A Short Post

It’s hot and I’ve not got air-conditioning, but there’s also no drought or drought-famine here (yet), so I am thankful.*

In significantly less life-or-death-related news, how do we feel about shorts for work or play? Last summer I found these linen-cotten-lycra blend shorts and have developed a deep and abiding love for them. I’ve been wearing them to campus and out at night around the city.

As Sal over at Already Pretty is discussing today, others are wearing (much) shorter things with (much) higher heels. I did short-shorts in the nineties, however, and have no patience (or buttocks) to take on, again, all the little irritations that accompany such sartorial choices.

1. On-campus, Student Meeting (a casual one)

Lucite necklace: thrifted; Cardigan: Mexx (old, but new to blog); Billowy silk-look tunic: Winners (I cut out the scratchy tag); Shorts: Winners (new to blog); White-girl nude sandals: Naturalizer (purchased with D-Med on the way to Rinty the Crusher’s wedding); Puppy: the FR’s Dog, almost all grown up; Super-natural-looking pose: an attempt at shoe-highlighting. I am a natural both in front and behind the camera.

Next time, I’ll probably tack the cardigan over the straps of the top. Otherwise, I was pretty happy with the get-up as it maximized air flow. Also, I used the necklace to fill in the chestal expanse (FYI: the necklace isn’t lit from within and I am not pinching a small white thing between my thumb and pointer finger on my left hand. These are funky photo tricks. Yegads, I’m good with a camera.)

I wouldn’t wear this top for teaching because any bending for pages, etc., at the front of the class could bare a little cleavage.

2. Casual Evening Art Show and Out for Dinner

This is not a teaching top either. I used to think it was, but I’ve come to believe it’s a bad idea to take things this low in front of undergrads or older male professors.

Cotton blazer: Tribal (via Winners, remixed); Ruffle-front top: Zokai (via a shop in Steeltown, remixed); Shorts & Sandals: as above; Brown woven leather clutch: a little shop in Steeltown

Yeah, I know. This is kind of low key for evening. I tried to jazz it up with bright lipstick that matched my pedicure, but really, it needs a necklace, at least. Maybe also a little less cotton and some funner shoes. In my defence, I was zonked that day and couldn’t make myself care more than this.

What are your thoughts on shorts for work and play, StyleNation?

How much chestal expanse is too much for work?

* Let’s all be sure to give what we can for famine victims here and abroad. Let’s also continue lobbying government to make environmental responsibility a priority.

15 thoughts on “A Short Post

  1. I think long shorts like these — a wonderfully flattering length, methinks — are totally fine for meetings and such, but I don’t think I’d teach in them, at least not in your neck of the woods. You know, if I taught in your neck of the woods.

    Your chestal expanse, as pictured here, seems totally acceptable to me, and yet I sympathize with the need for armor against alternatively patronizing and lecherous older male colleagues. Necklaces and scarves can provide some breastplate action, perhaps?

    I rocked a lot of menswear action in my academic days, if you recall, and this started partly in response to old male profs’ “why is a nice young girl like you into all this war business?” vibe.

  2. Sorry–I have fallen into a moving related void. I do not own shorts, ergo, I wear them for nothing. Honestly, the issue for me is that I loath my knees and try to keep them covered–you will note that most of my skirts are knee length.

    In terms of your shorts, I think you look great (and I am with DSW on the boob issue), but to me there is something casual about shorts that make them seem not so fit for work. And formal shorts strike me, therefore, as a tad odd. As a result of your outfit, I am considering those stances, but remain ambivalent. (Note: it is also irrelevant, since I try to avoid being judgy–and I think you look neat and appropriate for work–and would never wear shorts myself because of the knee hatred….)

  3. I don’t wear shorts to teach in. It’s another one of my random sartorial rules (i.e. no bare shoulders, no bare toes), which makes little sense since this length of short is about the same as many of my pencil skirts, which is my uniform. Though in summer, I find skirts much cooler than shorts anyway so I tend to stick to skirts, both for reasons of comfort and professional formality.

    Also, and this is *not* the case with you because you look great, I think shorts that length make my arse look huge. This might be exacerbated by remarks made by a male friend of mine to that end (ha!), that he found that length of short universally unattractive for its butt-focused, butt-enlarging properties.

    So, in short, I don’t wear shorts to work.

  4. Dear Gramma – your students and your colleagues know you have boobs. You also teach gender studies, so hopefully they are also aware of what gender that makes you. Keep things in perspective…… that shirt is about as low as a limbo contest at a retirement home. Try this rule of boob: provided you aren’t a nip slip away from accidentally breast feeding someone else’s tween, you’re good. That leaves another 2 inches of of southern chest acreage to work with.

    Walk on the wild side!


  5. I think you look terrific and, lovely one, you could even take your hem an inch or two shorter if you wished. Still totes professional! Two of my colleagues–one male, one female wear shorts to the classroom. He’s all cargo-safari-pocket adventure man in Tevas and she wears hot pants over tights. Wow.

    I am also totally used to putting one hand at my decolletage as I bend over in the classroom. It’s second nature now, as I prefer to wear les modestly plunging necklines.

    • Miss C, as always, you provide much food for thought. Especially the part where you call me “lovely one.” Looking at these photos, I find myself agreeing that the shorts could come up a smidge. I will work on this issue 😉

      I can only echo your “wow” about the hot pants but am not suprised about the cargo-safari man. He is reminding me of the colleague D-Med made note of in her first post (back in March or April of 2010!) who wore jeans, a t-shirt, and flip-flops in the classroom. Ooh! And now I’m recalling a fascinating conversation with a science-tyoe colleague who explained what she refers to as “the biology uniform”: jeans, t-shirt, plaid button-down open or closed over the t, and hiking sandals or boots. Any variation from the uniform is apparently cause for comment. For example, when she wears fashion boots with the uniform jeans, others ask why she’s so dressed up.

      While I enjoyed me some plaid flannel during grunge in the 90s, I’m soooo happy that we in Arts have a wider array of choices available to us. And I’m going to give some serious thought to your hand-to-decolletage maneuver. If I could make it seem natural, a whole section of my closet could remain open for professional wear this fall.

  6. Looking good A-Dubs! Also, seriously, the FR’s puppy is so big now!! Also, she’s totally the twin of the FR. You have a totally matching set of fuzziness. I like the shorts — I have some very similar that I totally wear to work. Can you pin up the straps of the top in the first outfit to make it more workable for teaching? I continue to love those strappy sandals.

    Finally I would and do totally sport that much chestal expanse at work.

    • Ohmigod. The phrase “totally matching set of fuzziness” is cracking me up. Probably I will think it to myself all day as I am working from home with the fuzzy set. Also, I know, right? I keep mixing them up. Though when one stops to look, the FR’s consistently annoyed andneedy expressions are pretty distinct. Together, E-Jo, we can fill this blog with dogs, denim shorts, and professorial decolletage!

      In other news, probably I could try some strategic strap pinning. But from here on out, I’m on the look-out for boat neck tops for teaching. I might be more committed to chestal expanse if I lived in hotter weather and everyone around here was accustomed to more skin exposure in general. As I steel myself for the faculty-level meetings from which my contract protected me for the last three years, I am mindful of my female colleagues’ experiences with some of the older dinosaur-like male prof’s in other faculties who tend to treat all younger female professors like ogle pets or secretaries. I might be using clothing more literally as armour in these circumstances.

  7. These outfits are B.A. While I am no judge of adding accessories, I would argue that outfit number is an example of an ideal “day to night” ensemble.
    I wear shorts to work. I had a pair of black dress pants that I hacked into shorts about this length, which I wear with a blazer and a button down in warmer weather. A student made fun of me and said “Professors aren’t allowed to wear shorts” so I said, “Yup, you caught me.” I wore short shorts (not the type that indistinguishable from bathing suit bottoms, something with like a 3″ inseam) to some summer meetings, as it is wicked out this summer in NYC. I saw two of my youthful (under 45) female colleagues in the hallway that day, and they were similarly unclothed-of-leg (we all complimented each other).
    (Can I tell you how happy I am that I can comment here through Twitter? I have had the hardest time signing on to my wordpress account. Carry on).

    • haha. Why aren’t professors allowed to wear shorts? I kind of love that non-logic. Also, 3″-inchers, huh? You are waaaayyyy edgier than me. I’ve got a pair that come about 2-3 inches above the knee and feel like there’s too much of me hanging out every time I wear them!

      Finally, what are the chances you’ll show us, somehow, your hacked-off-shortsuit? ‘Cause I REALLY want to see it!

      • Haha! I am not a fan of the genre of shorts in general, as I can never find any that fit me well, but I used to have a male colleague who wore almost nothing but a uniform of shorts, a polo, and sandals – he even wore this ensemble in the winter. And hands down I think he’s one of the best teachers I’ve seen in the classroom. I might not be going anywhere with this, as I may have breathed too many fumes while cleaning the oven.

        I cannot believe how big FR’s pet is now!

        • I know, right? The puppy’s really big now!

          Also, is everything OK over there now? You’re not lying on the floor by the (sparkling-clean) oven, right?

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