Ever since I migrated, I have had a hard time breaking up with summer. According to my husband, I never truly acknowledge it, I just automatically go into hibernation mode. I know some of you may not be able to relate because life in the tropics only requires summer clothing all year round. I feel I should remind you how fortunate you are.
Before I left the tropics to attend university in a country with temperate climes, I had craved the anonymity of big city life for mostly reasons that related to fashion. I had longed for a space where I wouldn’t have to conceal my style and to be in an environment that would be facilitating of me wearing all of the clothing and accessories I saw in “Sex and The City”: the thigh-high boots, the leather gloves, the floor sweeping coats. Sometimes I felt like living in the Caribbean was just the most awkward place to want to be fashionable. This was mainly due to the type of media we are exposed to and not having the environmental factors to go with all the trends we were bombarded with. This restricted us to certain cuts, silhouettes and fabrics.
Fast forward to 2018, and I despise all the things I once fussed over and prioritized in order to be fashionable. Don’t get me wrong, I am truly content with my life but not everything turns out the way you day dreamed it would be. In fact I think it is incredibly difficult for any Caribbean person to simply adapt to living abroad without feeling an ounce of stress, for so many reasons but for mostly those mentioned hereafter.
I question if we ever get fully accustomed to the climate. I have never been able to layer my clothing to just feel okay. I am either a little cold or a little hot and the struggle to adjust my fashion to achieve an appropriate temperature, somehow manages to make me look confused or like I am a walking human blanket. Maybe the temperature adjustment is all just psychological but it still doesn’t change the effect it has on me.
Accessories are expensive
I always used to wonder about the people I saw rocking winter gear in Guyana that would have been sent in a barrel for them by a relative abroad. I have never truly understood why we idolized the winter trends so much. Maybe it’s because we don’t experience snow. You always long for what you don’t have perhaps out of curiosity. Apart from the fact that wanting to be fashionable in winter is terribly expensive, it is also something that requires patience and organization because of all the extra bits you will need. In this day and age one less thing to stress about it a gift from the gods.
I have always admired how Caribbean people choose bright colours. People have a hard time specifying what really is Caribbean fashion and I myself don’t have an exact synopsis, but I know for sure it includes a plethora of colours that mirror our electric spirit. I sometimes feel that it’s because I am from Guyana that I have the genuine desire to gravitate to colours that stick out like a traffic light. I now feel I am battling with the same demons I once faced in my quest to be fashionable. Today, I am mostly scared to wear my colours because Europeans, especially in the smaller cities, tend to have a neutral colour palette. In some ways, I feel like am reliving the fight to achieve style.
I suppose this is a timely reminder to us all that style is achievable wherever we are; it simply means sticking to the things you genuinely like, perhaps with varying fabrics to ensure you aren’t freezing or boiling.