Both Sarai and I moved here to Portland from warmer climates. I’m originally from Alabama, which is in the southern part of America. I grew up with mild winters and humid, hot summers. My wardrobe consisted mainly of warm weather clothes such as shorts, tank tops and sandals. I owned one coat and had never worn boots before I moved to Portland! Even though I’ve lived here for almost seven years it has taken me a long time to adapt to the weather with a climate appropriate wardrobe. I still gravitate toward summery prints, lightweight dresses and cute sandals. While the summers here are very beautiful, they are also short. Most of the time it’s chilly and layering is required.
I’ve found that I really have to reign myself in when it comes to spring and summer clothing. It’s just not practical for me to spend a lot of time sewing things for such a short season. Instead, I’ve been learning to focus on what is climate appropriate for Portland and my wardrobe especially after I made about ten tank tops last year! Being honest with myself is hard because I love the sunshine and warmth. It feels like giving in to admit I need another coat or pair of pants instead of a sleeveless dress. But after I make that cold weather garment I’m always happy I did.
Sarai has written about simplifying your wardrobe and choosing basics for yourself. I feel like I’m going through that same process and learning to be more critical of my clothing choices in order to create the wardrobe I’ll really love. Since I’ve noticed my lack of shirts with any kind of sleeve, I decided to make several and in beautiful fabrics. This is a step in the right direction for my climate appropriate wardrobe!
How does your wardrobe reflect where you live? Have you moved to a different climate and experienced a similar situation?