Sometimes I see a look I really like, but know it makes no sense for me to purchase the items, because no matter how much I'd like the outfit, I wouldn't have anywhere to wear it. I'd like to know how to break it down so I can have the essence of it in something that does fit my life. Here's an example:

I love this outfit. Once upon a time (mostly when I was a grad student/teaching one university class per semester), I wore a lot of very full, nearly tea-length skirts, generally with booties/boots. I like bright colors and drama, no matter how much I try to avoid it, is my middle name. I don't have much bust, but I have great shoulders. I prefer active transit (walking, biking, walking to/from public transit) over sitting in the driver's seat of a car. This ensemble would look good on me, imho, and I'd feel good wearing it. But I am currently a SAHM in the flattest suburbia ever (literally and figuratively). I want to get back to work, in a non-profit or government position in the NE US or in W. Europe, maybe by the end of the year, or at least a year from now. None of that works with this combo. What to do? How do I translate the fun of this outfit into something I can use?

I might have a start, but I'm not sure. Here goes: While very different from these bright red lace-up platform sandals,  my footwear then was also big and "clunky" like these shoes, so it called for attention in a way that a simpler shoe (like a pump or low-heeled slingback sandle) wouldn't. I don't know if booties will be part of your suggestion, but do you see what I mean? I don't want to slavishly translate each element into a "safer" version of itself; I want its vibe. I could probably find a pale citron top that's acceptable for an office, maybe a gauzy shirt over a neutral cami, and a pencil skirt with some kind of not-very-loud floral design on a dark background. That would be a literal translation of this outfit, but it would also be its death. How do i translate the "poetry", the fun of something like this? Can you get me started on breaking clothes down into elements that I can seek/wear elsewhere?

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