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!