Previously on Makeover Monday: Last week I told you about the launch of my wardrobe-wide makeover, that will transform my motley assortment into a cohesive collection. My most pressing need is for more professional wear, but I would also like to incorporate additional garments suitable for Argentine tango— without having to create 2 separate wardrobes. Hence my new and ongoing Makeover Monday project: Take Tango to Work!
My main issue: For me, virtually all clothing currently sold as tango wear is inappropriate, both as part of a professional wardrobe, and for a woman of a certain age. (Not to mention that tango clothes frequently come only in various combinations of red and black, neither of which is a personal favorite.)
What kinds of pieces would work? Even outside of dancing, I prefer wearing skirts, so I’m starting there. But even with the fashion latitude a creative professional enjoys, I don’t think slinky skirts and dresses are proper. So I’ll look for more structured pieces, meaning made with woven fabrics, including stretch wovens; these materials typically result in a more substantial garment, as opposed to one that would cling inappropriately.
Since I really wanted to get this makeover project off to a quick start (I have a tango lesson tonight, after all), I dropped into one of my favorite thrift shops, Value Village. (If you happen to be in the Portland area, the one I usually go to is the Tigard branch; this is a fairly large chain of stores, and you can search for the one closest to your zip code.) I was looking more for tops, of which I found a few, but my big find for the day was this skirt:
I know it’s hard to see details because it’s a dark color, but take a look at this detailing:
I’m so happy this skirt is charcoal gray, not black! Black is harsh on me (I have very fair skin), so I try to avoid wearing it, but there’s no denying that dark colors are more practical for dancing. And paired with a wonderfully Mad Men-esque ivory jacket I just found at a second thrift shop, this skirt means business:
The ivory jacket looks a little boxy in this photo, but it’s actually quite close-fitting through the waist, which works beautifully with the slim fit of the top of my skirt. Oh, and I have to show you a detail of this jacket:
And here’s another outfit possibility, starting with the same gray skirt. (Recognize the top?)
Now I’m starting to get a feel for where I want to go, garment-wise, in my quest for the perfect Take Tango to Work wardrobe: colors and fabrics should be more work-appropriate, and the garment silhouettes (especially skirts and dresses) can be a little more dance-y; this gray pinstriped skirt is a wonderful example of how this balance can be achieved. And no matter where my work takes in me in the course of a day, I won’t have to pack a completely different outfit to go straight to tango!
Next Monday, I’ll be focusing on choosing sewing patterns and fabrics to make work-and-dance-ready clothes. And big news! This week, I’ll be starting a new series called Thrift-Shop Thursdays (beginning on, coincidentally, Thursday); this series will start by addressing common issues with thrift-shop finds, from missing buttons to worn-out linings. Later, I’ll be working on some clothes-remodeling projects. Join me on Thursday, and don’t miss next week’s episode of… Makeover Monday!
April 22, 2013 at 6:57 pm
I love your Work to Tango outfit. That skirt is a fashion essential..what a great find 😉
April 22, 2013 at 7:56 pm
Yes, this skirt is a definite score! I just finished my tango lesson while wearing it!!
April 22, 2013 at 7:38 pm
I can’t believe how creative and talented you are with the pieces of clothing that you end up re-creating. I love to shop at Value Village too up here in Canada. I don’t look for the creative pieces that you find but I tend to load up on basic separates. I am so glad you mentioned Value Village! As a matter of fact, a new one has opened 20 minutes away from where I live so now i don’t have to drive for 40 minutes to the other side of the city. So appreciate the virtual friendship! ~Thea
April 22, 2013 at 8:00 pm
I’ve loved VV for years! (And since my wardrobe is clearly always at some phase of transformation, I donate a lot to them too.) I’m usually the most successful when I’m not looking for anything too specific; in this case, I really wanted some simple tops to dance in (i.e. washable), but found this fantastic skirt instead. And I appreciate you too, Thea!! : )
April 22, 2013 at 8:07 pm
Next time I go to VV I will be thinking of you and what you might select. i have to admit I enjoy the hunt more than the catch! ~Thea
April 22, 2013 at 10:10 pm
Love the bias and detail design of the skirt – classy look & perfect to tango in = touchdown!
April 23, 2013 at 7:07 am
I’m so lucky to have found this skirt! I wore it to my Monday class, and it felt really good– easy to move in, light and flowy. It’s wool, but super-high quality, fine-gauge and light, so I should be able to wear it year-round!
April 23, 2013 at 5:48 am
Thanks for liking my photo challenge workers. I think you have some great ideas here, and I can use help figuring out my wardrobe, so I’ll be following
April 23, 2013 at 7:03 am
Thank you for liking my post and following me too!! I really like to do posts that address questions from others, so please feel free to let me know what your specific issues or questions are, okay? Thanks again, Rosemarie!
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