UNITED KING­DOM

The Week (US) - - 14 News -

The Bri­tish are ut­terly “hope­less at dressing well in hot weather,” said Jan Moir. Give us “a rain­storm on a windswept hill­side” and we know ex­actly the cos­tume re­quired. Our over­coats, our wa­ter­proof wellies, our scarves and woolly hats—these are the Bri­tish uni­form, and we mix and match the pieces with dash. Come the first heat wave, though, and “we wilt like parched tulips.” It’s not our fault. We have lit­tle ex­pe­ri­ence with weather that is even pleas­ant, much less op­pres­sive. Here is what passes for sum­mer: From June through Au­gust, the av­er­age high in Lon­don tops out at just 70 de­grees,

while the av­er­age low plunges to 51. Men tend to cope with the heat by ei­ther “dressing like tod­dlers” in shorts and but­ton shirts or by wear­ing sport­ing getup in­tended for the cricket field or soc­cer pitch. “In pub­lic. They think it looks nice.” They in­flict upon the rest of us “their un­speak­able feet,” ex­pos­ing their toes in san­dals. Cov­er­ing them with socks but keep­ing the san­dals, as many do, is, of course, even worse. Women, mean­while, make do with frocks of linen, which shrink and wrin­kle and make them look sweaty and rum­pled. I, for one, can’t wait for fall.

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