Seasonal Wardrobe Disorder

We were out shopping on the weekend for a spring jacket and some seasonal footwear for the kid. (Yes, even in Ottawa we live in hope that spring is not too far off). I’m allowed to go shopping with her for stuff like this because there’s the expectation that I’ll be paying seeing as how these fall into the “essentials” category.

Since she’s had a job, she has to buy her own frivolities. I’ll get essentials like coats, boots and maybe  jeans as long as she keeps outgrowing stuff. I suspect she only keeps growing at this point so that the essentials remain as broad a category as possible.

I wish she’d stop it because in this climate, I need two jobs just to keep us both in outerwear.

I wonder if people in places where they only have one or two seasons save a lot of money on not having to buy 3 or 4 completely different sets of clothing or whether they just spend a lot more on the clothes they do buy? And what do they do with all that extra closet space?

 Our front closet is jam-packed with:

  •  2 every day winter parkas, bulky, heavy hooded
  • 2 ski jackets
  • 2 wool winter coats (for “good”)
  • 2 pairs of warm weather-resistant pants for blizzardy days or playing in the snow
  • A massive collection of scarves, gloves, mitts and hats
  • 2 raincoats and rain pants
  • 8 in-between coats; some that can be worn on a warm winter’s day with a heavy sweater or in a cool spring day without; some for warmer spring or fall days; some for cool spring or early summer mornings that fold up nicely for when it gets warmer later on in the day; some for when the days get nippy in fall (which is a completely different thing than when it’s still nippy in the spring because right now 10C or 50F seems really, really warm to us, but in the fall we get all shivery when it drops to 20C or 70F. So, this requires a whole different jacket paradigm)
  • Boots: lots of boots – big snow boots, rain boots, warm boots, walking boots, dressy boots, etc., etc.

Then, of course, you need a collection of warm long pants, lighter long pants, Capri pants, shorts, winter, spring, summer and fall skirts and dresses, long and short sleeved shirts and t-shirts, tank-tops, sweaters, cardigans, a multitude of shoes and sandals and a vast array of seasonal-appropriate accessories.

Even hair needs to be taken into account because of the seasons.

In the winter you’re going to have a hat jammed on your head all the time, which makes for attractive static-hathead. And between the dry indoor heating and the dry cold outdoor winds hair develops a frightening brittleness. In summer, the humidity turns hair lank and droopy or into a nice halo of frizz. This means different hair cuts and different hair products depending on the season.

Same for your skin. With every season comes a skin metamorphosis and the need for different products.

Trying to protect ourselves from the elements pretty much takes up all our money and energy, which is probably why we tend to be hopelessly unfashionable. The uber-chic chickies who trot along in their stilettos and teeny, but gorgeous, jackets without hats or gloves in the middle of winter just make us laugh.

Still, we eagerly look forward to the advent of every new season with a little thrill of excitement (even winter for the first couple of weeks).  It’s fun to bring out clothes from storage you haven’t seen for a few months; to bundle up again after sweating continuously for 3 months; to shed clothes after freezing continuously for 5 months.