So the temperatures finally dropped in Sydney, about three days before the official start of winter – ending a hot, bright autumn.
I’ve been hoping for cold weather and shopping in advance for months now, buying soft taupe leather ankle boots online, and a long knit double breasted navy cardigan. Plus, a very chic camel wool cocoon coat which apparently was right on trend in the Northern Hemisphere.
I’ve been squirrelling them away in my wardrobe, peering through the bedroom window, praying for a cold breeze or a chilly rainstorm so I could wear them.
But for the last nine months whenever I checked my iPhone it’s pretty much said, “Sunny, 26 degrees, hot”. So fashion choices, and my patience, have been severely limited.
I would glance longingly at my pale pink cashmere roll neck sweater, the charcoal grey woollen Allbirds sneakers, the quilted bomber jacket, and the huge khaki chunky knit muffler from Bally and literally break out into a sweat at the mere thought of putting them on, even for an instant.
We got to May and I could see the law of diminishing returns. I wouldn’t be able to wear any these lovely, cosy, comfy things.
My cost per wear was through the roof, and the moths would get there before me. I booked a trip to Paris. It would be cold there.
Well, no. It was raining, but humid. My lovely sweaters lay, useless, in the bottom of my suitcase. My camel coat was unworn, crumpled and soiled from being dragged uselessly through various international departure lounges.
I’d try London. Surely I could rely on some cold blasts there. Nah. Everyone was in Hyde Park sunning themselves. It was, yes, “Sunny 26 degrees, hot”.
I had one black silk shirt with me and wore it, miserable, for four days straight. I came back to Australia. People were still swimming. There was no need for a duvet yet.
Then, suddenly, early one morning I was standing in the kitchen making a cup of tea in my T-shirt and undies and I thought “Something’s wrong. What is this weird feeling that has come over me?” It was chilly. Like 13 degrees. I ran to my dressing room. Slippers! A cardigan! Trackies! Hallelujah.
I was hot after about 20 minutes, as soon as the sun came up. But no, I intended to persevere with this. I had fashion that was demanding to be worn.
I pulled on some jeans, put the camel coat on over a T-shirt and headed for the city. The scarf would be much too heavy, as were the boots. As I walked, the sun came out, and the chill was gone. I felt sweaty already.
My coat felt scratchy and heavy around my neck. And then I noticed the midyear fashion sales had started. All around me in the stores were the signs saying 40 to 60 percent off.
Racks and racks of unwanted and unloved pink sweaters, and navy cardigans. And camel coats.