Conference Report: the gentle hands series

Good goddess, StyleNation. Where the hell did November go? How is it the end of the month already?! (Here’s hoping our American members enjoyed their long weekend.)

As I noted this time last year, I’ve learned to amplify the profesh in my on-campus ensembles as the term winds down. I need to bring what authority I can to in-office and classroom interactions, especially at this time in the term. Struggling and slacker students can get downright nasty as grades for their final assignments come in.

After this post, profesh is the word.

Today, I owe you a conference report. So, here goes.

Please note that the white walls in my new, as-yet-unfurnished home office are weird in photos. Thus, when I place my hands against the wall to hold myself up (or in a pose – I’m tippy), the walls disappear and it looks like I’m trying to be graceful, or gently balletic (yep. I’m calling “balletic” a word). I am not balletic or graceful; but I am tired (and lacking in camera know-how). And so, I offer the following “Gentle Hands Series”:

Day 1: Teaching & Mad Dash to Airport for Conference Travel

In retrospect, I don’t think I’d do the bow-belt on the dress, again. It seems a little girlish, no? Otherwise, the dress is perfect conference attire in that it’s polyester (read: non-wrinkling, even after hours in airports, planes, and trains), profesh without being overly polished (my field is not an especially formal one), densely printed (read: won’t show spills, even if they’re red wine), and mix-and-matchable. Also, it has pockets (read: options for hand placement that avoid awkwardness like that shown below).

Dress: Rachel Roy (via The Bay, new to blog)
Cotton t-shirt: mall anchor store (Smart Set, I think)
Leggings: Groggy (remixed ad nauseum on this blog)
Waterproof black knee-high winter boots: Blondo (via Browns Shoes)
Day 3: Dress Remixing, Non-presentation Day
Full disclosure: I actually wore the shorter cardigan (pictured in the bottom two images) at the conference. But when I saw that cardigan in pictures, it made the dress look babydollish and I wish I hadn’t worn it that way.
Here’s what I wish I’d worn. Also, I wore this ensemble to teach earlier this week, and then to speak at an event later that evening. I began the day with a wide black belt over the cardigan and dress, but things got waaayyy too sweaty, so the belt was discarded after my first class that morning. It’s still in my office (the belt, not the class), so it’s not pictured here.
Silver necklace: gifted from the Hubs (more on this later)
Long black cardigan: Nygard (remixed)
Day 2: First Day of Conference, & Day 4: Presentation Day

Originally, for my presentation on Day 4, I’d planned to wear this black wool dress with the pashmina pictured below, and the boots and leggings shown above. This more casual ensemble was meant to be worn on Day 2 only. But I’d forgotten about the extreme blond shagginess of the dog at my brother’s place – where I crashed for a portion of my stay. That huge, friendly dog leaves carpets of fur on everyone within a 2-mile radius. The black dress was impossible to wear under these circumstances.

Fortunately, I had these lycra-rich, skinny trousers on deck. Also a polyester blend, these babies don’t wrinkle at all (again, this is key for conference travel – who wants to iron when there are panels to attend first thing every morning?). Even more importantly in my case, dog fur doesn’t adhere to these unnatural tightly-woven fibres.

Grey-mix cardigan: ?? (remixed, via Winners, slightly better image below)
Black polyester jersey top: Anne Klein (via Winners, remixed)
Pashmina: gifted (remixed)
Skinny poly-lycra-rayon trousers: Mexx (new to blog)
Boots: as above

Here’s a better image of the trousers. Despite appearances, I am NOT gently stroking the leaf of that plant. The plant is well in the foreground, but the bloody white walls and poor lighting are throwing everything off kilter.

Overall, to me, the building of conference-wear around on pair of conference-friendly boots worked really well, again. The boots were foot-friendly – low-heeled, rubber-soled, warm without being too warm, and comfortable for hiking around the conference city and campus – and dressy enough for my sartorial tastes.
As an added bonus, these boots bring me one comfortable step closer to my professional goal of modelling good footwear “behaviour” for my students. Currently, I use my wearing of high heels to teach the concept of hegemony – what better way to illustrate my own consent to gender subordination?* Having taught this lesson numerous times to date, I hope, someday, to require a different illustrative example.
* Interesting side note: young women in one of this year’s classes were especially interested in promoting rather than discouraging my high heel wearing via multiple suggestions of “comfortable” or wedge heels as “cute and more comfortable than stilettos.” My suggestion that no wedge or exceptionally-well-padded high heel was as comfortable as any of my husband’s shoes was met with peels of laughter. 

23 thoughts on “Conference Report: the gentle hands series

  1. Pingback: Things that are Distant though Near (also, Office Pyjamas) | In Professorial Fashion

  2. Pingback: NSFW: Summer Dress, or How to Make Everyone Uncomfortable | In Professorial Fashion

  3. Pingback: Ravings of a Sleep-deprived Boot-lover | In Professorial Fashion

  4. Again, I ask myself why I am not a medievalist! It should be the law that every conference has a wine hour. And yes, it is. What does FTW mean? I am not hip to your coolkid interwebz lingo. 

  5. I love the swirly pattern on that dress, especially because it looks like you could totally spill wine on it and it wouldn't show.  One of my major conferences has a "wine hour" everyday of the conference, so this is more appropriate as conference wear than you might initially think.Also, is that a Tiffany toggle necklace?  It. Is. Gorgeous.  A-Dubs Hubs FTW.

  6. "Profesh is the word" is pinging around my head to the tune of "Grease is the word," so that's awesome. Also, kudos on declaring a non-word to be the word. A-Dubs rocks the logos!You have obviously mastered the conference capsule wardrobe. You should probably write a book about it, or at least a post that maps out how to do this.I really like the dress, and like you I think I prefer it without the bow.The new boots are gorgeous and deserve to the be central point around which the conference capsule spins. Comfortable AND profesh? Gold medal.Please tell me more about the silver necklace.

  7. Ha! Am totally showing him this comment asap.Also, 'love the causal relationship you establish between tallness and intelligence. May have very obvious reasons for buying in.

  8. Screw hegemony…… heels make you taller, and that makes you smarter.   And the shoes of your husband, A-Dubs, are a living argument for fashion and not comfort!   (As I am related to him……. I may ridicule.)

  9. I might have snickered for a while about you not gently stroking the leaf. Ah, the tricks the camera can play….I'm really digging the print on that new dress and the conference bootage. 

  10. I bet you rocked those boots, Rad. The second outfit made me think of you- for realz. I am trying to learn to be a little edgy, and you are one of my models for this process!Also, thanks.

  11. I would have bought your house ten times over for the disappearing walls.  I mean, your outfits are awesome and all, but come on: MAGIC WALLS!  GENTLE HANDS!  This blog practically writes itself.  (It may or may not surprise you to learn that I loved this exhibit when I was in San Diego.  I spent about 15 minutes waving my hands around inside the magic-wall-like blue and red rectangles pictured in this slide show: http://www.mcasd.org/exhibitions/phenomenal-california-light-space-surface .  Gently, of course.)Also, thank you for the seminar in mix-and-matching.  I may one day learn to travel with fewer than 18 suitcases (approx.).

  12. Ooh, you've mastered the art of conference dressing for sure!  I especially like the scarf outfit and skinny trousers.  And I feel you on the comfy shoes.  Love the look of heels, but as someone who walks a lot (and you always do at a conference), it's kitten heels or cute flat/flat boots.  I rocked some dark brown riding boots a few conferences ago. Way to bring it, end of term style!

  13. That Rachel Roy dress is sweet – must scope out the local Bay store. Excellent outfits, and the boots have a nice authoritative "I'm off to go fox hunting" look about them (is that authoritative? Probably not. Also, "balletic" is totally a word).So glad to see you back, A-Dubs! You're a ray of profesh sunshine.

  14. I gotta say that I do not feel comfortable in less than a two-inch heel. I honestly walk a little weird in flats. Once I ran downstairs in my building in my slippers and realized that I have no ability to walk more than a snail's pace in shoes without proper support and a bit of height.  This is all besides the fact that I cannot be SEEN in flats by, say, students because of my 5footnothing figure; I don't like the feeling myself.

  15. Love the presentation outfit – and the boots are perfect for conferencing. I had my big conference last week and was a total wash out because I got HORRIBLY sick (like cold and pink eye sick) and spent virtually all my time sleeping in the hotel room and trying to recover a bit before I presented on the last day. I'm still amazed I was able to get through that paper.xoxo ~ Courtneyhttp://sartorialsidelines.com

  16. Great conference outfits! I don't think the dress looks babydoll-ish with the cardi. I think it adds a fun pop of color and print. I need to do a conference post too. My field's major conference was the week before Thanksgiving and I feel so far behind on blogging that I'll be lucky if I post my outfits by winter break!

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