South Floridians overreact to mild winter



South Floridians in winter are more likely found at the beach than around the fire.

By the time November swings around, the weather takes a shivering turn and temps drop to a brittle 60 degrees. Coming from up north, this dramatic climate change doesn’t affect me, but native Floridians pull out the winter clothes and kick up the heat.

While most northerners may wear a light cardigan, Floridians tend to exaggerate. Ladies bring out the Uggs and guys bring out the Timbs, despite the cold front only occurring late at night and early in the morning. As soon as noon hits, the temperature reaches back to a normal 80 degrees with some wind. There was that first week of January where a high of 57 did require a real coat, but that’s the exception. 

The state of Florida has its own unique layering system for this time of year. Ladies may want to wear a dress, but since rain is in the forecast, they add a pair of boots. To top it off, they throw on a convenient scarf to get through the day. The boys’ wardrobe is not as complex; maybe it’s hot enough to wear basketball shorts but cool enough to throw on a sweater. Most refuse to wear a shirt underneath, so they end up frying under the blazing Florida sun by lunchtime.

To summarize this dress code in one word: tragic. Floridians jump straight into winter clothes the first chilly morning of a cold front. It excites subtropical natives  because there’s a new selection of clothes to wear: finally an escape from the perpetual tank top life.

As a former New Yorker, I know first hand what it’s like to layer and that 60 degrees is not boot season. Winter, spring, summer, fall: each of these seasons gives the opportunity to switch up the dress code.

Similar to Floridians’ excessive layering at the beginning of “winter,” northerners will don shorts and sandals at first sight of spring.  A 60 degree day would be considered warm, when one would bring a light fleece to wear instead of the normal winter coat or scarf. Locally, 60 degrees would be cause for long pants and a thick jacket.

Unlike the rest of the country who bundles up for months, the southern part of the Sunshine State experiences about 6-7 days of the winter season. In spending less money on winter gear, Floridians get the luxury of not taking part in it. Although some anticipate the cool breezes and chilly nights, when it’s time to dress the part, many fail to accessorize successfully, searching for the next 80 degree day.