How The Hell Am I Supposed To Dress In This Weather?


It’s pretty freaking hot in New York today. Last week, Chicago had the same deal. Let’s avoid, however, the discussion of what this heat wave means for global warming. I’m more concerned with what it means for dressing oneself.

I hate in-between weather. Yes, spring and fall are fantastic — the best time to be in New York City, arguably — but I just don’t have the wardrobe for the in-between weather, and I end up wearing the same flats-skinny jeans-cardigan combo day in, day out. There are worse problems in the world, sure, but am I so wrong for just once wanting to have a slight variation to my “look” (if you can even call it that)?

I understand there is a Way To Dress for spring, and even if I only have one version of a Spring-Appropriate Ensemble, at least I feel reasonably confident that it’s the right sort of thing to wear in that kind of weather, during that part of the year. But my whole understanding of how to put on clothes in April has been destroyed; my meagre-wardrobe world blown to pieces. Yesterday, the high was 77 degrees. Today, it should hit 85 or 86 (right now, it’s 84). Tomorrow, 78. What the fuck, April?

Ostensibly, the numbers say I should be pulling out my under-the-bed boxes and retrieving my summer dresses, but it just feels wrong. Because it’s April. It’s not May. We’re not even close to Memorial Day. No, it’s spring, and during the spring I wear Spring-Appropriate Ensembles. It is not time for Summer-Appropriate Ensembles! We’re not there yet; it’s too soon. I’m not ready. I look weird in my summer dresses, like I’m playing “vacation.”

So what am I supposed to do? I feel downright uncomfortable going full-summer right now, and I don’t even know how to dress “in between,” or whatever that means. But I guarantee the pieces in my closet don’t cover it, and I can’t afford to try and change that. If I have to deviate from my narrow understanding of how to clothe myself for spring, I can only bear to put on flip flops and roll up my jeans a bit, maybe take off my cardigan. Which I did on the way to the office today, and I was sweating balls. Balls I didn’t even know I had.

On that walk, by the way, it was 82 degrees out — and yet a woman next to me, dressed for the gym in workout shorts, was sporting a North Face fleece. Why? Either she was feverish and had a case of chills (doubtful, as she was either on her way to or from the gym), or she felt weirdly obligated to have at least one part of her ensemble respect the fact that it’s still freaking April.

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