It’s a refreshing time of year in Dubai – not only is the weather chillier than usual, but it’s about now that we start to see a change in the way Dubai’s ladies dress: gone are the strappy maxi dresses; gone are the Ralph Lauren shorts, the cropped cigarette pants, the Havaianas and the gold gladiators. Oh yes, once the temperature dips below 20C at midday, it’s officially cashmere season, and out come the winter wardrobes.
It starts with a scarf in late November.
‘Brave,’ remark the other mums while thinking, ‘Interesting. She looks nice (but isn’t she awfully hot?).’
For to see a scarf wrapped around a neck that’s usually sporting little more than a bit of sunburn and a halter-neck bikini-strap mark is kind of nice. Scarves, we’re reminded by the lone scarf-wearer, highlight delicate bone structure; they bring out the colour of the eyes. Dammit, the other mums think, suddenly fed up with their sleeveless Prada shifts and their DVF wraps: she looks nice.
But the other mums are, at this point still in their flats and strappy tops; while it may have grazed 20C at 6am, it is, after all, brushing 32C at pick-up. Still, having been reminded of the joys of a good scarf, they go home that very day and try on a few scarves before they jump in the pool. They reminisce a little about coats (sigh), leather gloves and a strange item called a snood.
By late December-early Jan, though, the trickle of scarves becomes a flood. The scarves are followed by a procession of sweaters; of knee-high boots, gilets and even some jackets (I’m yet to spot a coat. A proper, full-on coat).
‘Why?’ ask the menfolk, still wearing the polo shirts and cargo shorts they live in all year round. ‘Why are you dressed like that?’
And what they don’t understand is that 80 per cent of the reason why we wear our boots and our gilets and our scarves and our sweaters is not because it’s cold, but because we know that, if we don’t wear this gear before Feb, we can forget about it for another year: cashmere season in Dubai is short. Honestly, blink and we’re back to bikinis.