The Last Dog Days of Summer

by Coco St. George We have survived one of the hottest summers on record, and now we’re living the last dog days of summer. You know what day’s I am […]

by Coco St. George

We have survived one of the hottest summers on record, and now we’re living the last dog days of summer. You know what day’s I am talking about: hot as hell, literally, with temperatures rising far beyond what is considered decent and well-bred. A weather that is impolite, inconsiderate, with no regard whatsoever for the well-being of us people, who have to trudge in a scorching heat, under an oppressive sun, to complete even the simplest tasks.

Oddly enough, dogs seem to have no problem during their namesake days. If they are thirsty or feel hot, they can always stick their tongues out to achieve certain degree of thermal homeostasis. But this time got its name not from man’s best friend, but rather from the constellation that reappears over the horizon at this time of the year: Canis Major, the Big Dog, and its brightest star, Sirius, which not by coincidence means the “Scorcher.” In Greek mythology, it is said that this dog belongs to Orion, the Hunter, a constellation that is right next to it. And there is also a little dog in the skies, of course, the constellation of Canis Minor. As it happens, during the hottest days of the year, this constellation appears in the zenith at midnight. Romans called this time dies caniculares, which means “puppy days,” and that term was adopted in most Western languages: Hundstage, canícula, canicule, etc., always referencing the little dog in the sky.

This year we had one of the hottest summers on record. The ancient lore states that the dog days are a time of heat, drought, thunderstorms, fever, and bad luck in almost every endeavor. Yes, maybe Procyon, the brightest star of Canis Minor, which is 11.5 light-years away of us, is causing the droughts and wildfires in North America. And the heat waves in the British Isles, Japan, and Europe. And the wildfires in Greece and Sweden. Who knows? Science has advanced so much that, as was to be expected in a curved universe, we are back to square one, believing in the impact faraway stars have in our lives, via horoscopes that, of course, we calculate on our computers.

From a practical point of view, the end of the Dog Days means one thing: the heat is over, and we get to start planning for the fall-winter season. Remember how they say that we have to change our clothes after Labor Day? Sure, because that marks the end of the dies caniculares, and we need to leave behind our summer dresses and start thinking of knit wool, fur (although, maybe not real fur, you know, if you want to be kind towards the poor fleeced animals), yarns, and other thick fabrics.

First of all, you need to put away all the summer stuff to make room for the exciting new clothes you’re going to get for the new season. You have two options: go “nuclear” and delete everything to start with a clean slate, or be cautious and box all your items, just in case you need to wear a bikini in midwinter (a possibility that nobody should rule out), and then stuff all those boxes in a huge box, tucked away in a remote corner of your inventory. That’s up to you, naturally.

If you have any misgivings about going full winter in the last days of summer, you may want to consider something in-between like this bodysuit:

You have a cozy, warm top, coupled to an almost non-existent bottom, thus combining the best of both seasons. And here is yet another option:


A white wool sweater, tight enough to keep you warm, but short to let your skin breathe.

And when you are mentally ready, you may opt for a full outfit: A knit sweater, a denim vest, and jeans, complete with ankle boots with a fur top. Ready for a stroll under the falling leaves!

Now, if you only want to dabble in the fall-winter season, you can keep your summer dress, and just throw a fur coat over your shoulders for that dead-of-winter look.

Again, if you have qualms about wearing fur, there’s always a simpler (and cheaper!) solution: wear a scarf and try not to shiver.

Coco St. George is our Staff Editor
in addition to being a writer and photographer

Whatever option you choose, just remember to pick the one that best suits your style and budget. Styling yourself provides you with the opportunity of expressing what you think you really are, in a process that may be also a journey of self-discovery. And now, with a season ahead of us, is the perfect time to start that journey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photographs by Coco St. George. Featured image & top banner credit: Debra Meloy Elmegreen (Vassar Collegeet al., & the Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI/NASA). Image of Canis Major credit: Roberto Mura, WikiPedant [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons.