After a few busy weeks, I’m back! I hope all of my readers in the United States had a nice Thanksgiving (as well as Hanukkah, for those who observe that holiday). I actually got to see almost all of my immediate family on or around Thanksgiving this year. I took a trip to see my family members in the Reno/Tahoe area in mid-November. After I returned home from almost a week away, my sister-in-law and stepson visited my husband and me in San Diego and stayed through Thanksgiving. The remainder of the holiday season will be fairly quiet, but the decorations are all up and I’m starting to feel at least somewhat festive.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be publishing a few yearly wrap-up posts, but first I want to reflect a bit on how my packing went for my Tahoe trip. And because my sister-in-law visited us right after my trip, I was able to compare and contrast the way she packs for travel with my own experience and learn some effective packing trips from her. My sister-in-law is a very seasoned traveler who has taken countless domestic (she lives in Canada) and international business trips over the years, so she knows a thing or two about how to pack and travel well.
Do you pack lightly – or heavily – when you travel?
In today’s post, I look at the two opposing ways my sister-in-law and I packed for our recent trips. I share what we both did well, what I wish I would have done differently, and what I plan to shift with future packing after getting some tips from my “packing master” family member. Unlike my previous packing for travel posts (you can check them out HERE and HERE), I won’t share photos this time of what I packed for my trip. I’m sure I’ll do that again in the future, but today’s post is more about wins, mistakes, and lessons learned. I’m keeping things more simple to get back into the swing of things with blogging, and I hope you like this post!
Welcome to part two of my series on the wardrobe difficulties we can experience when it’s too hot to wear a third piece. There are two primary issues related to dressing for hot weather: our physical comfort and our emotional comfort. In my last post, I focused on the physical issues, specifically how to look pulled together while also staying as cool as possible. I shared some workarounds that I’ve used on days when it was too warm to wear a jacket, coat, or cardigan, including cooler third piece alternatives and interesting details that provide visual interest without adding warmth or bulk.
Do you find yourself wanting to cover up, even on a hot day?
In today’s essay, I delve more into the emotional comfort part of the equation. A person’s emotional comfort issues are very individual, but here a few situations in which one might feel emotionally uncomfortable:
- Wearing colors or silhouettes that don’t feel in line with one’s sense of style or how they see themselves.
- Not being as “covered up” as one would ultimately like to be.
- When parts of the body that are viewed as flaws are visible or highlighted.
As an example, if you prefer to wear only dark or neutral colors and favor solid pieces over prints, it may be well out of your emotional comfort zone to wear a brightly-colored striped top. Likewise, if you usually wear loose-fitting clothing, you may feel very uncomfortable wearing something form-fitting, even if the item is physically comfortable and objectively flattering.
I’ll touch a bit on the issues of modesty and wearing things that don’t feel true to who we are, but the main focus of this post is on the desire to hide what we view as our imperfections. As someone with lifelong body image issues that have been compounded by menopausal figure changes, this is a bigger challenge for me than the physical comfort considerations I wrote about last week. However, it’s important for me to address both aspects as best as possible so I can successfully navigate dressing for weather conditions that are too hot for a traditional third piece. I hope some of what I offer in this two-part series will be helpful to you with the warm weather sartorial challenges that you face.
Where I live, the hottest months of the year are traditionally August and September, but the higher temperatures often continue into October – and sometimes even November! During those months, I don’t usually need to wear a topper and, in fact, it’s typically too warm for any type of layering in my ensembles. This is the most difficult time of year for me in terms of getting dressed, especially in my less svelte, post-menopausal years.
Do you struggle with what to wear when the temperatures spike?
Two Primary Issues
As I see it, there are two primary issues when it comes to dressing for hot weather. The first relates to our physical comfort when trying to stay as cool as possible in scorching heat and humidity, while still looking stylish and well put together. The second issue has more to do with our emotional comfort when we’re not able to cover up as much and are therefore showing more skin than we might ultimately prefer.
Some of you may struggle with one or both of these aspects, while others may absolutely love dressing for summer. Summer used to be my favorite sartorial season, but that has shifted in recent years such that I’m feeling more challenged by it. My menopausal body changes have necessitated more adjustments to my warm weather style than in what I wear the rest of the year.
I’m actually still working on honing the way I dress during the summer months, and it’s proven to be more difficult than I expected. Although it seems like the hot, sticky weather may be over for 2021, I want to get a better handle on what to wear for warmer temperatures so that I’m more prepared when next summer rolls around.
This is the fourth and final installment in my wardrobe “do’s” and “don’ts” series. When I set out to do an update on my original exploration of this issue from six years ago, I thought I’d just do a single post. But it turned out that I had a lot more to say on the matter than I originally anticipated. Here’s a recap of the posts I’ve done thus far:
This last post may be the most surprising – and the most fun to write. It’s where I get to talk about how I’ve gradually come around to liking some of the styles, silhouettes, colors, and patterns that used to be big “no’s” for me. If you would have asked me back in 2015 if I would ever wear many of the pieces featured in the post, I would have said something to the effect of “Hell, no!” But I’m here to tell you that some of my major “don’ts” have now become “do’s.”
The No Longer Don’ts
As with my “no longer do’s” list, there are ten features that used to be absolute no-go’s for me that I now happily wear. I single out each one below and include both images and commentary to illustrate my points.
Welcome to the third installment of my wardrobe do’s and don’ts series, which was initiated after I decided to revisit the “yes and no lists” I created back in May 2015. I wanted to see how much my lists might have changed over the past six-plus years. Before even perusing my old lists, however, I took some time to jot down my present day “musts” and “deal-breakers,” which were shared in the first two parts of this series:
- In the first installment, I compiled a list of all of the qualities that I look for when shopping for clothing, shoes, and accessories.
- In the second post, I shared my extensive list of wardrobe don’ts, those characteristics that I try to avoid when it comes to my closet pieces.
Both essays also included a number of visual examples of pieces that are either currently in my closet (the “do’s”) or those that had been purged from my wardrobe over the past ten or so years (the “don’ts”). As the old saying goes, a picture speaks a thousand words, but of course I also offered quite a few words in my posts, too!
Speaking of wordiness, I originally planned for this to be a three-part series, but I’ve decided that there will now be a fourth part. As I was putting together what was supposed to be part three, I realized there was more to it than I had originally anticipated. Therefore, I decided to split it into two portions, today’s essay and another one that will go live next week. Clearly, I have a lot to say – and show – on the topic of wardrobe do’s and don’ts! I hope you’re finding this series both interesting and helpful.