Each year, fall fashions hit the stores in late July/early August. For the record, fall is hands-down my absolute most favorite season to shop. Not a fan of revealing summer wear, the season has always been a time I breathe a sigh of relief as stores reinstitute layers in the form of scarves, jackets, and sweaters, as I receive them all into my wide-open, waiting arms. I can admit it - I lose it just a little bit in stores when fall fashions hit. I shop for fur. I shop for booties. I shop for leather. I shop for my beloved chunky knits. I shop a whole lot more than usual.
Last "fall", I remember the horrid fact that temperatures did not drop to actual suitable levels until late November. This meant that for approximately four to four-and-a-half months, I eyed, lusted over, and eventually bought my heart-racing "new" fall finds...only to have them sit in bags with tags, in tact, waiting for the appropriate climate change. By the time it was cold enough to wear the items I had bought, I was a little less excited about them. In fact, some of the items, at once so coveted, so cherished...I was just plain sick of looking at. Yet if I had waited, all the things I wanted would have been sold out, or at the least unavailable in my size. As a result, buyer's remorse crept strongly in my head, admonishing me about frivolous shopping trips with no purpose other than to fill an urge to buy new and fun things. A sweltering October spent donning maxi dresses, sandals, and gauzy blouses yet spent LOOKING at tweed, fur, and leather online, in displays, magazines, and everywhere but ON real-life people was starting to drive me just a little bit more mental than I already am in the fall. About six months back it was the same issue on the flip side: we enjoyed rain and cold outside only to be tormented by mind-bogglingly contradictory neon colors and thin textures in stores. It actually lead me to write a piece on Transitional Chic.
What is the answer? Clearly, something needs to change. Fashion needs to catch up with global warming. GLOBAL warming and climate change. I can testify to this as it is not purely a problem in the States. Last year in the "spring" of April, I was backpacking thru Europe. I had packed for spring, but found myself in the middle of rain and chilly winds, in every single one of the eight cities I visited throughout the continent. I would stare longingly into shop windows in the Barberini vicinity of Rome, full of vibrant colors, sheer fabrics, and open-toed shoes, while standing on the sidewalk freezing despite wearing multiple layers of warmth. And since styles start there, I say to the designers who reside in Europe and are holding the world of fashion tightly by the reigns: Love what you're doing. Keep up the good work. But could you just move everything up (or back?) about four months? The world will thank you. Retailers will sell more. We will buy more and feel less ridiculous doing so. Believe me, the world will be a much happier place.
So now as it stands, it's a matter of months before spring/summer styles get shoved in the back racks, red-lined, as rich fabrics, shearling trims, close-toed footwear, and deeper, richer jewel-tones take their place front and center. We will once again suffer in silent despair, buying, yet not being able to fully enjoy, what is my favorite season's splendor until a few months fast forward. And if my request is too out there, too brazen, too unsettling of the gentle, sensitive balance of the fashion cosmos that has been established, then at the very least, please join me in this universal rant of consumer irony, which has been repeating itself in the past five or so years as we have silently sat by and endured its wrath. The greater powers that be have shown weather will not change - isn't it time us lowly humans did something to restore order? This universal climate change is not only not going away, it actually comes back with stronger force each year, reminding us of the previous year's four month limbo we faced and somehow forgot. It's simply an unsettling, contradictory notion that needs to be nipped in the bud. Oh European emperors of fashion. We implore you. Make the change. You will be rewarded with our good cheer, lack of grumbling, and a significant drop in hasty returns. We promise.
Saba is the founder and owner of Style By Design, an image consulting firm that helps people work with their own personal PR. Her work includes style and fashion consulting, career image consulting and overall personal design. She has worked with clients from all walks of life, from NBA players to lawyers. Follow her blog at http://www.sbdstyle.blogspot.com/. Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/#!/sbdimageconsulting