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Why Is It So Hard for Fashion People to Dress for the Weather?

A model wears a dress with chest cutouts under a coat while standing in the snow. Her legs are bare. Photo: Getty Images

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There’s a lot to make fun of when it comes to New York Fashion Week, and I say that as someone who still genuinely enjoys the hubbub. The craziest thing to me is that street style is still a thing, and that photographers continue to stop traffic to get a shot of someone else’s outfit. This doesn’t happen any other time in New York — not at parties, not at restaurants, not on sidewalks, not in stores. It’s part of what makes this eight-day stretch so much of a circus.

And these so-called street style stars? They never seem satisfied to wear the clothing and accessories appropriate for the season it actually is.

Last season, there was a surprise September heatwave, but that didn’t stop editors and bloggers and “influencers” from wearing leather jackets — LEATHER JACKETS — and boots in the 95-degree heat. This season, there was a snowstorm, and on the coldest day, I saw women with their jackets draped over their shoulders. There’s still snow on the ground, but I’ve spotted several pairs of sandals outside.

My gut reaction to this has always been: These are fashion people — fashion experts, if you will. If they can’t figure out how to put together a cute, seasonably-appropriate outfit, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Then a coworker challenged me to think about this a little differently. Sure, wearing sandals in February is stupid; we can all agree on that. But maybe the over-the-top enthusiasm for next season’s clothes are actually more relatable than I initially thought. Don’t we all kind of do this, to a lesser degree?

This weekend, I stopped by COS, a brand I love that just so happens to have a store located directly on my route home. All of the fall and winter stuff was on sale, but spring! Spring is what was taunting me. Linen pants! Sleeveless shirts! Short-sleeved dresses! I usually only buy in season, but my warm-weather switch was ON. I had zero interest in buying any of the cheap sweaters I’d most likely wear for the next three months. Instead, I bought a white button-down shirt specifically because I was picturing how it would look with shorts.

The thing is, when I went to the shows today, I still had my puffer coat on. And boots. And a hat. It’s cold out there! I’m excited for my new shorts-and-shirt outfit, but I know I’ll have to wait a bit. Accumulating a few things I’m really pumped to wear and brainstorming new looks is part of the fun, too.