It’s been ridiculously hot here (I’m not gonna stop telling you about it, sorry) for April, and as a transplant to Austin from the northeast, it’s taken me a few years to get the hang of this dressing for hot weather thing. When I first moved here I only had three pairs of shorts and a zillion tank tops from Old Navy. The tank tops were something I would wear in NYC under all of my sweaters and cardigans so I had a lot of them. This was my uniform for April-October. Sure I would mix in a few sundresses now and then, but for the most part, I was very comfortable and casual. You can get away with this here in Austin. However, I started to get bored. I felt like I had all of these dressier clothes from my New York years that were going to waste. I wanted to somehow integrate them into my outfits more, but kept getting discouraged by the fact that a lot of them were made from heavier, unfriendly fabrics for summer. I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade since then, and this outfit is an example of how I have learned to dress up but remain comfortable despite the rising temps. These are also items I wear all year long, and can be transitioned back into warmer-feeling outfits too!
Here’s how I transition my closet now. To some this is probably a no-brainer, but I come from a place where it’s cold all year! I move all of my pullover sweaters out of the closet. There’s just no point. I can’t see pulling off the sweater with shorts thing here in Austin, even though I think it’s super cute. I keep my cardigans around because it’s still cold inside most restaurants, movie theaters, and office buildings (Texas is air conditioned to the max). I look closely at my dresses. Why keep the wool-blends in the closet? Even the tunics are a little much if you have to layer them over jeans here. It’s just a big fat tease. I keep the dresses that are light and look cute with a blouse or, if I had one, a chambray shirt, to preserve some interesting layering ability.
I think the lack of layering ideas is what I have struggled with the most since moving here. It’s easy to make different outfits by switching out the cardigan for a jacket or layering a sweater over a dress. Get ready to witness my attempts to dress differently each day this summer without spending money on lots of new clothes. It’s gonna be interesting (I hope)…
April 28, 2011