Friday, May 21, 2010

Cheer for a gloomy day.

I would like warm weather. Seriously. The sheer amount of rain and chilly temperatures make one gloomy. I tend to overeat or not eat well when it's like this. When the water seeps into the basement, it gets depressing and with the cool temperatures, it's taking longer for the floor to dry off.

I've had this tradition for the last 8 or so years of wearing Hawaiian shirts for the week beginning with the first day of spring. Most of the time I have to wear a turtleneck under them or a sweater over them, but there have been a handful of days where I can wear just the shirt. Wearing loud and flowery is a mood brightener. I also like to think of them as talismans, that good luck will come with loud and bright. It hasn't always worked but, like anything else, it's about mood and point of view.

In this gloomy May weather, I have resorted to the Hawaiian shirts again. I made this shirt over 15 years ago. It's held up quite well. That's a heavy duty cotton fabric. It was for my ex-husband but he didn't wear it very much. He didn't share my like of loud and brassy.

This shirt is a guy's shirt. A college friend who was a Navy nurse got this in Hawaii for me at the PX there. So this is my only real "Hawaiian" shirt. I've had it for 9 years, I think. The only problem I have with it is that the buttons don't stay buttoned. The top and the bottom ones do, but the 2 in the middle have a tendency to come unbuttoned. It's not due to strain. The shirt is, in fact, the perfect size. They just don't stay buttoned. I wear it when I'm not going any place other than the office. "Free shows" are for Madonna, not me.

These shirts are from the men's department at JC Penney. One of my complaints about women's shirts is that their current crop of what they call "Hawaiian" shirts are simply not distinctive. These are muted with the one on the left having a sage green background. These are great for attending meetings. I can express myself via dress without having the boss roll his eyes. I don't want to wear the company polo shirts all the time. They are nice, to be sure, but boring. A pressed muted tone Hawaiian shirt is just as nice and so comfortable.

JC Penney used to have women's Hawaiian shirts that fit my definition of "loud" or "bold". I've had this one for, I think, 20 years. The fabric is more silky. I have to iron this shirt, even if it's dried in a dryer. Most women's Hawaiian shirts tend to be like this. They favor these kinds of flowers but not in bold colors. And they have what are called "cap sleeves". Oh please. My arms are not the firmest anymore. Cap sleeves just emphasize that fact. Women's shirts tend to be tapered through the waist. There's nothing "tapered" about me. So, I gravitate to the men's department where I can get bold, brassy, loud shirts that fit right.

These last two I have had since the late 1990's. I got them both in Target's men's department. They are also of a silkier material and I have to iron them before wearing although if I have the foresight to hang them in the bathroom for a couple days before wearing, the steam from my showers will relax the wrinkles some. The white one has a button problem too, but not to the extent the one at the top does.

I have 12 Hawaiian shirts, total. I went through them this spring and got rid of a couple that simply didn't look good on me anymore. I must confess that walking through a department store and seeing the bright colors will draw me over to the rack. My friends remind me of my vow, "If I bring clothes into the closet, I have to get rid of others to make room." I probably should get rid of some anyway, but that anguish is not something I want to do now. So, no new clothes. Plus, it's easy to walk away when you don't have ready cash to spend. Now if they were to give the shirts away...

So, here's to hoping Hawaiian shirts will brighten the day. The weather, according to the Weather Channel, is to be HOT on Sunday, near or above 90. I just want to be able to turn off the heat. I'm remembering last year and having to turn it on in August just to take the damp out of the house. Could we not have a repeat of that?

Beverage: China Black Tea


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