Dressing (Just) Outside the Academy: I’m Hot, Then I’m Cold

Greetings, StyleNation!

Has it really been two months since my last post?  I would refuse to believe it, but it seems that WordPress helpfully adds a date to the top of every entry.  Whoops.  To be fair, it’s well-known here at IPF DeskJob that if it ain’t in my BlackBerry, I ain’t showing up, so it’s pretty much a minor miracle that I found my way back at all.

Either that, or A-Dubs and I finally got ourselves in the same room long enough to a) catch up and b) photograph my outfit.  I’m delighted with the results of both.

Spring dressing is tricky for me.  Either I wear winter suits and get all overheated and grumpy on the way to work, or I try to bust out summer clothes too soon, both freezing and looking ridiculous in the process.  Nothing says, “hey, I’m a professional!” like arriving in a light dress and cardigan to find that the rest of your meeting has opted for the winter suit.  (Fortunately, they’re generally too overheated and grumpy to notice.)

The outfit below represents the best of both worlds.  Spring colours on the top, winter colours down below.  A mix of softness and structure, plus plenty of polkadots (for further alliteration).   Also, nude hose, because I don’t feel properly dressed for my job without it.

Cardigan: Ann Taylor; Cami: Smart Set; Pencil skirt: Banana Republic; Black pearls: remixed; BlackBerry: The Man; Pose: Post-Academic-Writer-Reunion-Casual-Kitchen-Hangout

Shoes: as pictured, Calvin Klein, but I felt they were slightly too fetishy for an office setting and swapped ‘em out for dark red Nine West round-toed heels.

PS: Can I reopen the nude hose debate, StyleNation?  Because I have views.

PPS: I feel you should know that in the process of posting this, my first independently formatted guest lecture, I managed both to mangle the alignment and to post a massive picture of my body (no text) to the public blogspace.  I removed it.  You’re welcome.

35 thoughts on “Dressing (Just) Outside the Academy: I’m Hot, Then I’m Cold

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  5. Why will it not let me reply directly to A-Dubs? No idea. But the answer is yes, I think it is a very attractive look, the dress and the shoes. The dress is not what I might have chosen, but it was what the bride wanted (and since she had said that I could choose whatever I wanted, I was feeling magnonimus (which I cannot seem to spell) and went with what the rest of the bridesmaids were wearing. I will, indeed, try to get the blog up and running, to show off both this outfit AND the lace stocking/peeptoe shoe combo….

  6. I find sheer nylon hose sweaty and uncomfortable in any color, though I am fine with tights. I therefore generally avoid sheer beige (conscious choice not to no longer call them nude!) hose, yet I concede the point that nothing else is really right with a skirt suit or other business wear. I love fishnets but think of them as more business time than business, if you know what I mean (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhN93rFZuJs). BUT I think I would wear beige not-always-nude fishnets with, say, a skirt/dress and cardigan teaching combination, though not with the aforementioned suit. Why is this so hard?

    Please note that this entire nude hose debate will likely be part of my future career choice path thingy.

    • Hue makes a lovely micro mesh fishnet….it’s like a fishnet laid into regular hose, if that makes sense? I find it’s a perfect middle ground.

      Related musing: I wish we could replace the word “beige” with something else. It’s my most-hated word! I hate it like others hate “moist”. Irrational, I know. And yet.

      • “Beige” is terrible, I agree. Maybe that’s why people prefer “nude” despite its inaccuracy? “Pale creamy light brown” is a bit of a mouthful.

        I like the sound of these Hue jobbies. I once had a pair of black micro fishnets, and I loved how they looked like normal black tights from a distance. Hmmm. Fall might be time to revisit the fishnets.

  7. What about nude fishnets? I enjoy the nude fishies. Where did I stand on this debate? I can’t remember, although I’m pretty sure I only approve of nude fishies–which may be too fetishy for IPF Deskjob.

    Also, why are those shoes too fetishy? Explain. The red round-toes sound awesome too though.

    • Ha! I knew you’d be on board with the more fetishy options. This sort of makes me wonder why you’re anti nude ‘ho’s.

    • Totally onboard with the fishies. I have several pairs, but I wear them mostly to perk up my more one-note sheaths and whatnot.

      The shoes became too fetishy for me after I a) saw them as stripper garb on a popular prime time tv show and b) noticed the attention they were attracting en route to the office one day. They’re now pant-only footwear.

      • See, I love the shoes and I am unconcerned about their fetish qualities. But I am a bit dense. And I support you in wearing them only with pants.

        • Also, one of the sad things about not being nude colored myself is not being able to wear nude fishnets. (Please understand that when I say “nude hose,” I mean “skintone hose” rather than the color referred to as nude.)

          • Hmm, you are right. “Nude” in hose is usually distinctly fair. I used to like a hose called “Spice”, a kind of sheer chocolate brown that made my legs look tanned though I haven’t worn anything but opaque tights and “nude” fishies in ages. I recently went looking for chocolate-coloured oversized fishnets that I saw on a colleague and loved the look of (oversized in terms of the netting itself, if you know what I mean); such hose were nowhere to be found but they exist somewhere in the world. I’m guessing in the world of Wolford, where I do not live.

          • Apologies on the use of “nude” without clarifying language! For the record, my view on the concept of “nude” (or worse, “neutral”) as a standard colour: they might as well have called it “table leg” or “spearmint gum” for all that it resembles anyone’s actual skin tone. My personal “nude” is usually something called “linen”. Once I think it was “paper”. Ick.

          • Oh and let me reiterate: when I went on my tirade about nude hose, I was not calling out any of you AT ALL. Just the hose industry folks. Who are currently in my bad books for not having as many pairs of lace tights out there as I would like…..

        • Hmm. AFtK, it never occurred to me until this exact moment that people assume “nude” references a specific skin tone. Isn’t it all subjective?

          • Well, you would assume. And that is how I have been using it for our purposes (and how I assume you all were using it. I wasn’t calling anyone out.) But there is usually a color labeled “nude” in the store. And since fishnets usually have a smaller color range, I have noticed that there isn’t really a nude option for me. So I go with black lace hose most of the time, when I want that look.

  8. Are hose really super, extremely necessary to be professional? I love skirts and dresses, but if it is absolutely unacceptable to wear them without hosiery, I am going to wear pants for the rest of my life. Dark tights in the winter I’m okay with. But nude hose when it’s hot out…. why?! What is wrong with bare legs? Legs are just legs. I must be missing something!

    • Well, I definitely have winter suits that would look better with nude hose than with black tights. But also, I wonder about summer weight suits and more structured clothing that does not look right with bare legs.

      • Shoe choice factors in too. I can imagine an unlined, summer weight suit with a fairly conservative peeptoe being a good choice for bare legs.

        Now I want to purchase these things. Apart from the legs, which I already have.

        • Oh, a conservative peeptoe, what a good idea–I may have to revive my blog and get your take on this idea–I think I have some (maybe not conservative enough) peep toes. But, the suit. It is lined.

          • Oh, do it! Twenty five bonus points if you can figure out an appropriate way to do the black lace WITH the peeptoes. I would steal that look so fast you wouldn’t know what hit you!

    • Hi, sv! I honestly think it depends on your office environment. Bare arms don’t work everywhere either, you know? Anyway, for me, it’s less about the legs being legs and more about the degree to which I feel dressed. (Or to which I have successfully shaved my legs, since I choose to do that.)

      I’m fascinated by the comment about the heat…I’ve never really noticed a difference! Or, being constantly cold, maybe that’s why I like ’emm so much! …or maybe I’m just trying to be Kate Middleton.

      • Interesting, thanks for the reply! I’m probably in for culture shock when I work somewhere other than where I am now… I had no idea that bare arms might be taboo.

        Re: climate/heat, I’m also just a very sweaty person. Wearing hosiery in the heat is like torture for me. They do not breathe, they hold on to moisture, and they end up being just plain gross by the end of the day.

        • Re: hose are gross in heat: AGREED on so many levels!!

          In fact, based on stuff others who live in warmer climes have written on their blogs and on this one, there may be slighter different constructions of formality based on location and climate, no?

          In other news, how do we feel about those leg-grabby stay-up thingies? Personally, I’ve yet to find a pair that didn’t appear to be made for someone with (very hard) sticks for legs. The ones I’ve found squeeze and form noticeable ridges on my legs.

          • You mean thigh high stockings that stay up without a garter belt? I get prickly heat (in the summer) under the grabby bit and tend to just go the garter belt route, myself.

          • I think those things are a terrible, terrible joke the hosiery industry made up after tiring of their “sizing charts” gag.

  9. Please re-open the nude hose debate. Because I am at a loss for what one would wear with a skirt other than black/grey tights or nude hose. Like, what else does one wear with a suit?

    • My point exactly. There’s just something weird to me about wearing a skirt suit with lining, about as formal as it gets, and then not dressing my legs. And yet, every time I do it, someone at work tells me I’m being an old lady.

      • I’m full-on in favour of nude hose, and they look super-great with this shoulder season ensemble. Plus, I am so stalking that skirt on the interwebs pretty much immediately.

        In other news, why no close-up of the fetish shoes? I love them, and the remainder of this outfit with a love that is true, deep, and envious. Because I do not have that kickass skirt, and because I cannot wear that dusty-rose colour.

        Returning to the hose discussion: I agree that a structured, lined suit or skirt really seems to need the nude hose. But what is your position on lighter coloured structured things in the deep heat of summer?

        • Whoa. We are commenting in real time. Behold the power of the interwebs!

          No shoe close-up because, ironically, the nude hose made the pic unlookatable. Too much glare.

          My position on the lighter structured things is that it depends. I will occasionally go without on a Friday if I’m wearing a light dress and jacket, but never otherwise. Unless I put my thumb through them in the bathroom or something. Which, clearly, never happens. But it totally happens to…uh…a friend of mine? And that’s what she does.

          • See, I did not even know that nude hose could be a problem, until I figured it out from reading fashion blogs. And I live in the academy, at least for now, and so I rarely need to wear hose (except for with suits and such), but still, sometimes I feel unfinished without them.

            I recently put a thumb through some truly wonderful fishnets. It was sad.

            But about nude hose: do you invest in the good ones or do you go the grocery store route?

        • Okay, so I have a specific hose question: say one is wearing a knee length silk chiffon dress (in cobalt) with silver 4 inch peeptoe shoes. Say one is also carrying a collection of pale pink peonies, and has had one’s hair and make up professionally done (and airbrushed?) Would one go bare-legged or would one wear hose? Or would one just ask the bride (who, despite the airbrushed makeup, is not really very bridezilla and will not care.) And then, if one is wearing said outfit again at a different wedding, minus all of the maid of honor craziness, would one wear hose for that?

          • I vote no hose in either situation. Also, do we get to see these ensembles? They sound (potentially) lovely. Are they?

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