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Dress for the weather


It’s past 8:00 pm and it’s still over 30C, and humid. It’s been like this for days. It’s officially a heat wave.

I must admit I don’t suffer that terribly during these. Fact is, I leave my air-conditioned house for my air-conditioned car, then drive to my air-conditioned office.

But also, I’ve been wearing dresses all week.

People, there is no better hot-weather garment in the world than the dress. Naturally, I do not mean the uncomfortable, bedazzled type of dress one might wear, say, when getting married.

Pink wedding dress

Not this kind of dress! (Also, hadn’t realized that “pink wedding dress” was a thing.)

I mean the plainer, looser type of garment that rests on your shoulders and just flows down from there, making a natural breeze as you walk.

T-shirt dress

OK, this one might not make a breeze when you walk. But you get the idea. It’s a very simple dress.

Obviously, the dress must be worn without any hose. Nylons would absolutely ruin the whole thing, in every way. No longer comfortable, no longer cool.

But just the dress, with some little sandals (and some undergarments, one assumes, but that’s really your business) is the next best thing you can wear in the heat. There’s a reason people in warm climes wear robes.

Buddhist man in robes

So pity the poor men-folk among us, who must make do with shorts–if their workplace even allows those, that is. Shorts are just not as good. They are a recipe for sweaty inner thighs. Who wants that?

The ability to wear dresses in summer is one of the very few advantages our society offers women over men.

And yet, I observe, not that many women take advantage.

Some, I suppose, may fear the air conditioning– that this outfit so perfect for the 33C degree, 40C humidex weather outside will only leave them shivering with cold while inside. A not unfounded fear (I actually sometimes bring in a sweater (!) just in case).

But an awful lot more, I think, either don’t realize how comfortable a dress can be (maybe they haven’t worn one since the prom?) or simply don’t feel comfortable in such a feminine garment. It’s undeniable that there’s nothing much more girly than a dress—even a simple dress—and girly just doesn’t sit well on every woman.

Fortunately, I am a lipstick feminist, totally in touch with my girly side.  (And no fan of sweaty thighs.)

5 thoughts on “Dress for the weather

  1. I absolutely loathe wearing dresses. Not sure why. I actually tried a few on last week and my reaction to each one is that they make me look old and frumpy because I mentally associate dresses with old ladies. I’m sure some of them actually looked OK on me, but I just can’t see it. I do own a couple of dresses, and wore one last week, and hated every minute of it. Just total dress hate. I’m also not big on skirts. I own one, which I occasionally wear in the winter (it’s black suede). By occasionally, I mean maybe twice all season. Also, I can’t sit the way I like to sit wearing a dress or skirt (with my legs folded up under me, which I know is bad for you, but that’s how I sit a lot of the time). I’d like to like dresses, but I just can’t get passed my mental block about them.

    • Huh. I think there’s nothing more flattering to wear than a dress — if it’s the right dress. Which only adds to my list of reasons I love wearing dresses! (Oddly enough, today I am in pants. Confirming they’re not quite as comfortable and cool… It’s back to a dress tonight for dinner.)

      • It doesn’t help that so many of them look like shapeless bags on hangers, so I can’t even visualise what they might actually look like on – so have no incentive to even bother trying them on. It’s really weird, because I love most of the dresses Kate Middleton wears, but really just do not like any dresses I actually look at. Doesn’t help that I probably also can’t afford any of the ones I might like…

  2. I agree that the loose flowing look of a dress suits this hot clammy weather.One wants the illusion of airiness rather than submitting to anything binding.
    Your mom.

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