Changing Tack

We’re well into April and the weather’s turned noticeably colder for the first time this year. In fact, it’s been under 25˚C for the last three days running. I had to dig out a woollen jumper because it got so cold in the evenings. This all tells me that its about time for the Switchover.

My favourite autumn apparel in times gone by.

What’s the Switchover? Well, first let me tell you about my wardrobe. Specifically, that it’s too small. It was a good size back when I was little, when my clothes were smaller and I owned a lot less of them. Now that there’s a lot more of me  – and a lot more of my stuff – my good old wardrobe just isn’t up to the task. Even with an auxiliary chest of draws it couldn’t hope to hold every article of clothing in my possession. So it’s a good thing that it doesn’t have to – at least not all at once.

It’s a well-known fact that unless you live in a tropical region (or at one of the poles), not all of your clothing will be necessary or even wearable all year round. Of course there are some items that work as basics in every season, but the rest can generally be divided into two categories: hot & dry weather, and cold & wet weather. (Unless you’re near enough to the equator that the pairings go the other way.) That makes it fairly simple for me to gather up all the things which aren’t useful in the current season and stuff them in the closet upstairs. This is always a bit more difficult with the winter gear, because it’s heavier and takes up more room, but with a bit of creativity I can get everything stowed away. And there it all stays until the weather changes again.

Another childhood favourite.

The Switchover is the day (or, more realistically, week) when I decide it’s time to shift all of the ending season’s clothing upstairs and bring all of the coming season’s clothing down again. This usually also involves a bit of sorting through; removing things that are worn out or setting things aside for mending. So it’s a bit like a biannual Spring Cleaning. A time to set aside one pattern of living and start afresh on another. And I know I’m making more of a deal out of this than necessary, but it is something meaningful to me. Perhaps because my family is not big on seasonal festivities (Christmas is the only one that really gets a look in) I have an unsatisfied need for cyclical markers. Or because the food I eat is so far removed from its agricultural origins, I’ve found my own way to acknowledge the changing seasons.

Things might get a bit esoteric at this point, so I think I’ll leave it there. But if anyone else out there has a Switchover, of their wardrobe or any other part of their lives, I wish you a good one. May you find something nice you’d forgotten about in the back of the cupboard.



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