A very curious thing happens when the weather starts to change in Vermont. The first hint of chillier weather brings out the oddest clothing in my customers. We’ve had a delightful summer of gorgeous weather, with very little rain. Too little rain, according to gardeners, but perfect for the bookstore and seasonal visitors. During the summer folks all seem to dress the same way. There are no massive ranges in clothing, but the below 60 degree day really creates a range of clothes that are worthy of mentioning.
It happens every year and every year it makes me chuckle. It’s like my customers are all coming from different climates. Yesterday the outfits on the kids just about had me falling out of my chair. My first customer came in with a down vest on and long pants. Bear in mind, it was almost 60 degrees out. There was no need for down anything. But there was a distinct chill in the air, one that made certain people feel like winter was just a day away. Vermonters are an odd bunch. A 55 degree day in the spring has us wearing shorts and t-shirt. But that same temperature in September has people flocking to fleece and down jackets.
Yesterday, the tourists were dressed appropriately. In pants and a shirt, with maybe a light sweater to guard against the wind. The Vermont kids came in shorts and Ugg boots. These are serious boots that are rated to keep feet warm in the most extreme cold weather. Picture these boots on an otherwise bare leg and shorts, and you can see why I was tempted to laugh.
Some children came in wearing ski hats and shorts! It’s like the kids want to embrace all the seasons at once. What I found the most interesting yesterday were the looks the tourists were giving the regulars. There was confusion on their faces. I could almost hear them thinking, do these kids know something I don’t? Just how cold will it get later? That answer would most surely be not cold enough for winter boots. But as the last child came in wearing a down jacket, someone asked if I had my Christmas books out yet.