unless I’m in workout clothes! LOL
    My stepdad always says it doesn’t warm until June 15, but perhaps it will be later this year.

    I must say that I’ve found a great bunch of dresses from Jones New York, Boden, and even a couple from Ann Taylor. So I wear dresses in the summer when it is warm. The single garment dressing (with shapewear underneath) seems to work for the indoor-airconditioned, outdoor-heat combination in LA.

  8. Effie May
    June 15, 2009 / 6:30 pm

    I always thought I was alone in hating the summer for this very reason. Just one more area in which I totally relate to you! Weekends are a real challenge in the over exposure department. Plus, I work in a very picturesque and historical, but un-air conditioned, brick building in San Francisco. By the end of a warm day (anything over 70 here), it is unbearable. I try to stay professional with black linen pants and lightweight tops under my jackets. But forget about wearing those jackets the entire day. I too have had to just get over showing my arms. I’ve also started to wear skirts, but those bring their own challenges in the shoe & white leg department. My one consolation is that at the end of a workday, I get on the ferry to go home, and have the sea breezes to cool me off.

  9. June 15, 2009 / 7:17 pm

    A nice spring day, low 70s, is ideal for me!

  10. Arabella
    June 15, 2009 / 3:03 pm

    It’s in the 100s with 77% humidity in Austin now and I’m not doing very well at all. Temperatures increase every year.
    I prefer skirts but in the past year I haven’t found anything that I like that is long enough (just over the knee. Most capri pants make me look like a munchkin and most clam-diggers have peculiar proportions. I’m making do with some old wide-legged linens, a pair of corset-laced sailor pants and not leaving the house.

  11. La Belette Rouge
    June 15, 2009 / 3:16 pm

    I was sure you were going to post a picture of your gorgeous new sweater!!

    Well, I, for one, am LOVING this weather. L-O-V-E it! As far as I m concerned we could have cold June gloom all year long.

  12. metscan
    June 15, 2009 / 3:22 pm

    This is a difficult question. I do like to wrap myself in a coat and I prefer 66 den.Wolford tights. But I hate winters! Linen is wonderful, wrinkled` just so ´, as Duchesse told us. Then I like cotton and cashmere too. I guess I like all the four seasons, but would prefer the winter to be mild and very short.

  13. Sal
    June 15, 2009 / 3:54 pm

    For years my summer wardrobe was far lovelier than my winter … but I’m finally learning to shop my dominant season. And I feel much more myself in fall and winter now. By the end of the summer, all I want to do is COVER UP!

  14. Maravonda
    June 16, 2009 / 1:22 am

    I live in my nursing scrubs, come home and put on pjs. Can you tell how much I love the heat? I try to stay inside from June to October here in this sultry climate…no summer vacations for me unless it is Alaska! (Not helpful, but wanted to commiserate)

  15. Sher
    June 15, 2009 / 8:46 pm

    In hot weather I prefer a skirt or dress. Less that sticks to me the better. Ideal temp for me is mid to high 70’s. And I could never live in the upper west coast with out the sun. I need the sun or I get depressed.

  16. June 16, 2009 / 4:41 am

    I love spring and autumn. My boobs are too big for summer and strappy tops. Summer needs finer thinner fabrics, which show up my rolls.
    Winter I’m just cold and crabby, though I do love some of my winter clothes and knee high boots.

    Autumn and spring let me layer and have fun without all the weather constraints.

  17. maria
    June 16, 2009 / 2:16 am

    in the summer i live in t-shirts, capri pants and flip flops. right now i am living in t-shirts, jeans and flip flops. i wish i was more stylish, but it is something that i have always struggled with. i can speak three languages, but i can’t put an outfit together….go figure 😉

  18. lagatta à montréal
    June 16, 2009 / 11:18 pm

    I live in an otherwise wonderful place with horrid, bitter, endless winters which do much to counter our sense of style. Yecch, the horrid down or fake-down filled nylon coats that make all but the very slimmest look like frozen lumps, and ugly boots and headwear.

    Of course our summers are nothing like yours, and I love summer most of all. What is with all this trousers wearing in summer? If you find the skirts in shops too short, order them online or have them made (or make them yourselves, if you have that skill). I never wear trousers in summertime unless I am doing certain very specific activities that have absolutely nothing to do with fashion, like heavy gardening.

    Mmm bare legs and pretty colours, light fabrics. And sandals. I don’t and won’t work at jobs that require closed shoes in summertime – it is like wearing gloves.

    That said, I can see why an L.A. fashionista would prefer a more San Franciscan summer.

  19. dearcallie
    June 18, 2009 / 2:10 am

    Hello from New Orleans! 🙂

    It’s “summer” here most of the year, and it really isn’t the heat, it’s the humidity… 90% + for a large part of the year… combined with frigid air conditioning indoors – it’s a challenge to dress well here, I promise you.

    I work for a branding agency, so it’s “creative professional”, but I have to factor in my age as well… dammit.

    😉

    I’m a fairly youthful 46 (that humidity really DOES help with your skin, thankfully), fair skinned, dark haired (really, really, short dark hair – think… just shy of something you could achieve with clippers… but my biggest dilemma is how… hard it is to wear black when it’s hot.

    I truly look great in black – pale skin, dark hair, green eyes… and I can work that well in winter, but sleeveless dresses, no jacket, etc., is a challenge for office attire in the warmer months without feeling too … bare.

    I won’t even talk about how dress silhouettes favor the younger, and bra-less among us… I’ve needed a bra since puberty – even at my slimmest…

    Help?

  20. June 23, 2009 / 5:46 pm

    dearcallie, ‘black when it’s hot’: I suggest black linen. (Or fine Egyptian black cotton made into a soft-pleated skirt.) it’s all in the texture, in the summer heat of Rome you will see many chic women in black linen skirts or dresses. If the AC bothers you try a chiffon or sheer cotton/silk shawl.

    The only drawback to black linen is that after a season or two the black fades. That is true of black cotton too.

  21. Anonymous
    June 24, 2009 / 1:29 am

    Thank you, Duchesse

    That “fading” thing is the bane of my wardrobe – no matter what the price point… it’s hard to feel remotely chic in something that looks both “rusty” AND wilted – despite pressing it moments before leaving the house!

    Without getting .. overly “crafty” and venturing into the world of re-blacking with RIT in the washer, if anyone has any tips about preserving that original inky hue, I’m all ears… I have a lot of formerly great looking “black” things from tees to silk skirts.. sigh.

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