Sartorial Limbo

I have recently found myself in an unfortunate predicament, a predicament only exacerbated by the fact that this is London. The predicament I am referencing is in fact of a seasonal nature. 

Here we are, supposedly in the midst of summertime. But this is not your usual summertime with picnics, high temperatures and tennis, this is British summertime (apologies to M&S for the rip-off). This year, the weather has been playing up more than ever, forcing me to make snap decisions on whether a thermal vest or a pair of sandals will prove to be more appropriate before heading out the door.

Layering is one of my favourite activities (aren’t I fun?) and so it upsets me greatly when my ability to layer effectively is repeatedly thwarted by perverse meteorological mood swings. Case in point: today I wore several layers of black due to grey skies in the morning which I judged potentially threatening.

When the day decided to pull itself together I was consequently too hot. Disastrous? Well, no. With the heart breaking damage that natural disasters have wreaked around the world recently I feel I am hardly at liberty to complain about our weather and nor do I wish to. I am just in the habit of making small (and often insignificant) observations.

However, since moving to London I feel these issues have increased tenfold and all because of one thing; the tube. Commuting, regardless of whether one is appropriately or inappropriately dressed is horrific. Freshly styled hair becomes a frizzy disaster thanks to the humidity, ironic layering of polyester granny blouses suddenly becomes the most ludicrous decision ever made in the face of tropical underground temperatures and heels are just downright dangerous what with the endless station stairs and angry people determined to injure you.

And even if you have struck lucky and actually dressed correctly for warmer climes the freak winds turn the platform into quite a hazard when sporting that on-trend-pleated-Chloe(esque)-chiffon-skirt-that-you-suddenly-discover-has-a-mind-of-its-own-in-strong-winds.

Come rain or shine, the inappropriate clothing is out in force on the streets, providing a sense of camouflage. Doesn’t help in the office though does it, when you walk in alone looking a tad ridiculous and attempt to justify your ensemble (it’s no use, they’ve judged already).

So what is the answer? I think perhaps leave items with tag words like flimsy or flirty until the hot weather really kicks in (although anything describing itself as flirty should be left alone altogether, what a horrendous way to describe a garment).

For the transitional period stick to slightly more substantial pieces, so keep the tights but maybe switch to an interesting dotty pair rather than thick opaques. Lace edged cycling shorts are a really useful tool for hiding away under a dress or skirt that is slightly too short to be worn without tights (although actually this describes my entire wardrobe). They also give a more interesting look to an otherwise sparse outfit, adding a much needed extra element to a summer ensemble and fulfilling my desire for layers.

To live in London this is what we must endure. Until air conditioning is installed on the tube and a glass dome is constructed over the capital we must continue to struggle bravely on against the elements. Stay strong fellow Londoners, stay strong.

Image by garryknight courtesy of Flickr

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