While we're now safely headed toward my favorite time of year - chilly evenings and mornings, breezy but sunny days, not quite fall but not really summer anymore, either - I do start to get a little annoyed with one thing in particular. People here have no clue how to dress for the transition between seasons. And it drives. Me. BATTY. Granted, DC is not home to the greatest of fashion minds (note: What Not to Wear is finally coming to DC ... what the eff took them so long?), but I still feel like there are some basic principles that are completely lost on the residents here.
Let me break it down for you. It's not quite fall, but not really summer anymore either. Still, I know that means nothing to most people in DC, so I've created a few simple rules to start with.
1. It's way, way WAY too early for your wool coat. There's no way you can possibly be that cold when it's 65 degrees in the morning. If you are, you have some sort of temperature issue going on, and you should see a doctor. But still, don't annoy me with your winter coat.
2. It's too early for argyle sweaters. Yes, it's chilly out. But according to the calendar, it's still technically summer until September 21. No wool, no argyle, no chunky sweaters, none of that nonsense.
3. It's still too early for tall boots. It's warm in the middle of the day and you just look like an idiot prancing around in your boots at lunch time.
4. Your last chance to wear your strapless, floral sundress really was before Labor Day. That's a summer dress, not a transition item. Same goes for most strappy white sandals, any floral dress or skirt with a mostly white or overly bright color scheme, and any brightly-colored, gauzy skirts and dresses.
5. As for accessories, you do have to be careful with white items now - some work still, some don't (your white, straw handbag is officially out of season and shame on you for not knowing that yourself). Also, slow down with the suede! General rule: it's not ok to carry your suede handbag or wear suede shoes until you need a light jacket any time you head outside during the day. You get all fall and all winter to use those pieces, so chill out and give it a few weeks!
Yes, I understand that transition dressing can be a little tough sometimes. But if people stop rushing the season, it gets a little more reasonable. We can still wear all of our dresses and skirts that don't scream garden party or beach bbq - just throw a cardigan over it. Start pairing those bright colored tops with dark skirts and pants, instead of the white and lighter khaki of summer. It's a good time to break out the denim jacket or a lightweight fall cardigan for the chilly mornings and evenings. Cotton, decorative scarves are a great transition piece, but nothing made from wool! And really, if you have to ask yourself or someone else if it's ok to wear, it's probably not quite right.
Kindly spread the word. If I see another pair of tall boots or a suede handbag on the metro, I will totally lose my mind. Please stop ruining my favorite time of year, fashion freaks.
Edit: I must add: Just because you can buy it in a store right now doesn't mean you should be wearing it right now. Most of us understand this basic little fact, that stores merchandise in advance of the current season, but clearly others don't. I think I should just start printing up little cards to hand out to people: "Bless your heart, but ... you're doing it wrong!"