Mother Nature has been announcing the arrival of summer in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States with an intense heatwave. All week long, temperatures have been in the 90s with extreme humidity, making it feel like 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Midday sunshine mixed with low pressure and so much moisture in the air has caused volatility in the atmosphere in the afternoons, resulting in pop-up thunderstorms every day around 4:00 p.m. All that rain is good for my garden, and also for the grass seed I planted where dirt was filled in following repairs a few weeks ago to my swimming pool piping. The wind and clouds reduce the temperature, too, making the evenings around here downright pleasant.
It’s not so good, however, when one is planning what to wear to work in the morning. Sultry. Steamy. Downright sticky. These are just some of the adjectives which came to mind almost every day this week as I tried to figure out how to dress for a 90-minute commute from my home in northwest Baltimore County to the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. by automobile, subway train and a lot of walking.
My answer to the relentless swelter on Thursday was a beautiful, blue sundress. The sheer polyester crepe, by She Scool, was a gift from my best friend’s mother last summer which arrived in a box of upscale textiles Joyce sent me when she realized she no longer wore them. I selected this romantic piece primarily for its inherent breeziness; the built-in bra and slip meant I needed no additional layers underneath. The sophisticated blues, purples and pinks with a touch of white seemed instantly refreshing.
I added a shimmery, open-weave Kroshetta sweater in a mauve knit by Papillion which was also a gift from Joyce last year. Finishing with blue faux-snakeskin sandals by City Streets and a bracelet and earrings of azure beads from Macy’s, I added only my grandmother’s heirloom necklace of enameled navy petals and silvered leaves to complete my "frosty" look.
Never mind the oppressive humidity and scorching heat. I was as cool as could be in my pretty blue sundress.