First Weeks: Pencil Skirts

Hard to believe, but at the end of this week, the term is already a third of the way over.  Which is both terrifying and exciting.  It’s been a weirdly calm term so far — which I have hereby jinxed — since I had the Project that will not End accepted in the week before classes start so I’m feeling a good deal less urgency about such things, and I’m totally loving my students this term.  As in, I totally want to force my Modernist students from this term to be my 20th century Novel students next term.  Either way, after a really busy — and often super stressful in highly unpleasant ways — spring term and summer, I’m pleased with things right now.


Chambray & White t shirt: Old Navy; Mustard pencil skirt: Lane Bryant; Concrete wedges: Jessica Simpsons

Colorful pencil skirts + chambray = true sartorial love.  This outfit desperately needs a necklace, or some sort of accessory, but, man, do I also sort of love it as is.  This skirt is a showstopper and, while it really needs to be tailored,  I’ve worn it twice already this term.


In fact, on its second wearing, it even prompted comments from the usually jaded women who work in the campus coffee depot closest to my office.  I was there for an important cookie break with my writing group.  Which we do on teaching days where we don’t write together, because, if we didn’t hang out on these days, we’d only see each other 4-5 times a week.  We’re a delightfully co-dependent little group.


Black faux wrap top: Joe; Black t-shirt & blue pencil skirt: Target; Beloved silver pendant: H&M; Watch: gifted (but it’s Kenneth Cole); Sandals: Born Concept.

The faux-wrap aspect of this shirt is super hard to photograph.  Also, the peplum on this shirt is an example of a peplum shirt that works for me, paired with a pencil skirt, in the classroom.


Here’s a shot to highlight the cork wedges of these shoes — which are weirdly one of my most comfortable pairs of shoes.  Also, I suspect that these are totally too casual for classroom wear for many of you.  However, they totally work in the departmental culture here — trust me, this outfit is more formal than what most of my colleagues wear, plus many of my female colleagues wear heeled sandals like this, right now while it’s still as hot as the surface of the sun.  Would I wear these to a conference, to meet with a college wide department, or other professional setting?  Nope.  But, in the classroom right now, totally fine, as far as I’m concerned.

Anybody else got awesomely co-dependent work rituals?



14 thoughts on “First Weeks: Pencil Skirts

  1. Pingback: Pencil Skirts, Northern Division | In Professorial Fashion

  2. I bought a pencil skirt this summer. I thought of you. But now I don’t quite know what to do with it. I think I’ve lost my ability to wear skirts. I shall stalk your archives for help.

    • The answer to what you can wear with it? Everything. The answer is everything. I love a pencil skirt with a slouchy t-shirt & sandals, for instance. On me, I like there to be a little bit of volume on top, otherwise it becomes it becomes a bit much for everyday wear.

    • Cami + buttoned-up cardi (bottom button remains undone, Eton-styles) + ballet flats. Tailored shirt (tucked in) + pumps. Peter Pan-collared blouse + crew neck pullover + brogues. Mix up at will with pencil skirt(s). This is basically my entire work wardrobe.

  3. Dude, I’d comment more but the exchanges above are already so entertaining that mostly I want to scroll up and read, again. I love all you women in text!

    I must say, however, that you look wicked in pencil skirts. How do you get around the bunching under the skirt when you tuck the chambray shirt? I want to tuck things into pencil skirts, but the bunching is maddening.

    I don’t have any co-dependent work rituals right now because my colleague with whom I usually do stuff like that is on leave and refuses to work on campus. I’ve explained to her that this makes being on campus way too boring for me and asked that she takes steps to remedy the situation. To date, she has failed to recognize that my boredom and desire to kill time with her are her problem. It is dumb.

    Finallly, I just texted you a LOT of exclamation marks re: the acceptance of the Project that Would Not End. Here is a visual representation of my excitement in this space, too: !!!@!!@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Dude. Are you having a feeling? Do we need to call a doctor? And, yes, we are awesome in text. I’m even more awesome on the phone. Probably we should test this out. For science.

      The bunching is just there and I deal with it. I find poof-ing the shirt out from the waistband helps — limiting the bulk underneath. It’s not a perfect solution though.

      And, yes, that is clearly her problem. You need to have a serious conversation with her about the responsibilities that are part of being a friend at work. Namely, killing time with people like us. Though I also totally support her desire not to be on campus while on leave.

  4. Looking good, EJo. Of course, I would never wear strappy sandals to teach in, but I don’t work on the surface of the sun. Strappy sandals, or toe exposure of any kind in the classroom, is not in my rules for professorial dressing though I would say that my more formal sartorial choices are more in keeping with my colleagues. Well, with my female colleagues; my male colleagues are far more casual than their female counterparts, for the most part. But that’s a blog post for another day (remember when I used to blog things?).

    But your pedi looks awesome and would be a shame to hide in closed-toe shoes.

    • Dude. I totally thought of you when I put these on that day — and the heart palpitations they were inadvertently and unknowingly causing. But, yeah, my department is a casual one — even the dressier among us are reasonably casual. Some of the men wear jackets & ties on teaching days, but I can’t think of a single female colleague who wears the formal equivalent. Plus, as I think I’ve mentioned before, the students at my school are ludicrously casual in their attire and very deferential to even the slightest hint of authority, so that gives me more leeway that I would have at other schools.

      And, yeah, what is the point of a pedi if you can’t wear sandals? The roofs of my shoes don’t really appreciate them.

  5. Yay team color returns! Love both of these outfits! I never think I can pair my chambray shirt with anything but black (I KNOW, why???), so I’ll have to give it a shot with my green pencil skirt sometime. Both of these outfits would totally pass in my office, and both are definitely more formal than a lot of people in my casual office dress.

    Cookie break sounds fun (and delicious!). When my friends and I all worked in the same office full-time, we definitely had similar rituals. Walk breaks, snack breaks, ice cream breaks – basically anything to get away from our desks for a little bit. My home office-mates still insist on a daily walk break 🙂

    • And returns with a vengeance! I don’t actually know that I’ve ever paired my chambrays with black… though I don’t actually own a ton of black anymore. I think the only thing I haven’t paired chambray with is denim as I can.not. condone the double denim — on me, at least, as others rock it. I also don’t like chambray shirts with my grey cargos — though that is partly a fit issue: the chambrays are too big, particularly in the bottom half, so they look too sloppy with really casual pants. Also, ohmigod, a chambray would look so good with your green pencil skirt.

      Last time, we lucked out and got M&M cookies on our cookie break. It was magical. Since 2 out of 3 of us finish teaching just before meeting up, it’s definitely a good way to decompress a bit, before getting back to the grind. Also, your home office-mates are the best. Though my home office-mate demands to sleep against my legs when I work at home, so that’s pretty great too.

      • I can’t get behind chambray on denim either. I don’t think it looks terrible if you have really dark denim paired with light chambray, but the look feels way too 90’s to me. Since I DID sport all-denim outfits then. Maybe they included a denim shirt with Mickey Mouse on it. Yeah. I was pretty cool.

        Yeah, one of my home office-mates naps next to me when I work from the couch. It’s kind of hard to get anything done because the sleep-twitching threatens to knock my computer off my lap. I should probably invest in an actual desk.

        • Sounds like a pretty sweet denim-Mickey Mouse outfit. I did just observe to my brother-in-law that all pictures of me from the early- to mid-90s make me look like a 40-something secretary, so clearly I didn’t have the style mojo a young Anne had.

          Fortunately, the sleep-twitching of my home office-mate has a pretty small radius, so I’m ok on that front. But actual desks are for quitters.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s