August 8, 2011

Calculated Costumes

Early next year my dear kiwi and I are moving to New Zealand for a couple years. This involves plans and schemes for various details - things like visas, storage and shipping of belongings, and finding new jobs and a new home. But, being me, I am also setting in motion a plan for one specific aspect of my belongings: my wardrobe.

I have trained as a costumer, in an amateur sense, and since I started doing that as a teenager, the ideas behind planning out a specific character through a series of costumes developed parallel to my sense of personal fashion. Often, when I'm picking out my outfit for the day or trying on new pieces at a shop, I'm asking myself what role I will play. Responsible adult? Quirky teacher? Urban party girl? Whatever the plan for the day, I've got an outfit to make me feel the part.

But moving to a foreign country means having to make some very (hard!) deliberate choices about what comes and what doesn't. Between luggage and shipping, I can only bring so many things. But I also don't know what sort of job I'll have, where we'll be living, and what kinds of new activities I will do in my down time. This means that I need to have a wardrobe that is flexible enough to serve a wide variety of purposes but which is as compact as possible. For me, this sounds like a fantastic challenge/opportunity to plan out an ideal wardrobe and curate my current collection to suit.

This is going to be a bit of an ongoing process for the next few months, as I finalize my written plan and start to sort through what I have, what I need, what I am making, and what is getting tossed. I will do my best to share my process here, from outfit inspiration to drafted plans, to final results. And I will appreciate every bit of advice you have to offer - because it turns out it is much harder to plan for every occasion in life than to plan for a series of scripted scenes. Look for the "Calculated Costumes" label if you want to follow along during this process!

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