As I brace myself for my first Houston summer, three things are happening. First of all, my northern blood is thinning, as evidenced by my exclamation–Brrr!–of the last "cold spell" here, when temps briefly dipped somewhere in the mid-50s. I'm simultaneously ashamed by that reaction, which would earn a roaring laugh from the kin I left behind in Vermont, and also relieved by it as I hope to survive the months ahead. Which brings me to the other two things that are happening: it's getting hot outside, and public spaces are now positively arctic.

I, too, worship at the altar of air conditioning, but damn. You people really now how to turn up–or, rather, down. Since learning of the widespread existence of the "office sweater"—or car sweater, or oversized-bag sweater—I've found myself in the unexpected position of shopping for knitwear while the mercury creeps toward triple digits. Styles vary by the severity of your situation, from a light desk-side cotton to a chunky movie theatre cable-knit.

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