November 17, 2012

Summer wardrobe vs winter wardrobe

For years I maintained that my favourite time of the year to dress for was the colder months that make up autumn and winter. At the time, I had more cold weather appropriate clothes than those suited to warmer temps hanging in my closet and so this opinion was only natural. Over the past year or so however, a shift has occurred (thanks in large part to successfully filling in some of the glaring gaps in my wardrobe that I chatted about back at in January) and the balance now veers more towards spring and summer.

I'm not bothered by this shifting of the scales, I just find it fascinating, as it may very well be the first time (at least in my adult life) that such has ever occurred. Beyond the garments themselves, I catch myself thinking about how, as winter's wrath looms ever nearer, it will soon be bitingly cold and fearfully snowy once again, which means that more vintage outfit posts will need to be snapped indoors (or in outdoor locations that are sheltered from the elements - though, lest you just want to see my winter coat time and time again, indoor posts will become a must).


Lovely 1947 cover of Town and Country magazine, Chronically Vintage

{The November-y vibe of this beautifully illustrated autumn 1947 cover of Town and Country magazine looks a lot like the view outside my window right now, and is what got me thinking about the topic of today's post. Image via mikeyashworth on Flickr.}



While I have a lovely collection of summer dresses, skirts, and even a few more pairs of shoes than I started 2012 off with, I won't be running around town in the same outfit all fall and winter. My beloved cardigan and lightweight knit collection is a cornerstone of my wardrobe that comes into play no matter the season, and of course staples like my Freddie's jeans and overalls, as well as my heavier weight skirts, blazers, and dresses are already springing back into action.

So the question becomes, which half of the year (because, let's face it, the old joke about their only being three seasons in Canada - winter, summer, and hockey - rings true more often than not) is my favourite to dress for these days?

Truth be told, I'm not sure. I think that I'll be better able to answer that question when spring 2013 rolls around and I've had a winter of putting together outfits with my current, expanded wardrobe under my vintage belt. I see the pros and cons of each, and have reasons why I adore each one.

Summer means sheer stockings or bare legs, toes poking out of cute wedge heels, feather light fabrics, crisp white blouses, and hair that never needs to worry about being squashed by a hood or toque.

Winter on the other hand however, brings with it the return of sumptuous, tactilely pleasing fabrics like velvet, suede, and cashmere. It never bats an eye when you but a cardigan over a blouse over a cami, tucking the trio into a wool pencil skirt after you slip into an opaque pair of tights. It's cosy and familiar, and in some ways easier to dress for if you're not one (and I'm certainly not) who likes to flash an abundance of skin.

Ultimately I see it less as a question of summer vs winter and more about the enjoyable challenge of making as many pieces in my closet work for as much of the year as possible, just as I know many of your stylish gals do, too.

Though, I'm sure, come the end of February I'll be champing at the bit to slip into a short sleeve, super airy cotton dress and little more once again, for the time being, I'm utterly content that fall/winter is here and am genuinely excited about dressing for the freezing cold season (must be the Canadian in me talking!).

Inquiring minds would love to know where you weigh in on this topic? What season, or half, of the year do you most like to dress for more, my dears?

28 comments:

  1. What a great mag cover!

    I prefer dressing for winter - jackets and hats, pins and pearls.

    thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

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  2. My favourite seasons to dress for would be fall and winter. I love sweaters and mittens!! :D

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  3. My favorite season is fall! I live in Russia so I have to wear puffer coat in the winter and they are generally so, so not pretty. You have to wear billion layers, enormous scarfs etc. to go outside and this is just not my thing. Also, my curls suffer from the snow!
    Summer and spring are okay, I think, but I really like to wear cardigans so fall it is. I also particularly enjoy colorful leafs, beautiful coats I can wear in the fall and the general cosy atmosphere.

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  4. What a lovely written post! I too have found myself in a similar position. I used to to hate the summer months. Mainly because I thought I looked horrid in shorts. But then I scored several pairs of vintage ones and I simply love 'em! I must admit, I thoroughly hate spring. Instead of semi-warm days as we make our way into summer, we just have slightly humid rainy days where you might see the sun poke out. I really do love winter, especially wearing sweaters since my vintage sweater collection has expanded, but I'm not a fan of the rain we get here in Oregon as opposed to snow.

    xoxo
    -Janey

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    1. Thank you very much, sweet Janey. I hear you loud and clear on all fronts. I look atrocious in shorts (unless they're long Bermuda going on carpi length, as I have kind of round, pudgy little knees that look much, much better when covered), and while I don't hate spring, I think (aside from a few special days like my mom's b-day in April) it's my least favourite season.

      I was just pondering this point earlier his week, and I think that's because we so often have next to no spring to speak of. We go from snow up to our hips one day to blazing +30C the next day, perhaps with a few muddy, stormy days in between. Ok, I'm exaggerating a tad, but really only a tad. Spring has it's good points, and I certainly have a wardrobe for it, now, but I'm pretty happy that we've got a few months of nippy weather to get through first. Three cheers for cardigans, my Pacific coast sister! :)

      ♥ Jessica

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  5. I think you already know my answer to this...it's summer! The move from Florida to a winter climate has been difficult in all regards, clothing being one of them. I prefer sandals to closed-in shoes, short sleeves, knee-length dresses and skirts, bare legs (or very sheer stockings), and no coat and hat. (I have enough of a problem with my hair anyhow, so scarves and coats with big bulky collars make the situation even worse.) Plus, with the exception of loving to wear red and black, I prefer to dress in summer's brighter hues...especially yellow, pink, turquoise, and white. Oh, and of course, I love white capri's, which definitely cannot be worn this time of year in Idaho.

    I'm so glad to be reading your blog regularly again. A visit here is always a bright spot in my day.

    Wishing you a beautiful Saturday.

    Love,
    Patti

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  6. Oh Canadian winters! We've already had 30 cm of snow up here in Edmonton, so winter is here to stay. I've been wearing a lot of my favourite wool skirts and trying to stretch my summer wardrobe to make up gaps. Thank goodness for cozy layers!

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  7. I think I have about 60,000 cardigans, they are so versatile: during summer I wear them when it's chilly, during winter I wear them as twin-sets or buttonned up like a blouse. I love them and have them in every colour. Wishing you a lovely weekend, dear. :)

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  8. Fall is the season that I enjoy dressing for most, although I enjoy spring too. Summer is really tricky because I can't wear shorts at all; they look terrible on me. I enjoyed dressing a bit more this past summer, thanks to thrifting many pretty summer dresses. I spent my summer in dresses.

    So much to love about fall dressing; the rich fabrics and colors, sweaters, tights and boots...Love it.

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  9. I have this same dilemma, as well... Vermont has very dramatic seasons, meaning I have to keep separate clothing collections for each. It's a tough choice: I really love my winter wardrobe, especially my coats, suits, and furs, but I HATE the cold weather itself, haha. Spring tends to be my favorite time to dress... the cute summer shoes and printed cottons can come out, but I can still layer up, and it's not hot enough to wilt my hair/makeup ;)

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  10. I was always a summer gal, and I suppose still am for the most part...however, I've recently learned to like fall & winter more. I've lived in warm climates most of my life and have always felt more comfortable in summer dresses and airy blouses. Although, I think that was mostly due to my lack of winter/fall wardrobe. Now I have collected more vintage sweaters, wool skirts and a lovely swing coat, so I am not as reluctant for the chilly weather.

    Luckily I live in a place where we get very moderate winters (Northern California), so I never have to worry about snow or extreme cold. A lovely coat, sweater, stockings and a warm skirt are all I'll need here....thankfully!

    xoxo,
    tina

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  11. I always have a hard time transitioning from warmer weather to colder weather clothing or vice versa. Ir always seems that I don't want to let go of the previous season. I really enjoy the layering of fall and winter. All the cute accessories you can wear but I miss the swirl and sway or skirts and petticoats. I'd love to get a quilted skirt and see if it'll actually keep me warm.

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  12. Spring wakes me up and gives me the excuse to wear bright colors. Everything is welcome in Spring. I'm looking through your old posts and lovin' what you've done here.

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  13. It's so hard to pick a favourite garment season. I love Spring/Early Summer as I can wear all my puffy dresses and pretty floral hats...but I swelter in high summer,nylon crinolines and synthetic dresses get a little too hot to wear... my hair frizzes up with the humidity- which is NOT a good look.

    Then autumn comes like an old friend and I can don my crinolines and man-made fibre dresses again, I have an extensive cardigan collection to extend all my dresses and skirts.

    Although I find the cold and rain a bit dreary in Winter it is very mild here in Melbourne- we don't get snow as a rule. But it is cold and I love to layer up with scarves, warm hats and gloves.

    To round up I think I'm a Spring and Autumn girly...thats half of the year, just split into two sections. xx Shauna

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  14. I will always always love autumn, cardigans are my weakness, but as we head on into summer I'm so looking forward to throwing on simple breezy dresses and sandals. Come February I'm sure I'll be dying of heat (it also gets really humid) and I'll be after the cooler weather...

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  15. Autumn all the way. Cotton sweaters! Wool sweaters! And more sweaters. And i love the colors of fall. Although some think they're bland, i think they're lovely! The browns, the deeper oranges, the mellow yellows! So fabulous. And the prints. And the darker pumps! Soft corduroy and leather bags in velvety shades! I could go on, but i'll not ramble on and on and... :D

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  16. Ahhh that's a difficult one. The problem with Australia is it gets far... far too hot in the summer (40 degrees sometimes) and not cold enough in winter! So I'm forced to wear skimpy sundress or shorts in summer and can't afford to wear beautiful fur stoles in winter. Unbelievable isn't it? I do prefer the colder days. I just love cute cardigans and stockings and beautiful coats and hats. Sigh...

    Nora
    NoraFinds

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  17. I like spring, autumn and winter best. I like knitwear, hats, shawls and scarfts, gloves and mittens. Because of the layers of clothing it's just more fun to put an outfit together in these seasons. It's much more verstatile.

    Although I like summer dresses, summer is just not my season. Especially when it's really hot and sultry. I just want to wear a cotton dress, with a wide skirt. I care less about accessories. I just want to stay cool haha.

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  18. I hate dressing for Summer because we don't really get a summer in Ireland and there isn't a single pair of shoes (other than welly boots) that suit our summer rain. So it is much easier to stick to Winter clothes here and I love tights and cardigans. However, I love nothing more than planning a sunny holiday and getting to wear my vintage sundresses and sandals without fear of freezing so I am in two minds! I suppose I just love all the seasons :)
    xox

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  19. Spring and autumn are my favourites! But that's not so much because of my wardrobe but because I don't like extreme cold and I don't like heat eitehr. And in Sweden you can get both...

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  20. I'm terrible - I just wear summer clothes all year and then just throw a coat or a cardgan over them when it gets colder so any season is good for me!! I think I should invest in some proper seasonal wear! Although there are some dresses which just scream summer too much (Hawaiian prints usually) which I have to wait until the summer to wear again!

    xx

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  21. I think there is something beautiful about each season....the bloom of flowers in spring, the ice cream melting sunshine in summer, the changing yellowing browns of leaves in autumn, the snow and cold puff clouds visible in the winter air as we breathe! It is more the in between weathers that I am often confused by...not knowing really what to wear for those days and considering whether to just pull a big oversized sweater over my head...those would be my lazy cozy days!
    I'm so glad you enjoyed my Washington DC post and thank you for the sweet words my lovely! I hope you shall be able to travel more often one day and I can't wait to see a beautiful Christmas post of you in your winter coat on a lovely snowy day. You can probably tell I am looking forward to the festivities already! Have a fabulous Sunday!
    May x
    walkinginmay.blogspot.co.uk
    http://www.facebook.com/walking.in.may.blogspot

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  22. What a lovely cover, I know this sounds funny but I love to watch the old Tom and Jerry cartoons because they are works of art. Take a really good look at the background and they are always so beautifully drawn, and I always love the kitchens!

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  23. I think autumn and winter just clinch it, because you can always add layers to your existing summer wardrobe to make it winter appropriate, plus chunky knits, fur coats and boots can make an appearance!

    www.mancunianvintage.com

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  24. Well, Jessica, I have always preferred the colder months when I can layer clothing. For one thing, it is easier to find interesting combinations to wear, allowing for more creativity. Additionally, I too like to be more covered than uncovered. Moreover, as much as I don’t like to be cold, I like to be hot even less; I highly dislike very hot, muggy weather. At least with the cold, I can bundle up, but with the heat, I can only take of so much; you know.

    I hope to be a slender woman by the time spring comes, and then I long for full skirts with abundant fabric. Oh, how feminine yards of fabric make me feel! However, it is not very flattering when I am chubby.

    I am so excited by this time of year, sweaters set, wool skirts, and my cozy fire. I am ready to settle in for a few months.

    :) Hope

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    1. Hi dear Hope, thank you very much for your lovely comment. I'm not a fan of being too hot or muggy either - especially not muggy. When we used to live in Toronto, where the humidity can be ridiculous, I was often overly warm and muggy, and seriously disliked it. All the while I was yearning for the dry, arid climate I'd grown up with in the Okanagan Valley are of B.C., and so was especially thrilled when we were able to move back there (here) earlier this year. Bye-bye humidity, hello sizzling, gorgeous summers! :)

      I'm sure that you look absolutely gorgeous in whatever you wear, sweet lady, and encourage you to dress in whatever garments make your heart happy right now, no matter if you're not at your ideal weight or not. Life is too short not to wear the styles and pieces that bring you the most joy all the time.

      ♥ Jessica

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  25. When I lived in Indiana I would have definitely said summer, because winter gets too cold and I don't really like wearing two pairs of pants on top of one another and a scarf wrapped around my face even inside. But now that I live in LA and our summers are hot and our winters are not too bad, I definitely prefer winter clothes! I am a pretty modest dresser and I love tights, long sleeves, jackets, gloves, tweed, closed-toe shoes (I hate the look of feet so I am not a fan of sandals). It's hasn't really gotten cold here yet except for at night - so I'm wearing summer clothes in the day and winter clothes at night!

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  26. I used to hate winter dressing. I had my summer vintage wardrobe figured out, but unlike you, could had not figured out how to inject some vintage style into my fall/winter wardrobe.
    So I started to google images and consult my favourite blogs and made myself a list of the things I needed and started to shop.
    And what would you know, now that I've filled in some of those wardrobe gaps I find myself looking forward to dressing for every approaching season. :)

    Lisa.

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Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts, questions, and opinions with me. I read and sincerely appreciate each comment I receive - they brighten my day like rays of sparkling sunshine.

♥ Jessica