In the early Eighties when my sister and her brood headed to California for her to attend law school, they initially rented a house in a suburb of San Diego. They landed next door to a wonderful multi-generational family who had always lived in the southwest. One day her adorable moonfaced young neighbor leaned over the wooden fence between their properties. She shyly inquired, “I’ve heard people on the east coast have two sets of clothes. One for cold weather and one for hot weather. Is that true?”
I thought about that story this week while changing out the clothes in my closet. I have always lived where two sets of clothing were de rigueur. This year, however, I have found myself reaching for warm sweaters well into May. Despite what has been a cold spring here in the East, I decided it was time to bring out the linen and cotton summery styles and put away my winter layers. Every time I think I have finally curated my closet to perfection, another seasonal organization finds there are still items to donate and a few I really should discard. I purged a several items that no longer fit my non-office lifestyle and made note of a couple of basics I could use to fill in the gaps. I’m keeping an eye out for a long summery skirt or two and some fun linen tee-shirts. With more time to focus on the tasks at hand these days (thank you, quarantine), sorting through my summer wardrobe brought back some sweet memories.
Getting reacquainted with the summer items I purchased last spring, I remembered the sunny shopping day spent with my sister when she took on the role of stylist for me. We plotted our course then trudged shop to shop, broke for our favorite shopping day lunch of lettuce wraps at P. F. Changs, and then shopped some more. We ended with a trip to our favorite bistro for drinks and dinner, celebrating a job well done. It was a fun day.
Yesterday, while ironing my freshly laundered long oatmeal colored linen dress, I remembered wearing it to Mr. Smith’s mother’s 90th birthday party and her smiles and happiness that her large family and friends had gathered to celebrate her special day.
As I pressed my favorite party pants purchased last spring, I smiled at the memory of wearing them for my last day of employment. In a nod to Peggy from Mad Men, I exited a job that was never a good fit for me with a touch of panache.
Although retail is suffering from closure, online bargains have been tough to ignore. I have been fairly restrained, putting thought into my purchases. My closet contains a wardrobe that is an amalgam of neutrals. Perhaps inspired by the new green leaves popping on the trees and colorful spring flowers blooming from my perch, the items I have added have been anything but neutral! There is a ‘pink punch’ linen blazer, a riviera blue linen shirtdress and a pair of golden sun linen pants. I am still loving linen, but now I have colors that make my summer heart happy.
States are starting to lift some restrictions and I long for the day we can lounge in a sunny café with a glass of wine and meet up with family and friends without our ubiquitous masks. It will take some thoughtful transition to go from the many weeks of quarantine to a somewhat normal routine. Not yet, but hopefully soon. And when we do, I’ll have just the outfit for it!
C’est la vie.