Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer Clothing Dilemmas

As I mentioned, I've put on the weight I lost but it is distributed slightly differently. As a result, some clothes fit, some don't, and I can even get into a few items that were previously too tight. I'm on a vow of austerity anyway (too many other expenses, including lots of travel required for research and work) so I'm looking to see what works, what doesn't and what I should sell.

As I feared and predicted, the weather suddenly went from chilly to hot and humid. As this happened, I realized (as I do every summer) that a good deal of my pretty dresses simply don't work for NYC's climate--anything silk sticks to you as soon as the heat and humidity rise in tandem, anything with straps rather than covered shoulders causes my fair skin to burn, and realistically, the best dresses for this weather and my complexion have a slight sleeve. As a result, I've decided to sell a few of the sun dresses I haven't worn (or wore once) that don't do double duty as fall/spring items because they aren't warm enough for me. I'll be selling my madcap print Sylvestre reedition, much as it makes me sad, because I just don't wear it. It's a 6 and I'll post pictures soon. I'm also parting with the blue silk gingham Rachel Comey dress I bought last year because, again, it doesn't work for my body or this climate.

Despite my austerity pledge, I think I'm going to have to get those Madewell sandals I pictured a while back. My stalwart summer flats have been flipping back at the front, which I thought was a problem with cobblestoned streets, but it turns out I've worn through the soles so badly that I think they may be entirely beyond repair. For $50 two years ago (I got two pairs), they've done well---they were by Devotte and came from the now closed permanent sample sale store, Inventory.

But I am looking for a couple of cotton dresses--loose, drapey, with some coverage at the neck and shoulders. The best ones I've seen have been over $200 (the Ernie dresses that Cheryl blogged about are great) but I really don't want to spend that much, especially as I have so many clothes and am trying to be good and even downsize. It's not just the money, it's the principle of the matter--the need to discipline myself and live within the resources, including the space, that I have.

Every summer I wonder the same thing--why so few cotton and linen dresses given the reality of humidity for most of us in the Eastern half of the US? I know cotton prices have gone up but this isn't a new thing (the prices for Mayle's Elvira dress suggest I'm not alone in wanting a cotton dress for the heat and this dress sold out in the stores without going on sale). And also, why so few dresses that cover the chest--the shoulder strap thing asks for sunburn and when combined with cheap synthetics or even silk makes for a pretty sweaty and uncomfortable summer day. If we lived in 70-80 degree low humidity days, these would work, but that's not the climate for most of the US in June-August.

If anybody has any suggestions for reasonably priced cotton dresses, please let me know.


joyce said...

for easy summer dresses, i've had good luck with calypso. the online sale selection is good, and there's often a 30%-40% off code.

Moya said...

Thanks, Joyce. I'll have to check them out--I know they have tons of sales.

Michelle said...

It was a cool post. Every one of us encountered this summer cloths dilemma. You did a great job. Thank you for sharing this fabulous blog. Keep posting.

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