In Case Of Emergency, Break Out Fleece

And just like that, the summer was over. Like someone flipped a switch. Well, I did promise you that I soon would be writing about the wonders of fleece, so maybe now’s a good time to do that. The season of fleece seems to be upon us.

I have a theory about fleece, and that’s if everyone wore more of it, there’d be no more fighting, since we’d all be so cozy and feeling pretty happy in our fleece, conflict would be the last thing on our minds. That’s an overstatement of course, but it does illustrate how happy fleece makes me.

The way fabric feels against my skin has always been sort of an issue for me. In fact, when I go clothes shopping, I don’t go so much by pattern or color, but more by what it’s made of and how something feels when I’m wearing it. I’m the kind of person who feels the seams in my clothes – all the time. I’m pretty selective with the kind of socks I choose to wear, or how stretchy my clothing is.

I have to be able to move in my clothes or I’ll be a bit agitated for most of the time I am in them. I have to cut the tags out of my clothes, because if I don’t, I end up fairly chafed by the end of the day.

When I was a little kid, I’m sure it drove my mother a little batty. I remember putting on something with wool in it one morning before school, and I never made it out the door. It began very subtly, like a bit of rough scratching against my skin. I wasn’t comfortable, but I wasn’t sure why. Then it developed into a feeling like needles and pins pricking into my skin. Not just uncomfortable then, but unhappy too. A few more minutes, and it was a full blown, full body rejection of … something.

I felt terrible, like my body was under attack from everywhere, and I had no idea what it was. I remember reclining on the couch, writhing in discomfort, trying to get away from whatever was making my skin crazy with strange, scratchy, tingly, needle-like pain. I think my mother thought I was just being difficult.

She took me to the doctor, who prescribed that I soak in some Alpha-Keri on a regular basis, which was an oily bath product that people used to soak in to ease their dry skin. Well that was a pretty good call, but that was only part of the problem.

I eventually learned that I can wear wool, just not right next to my skin. Turns out that the stuff clothes are made of are important, and if I am to be comfortable, I need to pay attention to what I’m putting on in order to be happy for the day.

When it’s hot out, I love the coolness of cotton. Who doesn’t? And not just wearing it. You just can’t beat the wonderful feeling of cool cotton sheets on a warm summer night. Not to mention they are also nice to for those suffering from unpredictable and unavoidable nighttime hot flashes…

But when the weather turns cool, out comes the fleece. Nothing feels like fleece. It’s like being wrapped up in buttery soft blankets. It’s like instant yummy for your skin. Something very soothing about fleece. It’s just got that calming ability to it. Everything just seems better when you’re wrapped in fleece. How is it that a simple fabric can make life so much lovelier? I don’t know, I’m just glad it does.

Over the years, I’ve brought a lot of fleece into my life. Besides having assorted fleece jackets, zips and pullovers, I also have a pair of fluffy fleece robes – two, so when one is in the wash, there is still one to wear on cool mornings.

I have fleece tops and a few pairs of fleece pants, which are glorious on late night dog walks in the fall and winter. In fact, would you believe my dog gets excited about fleece too? She knows the sound of my fleece-lined snow pants, and gets very excited and comes running when she hears them rustling as I am putting them on.

I never put them on unless we’re going for a dog walk, because that would just be too cruel to do to her. Yep, that’s how happy they make her.

As the weather turns colder, the fleece hats, mittens, gloves and scarves come out. And a fleece scarf against my neck … well that’s almost as good as cheesecake. One of my favorite activities is sitting on my porch in the evenings, and fleecing up with a great big blanket extends the number of evenings I can enjoy this activity.

When my kids were small, we took fleece blankets everywhere. We used them on the sidelines when one sibling or the other was playing a youth soccer or football game, or in the stadium for cold bleacher seats when they got to high school.

And even though I have an empty nest these days, I still have a light fleece blanket in the rooms I spend the most time in at home, just in case it’s suddenly chilly or the mood for a nap hits. When I’m not using them, the cat can be found taking a snooze on them.

I even have fleece pajamas. My favorite fleece though, is a blanket I sleep with on the majority of cooler evenings. Cool sheets are wonderful, but not when the weather gets cold, at least not for me. Slipping into a soft, fuzzy envelope of fleece is the perfect way to relax at the end of an evening.

No time is wasted trying to warm up the sheets, since the fleece is already the perfect environment for a very sleepy girl, especially after she’s just got done writing her article for the week.


Originally published  September 19, 2014.



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