Accepting time can be difficult for us all, I think. I think it can be difficult in so many different iterations. Sometimes the passing of time, the sadness that comes with it, is what is difficult. Sometimes it is a feeling as though time won't pass, the feeling that you want to move on but you can't. That can be difficult. There are so many different ways in which the acceptance of time is difficult and there are so many things to be said about those difficulties. In this piece however I am referring to time & season. Although it is time & season I am writing about, these ideas reverberate and share similarities to the other feelings outside of season, outside of clothing and style.
I think for me, this season, this time, is one of the most difficult of the year. January to April. We are in the dark of winter, the true cold. There isn't really any big holiday or big celebration to look forward to. We are in the long haul, waiting for spring to arrive. We are stuck in the real darkness, coldness, brittleness and it can feel like every day is gray. Stagnation. Summer in a way is an easy season, spring is also an easy season. It is full of so many reminders which remind us of the beauty of the world, beauty of life. It is flippant, it is joyous, it is fun. It is easy to love summer and spring. It is easy to love your life in summer and spring. It is easy for our clothes to remind us of happy, light, fun, joyous spirits and energy. Madras, seersucker, shorts, linen etc... We read Psalm 103 in the winter. It reminds us of God's beautiful creation, even when it is hard to sometimes feel it.
December is an incredibly easy month. It may be winter, or at least getting into winter, but it is full of a sort of holiday anticipation and there is so much going on, everything feels like it's moving. It is easy to love December. Same with November. It may be gray, the leaves may have fallen and you may have cold days, but you still have Thanksgiving and you still have so much going on with harvest autumnal decoration and feeling. There is still a motion and energy.
January - March, this is the real trial. This is the real winter. There isn't any joy and cheer abounding around you. There isn't much to look forward, or at least not for a few months. It is cold, dark. The clothes for this period are steady, dark, serious. There are no bright new fabrics, there are no festive ties. It is a serious time. This is the time which gives us many tests. People talk about seasonal depression. Whenever I hear that I just think to myself, "Duh." Of course you are more somber, more sad in the cold darkness of winter. It's not strange, it is normal really. Why do we have so many lights outside decorating our streets during winter? To remind us of light in the darkness.
In my opinion even though this time is trying and it is dismal, dark and gloomy, it can also be beautiful. There is almost always 2 ways to look at things. There is something beautiful in the reflective solace of the dark winter. There is something deep and important about looking inward, finding inner strength. There is something powerful and important. Finding faith. It is important not to always be a goofball, silly and flippant. There is a time for everything, but there is a time to take stock, be serious and accept that time, that role, that responsibility. In a way it is a blessing, that time.
I do think there is a certain fortitude that very northern dwelling people have regarding the winter, darkness etc... It is hard to explain but there is something about the people who grow up in places with 6 months of extreme cold, wet and dismal vistas. The psychology, way of thinking about the world and feeling the world that comes from that, it's hard to explain, but there is something there. It's something different, something difficult.
Rushing time or wishing time would go faster can be a wicked thing. You only have so much time, we mustn't wish it away fast. There are so many lessons to accepting the time we find ourselves in, finding the beauty, reflecting, learning, growing and building ourselves, faith and purpose strong. I am talking about the seasons that arrive every year, yet I am also talking about more. I am talking about the season we are all collectively a part of these days, these years. It isn't a season tied to the weather and calendar. It is a longer, spiritual season. We must accept in some way, the season in which we find ourselves.
Sartorially our time is serious, our season is serious. From January to March we are wearing our heavy winter coats, scarfs and even boots. We have to put our loafers away from time to time and wear boots instead, and then change into our loafers when inside. We can't force spring, we simply have to accept now. For our style, winter is a tough season. I don't mean a light winter which features lows of 48. I mean a real winter. A snow filled, 9F winter. We have to bundle up. Layering like a hearty version of autumn doesn't cut it. We have to really bundle up and hide away from the elements.
For myself I have 2 winter coats. I have a traditional classic black peacoat and this incredible vintage London Fog double breasted, herringbone tweed overcoat. It is long, reaching below my knees and incredibly heavy. My wife says that it looks like I am somewhere in Central Europe in WW1 when I wear it. I love this coat. It is truly one of my favorite coats. I genuinely look forward to wearing this coat every winter, because it is so intense, fantastic, classic, traditional and warm. It satisfies everything for me. It suits the season in design, style and spirit and I absolutely love wearing it.
The coat represents very well our feeling toward this time of the year. It covers almost my whole body, it protects me from the outside weather. It is dark, it is heavy, it is solid. It may sound simple to some but it helps embrace the season, sartorially. It helps feel like I am not just biding time until spring, but rather it gives me something to actually look forward to. It is something special about this season. Having something special about the seasons and our sartorial choices each season is a beautiful thing. It helps life stay fresh, stay moving. I don't wear this coat in spring, summer or autumn. This is only a coat for true winter, for the time which is truly dark, cold, harsh. It is the anti-seersucker, the anti-madras. It is the anti boat shoe. It is completely and totally fitting for this time and for this season in a most serious and perfect way. It is severe, serious, heavy, dark.