Friday, 1 August 2014

Layering in Summer

Layering is a bit more challenging in warm weather and you might well ask, why bother?   There are definitely days when I don't wear layers because it is just too hot, just as there are days when I stay home and wear something I wouldn't go out in.  I just happen to be someone who likes layers, so while they are practical in cooler or variable weather, I chose them for aesthetic reasons as well.  I like the way I feel when wearing layers and I like the way they look.  One option in warm weather is to make the layers very thin and gauzy, but for warm weather I also like to wear loose and draped separates.  For some reason, if I am wearing only one item of clothing, say a sundress, I feel like I have not finished getting dressed.  I am likely to add a gauzy blouse or a crocheted shrug.  Although two pieces of clothing isn't really layering, it makes me feel layered and for me that is something I need, though I don't know why.

Sort of Digression:
Not only do I like the look of layers, and the creativity that is involved in pairing proportions, colours, textures and patterns, I have realised that for me there is also a sensory issue involved. I sleep best under heavy covers, which as you can imagine also makes summer a challenge.  I like weight and would probably sleep really well with one of those lead vests they give you in the X-ray department.  I have always layered my bedding, with at least two duvets in winter, not because I live in a Canadian Igloo, but because I like the weight of the extra bedding.  I have to give up on some of it in summer.

So I am beginning to think there is a connection here to my preference for winter clothes and for layers that also has to do with weight and the feeling of weight on my body.  Clearly I am in danger of floating away if I do not weigh myself down!

Now, back to the regularly scheduled programme.

Recently I wore a long skirt with an over-sized washable silk shirt.  If I'm just home for the day,having a bad hair day and feeling hot as in sweaty not hot as in sexy, I happily wear it all long and loose, but I also like it tied at the waist  layered with another skirt as a cooler weather option as shown in the headless photo.  Do you ever just get tired of seeing your own face?  I do.

I was experimenting with pinning up the top skirt so as to show the layers underneath but it was hot and I was tired and I did a lousy job and just gave up.  After all, I was not going anywhere and the real look of the day was the image below.

 I also experimented with more nightgown dressing.  Loose was definitely the requirement for this outfit, as it was one of the hottest days, with little breeze.  The dress is, I believe, actually a nightgown but I like it and so I would rather wear it as a dress, though it can't be worn on it's own since the bust coverage is rather ineffective.  When I went to the grocery store I put on the crocheted top over it to look a little less like I was wearing something I'd slept in.  I also added a touch of lipstick because lipstick always says, hey I really did make an effort today.

Another  experiment was in figuring out what to do with a thin, loose little green dress that cannot be worn on it's own and which I love but have yet to figure out how to wear.  I think it is going in the upcycling pile, and I am considering sewing this scarf onto the skirt portion as another layer, but maybe I will just wear it pinned on like in this photo.  I also really like this purple silk sleeveless blouse worn over top.  I often buy a sleeveless blouse that buttons at the waist but won't button over the bust and wear it like a waistcoat.  apparently I really like purple silk.  The top above is a deep purple-indigo and I am just now recalling a violet silk man's shirt I used to wear years ago.  The shirt was violet silk, not the man, though I might quite like a violet silk man.

I felt a little nervous wearing an outfit held together with small safety pins so I didn't wear this all day.  I really love it though so something must be done to make it feel safe.

And finally, I've saved the worst for last.  This is what I am wearing right now as I type.  I love the individual pieces but I'm not loving the outfit as a whole and I think that is because I feel washed out in all of these pale colours.  I was trying a monochromatic look.  These pants are the only beige item I own.  I generally avoid beige, (or stone or cement or putty -such hideous colour names) but following the advice that beige capris wouldn't chop up my leg line, and with beige being one of the typically available neutrals for summer clothing, I happen to have ended up with these kicking around in my closet.

I attempted all beige, white and brown and even put on my biggest earrings but this outfit is not working and it seems to me that is largely a colour issue.  It's all just so blah.  I'm tempted to dye the pants and the sleeveless blouse, but I still love the poet blouse in white.

Rumour has it that men hate it when women wear capris or even other women hate it when women wear capris and they are said to be hideously, mummish, and non-stylish.  This is me not giving a feck.  I think I'll dye these ones dark brown and the sleeveless blouse a nice orange/red.

Final digression
Did you notice how the metal circles of my earrings look like they belong in the painting behind me?  Yeah, I totally did that on purpose.

So there we are, three days of layering fun in a heatwave.  It's a long weekend here and I am gearing up to stumble out and do a few things as there are many local events going on.  My dear friend's husband plays with one of our best local bands so that's just one event I'm looking forward to.

Have a lovely weekend, dear readers and bloggy friends.


  1. Interesting digression! I also find weight useful. When I'm overloaded and overwrought I have a weighted 5kg blanket which I purchased, to lie or sit under. But I can't sleep under it for too long. It wrecks my hips.
    We are obviously ethereal beings :-)
    Your playing with your wardrobe layers is fascinating! My favourite is the scarf skirt one. I agree the last one washes you out a bit. I have the same problem. Dyeing is obviously the solution (ha ha). I love dyeing things...water play, yes please!
    XO JJ

    1. I love dying things. I might be addicted. I try to remember to wear rubber gloves before plunging my hands into a hot dye bath but I've been known to forget. Not only is that a bit harsh on the skin but it means I often look like my finger tips are rotting off as they are dyed purple, blue or brown. Only one of my fingers looks like that right now so I feel rather proud of that.

  2. I really like the blue tie dye dress with the oversized shirt. Especially if you tie it like in the first photo.
    As for the last look --- I love the top pieces! I am not much of a fan of capris (I just don't think they are flattering on anyone!)… I could imagine the tops paired with grey or pants (maybe skinny jeans)...

  3. I am not a fan of shorts really, though I will wear them at home or on the beach, and I am also not a fan of pants largely because they never fit me properly. It's too hot for jeans and I won't be wearing those probably until late September!

  4. I'm glad you came out to play! :) It is fun to see all the different pieces, many of which I haven't seen before (it seems). I love the way that colorful necklace looks against the blue shirt - so vibrant.

    I love layers too! I have similar feelings about Summer fashion - that it is too simple, not enough layers. :)) But I learned to appreciate this simplicity and truly enjoy it now. After all, it only happens for short couple of months here. :)

    I used to wear capris a lot, for years. There are models which are quite flattering, I think. Thy are definitely comfy and not as warm as long pants. I really like the scarf pattern and colors, and your idea of making a skirt out of it. You look excited playing with layers - and that means a lot! So glad to see you happy. colorful and experimenting!

    Have a fun weekend, many happy events!! Hugs! xxxxx

  5. I have many things you've never seen before. In this post the only repeat is the white blouse in the last outfit. It's the one I recently pulled out of my donate pile. I don't think all the capri hate is justified, but I do think they become rather ubiquitous since they are a good warm weather option for women who don't want to wear shorts but feel a skirt is too formal or not appropriate for the situation. I'm not interested in being appropriate or in worrying about anyone else's opinion on what I should or should not wear. Life's too short for that and I've already done my fair share of it!

  6. i´m sitting in a deck chair in the shade, wearing only a little playsuit, happy that i´m able to wear just one piece of clothing in that heat.....
    your experiments look fab - now that you know the direction it seems to flow!

    wearing clothes "that men hate" is a good tool to filter out the man who is the right one. done it. needed time. yesterday was our 5. wedding anniversary.....


  7. What a pretty nightie/dress! if course just shouldn't just be resigned to the boudoir, it's so lovely - your layering adventures continue to bloom and develop fabulously the capri's are blooming wonderful especially in the heat, good to see you not giving a feck! my new cheap gym pants are capri's, gorgeously blanderific, they are destined for some pom-pom adornment - have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy the live music! x x x

  8. It looks like someone is having fun now that they have discovered what rocks their fashion world. I like the first look with the top tied. :)

  9. The difference between the colourful outfits and the white/neutral one is quite startling as I scroll through your post. You do suit purples, blues and greens, Shawna, and I am sure white and stone/beige/whatever can have a place in your wardrobe, but mixed with those warm and delicious colours that you love.
    Funny thing about liking the feeling of weight and layers - I am quite the opposite, I dislike feeling bulky and weighed down, and wearing a single piece (a dress) is a delight to me, so simple and unencumbered! xxxx

  10. I really like the scarf as a skirt combination ... love the colours.

  11. Ha ha, your comment about the indigo will shirt made me smile because we used to wear them for my gamelan concerts until we got proper Balinese costumes. After that, it was relegated to my nightwear and one of the first few times my now-husband stayed at my house, he had to wear it for bed!!! Mwa ha ha!!! X


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