Home Fashion It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Humidity

It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Humidity

Photo: Polina Kuzovkova

Taylor Swift wears a skort and an oversized shirt to cross the street and the whole of the earth loses its fashionista mind. Y’all, Memaws in the south been shellin’ peas in this get-up since the first harvest. 

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She isn’t setting a standard, she’s imitating the dress of her Southern ancestors and tryin’ to survive the Great Earth Melt. It’s not a fashion statement, it’s survival. 

The hat – You know why she’s got a baseball cap on? Well, Southern girls do. Because we take one step into the planet’s bathtub and come out lookin’ like we’ve been fighting wampus cats and alligators. 

The skort –  This is the mullet of the clothing industry: business in the front, party in the back. Which begs the question, is Pensacola the mullet of the south? Because we are for sure business in the front and party in the back. 

What am I sayin’? We’re no mullet, baby we’re a party on all sides.

The oversized men’s button-down – Now this classic actually should be a staple in every Deep South wardrobe. Need some ventilation? Roll up the sleeves. Sun burnin’ bright? Roll down the sleeves. I’ll give you the fact that it’s a lot of fabric, but those sleeves are a utilitarian necessity in battling elements or going to war with the state swamp bird of Florida: the mosquito.

Dr. Martens – First of all, let me get one Gen X reality straight. We did it best. I digress. 

Shoes like this are not new to Southerners. My Pappaw called ‘em clodhoppers. Southerners need a heavy, rugged indestructible shoe like this to traverse the wild jungles of kudzu, cow patties, and dirt road bonfire parties. Although they’re not common in coastal areas where the flip-flop reigns supreme. If we can’t wear flip-flops, we ain’t comin’.

So you can come down here and make your question-statement, “What on earth is she wearin’?” all you want to. We are residents of the end of the earth. We are immune to your judgment and national jokes about our sanity. Saltwater disintegrates our AC units and the burning flame ball of scorching space gases could cook our eggs on a sidewalk. 

Did you just see a wild-eyed girl wearin’ her bikini bottoms and an oversized University of Alabama t-shirt into the Publix? 

Yes you did, Sue Ellen. 

It’s hotter’n Satan’s strep throat out here and we are not going to judge her. Simply entering and existing one’s car in this heat index has blown the evolutionary process to bits. One cannot evolve when they’re doggy paddling for breathable air.

So no, save Lilly Pulitzer, we Floridians are not a hub for trending fashion. We are simply laying upon our bodies what will not melt with us into a pile of peeled shrimp and boiled peanuts.

The layers of our outfits are SPF 3,000 sunscreen, Lavender Lumē WHOLE BODY deodorant, and Don’t Let ‘Em Give Me Malaria Deet.

Pairs well with baseball caps, skorts, and oversized button-downs.

And of course, flip-flops.

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Dana is an Arkansas native and a seasonal resident of the Gulf Coast since childhood. She was a Pensacola resident for 13 years, before moving to Gulf Breeze. Dana attributes her Mayberry-esque childhood in Warren, Arkansas, as enormously influential in honing her definitely Southern style of storytelling. She earned a degree in Journalism, Advertising/Public Relations from the University of Arkansas (Woo Pig Sooie!). In addition to writing, she loves photography, art, adventures in the great outdoors, and spending time with her three children.