I posted a few weeks ago on a type of unconscious "uniform" dressing I have going on. Ledonna brilliantly called it a "style rotation," a much better description. One cause of rotation is the weather. A change in weather will often trigger a change in style rotation. Like when it first gets nippy in the fall, I can't wait to bust out my tall boots, heavier skirts, and sweaters.

But that highlights one of my biggest yearly frustrations: When the calendar says "Fall" and the weather says "Boiling." Everyone's definition of "summer heat" is different, so I'll put it into numbers:

July and August
Mean High/Low: 96F - 75F
(July Record: 110F, 56F)
(August Record: 112F, 55F)

And then comes September.

Mean High/Low: 88F - 86 F (Record: 111F, 40F)

So yes, overall it's cooler - but not significantly enough to affect clothing. It's extremely frustrating when I'm in the mood for boots and sweaters and woolly things! Don't get me wrong - I really do like this climate. I always prefer being warm to be cold. I love how few pieces I need to put together for an outfit. But by September, I need a change.

So for the first time in my life, I'm deliberately going to build a capsule for work and church. This is a big step for me, since I've never liked capsules. I am an emotional dresser - I crave variety, and I have to want to wear an outfit. I can't talk myself into a limited number of pieces and enjoy it. I will happily repeat something that I adore, but even of that I will tire sooner or later.

Two requirements:
1. There has to be a lot of variety. None of this "tightly curated" fashion blogger nonsense.

2. Come September, I must be excited to wear something different and "new." Just as if it was finally sweater weather. That means the pieces must not be ones I will want to reach for
earlier in the (hot) spring and summer. If I do, then I will lose the novelty effect that is vital for the feeling of change. Some crossover in cool spring will be okay. That's in like, April and May, so there will be enough time for them to regain their "welcome back!" feeling by September.

This won't be a "capsule" in that everything goes with everything else. That is too limiting and honestly unnecessary. It will be more a collection that will be mixed in with other of my true summer pieces that I'm not yet sick of. But it's a "capsule" in that the purpose is unified. And there are definitely some themes or elements that will help me in assembling pieces. So far, I have:

* Darker colors in summery weights and cuts.
This is a slight challenge because my preferences strongly tend toward lighter/brighter colors year-'round. However, if the piece is right, I will wear it. I found a blouse at Kohl's recently that does fit this idea perfectly. It's black, with a beautiful floral design in my favorite soft saturated colors. But it's open neck, very short sleeves, and very breezy, so it should be perfectly find for the temperatures. I really don't like wearing black by my face in spring and summer, so it shouldn't be too hard to save for September.

Another item I'm considering is the red with silver embroidery dress. Again, it's a darker color combination, and the sleeves are longer and hence slightly warmer. The cut is really interesting as well. (My black dress with the bell sleeves has the same embroidery, so I know it looks really nice in person.)

I may be able to get away with the AT Jungle Cat blouse and the Thakoon chiffon tee on slightly cooler days, and I have basic skirts that I don't (much) mind continuing to wear.
I will need more pieces, however, to make it through September and a good bit of October.

* Flowing, flaring maxi dresses.
Inspired by the Glamorous dress that I bought on a whim last fall. Although it is quite lightweight and flowing, it is polyester and with long sleeves. So too hot for the height of summer. That is a good thing! It will not suffer from wear-fatigue. And I can tolerate it in slightly cooler temperatures (highs of mid-90s).

Finding more of these dresses will take steady effort. My successes have been at ASOS and eShakti; B&M stores tend to specialize in knit tank dresses. Plus they're usually too short. That said, I don't see any there at present that quite tick my boxes. (eShakti's lined poly dresses are very not breathable. And the blue seersucker they have now is adorable but clearly a hot-summer option.)

* Handbag, hat, shoe change.
I don't like changing my stuff around from one bag to another. For the last several years I've been rotating out two per year: for warm weather, a mint green or sky blue bag; for cool, a burgundy. It wouldn't be hard to rotate in a third for Hot September (and onward), however. Perhaps blush? Or dark green or teal. Or something whimsical. (I like Modcloth bags, sorry!)

I wear a wide-brim fedora-style hat very frequently in the summer, because of the sun and long walk across the parking lot. The white one in the finds is perfect, since it's an open weave, but stiff so the constant winds don't flip the brim up or down. White and sky blue isn't the Hot September look I'm going for, so a change here would be good. I'm not sure what substitute I want; probably a natural straw or panama, but not with a brown band. This will be something to just keep an eye out for in the months ahead.

I could easily be a Crazy Shoe Lady (by many of y'all's standards I already am)... But high-vamped footwear, especially with cutouts or perforations, sound like the ideal for Hot September. High vamps are the antithesis of spring/summer to me, so I won't be wearing them until this point. I'm considering perforated oxfords, high-vamp pumps, and maybe even the daintiest of all loafers. I also might try the cutout/peeptoe bootie. I haven't been drawn to it heretofore, but you never know.