In the high summer Orcas Island has to be one of the most pleasant places in North America. It’s generally in the 60s and 70s, there’s almost no rain, no humidity, and sunshine till 9 or 10 at night. What’s not to love? The winters are a different story. Maybe you’ve heard tales of Northwest winters. There are temperate rainforests here after all.
So yeah, it rains a lot. I love the rain though. When it rains I don my safety yellow rainsuit and go hiking. I love the rain, ironically, because of my 10+ years in California. I think all the California drought made me miss rain. I love it now. I like the feel of it, the sound, the plentitude of the fresh water. The opposite of drought. Nice.
The temperatures are also not bad up here. It does feel cold, because it is so wet. But pretty much all January it was in the 40s. Not at all bad. I used to live on the coast of Maine. Sometimes it would get so cold the ocean would start freezing. That happens in the low teens, single digits. That pretty much never happens in the San Jauns.
No, the hard part is the low light. We just don’t see the sun very much in the winter. And then the sun, wherever it’s hiding, goes down at 4 or 5. Short, dim days. That part is hard for me.
So before you move to the Northwest, spend some time here in January. Make sure you don’t go crazy.
Updates! I am still working on the prototype of my first pair of leggings. A few weeks ago I smartened up and began interviewing friends who wear leggings. I’ve had them look at photos of the prototype. I’ve learned much about how women think about clothes. I would say I am now in the top 5% of men in the Knowing What Women Think About Clothes category (mind you, it’s a very low bar.)
Here’s a sample. A friend of mine told me about the theatrical aspect of women’s fashion. Something I had never thought about. According to her, women are very intentional about the little tics, adjustments, and mannerisms associated with a given item of clothing. For example, the occasional pulling up of knee socks. Or those shirts with shoulder straps that slip down the shoulder, requiring an occasional readjustment. I thought this was all automatic and unintentioned. According to my friend this is theater. The audience is everyone. Neat.
I’ve also learned that my leggings need revision. The pattern as seen on the bag is striking on leggings but also, according to some viewers, not terribly flattering. The prototype also features two different patterns, which are (I think) cool in juxtaposition, but not so flattering.
I’m most interested now in the fashion design tricks to make a flattering garment. Since my product is form fitting I am left to focus on the printed patterns I design. For further research: What is the overlap between fashion design and dazzle camouflage design? The former is about using form, color, and pattern to flatter the human form. The latter is about using color and pattern to visually confuse form. I must find where they intersect. That way lies dazzle camouflage leggings.
In other news I am still deep in a mysterious swamp of branding. Lost, raving mad, Googling random combinations of words. Rainbow Leggings Factory. Two Zebras. Unichrome. And on, and on. The market research is helping here as well, as I’m apt to go down a rabbithole that only I think is interesting. More on that later.
Another fun update. My first kid leggings prototype arrived this week. Photos to come.