I've been mulling over my style plans for months now, and here's my "working document" as of today:
1. Plan for change: I'm studying for a music therapy board exam -- a daunting process,after years working as a singer and voice teacher. Working as a therapist will require outfits that are wash and wear, allow me to move freely, play guitar (seated), drums and piano, and engage in dance or movement activities. It's possible that I might be required to wear closed toe shoes. If I work in an existing clinic, rather than work as my own contractor, I'll be working mostly with colleagues who are 20 years younger, and who dress very casually --- I'm not sure how this will affect my choices yet, but I'm thinking that through. for now I will:
Refresh my denim capsule
Allow my "dressy" to emerge in feminine, bold and retro blouses/tops
Build my collection of comfortable, but updated, footwear
Pencil skirts won't work, but culottes or fuller midis might!
2. Plan to move: I do better physically, cognitively and emotionally when I'm active. To support a life that includes regular "workouts," but also intermittent activity throughout the day, I will:
Explore wash 'n wear items that will move with me, without screaming "gear." I don't do "athleisure" very successfully, so I need to really work on this. For example, supportive sandals that have secure straps will allow me to walk my neighborhood without changing footwear. Denim with a bit more stretch would allow me to do a few planks or stretches in my living room.
3. Explore personal style and build confidence: I have a deep affinity with Romantic classic style. My version of this, however, is bolder. I love Art Nouveau to Art Deco, and have an affinity for the silhouettes of the late 30's --- wide flowing trousers and midi length skirts, softly structured jackets and luxurious fabrics, feminine, but practical, footwear. How does this work with my other goals? I have no idea! I do know self expression -- through the arts (music, of course) and fashion gives me a sense of well-being and confidence that is crucial if I'm going to be interviewing for jobs and making connections in my new home.
4. Plan for a "Conference and Interview" capsule. This will the tricky, since it involves face to face interactions with professionals who are both a lot younger and quite casual. The conference is in mid-April.
5. Plan for a performance capsule. I'm finding this singing community to be more "closed" than any I've ever experienced --- including NYC. It's quite a challenge, but I need to stay optimistic. I know my own abilities, even if others haven't discovered them yet. I do plan on singing a couple concerts in Chicago -- one focused around Emily Dickinson poems set by Aaron Copland, and another on the 50 year relationship between Clara Schumann (Robert's wife) and Pauline Viardot Garcia, a great French Diva. The last concert might involve a "retro" outfit -- hinting at the mid-1800s setting, without being true period costume.
6. Earn a "Masters in Reinvention." I need to work on more boldness and creativity in outfit creation, using what's already in my closet. It's good stewardship of my limited resources and allows me to make great choices while shopping. I'm implementing this immediately as I move from my Deep Winter to my Season of Hope (hee, I mean Cool Spring) capsule this next week.
Any suggestions for incorporating late 30's style into a modern, casual wardrobe? For dressing like a vibrant grownup among younger folks? For warm season gear that doesn't look like gear?