This week, the news ran a story about how high temperatures were sweeping New Zealand. Thirty degrees in some areas! Excitement and ice cream all round! Oh, and Wellington, 18 degrees for you.
For reasons I don’t know and haven’t ever bothered to research, Wellington’s weather is a bit slow to warm up, and really only ever reaches the dizzying heights of the mid-20s. After 16 years here I’ve adjusted, and tend to struggle as soon as the mercury hits 27 degrees, but it’s still a bummer at this time of year when everyone else is rocking up to the beach or barbecue, and we’re still waiting for consistent weather so we can chuck out the last pair of bobbly tights we’re holding onto just in case.
I’ve picked up a few new-to-me things for summer this year, and I really want to get into my summer clothes, but I don’t want to be chilly. I saw a photo recently of a group of women striding up some steps in Generic European City wearing long skirts and cropped jackets and loved it – the power stride was a factor, for sure, but the breeziness of those skirts was a refreshing alternative to shorts and miniskirts for the warmer weather. The goal was to channel those women, for a day that featured brunch, seeing friends, and doing a few errands in town.
Sure enough, my Spring/Summer Pinterest board featured a pile of inspiration. I own a few longer dresses, and even a couple of long skirts (including a total beauty of a vintage skirt, which I’m dying to wear) that I’ve acquired over the years, but I loved the look of the tiered skirts I was seeing here and there. I think it makes for a very feminine dress, with a strong feature, and it gives you more space in the base of the skirt (for striding about) and a pretty bell shape.
The other benefit, for those of us in less tropical climes, is that it gives you flexibility in your outfit over the day. In the morning I was warm enough, then through the middle of the day when I was out of the breeze I was able to cool down easily. Long, full skirts are a great option for barbecues and other late afternoon/evening activities, because the skirt can be gathered around you as you perch in an outdoor chair, basically becoming a blanket. They also give you the option of covering up your legs to avoid the sun if you’re going to be out for hours, but you can just as easily lounge on the lawn with your skirt around your knees if you want a bit of sun.
Long dresses always make me feel like a Fancy Lady, probably because I wear them so infrequently and there’s something deep in my brain that associates them with impracticality and evening dress. So, goals achieved – I was warm enough for our still cool weather, but I got to feel the joy of wearing summer clothes – and if anything, I enjoyed the transitional option more than I will enjoy wearing the simple, thoughtless outfits of truly warm days.