The lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer

I’m sure there’s a formula for the incremental decrease in the amount, and choice, of garments we wear during Queensland’s summer holidays.

From the end of November through to the restart of school and work in late January, we shamelessly decrease our wardrobe options and embrace a summer lifestyle that hints at hedonism and freedom – not having to think about what to wear each day.

The phenomenon begins mid-November: schools close for the holidays and there is a myriad of work, club and community break-ups that demand some thought as to what to wear.

Some of these events will involve the same people, and therefore there’s a requirement not to be seen in the same outfit twice; and some will require a sense of work decorum.

Whatever the event, this time of year involves some extra outfit planning or perhaps a new ‘special’ outfit. Once the kids and work are taken care of, there is the endless round of family and in-and-out-law catch-ups.

This is where you don’t want to appear too dressy (that work party outfit may be too showy or too ridiculous if themed). However, we all know family can be the worst critics when it comes to what in-laws are wearing, saying or doing in their lives.

So, while you probably wear outfits that are a little more relaxed, there is still a fine line for family credibility.

Christmas Day in most southeast Queensland homes may begin with a dressy flowy outfit, which allows a quick change into swimmers or boardies if you’re lucky enough to be near a pool.

While this is common for many, the arrival outfit still requires some thought, and for many a nod to basic make-up before the chlorine does its damage.  After Christmas Day however, the beach or bush calls for many and the wardrobe becomes far less demanding.

In fact, after recently returning from two weeks in the bush, I now have the formula down pat: togs, sarong, shorts, T-shirt and a crinkle cotton dress in case we get visitors or a new year party.

As the days go on, the need to “dress-up” becomes less important the further away from the city. There is a sense of exhilaration when you rise in the morning, listening to the different sounds from beach or bush and leisurely just throw on togs and sarong, the same ones you have been wearing every day for the last two weeks. 

And guess what? No one comments that you’re wearing the same outfit and no-one cares that you wear it all day and need to be ready to go back for a swim at least twice a day.

However, I’m now back to town and back at work. As soon as I walked in the door I had to start planning what to wear. The heat and climate are the same but the context has changed and I no longer imbue that hedonism I began to feel over the holidays.

Queensland summer holidays are part of my youth and now my older Boomer lifestyle. It’s something we want our grandchildren to embrace. And both sets have been lucky enough to have both beach and bush holidays this summer.

And interestingly, the same fashion rules apply. By the time they leave each holiday they’re either in only boardies, togs or just a nappy.

I wonder if fashion rules and formulas are being re-written by those of us in warmer climes? Perhaps we’re starting to realize we don’t live in a snow-covered Christmas wonderland.

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