Putting aside summer

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With a ten-degree drop in temperature, it’s time to crack out the winter wardrobe.

It is always a little melancholy at this time of the year to put aside the summer clothes and get ready for the big freeze, but it has to be done – at least by those of us who have limited storage in the bedroom.

Our bedroom is in the attic, so there is very little wall space and we only have one unit each for our day-to-day clothing, with the rest being kept elsewhere in flatpacks and suitcases. One day, I dream, it will all be in wardrobes. 

The frosts won’t be upon us for a while yet, but I doubt we’ll be wearing linen again this year, so I’ve put away all linen, woven cotton, summer dresses and skimpy little tops till next spring. It makes me a little sad, unlike the feeling of unpacking the summer clothes in anticipation of better weather. Now I need snuggly clothes, warm clothes – recent purchases include six pairs of knee-length thermal socks, an ankle-length kagoul and two polar fleece throws for snuggling under on the sofa. 

In a well-planned wardrobe, you get the most mileage from clothing that is largely inter-seasonal. Fabrics such as cotton jersey, brushed cotton, lightweight wools such as merino, thin acrylic knits such as Courtelle, jeans, microfibre fabrics, thin leathers and suedes all fall into this category.

Most of these fabrics will do three seasons and can be worn, layered, in all but very cold or very hot weather, ringing the changes with linen for summer and heavier wools for winter. In contrast, really thick wool knits and really skimpy summer clothes really only have a few weeks wear in them. 

The most useful coat is probably a cotton-weight raincoat with a removable lining. Mine’s an old Burberry with a zip-out wool liner that I picked up in a charity shop.  It does three seasons and most of the summer, with only a few weeks when it’s really too heavy to wear. These are well worth looking out for second-hand – or new, if your budget stretches to it. 





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