I have found with great outrage that Sydney and other parts of Australia have been experiencing an almost ‘Arctic’ cold spell of late, while in Europe, I have experienced the opposite.
I was not prepared for the temperatures in Paris. As I write this, it is 30 degrees in Paris, 38 tomorrow, and I have just left 34 degrees in Milan. None of that is pretty, especially for me.
There is no pensive Icelandic dream in 27-degree weather. Photo: Getty
I started my travels in Iceland, which I expected to be, I don’t know, icy, and Reykjavik was 27 and sunny. I sat clammy in the blazing sun, drinking white wine in a thick navy blue cable knit jumper and white fur boots while the rest of Iceland stripped down to shorts and T-shirts.
My new cashmere hat was abandoned in my suitcase. I couldn’t even bear to touch one of those scratchy but fabulous Icelandic sweaters, lopapeysa, that the best detectives wear, let alone pull one over my head.
I then went to Greenland, the “Arctic” proper, and got out my puffers, thermals, gloves, and socks, and it was 23 degrees in the snow. All I needed was sunscreen.
I’ve officially felt sweltering hot since I turned 54, and it’s not going away. I long to be cold. I sleep under ceiling fans and turn the air conditioning on a balmy 17 in hotels. I chose the North Pole as a potentially moderate vacation destination. I clearly chose the wrong month.
A warm Paris is something else. I had packed jeans and light jackets, ankle-length dresses with long sleeves, velvet slacks, and jersey sweatpants, and none of these fit as the sweat was gathering under my eyes, and I went through another pack of facial tissue paper.
I looked at what the other tourists wore: jeans, camisoles, and health sandals. They were carelessly in thin partings, regardless of their shape, size, or skin color.
Shorts and T-shirts are still the easiest way to dress in stifling weather. Photo: Getty
But I can’t. I just don’t go sleeveless, and I don’t wear shorts. Not since I was about 10 years old. It’s pure vanity, which means I’m always a little too uncomfortably warm in most summer situations, which is very un-Australian.
I bought a white linen shirt to wear with my jeans, but long-sleeved linen shirts won’t keep you cool. Maybe a short-sleeved shirt would, but that’s not a silhouette I’d consider.
When I arrived in sweltering Milan, I had to accept that I had nothing suitable to wear, so I. So nd a pretty multicolored Indian cotton kaftan in a small boutique via Santa Marta, which looks a bit Marni if you squint.
Italian women love that boho looks – elegant printed caftans paired with pretty sandals, woven shopping bags, and great sunglasses – so I took the lead.
I sometimes wonder if there’s a time and an era when you just say, ‘Oh, damn it! Who cares? I will wear a cotton shirt, and cut-off jeans,s and leave it all.”
Most of the world seems to be able to do it. But I can’t yet. Turn up the air conditioner.
Kirstie Clements: Summer Blues, When You Only Want to Wear Your Cashmere Hat, appeared first on news gear.