26 February 2009

Weather reporting in “girl” talk

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Chicago, Fashion

I find it funny that I’m posting about this when it’s currently a monsoon in Chicago. Seriously, my street corner has water over the sidewalk and I couldn’t get a cab to save my life. 

Despite the rain, one day, spring will come around again, and I have zero idea how to dress if it’s not sub-zero or around 30 degrees outside.
For example, a few weeks ago when it was around 50 or 60 degrees, I had no idea what to wear. I literally spent a half hour trying to decide how heavy of a shirt I need and if it was warm enough to go with a down vest or if a fleece was still needed. To no surprise, I overdressed and was sweating like a prostitute in church.
When the seasons change, I need the weathermen to give me more guidance when they share their excitement about warmer temperatures. Telling me, “it’s a great day outside!” or “it’s 20 degrees warmer than last week” doesn’t help! NBC Chicago’s meteorologist will say, “bring a light coat,” but that is not very helpful either. Define what kind of light coat is appropriate for today! I have options!
I need the weathermen to break it down more. 
For example, on an unseasonably warm day in winter (like we had a few weeks ago,) I need to hear, “it’s 60 degrees in Chicago in February. It’s warm enough to wear a light fleece coat with T-shirt underneath, or a long-sleeve top with down vest. Uggs are not required but sneakers are recommended.”
THIS will help me plan what to wear.
Or when there is a chance of rain, they should say, “if you are leaving work on time but running a few errands, wear the wellies just in case,” or “skip the wellies and bring the umbrella if you’ll be home by eight.”
THIS is also helpful.
Put the weather report in my language and I won’t have to worry about running late or turning to Twitter to ask people what I should wear or getting my shoes soaked by rain. I may be a sheep but sticking my hand outside the window or staring at people’s outfits that are walking on the street isn’t the most reliable. Just give to me in girl talk.
Would anyone else like to see this on the morning news? Do you often misjudge what to wear when it’s suddenly warm outside?


  1. I’m always amazed at how utterly inept I am at dressing myself when the temperatures change. I think I’m going to have to start taking notes in the spring and fall … like “60 degrees, I wore this …” and refer back to it each year.

  2. Usually I just dress in a lot of layers. I can always add one or take one off depending on the temperature. Light weight hiking boots with goretex are also brilliant as you can wear them all winter long, independent of the weather.

  3. breagha says:

    LOL I love it: “sweating like a prostitute in church”. I’ll have to use that next time I want to say “sweating like a pig”. Somehow, it still sounds better than “pig” :)
    BTW I also make bad decisions re: what to wear (not quality of clothing, rather the quality, like too much or too light, etc.). I learned to layer.

  4. Katelin says:

    i would love someone to tell me what the heck to wear. granted i’ve gotten lucky with california lately and my flip flops are a great go to :)

  5. Haha, I’ve been a mess this week. The weather has been all over the place, and apparently I forget how to dress myself. I spent an hour one morning staring at my closet trying to decide between a long sleeve shirt with a scarf or a tee shirt and a light hoodie. Oh, the decisions! It would be nice if the weathermen were more clear. In Philly, ABC nicely shows a picture of a little boy and little girl each day showing what they should wear. That’s kinda nice.

  6. Kate says:

    Oh, the unexpectedness of Chicago weather, particularly when you’re a walker, not a driver. I kept all good shoes at the office and wore either sneakers or hiking boots at all times on the sidewalk. I wore my short down winter jacket until at least May because you just never know … 60 in the morning, 40 when you leave work. And I still keep an umbrella in my purse at all times even though I now live (and drive) in the ‘burbs. Some habits die hard.

  7. Lil' Woman says:

    I def. misjuge what to wear outside..except I’m the opposite..I live in Florida so when it gets cold I start bring out the big gear when it’s only a light breeze..I usually feel like an a-hole by mid day

  8. SoMi's Nilsa says:

    I definitely misjudge what to wear outside when temperatures are abnormally warm (or cold) for any given season. Because, truthfully, 60 degrees in February feels very different than 60 degrees in May.

    Having said that, don’t kill me for putting the kibosh on your expanded role of our meteorologists. Our local news is already filled with enough fluff – I definitely do not want to see our weather people telling me what to wear.

    Maybe, though, someone should start a website where you can plug in where you live, the month and the expected temperature and it will spit back suggested attire!

  9. I keep an umbrella and like, 6 pairs of shoes (including a cheap-o pair of Target wellies) and shirts and crap AT my desk at work. Just in case I over-/under-dressed.

  10. Hi! I'm Erin says:

    That would be awesome! I used to think it was just because I lived in the Midwest and didn’t know how to dress in layers but apparently this is a concern all over the country.

    Similarly, I wish I could get a weather report for my office. Some days it’s FREEZING and I wish I was wearing three sweaters and other days it’s like a sauna. And I hate having to put on the granny sweater when I’m cold.

  11. this would be great if there were more prominent female meterologists in local news. i don’t really trust men suggesting what to wear (unless, they are stylists).

    thankfully, the weather in Charlotte doesn’t fluctuate too much.

  12. laurwilk says:

    I am miserable at dressing for the weather. It’s almost like I do the exact opposite of what I’m supposed to do. I wear barely soled moccassins on the only day that it snows. And today – I wore a huge purple scarf over my winter coat. Everyone else is running out with their coat open or with a light jacket. WHAT! How come I can’t get it RIGHT?

    So YES, YES, YES, the weatherman needs to tell us exactly what to wear. Except that means I’d have to watch the weatherman…. Could you just tweet it for me instead? And NYC meet up – yes, ma’am!

  13. Nelle says:

    That’s a fantastic idea. I don’t see why I’d be very hard for them to insert it in there either.

    What drives me nuts isn’t so much figuring out what to wear for outside weather. My office is ALWAYS cold (especially in the summer time; you’d think hell was going to take over here the way they blast the AC). I always feel I need to be prepped for 50 degree temps – even when it’s 100 degrees outside. It’s madness.

  14. Kristi says:

    I would LOVE a weather report like that! Then maybe I wouldn’t end up sweating on the CTA in my “down blanket coat” and my Uggs because it was 5 degrees out when I left the burbs but 45 degrees in the city!

  15. *Jac* says:

    I would love for someone to do this. I make the wrong outfit choice every single day. If it’s cold, I’ll definitely be wearing a dress. If it’s warm (like today) I’m wearing jeans and a sweater. I swear the weather decides what to be after I decide what I’m wearing. It might help if I actually watched the weather report too…

  16. LBluca77 says:

    I would love to have someone opick out my outfits everyday. Some days it feels like I spend hours looking for clothes, then last minute just throw on something random. I need an assistant.

  17. Missy says:

    How about a little Jerry Taft to the rescue? He’s @jerrytaft on Twitter. ;)

  18. EP says:

    I totally need that, too! I always dress wrong in the winter because I never know how cold 30 degrees (or whatever) is an inevitably freeze to death, as I spend half my day outside for work. Le sigh.

    I feel you on this one! Write a letter!

  19. Andhari says:

    LOL I misinterpreted quite a lot. I agree with you. They shoould stay stuff likeeee “It’s sunny, ladies. Wear sundress and flip flops only?:P

  20. Maris says:

    I think instead of color coding the radar map or whatever that thing is when they have the green front sweeping across the country indicating rain – they should do like, a raincoat or wellies or a hat/scarf combo. They could have a little key in the corner and then we’d all be on the same page.

  21. Heidi Renée says:

    This is why I am so glad that I work from my kitchen table.

  22. Maki says:

    Oh most definitely!!

    Florida’s weather gets really unsteable during winter – one day it’s 80, then the next day 65… It totally confuses me…

    It would be awesome if the weather guy tell me every morning what to wear – that saves my time while getting my kids ready for school!!!!

  23. Blaez says:

    “sweating like a prostitute in church” –that is PRICELESS!

    having a more informed “guided” weather person would be great, but they can be so wrong at times…

    i can see it now “death to weather man who said it would be sunny and warm and to wear a light jacket and short sleeves…” when it snows outside and plummets to 20 degrees when it was supose to be 50 and sunny…

  24. Maxie says:

    omg you should start a blog about that! or a tumblr. you could have like 10 pieces of clothing and pair them together to show how many layers you need to wear for the day…

    hat w/ gloves


    DO IT.

  25. Kyla Bea says:

    lol Jessica – you should give a morning fashion advisory for Chicago, hands down. This is a brilliant idea! =D

  26. Mandy says:

    It hit 45 degrees here today and no precipitation what so ever, I didn’t wear a coat and it was glorious. I make up my own dressing rules when I am sick of winter. Yes, sometimes I freeze, but by god, I’ve been wearing a freaking winter coat and gloves since October, enough is enough. :-)

  27. phampants says:

    you should tweet: @jerrytaft what should i wear today that will make me look fashionable, awesome and weather appropriate