Monday, November 3, 2008

Weather chatter

Expat Kat posted recently about having to change all the bedding from summer duvets to winter duvets, running out of space and generally being driven crazy by it. (Some of us pointed her in the direction of space savers, - plastic zipped bags that, when sucked at by a vacuum cleaner, compress your stuff to about a tenth of its size. Be warned - if you use these when you are travelling, you might find you have a lot more space in your case, but it will also add a lot more weight! Plus - you have to somehow get it back to squashed size for your return journey which presumably means taking or locating a vacuum cleaner.)

Anyway, it got me to thinking about one of the more irritating (to my mind) aspects of living in the States. Two entirely seperate wardrobes. See, in most places (Southern Calif. excluded) the summers are hot, and the winters are anything from crisp to downright bloody freezing. Thus requiring very light clothing in the summer, when even jeans are too heavy, and parkas and ugly boots in the winter. And the questions becomes, where on earth do you put all the stuff?

I suppose you should make sure you can fit them all into your closet, but most people seem to take the unseasonal clothes off the hangers and look for somewhere to store them. Usually it's in plastic zipped bags under the beds. I have been lucky enough never to have encountered moths (ah, there - jinxed it!), but they seem to be the scurge of many people's lives. There must be nothing worse than taking out your winter sweaters/jumpers to find them resembling a slice of Swiss cheese.

The added scurge of two wardrobes is that you can easily find yourself bringing out your summer/winter clobber only to discover it has all somehow shrunk. Or rather, you can't do the buttons up. If we could wear the same clothes all year round, perhaps it would be a constant reminder of an expanding waistine or bum. (Do you think I've just stumbled on the reason why many Americans are overweight?) But no - for some reason the clothes fit for the required 6 month period, but when taken out the following year, a concurrent visit to the Weight Watcher's web site is required.

In these parts, the seasons at the moment, can't quite decide what they're doing. Less than two weeks ago (I think) we had temps in the 70's (farenheit), which was followed by pleasant, autumnal weather, then "bloody freezing". There was a frantic scramble for gloves and hats and the lighter coats were traded in for the first stage thermal coats. (No wonder there's a storage problem.) This past weekend was unseasonably warm again, but is scheduled to go back down to freezing later in the week.

What's a fashionista to do? Like I'd know.



  1. You could wear both sets of clothes and then go into a phone booth (do you like my US speak?) and do a Wonderwoman to come out wearing the right set of clothes for the weather? Speaking of fingers are crossed for you all out there with the election. Will you be staying up all night to watch the results? Hx

  2. I need everything in my wardrobe because our weather is so unpredictable that we can have a sudden hot day without warning or a freezing one when it should be hot.
    Bedding is a nightmare and duvets are difficult to hide away. I have a large wicker chest in my bedroom and most of the spare duvets & pillows end up in there. Never enough room.
    I am a great believer in wearing layers! Which can be peeled off when overly warm and added to when it gets cold.

  3. Right now we seem to be wearing both summer and winter clothes on top of each other! The days start cold, then become unseasonally warm requiring layers to be shed as the day progresses.

  4. Hadriana - I'll be biting my fingernails all day. We'll see how it goes, but I might retire at midnight if it's not clear. Eek.

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  6. It's similar here...
    what we usually do is put all the things we won't be wearing for 4-6 months in some suitcases and chuck them in the spare room... it's a nightmare job each year and the wardrobes are never big enough!

  7. I have it all stuffed in one wardrobe. :(

  8. It's the same here, eating Sunday lunch outside in the sunshine one week, snowing the next!

    It's global warming I say, I don't care what Bush thinks (or has he changed his mind yet).

    Just wear lots of layers!

  9. I quite like the changing of wardrobes (although space, I'll grant you, is always a tricky one) - you can get quite fed up with wearing the same clothes, and it's nice to revisit last winter's boots and jumpers after having had a suitable period apart from them. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and all that.
    The past two UK summers have been so dismal that I've never really got my summer wardrobe out, and seem to live year round in jeans and cardies.

  10. I am dizzy with it all myself- heating up and then down, and then off... gloves in the bag, on the hands, put away again, rain coat off and on, de-icer one day and air con the next.... and this is England. Aren't we supposed to be temperate and predictable over here???

    Hope you get the outcome you want in the election- remember plenty of wine calms the nerves.

  11. I find that so many people here live very indoorsy lives. Their houses are so heated in winter and so air-conditioned in summer, that actually, the differences in wardrobes is more to do with whether I'm at home or visiting! In winter, for school and preschool my kids wear lightweight clothes, and then when they come home, they have to add a layer. I find it a bit ridiculous.

    When I first arrived, I couldn't BELIEVE that their kids didn't have wellies. I asked someone "but how do you take your kids out when it's muddy or rainy?" and she looked at me as if I was from a different planet. I guess the 20 yard dash across the parking lot doesn't really merit wellies, which is the only contact with the outdoor world that many kids have.

    I sound so bitter and twisted - don't mean to. I know a lot of people in the UK are pretty indoors people too. I think it's a shame, though.

  12. you could be like me and have constant hot flashes, then that way I only have to wear spring clothing year round!!!!

    Gill in Canada

  13. Same over here. I spent the weekend buying snow boots for the clan as we had snow last week..I was not prepared!

    Today its hot! Mother natures way of messing with our heads & wardrobes!

  14. It's 70 farenheit here in Chicago today. (Election rally weather?) By the weekend it'll be sleety!
    I think since we live in the city there's a lot more walking around in freezing temps, but I am generally looked at with suspicion when I go out in the rain.
    Our school is a few blocks away so the kids walk in all weathers except lightening. Last winter one mother said "You walked?". If I drove, by the time I found parking I'd be outside my house.
    Gill - looking forward to the hot flashes!

  15. What a conundrum. Finding space for those out-of-season clothes is very hard. And I always find that I'm only wearing two or three things - only the stuff I don't wear is in the wardrobe!

    And I just wish the weather would make up its mind - it's been the same here hot - cold - hot - rainy etc etc..
    M xx

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