Like all mentally ill people, once the temperatures in Texas begin to tip the scale of normality and dive into the danger zone, I start wanting to wear the most seasonally inappropriate clothing items I can fathom.  It was around 85 degrees the other night when I suddenly got the urge to wear a blue leather skirt, and just yesterday I was really itching to wear a winter hat.  To you, the average Texas summer heat survivor, “That bitch cray” might suffice as an explanation of my desires.  But because I’m an analyzer of both myself and others, I have felt a need to delve into this a little further to really figure out what is going on here.  I have come up with a few explanations, or theories, as to why I and others like myself, think like crazy people and want to sacrifice our well being for fashion.

The first theory is rather simple and fairly obvious.  In the material world of fashion, we often act like children and just simply want what we can’t have.  In the winter we complain that it’s too cold, and in the summer we complain that it’s too hot.  Much like Goldilocks, we are in constant pursuit of what is “just right.”  Unfortunately in Texas we usually get about a couple of weeks of true Spring weather.  Unlike Goldie (who I’ve decided, in the modern version of this fairytale, is an heir to some mysterious fortune, lives bi-coastal, and summers in Monaco), we very rarely get to experience this happy medium of light layering.

Another explanation, which I’m now realizing actually re-enforces the first theory, is that the clothing companies who are marketing this stuff are all based out of either the West or the East coasts.  The high today in Austin is 90 degrees and it’s only the beginning of June. Meanwhile this image just showed up from Urban Outfitters in my inbox…

The subject line reads “Surf City” and it goes on to paint some lovely imagery. “Hitch a Ride to the Beach…” it says “not far from the city, but still a world apart, where rock and roll rebels live the American summer dream.”  The girl pictured in this promo is layering a black leather jacket over a jean jacket over a button down shirt.  She’s a “rebel.”

Can you imagine wearing a leather jacket over a jean jacket over a button down shirt in Austin in the summer? If you want to see someone wearing that many layers this summer, just hang out in the alleyway behind my apartment inside the dumpster.  That’s where the true rebels live.  It’s also where I once almost threw a bag of dog poop onto a person who was in there diving for who knows what.  Maybe he was searching for a leather jacket.

More propaganda to turn us into dumpster divers:

“As You Are” this Free People promo is titled.  “Effortlessly cool. Unexpectedly sexy. Slip into this summer’s chicest uniform.”  Or in our case, “Slip into a coma after you pass out from a heat stroke because you’re wearing a sweater and pants and it’s 95 degrees outside.”

This lovely Summer photo collage that’s on the front page of Zara right now sure looks like fun… if you think wearing a jacket over a sweatshirt outside in a field in the summer won’t cause you to actually die. (Spoiler alert: it will.)

Thank you Topshop for debuting Duster coats in June.

Bottom line is, Austin ain’t San Fran.  Sometimes I wish the weather here was more moderate, or the seasons were longer.  But ya know what? That would be boring.  I like the sporadic and unpredictable Texas weather (she gets me.) Plus, I’ll take our triple digit summers over any negative degrees winter any day.

And unless you want to lose all your friends this summer from your stink factor, or you want to feel what it’s like to suffer from heat exhaustion, I suggest embracing our warm weather and just throw on a cute sundress and funk it up with some fun shoes. Layering is a lot work anyway.  Leave that job to the West coast and East coasters, because we’re too busy having fun down here in the South during the Summer to even worry about such things.


Joanna Wilkinson
keep austin stylish