02/12/2009 12:02 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Style Guide for Global Warming

Dear Ms. Post:

Winter is the season in which I usually don a wool sweater in earth tones (and, if I'm feeling whimsical, I'll pair it with a magenta beret and/or boho-chic fingerless gloves!), but as it continues to be unusually warm, I've been staring into my closet twisting myself into knots as I don't have suitable attire for such weather. And I was wondering, just how does a stylish girl go about dressing for global warming?


Warmed-over Fashionista

Dear Warmed-over Fashionista:

Many people have been affected by global warming, and I'm happy you wrote so I can address this issue once and for all.

Firstly, you're not alone. I've noticed that fashion-forward New Yorkers are delirious from the heat because they've been stepping onto the street wearing white instead of black, linen instead of leather - and in the middle of February! Pshaw! But lest I sound like another limo liberal trivialist, let me just remind you that our voguish sisters in the Middle East only have one season--hot--and their burqas only come in a few colors: blue, black and occasionally red. So consider yourself lucky to even have this "high-class problem!"

And while we're currently experiencing a large deposit of sun in the fall of our global warming discontent, the click-clackers of urban centers are causing egregious errors in style by making a run on the bank by drawing summer clothes from their closets:

Strappy sandals and flip-flops
Fashion has turned the world on its head with an "anything goes" approach, but summer attire, with the exception of certain open-toed shoes (accompanied by some sort of stocking), is entirely useless in February. While you might feel obliged to wear flip-flops or strappy sandals because it's hot, you look like you're in the tropics or on vacation. You are not. You live in a city, and you shouldn't dress as if you've trawled in from the beach or have just returned from a wedding in Sonoma. Please wear shoes that cover your feet in their entirety.

Bare midriffs
Heat and the potential for a tan isn't necessarily a cue for your belly button or your chicken wings (otherwise known as back fat) to come out and make an appearance. If you're truly overheating, I suggest wearing a cotton tank top as an alternative to tube tops or tucking your shirt underneath your bra. Walking the streets and baring your midsection is not appropriate under any occasion, unless, of course, you're a hooker or want to be mistaken for a hooker or Paris Hilton, who falls somewhere in between the two.

Since I've seen pink all over the streets the past few weeks, it seems a grassroots effort's afoot to make pink into the new black. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Pink, other than in the summer, should be barred full stop. "Hot pink" can be worn the other three seasons by Floridians; people over 70 (because they're all in Florida anyway); and Cubans, because most likely they've just paddled 100 miles on a Day-Glo raft to live here, and they can do just about anything they like. And unless you're under the age of 5, "pastel pink" should be avoided altogether.

It is my sincere hope that women of superior taste will heed the above advice and serve as models of appropriateness for those whose fashion sense falls prey to the epidemics of weather.