“The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco.” So said Mark Twain, supposedly. You know what? Summer isn’t the only time it’s cold here.
The Chill – first bad, then good
When I first moved here, the fairly constant chill – October is a reprieve – meant one thing: a lot of complaining. (Poor Mr. Trizzle!) But a year and a half later, it means something new: sweaters! and lots of them.
Zambia, Nashville, not exactly your permanently cold places. Even Wisconsin, so very different: hot summers, warm autumns and heat in the buildings during the very cold winters and slightly-less cold springs.
My wardrobe was not ready for the Bay. Short-sleeved cotton dresses, tank tops, loose flowy skirts, light blouses and shorts. On the other end, heavy jersey knit and long-sleeved stretch velvet dresses, thick down jackets, thermal shirts and cozy socks. My closet was built to handle two extremes and nothing in the middle.
In all the places I’d previously lived, temperatures in the 50s and 60s were fleeting sprites marking the border between seasons. They were the days you threw on a light jacket over your warm-weather clothes, or they days you removed your jacket from over your cold-weather clothes. Those were not real temperatures in their own right, they were slight modifications of whatever the usual temperature had been the weeks before.
In the Bay, it’s different. Especially in San Francisco. Temperatures in the 50s and 60s are the norm. Too cool for short sleeves, too warm for a heavy jacket. Add to that the de minims use of indoor temperature control and the requirement of spending time outside getting to and from public transportation and I had a pretty frustrating situation. Until I discovered the beauty of sweaters, and the even more delightful sweater dress.
Now that you understand how badly my wardrobe needed adjusting upon my moving here, you will totally understand that I did indeed need to buy a new dress. - Yes, all that background was to justify my spending money on clothing.
I will also add that I set a budget for myself before starting my search for new sweaters and dresses and I stuck to it. There. Do you feel better about it now? I do. (Well, a little bit better. A teensy bit better.)
Smashing New Dress
The dress seemed to call out to me from the catalog. There was something retro about its styling yet unique and new. I debated for awhile. The strange styling on the top looked like it could go either way. When the box arrived and I opened the dress, I was even more apprehensive. The U-shaped neck line hung funny on the hanger and the dolman sleeves appeared overwhelming. There was only one thing to do. Try it on.
So on it went. And I loved it! It’s so warm and comfy, like being wrapped in a thick cloud. Yet it’s flattering, not at all bulky or pulled down by its own weight. Best of all, it won’t need to be ironed.
P.S. I know it would have looked better with my beige on beige seamed stockings and some brown pumps, but it’s just too cold here at this time of year for that much bare leg. The boots are pretty cute anyway.