Sartorial Limbo

As London dwellers, we accept the issues presented by tube travel. The odd strike and delay, undesirable carriage partners and permanent severance from our own ideals of personal space.
 But lately things have been getting worse. The predicament I am referencing is of a seasonal

Here we are, caught in a tricky limbo between boiling hot and freezing cold. One second we are
 whizzing along underground in a subterranean concrete tunnel and the next we are spat outside, 
left to trudge through the snow in strong winds. On March 31 British
 Summertime officially sprung. A time of uncertainty and apprehension, where the number of layers one 
bravely estimates on stumbling around the bedroom in the early morning is rarely correct.

London commuting is the travel equivalent of being dragged through a very hot hedge 
backwards. 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 crowds. And even if you have struck lucky and actually dressed 
correctly for these underground climes, the freak winds turn the platform into quite a hazard
 when sporting that pleated Chloe (esque) midi skirt that you suddenly discover has a mind of its 
own in strong, travel-induced winds.

So really, what hope do we Londoners have? What wardrobe essentials must we possess in order 
to juggle seamlessly between chilly streets and the tube’s own little micro climate 
with its guaranteed tropical temperatures (in fact I might holiday there).

Firstly, 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 at all times of year).
 For this transitional period – particularly with all this nasty snow – stick to slightly more 
substantial pieces, so keep the tights but maybe switch to an interesting opaque shade of navy or
 maroon rather than those faithful black woolies which do nothing for the legs. Over-the-knee 
socks worn over slightly thinner or patterned tights looks great with a baggy tunic-style dress
 and give a sneaky extra layer (avoid bodycon with this look or it edges into cheerleader

Tailored, patterned trousers turned up to the ankle with metallic socks, a layered tee and a thin 
cashmere jumper or two is a chic way to manage temperature difficulties. You could even stick a 
sleeveless shirt under there – things are always more interesting when a collar is involved. For a 
coat to throw on over these multiple layers and keep you warm outside, go for a loose, mannish
 style in black or camel with sleeves rolled up, rather than a tighter leather jacket which will just 
cause undue overheating when on the tube.

Stow an emergency shirt or thin woolen garment in your handbag to throw on during times of 
near-freezing need. You won’t need it on the journey in, but you’ll be grateful for it when 
roaming the chilly streets on your lunch break.

To live in London this sartorial limbo 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. So stay strong fellow Londoners, stay strong.

 Image by Passetti courtesy of Flickr

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