Repeats and Whimsy

Well, here we are in the cruel heart of the term: stacks of assignments to grade, reading that you’ve gotten behind on, meeting after meeting after meeting, panicked realizations about term writing goals that seemed so plausible in September and which now require significantly more concentrated attention.  So there’s nothing like a five hour, nose to the grindstone stint in a coffee shop to start to realign things — while simultaneously realizing that getting on top of things is a wonderful dream that will never be attained, and thus needs to be ignored.  Though this follows a weekend where I was supposed to be grading, and ignored the stacks of papers in favor of baking a bourbon pumpkin cheesecake for a belated celebration of Canadian Thanksgiving, so I suppose I can’t complain too much.

Here are outfits representing my two contrasting sartorial strategies for responding to the October rush:

Dress and Cardigan: Target; Boots: Jessica Simpson

Dress and Cardigan: Target; Boots: Jessica Simpson

 Strategy #1: Repeat, with very slight variation, previous outfits.  This I wore to a major faculty meeting where we wrapped up the curriculum changes we’ve been working on for the past two years (and with which I’ve been very actively involved).  This meeting needed an outfit that I could count on to be both comfortable and professional and this sucker fit the bill nicely.


This dress and its twin are proving to be total wardrobe workhorses in a term where I’ve been wearing a lot of dresses.  You can’t beat a dress for easy early morning dressing when all you really want is to stay in bed for another half hour.  At least.

Fox sweater!: Old Navy; Pencil skirt: Target; Concrete wedges: Jessica Simpson

Fox sweater!: Old Navy; Pencil skirt: Target; Concrete wedges: Jessica Simpson

Strategy #2: So if strategy #1 was about minimizing stress by using the familiar as armour, this guy was about perking myself up at the end of a long week.  And, holy crap, did my students love this.  One of things I’ve really noticed about my classes this semester is how much more informal and casual I am with them.  And this leads to me wearing awesome things like this fox sweater, which has previously been consigned to casual wear.  I did have a fevered text exchange with the youngest sister about whether this was TOO whimsical but the pencil skirt and heels keeps it on the right side of the line for me.


How are your Octobers going?

11 thoughts on “Repeats and Whimsy

  1. I will plunge into the fray (late to the fray party but MEH) to cast another vote for navy. I love black but feel frumpy in brown and blah in grey. Navy is an amazing neutral.

    The fox sweater is completely adorable and you’re rocking its whimsy. Foxes are the new owls. Also:

    • Dude. It’s never to late join the fray. I totally share your evaluation of the neutrals — though with perhaps slightly more fondness for grey than you.

      And, hah! Foxes are TOTALLY the new owls.

      • Grey will be far better on you than on me due to complexion undertones. That said, right now I am wearing grey and black stripes, so it’s not like I’m putting my money where my complexion is.

  2. Ok, that foxy sweater is way adorable, and I agree that its styling here keeps it all kinds of profesh. Also, the navy, stripes, and boots combo above is gorgeous. Seriously: navy is way better than everything.

    In other news, it’s time for you to stalk the mini-FR intarsia (??) sweater D-Med references. Maybe you can get it on deep, deep discount end of season. Or maybe not. Perhaps it’s less important for roommates of tiny wiener dogs to wear images of their dogs on their clothes. Perhaps it’s the responsibility of non-roommates to represent.

    • Navy IS way better than everything. Every time I wear that dress or that sweater, I wonder why I don’t have more in the color. It’s so much less harsh than black for my coloring, and more lively than brown. Also, cognac boots are the greatest — I could seriously wear them every day, with all the things.

      I absolutely cannot wear a sweater version of the mini-FR. That is emphatically the responsibility of the non-roommates. I fear looking like the crazy dog person, and I think a sweater version of my dog pushes me perilously close to that edge.

    • Also, do you enjoy my wiener-ly cross legged pose in the last picture? I was talking with you, right, about weird stances that we only do when teaching. This is mine — I stand like this constantly in the classroom and I have no idea why.

  3. I’ve also been thinking about a whimsical animal sweater. As my avatar is a model in a rabbit mask, I may have been coveting a bunny face in black YSL-ish frames sold through a tween catalogue to add a little aging hipster irony to my look. But I worry about the placement of the eyeglass frames and bunny eyes. Then French Connection (which I loathed when growing up in Canada) has been offering French bulldog sweaters–including one with beads/sequins. Tempting . . .

    • Ooh, good call about the placement of frames and eyes — but, in theory, that sounds ludicrously adorable. A beaded & sequined french bulldog, however, sounds pretty freaking necessary. Though I totally understand the resistance to stores that you loathed while growing up… A person does need to have a code.

  4. I love that fox sweater! I have been stalking a similar Peter Jensen fox sweater since last year but it was stupid expensive for whimsy so I gave up the dream. Peter Jensen also has a mini-FR intarsia sweater this season which can be yours for the low, low price of $350. Maybe you should buy two. In any case, good call on the fox-with-pencil. Also on not paying crazy coin for adorableness.

    I have recently been obsessed with all things foxes and I’m trying to pretend that doesn’t make me the world’s oldest hipster. The door to my new place has a fox door knocker and, I’m not going to lie, it was a selling point.

    • Yeah, that Peter Jensen sweater is lovely but I also cannot get behind that much money on something so whimsical. Also, I’m sort of surprised that I can get another year’s wear out of this — when I bought it last fall, I felt pretty confident that it was too trendy to last for all that long. Re: the mini-FR intarsia sweater, see my response to A-Dubs. But it sounds wonderful. AHH. I just googled it. It’s freaking amazing. And way, way too much money to spend on whimsy — I’ve got my eye on a ridiculously overpriced Madewell whimsical sweatshirt and, at well less than $100, it’s still too much for me to contemplate right now.

      Also, that fox door knocker is amazing. And ABSOLUTELY a selling point. Plus, I saw all sorts of hipsters last weekend in Austin and there were PLENTY well older than you who were totally pulling it off. You clearly just need to lean in to the fox obsession.

      • I’m also a little bit in love with the Peter Jensen brontosaurus sweater though I’m fairly certain I would look like a kindergarten teacher in it and would not be taken seriously by any of my colleagues while wearing it. Plus, It’s a brontosaurus sweater. I’m pretty sure it has a short shelf life.

        And I agree that you cannot wear pictures of your dog on your person. That way madness lies.

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