There are people in this world who still deny the occurrence of climate change (or, as I like to call it, the artist previously known as global warming). As I type, parts of the east coast are under several feet of snow and flood water thanks to “epic” and “life threatening” blizzard Juno, whilst many here in northern Nevada pray for precipitation and bemoan that temperatures have rarely dropped below 60˚F since 2015 put its January pants on, so this boggles me. However, I have spent enough time in Yorkshire to know that there’s nowt as queer as folk, especially if those folk happen to have shares in fossil fuel companies or, say, vote Republican.
That said, my reaction to this preponderance of winter sun and the virtual certainty that no brolly or cagoule* will be needed when leaving the house is perhaps worse that those who deny it’s happening: I know full well it’s happening and I’m loving it. Let’s be clear, I’m certainly not loving homeless polar bears and vast swathes of the planet becoming unfarmable dust bowls (I saw Interstellar, I know what’s coming). But please, for now, let me be just a tiny bit excited about not having to swaddle up like Ranulph Fiennes just to get a pint of milk. I promise I’ll be all anxious and socially responsible about it next year, but for this – my first winter in the US – can’t I at least be a smidgen chuffed to be out of the frozen grey wastes of the UK? No? OK.
Well, whether hand-wringing or high-fiving is your response, you’ve got to dress for this weather and it does throw up a few challenges – heavy knits are too hot in the full glare of the sun but very necessary if it nips behind a cloud; Ugg boots may be the default January footwear setting (especially for those who experienced the “proper winters” of yore), but they cause tedium-induced death by Valentine’s Day if not mixed up with something a little less, ugg-ly (see what I did there?).
My answer was prison-escapee meets wedding refugee chic. Obviously. The H&M sweater has had to fight its way into the laundry basket as I keep finding reasons to keep wearing it, even though ( or because?) it looks a little like the garb criminals wore in the old silent movies – non? As well as being cheap as chips, the Valentino homage shoes were actually my wedding shoes which I loved more than my dress and was determined to repurpose. Mission accomplished, though my ankles are still paying the price. My old faithful Mulberry cross body bag sought to raise the overall tone, and the distressed denim dragged it down again. Oh, and the sunnies – from an unbelievably good second hand store – are awful but awesome all at once. A bit like this blasted weather we’re having.
* Since Americans call these types of waterproof jackets something significantly more boring, they pronounce this crazy Frenglish word “coogle”. Fact.