Some of the nicest people I know are!
Happy day, dear reader!
I know a woman who calls herself a Seasonal Slob. She is a summer-loving lady, even when that means 95 degree heat and 95% humidity. She does better in the warm weather and hates to be cold. If you met her in the spring and summer, you would think she was well put together, fun loving, and happy. Her lifestyle is casual. Her basic style recipe is: skirts, shorts, and casual dresses, worn with sandals and a bracelet or two (or more), and fun earrings. She wears enormous sunglasses and carries a cute straw tote, looking polished even in the wilting heat, which here in Georgia can last well into November.
But something happens to this beach baby right around the shift to Daylight Savings Time. Every fall (even if the weather is still warm), she quits. She anticipates the cold (note: term used very lightly) to come, and starts to transform into a woman who looks less than happy, put together, and fun loving. She’s in a winter frump. Not to be confused with a case of the winter dumps! She’s been checked for SAD, and that’s not it. She simply loses her style mojo come fall and winter. She loves summer, and summer dressing, and hates winter, and doesn’t know how to dress for it. It’s like the straw tote goes into storage, and her style goes into storage with it. Gone are the skirts and dresses, and out comes the yoga gear. Not just for yoga, but for all day, every day.
Now, all of us have favorite seasons, and ways to dress that make us happiest. Some people prefer fall and winter, and their seasonal slob comes out in the summer. The shoulder seasons, fall and spring, are often favorites, and the extremes of summer and winter fall out of favor. If one of these scenarios sounds familiar, do not fret! Seasonal slobdom is easily remediable. Let’s talk about some strategies for looking good (and feeling better about yourself) year round… The key is staying true to your personality and lifestyle!
Starting Point: What Does Work?
What is your favorite season to dress for? What is working for you in that season? Is it the brighter colors that most people wear in the spring and summer that make your heart sing? Or do the brighter colors found in spring and summer make you feel like a billboard, and you prefer soothing neutrals? Is there a silhouette you prefer that seems more seasonally in tune? Maybe there’s a fabric that feels fantastic on your skin; you love it and it makes you feel great. Many of these loves can be transferred from season to season, so that you can wear what makes you happy, but in a seasonally appropriate and stylish way.
We all have color preferences! That’s natural. Some people fall under the impression that there are “right” colors for particular seasons, and when they don’t like the ones for season X, they give up. Bah! Your best colors are always in season! There is no rule that says you need to wear russets, golds, and wines in autumn. Or pastels in spring. Or. Brights. In. The. Summer. If you love a color, and it loves you, wear it year round! The trick is to look for it in different fibers, weights, and textures. Maybe even different shades. My wardrobe accent colors are (predominantly) turquoise/teal, and pink/wine . These colors make me happy, make my skin look healthy, and I wear them year round. The variety of colors in the turquoise to teal spectrum, and between pink and wine leaves me lots of choice when shopping, and lots of options for mixing and matching in my closet, while still being cohesive across the seasons. As long as the colors share the same color DNA, they don’t have to match exactly.
Do you have a favorite silhouette that lends itself to one or two seasons better than others? Maybe you prefer lean on top, and loose on the bottom, which makes you uncomfortable in the summer when shorts weather comes. You don’t need to wear shorts! A loose airy skirt will be just as cool (or cooler) than shorts, and still give you your preferred silhouette. Are you the opposite and like loose over lean, but it’s too cold for your skinny jeans and ballet flats in the winter? How about pairing your skinnies with booties and slip a pair of performance leggings underneath. Or, try a narrow skirt with tights and boots. You can even buy fleece lined tights now… Talk about cozy!
If you have fiber allergies or sensitivities, you may find it easier to dress for one season when there is LOTS of your favorite in the stores. If you can’t wear artificial fibers, you can find your skin happy cottons, merino wools, and cashmere (YUM!) in many different weights. Everything from Arctic expedition to tropical heat! Switching up your shoes, accessories, and colors through the year can create the variety you may crave without wasting money on pieces you can’t comfortably wear.
Does your signature style mean scarves, or bold necklaces, but in the summer they make you feel like you are wilting? A cotton bandanna might be a great choice, or statement earrings instead of the necklace. Try a bracelet stack for a bold effect without the unpleasant overheating. A fabulous pair of sunnies is an instant hot weather style boost! Just make sure they have a good UV rating. Don’t forget hats for summer and winter! Not only are they practical, they also make a style statement. To keep things fresh, I switch up my jewelry from season to season. As my more colorful winter tops get put away in the spring, brighter jewelry comes out to jazz up the neutrals I wear in the spring and summer heat. In the fall, as my colors start coming back out to play, the colored necklaces take a vacation while the neutrals and metallics come out again. I like gold tones in the fall (even if they don’t like me) and I make sure to wear them with my most flattering colors.
Body Confidence Issues
A lot of women don’t like dressing for summer because they are embarrassed by their bodies. This makes me sad, because it is possible to dress and flatter the body you have in every season. Waiting for “someday when” is self-defeating. Let’s learn to love the body you have right now. It’s a gift! That said, you don’t have to show off your legs, or cleavage, or bare your arms to feel cool and more comfortable in the heat. My aunt always said “If you can’t give it sun, give it air.” Start by looking for natural fibers, they breathe better than most synthetics.
Let’s talk some common problem spots… If you are self conscious about your legs, a maxi-dress or flowy pants allow air to circulate and keep you cool, and 9 times out of 10 are more flattering than capris. (Please make sure they don’t drag on the ground. Public restrooms. Enough said.) For those who hate their upper arms, and always wear sleeves, try a tank top with a lightweight kimono over it for coverage with better air flow, or look for tops with flutter sleeves. If you want cool but not cleavage, try sleeveless tops with a higher neckline that have some swing and flow away from the body, instead of a tee that clings. That improved air circulation makes all the difference! And last but certainly not least, if you perspire heavily, you may want to wear a cami underneath a synthetic top. You would think the extra layer would be too warm, but a thin wicking cami prevents sweat from dripping down and dampening the waistband of your bottoms. Running sweat makes me feel hotter than anything else. This one by Jockey is a variation of my favorite.
Yes, dressing for different seasons can be a challenge, but you can look well put together in any season. It’s just a matter of taking what makes you look and feel fabulous and translate it from season to season.
What’s your favorite season to dress for? Do you struggle in other seasons? If so, why? Let’s start a conversation in the comments below!
Thank you to Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb for the Link-Up!