When does sartorial summer end? Is it Labor Day? Is it the autumn equinox? Is it some other time that gradually comes and helps us fade into autumn? Does it come at the same time every year? Or, is it just a feeling? I always wonder about and struggle with this question. It is September 1st, is that autumn? It certainly doesn't feel like it. It is going to be above 80 degrees here today. That isn't exactly tweed and sweater weather.
I can never shake the idea that autumn begins when school begins. It really feels that way in my mind. I don't think of going to school in the summer. I think of going in the autumn. in the Ivy/Prep world, we have so many images of campus life, crunchy leaves, tweed. When we think of autumn, it is school. Yet, it doesn't really feel like autumn for the first few weeks of September. Here especially, we have more summer on the end than in the beginning. May is cold, September is warm.
It is nice to have some solidly defined times and boundaries. Not just for the sake of the organization itself, but rather because it almost makes an event of things, it gives us something, a kind of time-based structure to look forward to and feel ourselves living in. It feels intentional. It is a reminder of intentionality. For this reason, I am always trying to really settle on this line of summer and autumn. Yet, I can't seem to really nail it down. I have felt it is Labor Day in the past, I have thought that maybe it is September as well, or maybe it is the autumn equinox. Maybe it is the fall holidays, the haggim. They are never too far from the autumn equinox. I don't know.
Maybe for everyone it is different, maybe it is more fluid, more feeling for some while more rigid for others. Maybe for the hot weather dweller this conversation looks very different. Maybe they never wear heavy tweed. Maybe their autumn looks more like our summer. Maybe they look for other cues or consider other aspects of time when deciding where summer ends and where autumn begins. It is a big question. It is about clothes, it is about fabric, but it is also about more. It is about time and life and how we mark our time. Our clothing, style, aesthetics represent something within. There is a bridge between the inner and the outer. Our aesthetic, style resonates and represents something within. Even though we didn't make our clothes, we chose them and wear them for a more inner-resonating reason. We exist naturally in time and to allow this connection between inner and outer to take on a time-based aesthetic representation and manifestation helps bring a certain kind of time whole-ness to the cycle of the year. It isn't just about the appearance. It is about an entire feeling and way of being in time.
There is nothing natural about going against nature, obviously. It will be above 80 degrees here today, there is nothing natural about sweating through the day wearing classic autumnal clothing just because it is September. We exist with time, yet we also exist with weather. In living in concert with time we also intend to live in concert with the weather. It isn't detached, our idea of clothing and style, dressing and living is not theoretical and divorced from the natural world. It flows fully and naturally with the natural world. Clothes longer ago tended to do this due to less climate control. Our clothes are all "older clothes". They reflect this. If it was unseasonably cold in June we wouldn't wear tweed. It isn't right. We would wear a summer sweater.
Maybe seersucker is a bold September choice, maybe it isn't. I don't think it is autumn yet. I think even though it may be September, right on the edge of the academic year, even though the leaves are changing right around the corner, we are still coasting on the last gasps of summer and there isn't anything sartorially-spiritually out of line with wearing seersucker in September. There is still some connection to summer. If it was October, in my region, I would say I don't think so. I would say broadcloth is the choice. But a seersucker September, I think it feels right.