Generally speaking, everything is going brilliantly over here at 'The Great Escape'. My income is tiny compared to this time last year but I'm happy and healthy, and the maths that underpins my two year transition budget is holding up. I've got another piano pupil starting this week and a couple of enquiries for harp tuition to follow up once the new term is under way. Things look fine...
....Except for one thing - my clothes! I feel that I've completely 'lost my way sartorially' since I gave up work. When I was classroom teaching I developed a comfortable winter uniform of boots, leggings, a smart Alexon or Precis dress and a dark jacket. These dresses were a bit 'old-fashioned' but they were fine for my job role. When we got back from France at the end of September I just embraced my Saturday wardrobe of boots, jeans and a Fat Face top or Cuba hoodie.
Ladies... I have worn nothing but three hoodies, two tops and a couple of pairs of jeans (on a washing rotation!) for the last three months. I've barely worn make-up. I've ignored all my lovely vintage 1950s jewellery. I've used the same soft black leather rucksack for every trip out of the house. I've sometimes remembered to put on perfume but, to be honest, I am not the smart middle manager that I was last year.
Hmmmm.... This was my wardrobe at around 2.00 pm yesterday afternoon. You can see that I'm in a state of crisis because this is a very 'un-Jan-like' muddle. (Just before Christmas I even managed to lose a boot completely in the drifts of stuff at the bottom.)
The top shelf - where I keep my hoodies, scarves and soft bags - is in complete chaos.
You can even spot one of my favourite tunic tops on the bottom right (which normally always lives on a hanger)
Some 90 minutes later everything looked a bit tidier again. I've moved all my super-smart dresses to the left hand side of the wardrobe, then there's a sliding scale of smart to casual across the hangers. This means that my 'smart-casual' clothes are now straight in front of me when I open the doors.
I can see all my winter footwear again (and found the boot that I believed lost)
Stuff that I won't need until Spring has been piled at the back of the shelf, while my beloved hoodies are in one, easy to access pile at the front. I've also collected some of my favourite handbags together on the right hand side....
So that's the confession side of this post over and done with... now it's time for the challenge. I realise that I've become a slightly lazy dresser. There's nothing wrong with jeans and hoodies, but I need to work at finding a 'smart/casual' style that suits my new role; makes the most of the clothes I already have (since I can't afford new ones!) and accepts the fact that I'm going to be 50 next birthday.
I am going to go 'cold turkey' on the boots, jeans and hoodie combo, and to prove it I'm going to post photos of my outfits as regularly as possible. Bearing in mind that I really prefer to be behind the camera, this is really taking me out of my comfort zone..
So this is what I wore to my Quaker Meeting this morning - ankle boots with a proper heel, leggings, a short (but not too short??) grey skirt, a Laura Ashley soft top under a grey wool jacket, a chunky grey plastic bracelet and vintage necklace. I also ditched my black leather rucksack for a black bag with fabric flowers. As soon as I walked in one of the clerks admired my necklace - which gave me some confidence that I'm heading in the right direction!
I'd love to read how other people are managing the style/fashion/age challenge.
Do any of you fancy joining me in some January posts?