Monday, April 13, 2015

What I Wore -- My Last Teaching Day Outfits Before My Wardrobe and I Retire . . .


 I've been conscious, these last few weeks as I chose what to wear for teaching, that I won't be dressing for my lectern gigs anymore. Not that I have to dress up much for work, but I enjoy the excuse to play with outfits more than I might if I had a less obvious audience.

I suppose I will still wear this faux-leather (Zara) skirt on date nights with Pater (he's appreciative), but it's not likely to get much daytime wear from now on. . .  (worn here with J Crew merino sweater, Acne pistol boots).

 I must admit that while I get compliments when I wear this coat, I'm not often ready to live up to that much colour. I know it's flattering on me but I reach for my navy much more often (both turquoise and navy are the JCrew peacoat, both bought on sale). I do like the effect of this navy-cream-salmon scarf against the turquoise, though.
And it wouldn't be a fair representation of What I Wore if I didn't show you the backpack that is an indispensable part of my outfit as I head off on my bike, each and every day.
Of course, my hesitation over choosing this coat stems from having any colour at all on my bottom half.

These boots, for example. . . They only work (for me, that is -- I know that Melanie could go all kinds of fun, crazy, and wild with them!) if the rest of my outfit is more subdued. I've enjoyed this simple little cotton fit-and-flare Gap dress (pockets, who doesn't love pockets?!) but I may just pass it on to one of my daughters -- I'm not sure dresses will get as much rotation with my big lifestyle change, especially not ones that land this far above the knee. But we'll see. I suppose I should let retirement arrive and see what suits.

After all, dresses are so very easy to wear. Over the head, arms through the sleeves, and you're dressed.
Of course, you sometimes want to complicate, but even that is easily done by throwing on a scarf

maybe adding a jean jacket

so okay, maybe I'll be That Retired Woman Who Always Wears Dresses (except when I'm always wearing jeans. . . )

We'll just have to see, right?
Meanwhile, that's What I Wore for my last two weeks of teaching. Now what will I wear for all the marking and baby-sitting next week. I'll be spending as much time as possible in Vancouver with the granddaughter who's moving to Rome, trying to help out as her Mom and Dad go through the lists of all that must be done before they leave in a couple of weeks. Excited for them all, but I really need to store up some cuddles against an inevitable wave of Missing Them Badly that will surely hit sometime this summer.

So what do you think? Should I pack away my work wardrobe and live in my jeans? Or do you suspect I'll end up wearing the skirts and dresses more than I anticipate? Honestly, I'm curious to find out. . . .let's bring this retirement thing on! Clearly, I'm ready!

37 comments:

  1. Personally, I think you'll mix it up. You obviously like fashion, so I don't see you just in jeans and a t-shirt every day. Anyway, you spend enough time in the city to justify making an effort!

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    1. You're probably right. I wonder if I'll end up leaving more of the dressy stuff in the city apartment.

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  2. The Zara skirt and Acne boots outfit looks fantastic and should not be packed away! The turquoise reefer looks fab too. I agree with Patricia, mix it up.

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    1. Thanks for the compliment, those are "our" boots, of course.

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  3. I'd advise against weeding your wardrobe just yet...I have a few dresses and skirts that i like to wear for lunches out, date nights with my husband and often when I am shopping I like to kick up my visibility...
    a fun skirt with tights and boots can help a grey PNW day feel brighter.
    You'll find your personal retired style as time goes by...and it depends on what you are going to be doing. I have my walking clothes as well as my errand clothes, lunch with my friends, dinners out..etc...enjoy your special time with your grand daughter!

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    1. It's going to be interesting to see how this retirement business shapes up! You're probably right about the range of wardrobe/activities

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  4. I am so looking forward to seeing how you find dressing in retirement. It's taken me quite a while to sort out just how much "fancy" I can support now. Or, more like it, how much I cannot;).

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    1. Exactly. I like a certain amount of Fancy, but we'll have to see where the margins are now. . .

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  5. Don't weed yet! I am enjoying dresses in Mexico because they are cool. You might spend more time in Vancouver and be happy with a dress and tights and boots. You won't really know until you've lived all the seasons retired.

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    1. Perhaps I should just shift most of the dresses to the Vancouver closet...

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  6. When I retired, my wardrobe basically went from scrubs to jeans. Nonetheless, I like to have a small assortment of dresses available for museum-going, lunches out, and just to prevent me from devolving into a total slob. I echo the people who counsel not to do any major purging yet.

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    1. I can see it makes sense to hold off and see what reality brings, in contrast to my imagined view of Retirement, but there's such an impulse to edit! Thanks for the cautionary note.

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  7. I do love farking around with boots...heh.
    I suspect that retirement will bring out the true style you. Since you'll be able to wear whatever you want, when you want, you'll just have to see what emerges in that place of freedom. I like how you ratchet up your style with scarves, boots!, and jackets. From my viewpoint, this seems like an exciting place to be in.

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    1. I think that some of my impulse to edit or even purge comes from a sense of this impending freedom. . . I won't throw out any boots just yet!

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    2. Okay, I hadn't thought of how the feeling of wanting to purge could be a complement to the feeling of freedom. It makes complete sense. When I do a closet purge I feel lighter in all ways too.

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  8. I agree with not purging and mixing it up. I do think that turquoise pea coat is stunning on you, I think it is the lighter feel as opposed to navy. It might be an obvious color choice for your coloring, but it is lovely!

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    1. I'm glad I bought the more sensible navy version, which works always, but I'm also glad I splurged on the turquoise - when I'm ready to live up to it, it's truly a delight!

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  9. That Zara skirt and ankle boots are an awesome combo! You look fabulous in them. Perhaps retirement will allow freedom to be creative with your outfits "just because." I wouldn't be to hasty to shed anything yet.

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    1. Thanks! I do feel pretty good wearing the skirt and boots (although my hips always whine a bit the next day, the heels being not as easy to wear as they used to be!). I'm thinking I may have to use the small closet in my home office and store some clothes for a while, see what I go looking for, what gets pulled back into rotation. . .

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  10. Just think, Mater, in retirement the coat becomes part of the outfit. Not shrugged off and hung up in an office until you leave at the end of the day. And that beautiful turquoise coat deserves it.
    I divested myself of some of my very work-y outfits early on. Those outfits that were good for meetings at the board office or parent night presentations on stage. I gave a bunch of things to some of my favourite young teachers who were about my size and could not afford a Max Mara suit or Vince jacket. They were thrilled and I had so much fun doing it. But the stuff that was definitely work-wear with pumps but looked equally good with boots or flats I hung onto. I agree with Une Femme, don't be too hasty to give away things you love.
    I have been thinking of you and wondering when the last day was. Were there a few tears? Your students will have been sad to see you go.... but Pater will be happy to have you all to himself...well, except for the kids and grand kids, of course.

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    1. Yes! Re the coats which will no longer have to languish on a hook all day. And also yes to passing on some of the good stuff that really suits a workplace more than anywhere else. Best to let someone else really appreciate it while it's still at the peak of stylish, right? My last day of class was yesterday, but I'm now in the midst of marking, and will see all my students at exams next week, after which there will be one last round of marking, and the collating and filing grades. Then committee work, then office-clearing. A gradual process, over all, which is good. No big dramatic good-byes, although there is a dinner planned for the end of next month. . .

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  11. Beware hasty wardrobe purges, says she who has made life stage and wardobe purges. Otherwise enjoy!

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    1. Yes, you've done some major re-invention. I'm paying attention!

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  12. Hold your horses! No rash decisions! Amazing how you can suddenly decide that, after all, you still really want to wear something even though circumstances have changed. Why not put them away and have another look in six months? I still regret some impulse chucks. After all, time is now on your side...

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    1. Good to benefit from your experience. . . And you understand the impulse to chuck!

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  13. And I'm still working on that, how much fancy, when, why, where? I'm not sure it I've discerned a particularly clear path

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    1. Yes, in fact ride net may simply be an excuse to think more about an ongoing question. . L

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  14. I'm a year or so away from retirement and I'm already purging my wardrobe. While I agree with the advice above not to toss anything you love yet, I realized that some things I didn't love and just kept to wear for convenience. I've sold or donated several jackets and slacks, plus shoes, mostly pumps or sandals with heels that I know I'll hardly wear anymore. I want a smaller more edited wardrobe. I'm changing the type of clothing I purchase now, with emphasis on more fun and more casual style. Some I can still wear now to work. I don't care about impressing anyone with my business style anymore!

    Your comment on the ease of dresses got me thinking - I've never worn them much on the job, but perhaps I should rethink the idea for retirement. You look good in them, they go with a jean jacket and they're comfortable. I'll be following your changes (or no change) in your outfits with interest.

    PS I'd keep that turquoise jacket for sure!

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    1. You get where I'm going, or is that where I'm coming from. . . U.S., the urge to de-clutter is somehow about freeing myself to possibility. I can see, though, that perhaps I can achieve this by sequestering some garments for now, seeing whether I go digging for them or am happy enough to do without. As I think about it, I may end up wearing dresses more rather than less, if I can find the right ones. Highly recommend them to you in yr retirement

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  15. Most definitely keep that beautiful jacket - it so suits you.

    Maybe you'll wear more dresses now that you don't have to factor in the logistics of getting to the lecture room in all weathers and then being able to do all the bending, stretching, gesticulating etc required in a room that is too hot or too cold or both, without revealing too much and thereby frightening the horses. Maybe you'll have an on island and an off island look?

    ...and isn't a faux leather skirt just perfect for a baby and associated spillages?

    I too will be following your evolving look for this next phase with interest

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    1. Ah, too funny, I'd just arrived at this idea of wearing dresses more(see comment directly above) and here you are with exactly that suggestion AND solid supporting logic
      Plus I love your rationale for the faux leather pencil skirt. We are not your Grandma's grandma! ;-)

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  16. I'm in agreement with the other commenters who suggest not culling your wardrobe just yet. When I'm not working I find it all too easy to get into the rut of the same jeans, the same t-shirts day after day. I'm trying to be more conscious of dressing for me when I'm home, of taking the time to look pulled together.
    Short dresses like the ones you're wearing, with leggings or skinny jeans are fun. I really like the turquoise coat. Adding color to my wardrobe in small bits is a spring goal of mine.
    Enjoy the granddaughter cuddles and time with your family.

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    1. You make a good point, and in coping with some of the uncertain terrain retirement may surprise me with, I can see myself resorting to Dress as a route to confidence and purpose,
      Spring colour just seems the thing, doesn't it, after a long, sensibly-clothed winter.

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  17. Keep it all until you see how you want to dress. I suspect you'll change things up but still wear favorites.
    Dresses are SO easy, I frequently wonder why I don;t wear more of them.

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    1. I find dresses really easy except in this transitional time of year -- as you know, bare legs don't work as well here as they might in California, but tights feel a bit too heavy come spring. There are a few awkward weeks before deciding to bare the pale appendages and then there's always the rush for a pedicure . . .

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  18. I agree.. hold off a major purge for a few months. Do not discharge a loved item just because you assume it won't work in the future.

    On the other hand, if you don't truly love it, let it go now. Chances are you won't grow to love it.

    I highly recommend Marie Kondo's book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up when you're ready to take a big step.

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    1. I think this is a good rule to start with -- I haven't been letting go of what I love, even if I suspect it may not fit my new lifestyle, but if I'm ambivalent, bye-bye.
      Interesting that Kondo's book really resonates with some and others are "meh" about it (Jennifer, above, gave it a "meh" in her blog a while ago). I suspect I might like it because I'm naturally inclined to clutter and could use some rethinking around that.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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