With temperatures toying with the 90-degree mark this week, it feels like summer is in full swing.
But you wouldn't know it by strolling through NYC, where an increasing number of store displays are bursting with sweaters, boots and jackets.
You'd think we're deep into fall.
Yes, fashion houses and retailers operate on a schedule different from most of us. But right now we are being pelted daily with back-to-school sales (cheap backpacks) or TV commercials for the latest fall fashion eyewear (two for the price of one).
But it's still July -- hot and humid July.
I don't mind retailers pummeling us with spring or summer options in December or January -- it gives us something to look forward to as a way to cope with bone-chilling weather. But can we enjoy summer -- the beaches, the parks, the barbecues -- during summer?
Morgan Sarner, the visual merchandising manager for designer Rebecca Minkoff, says a fall-shopping season in July is a trend that began some years ago -- and will only expand. "People plan their wardrobes in advance for that first chilly day," she said.
But in July?
Jen Miller of Collingswood, N.J., who is training for the NYC marathon, heads to Nordstrom every year around this time for the retailer's anniversary sale -- featuring mostly transitional and fall-winter clothes. "It's weird buying long sleeves and boots in July, especially since I'll have to put them away for months," she said. But if she has to, Miller said she'll "take the deals now."
Lest you think the seasonal rush is limited to our hemisphere, Rebecca L. Weber, from Capetown, South Africa, where temperatures are hovering in the low 60s, is a bit ticked off that shops are taking delivery of flip-flops and tank tops. "On the plus side, I got an amazing pair of sheepskin-lined ultra-warm boots today for 80 percent off," she said.
I've always liked the idea of summer more than the season itself. But I'm still not willing to add to the manic pace of NYC life by rushing through the beautiful season before I've even had time to enjoy it.
Rachel Weingarten is the author of the forthcoming book "Ancient Prayer: Channeling Your Faith 365 Days of the Year."