So… it looks like it’s been over a year since we were last in this space. It’s been a busy year for A-Dubs and I: baby, tenure, etc… We’ve missed this and you though, but it’s time for a new format. You can find us now, more regularly, over on Instagram (this is the desktop link for those of you who don’t use the app — you need an account to comment, etc.). We’ll still pop up here once in a while, but we look forward to seeing you in our new space!
Oh, hi there, internet. It’s been a while. So, any theories on where the last six weeks have gone? It seems as though I blinked and March and April disappeared. I can’t even say that I’ve been grading the whole time as that was heavier in January and February for me — before next week’s onslaught of final papers. March, at least, was filled with travel — for work and otherwise. I spent a delightful week in Montreal with my sisters and their adorable, adorable progeny. I was also in New York for a lightning fast conference trip — though I DID get to hang out with the delightful Susan and a host of other, non-blogging work friends. Conferencing is such a mixed bag — it’s a great opportunity to see fun places, hang out with colleagues who are geographically distant, and get some new ideas/ book suggestions BUT it’s also a moment for a reminder of how obnoxious certain aspects of academia can be. Old dude who tried to score cheap laughs at the expense of his undergraduates and dude grad students who think that my lady-brain can’t possibly match the awesome power of theirs, I’m looking at you. But now I’m home (or, more accurately, I’ve been home for OVER A MONTH) and am in the dying days of the term.
One of the buildings I’m teaching in this term is a bit of a treacherous hike from my office — it’s sloping downward over very uneven pavement — so I haven’t worn heels to teach as that’s a recipe for disaster. But, over the last two weeks, I’ve been meeting with my students to discuss their final papers, rather than holding class sessions, so I decided to break out the heels for those days where I was just in my office or only teaching in the building that doesn’t require risking life and limb to get to it. This is also a new chambray shirt. I’ve long had my eye on this one from the Gap — it’s got western detailing and pearl snaps, which appeals to my Prairie upbringing — so I snapped it up when it was on clearance. I’m quite smitten with it and plan on wearing the crap out of it until it gets ludicrously hot here and sleeves become unviable.
These jeggings are another recent, Gap sale purchase, worn here on a day last week where I met with fifteen students to discuss their papers. And then promptly passed out at home, never wanting to say another word. I actually really love doing these paper conferences, as I both love talking about writing with students AND having a captive audience — and this was a day when some of my very favorite students of this term were scheduled. But, man, by the end of the day, my brain was pretty fried.
How’s everyone doing? Hanging in there?
Man, I can.not. wait for Spring Break. Just two days to go until I head for parts northward where I get to visit with my adorable niece and nephew, and get some precious days off of work (and, I suppose, hang out with my sisters and their husbands). This last month has been totally chaotic and did its very best to make me cry in public as deadlines overlapped one another and assignments just kept coming in and coming in. I’ve got to take work with me when I travel but I’m definitely taking the weekend off completely. Though I said that LAST weekend and I ended up doing my typical “work all the days” trick so… Anyhow, since I’ve just been trying to keep my head above water, there’s been a lot of repeats and generally underwhelming sartorial decisions throughout February. But by the end of last week, I decided I needed to pick my game up a bit in order to keep myself awake.
This t-shirt is from the Jason Wu for Target collection of a couple of years ago and has an adorable little black and grey wagon wheel print. The shirt itself is pretty transparent so it’s strictly a layering piece — and one that I tend to forget about. The bow is a little twee for me sometimes but pairs nicely with the v neck sweater and the pencil skirt.
I don’t have much to say about this, really, apart from observing that one way you can tell I’ve been busy/ stressed is that my nails aren’t done. I think it’s going to take Spring Break for me to get back on that habit.
So, yesterday morning it was 25 Celsius/ 77 Fahrenheit here. Two hours later it was 0 Celsius/ 32 Fahrenheit. Which is a ludicrous change in temperature in such a short time. This place I live in is weird. This morning I woke up to -13 Celsius/ 9 Fahrenheit. So, as any other smart individual would do, I put on my shortest dress & tights and went to work. I am, obviously, some sort of super genius.
The dress is new so its shortness came as a bit of surprise plus it kept riding up my tights as I walked & in the wind. Altogether, then, it was the best possible choice today.
So… March has definitely come in as a lion, right? This means we’re due some lamb-like weather soon, right?
How the heck is it February already? Somehow we’re into the fourth week of the term here, meaning that the term is a quarter over already. For all the chaos that surrounds the beginning of the school year in September, I always find that the spring term feels link a non-stop sprint. The spring is conference season for me so all of a sudden all the ideas that seemed so exciting in September now need to actually have some sort of concrete plan behind them. I go up for tenure this summer/ fall, so I’m also in the midst of trying to put together anything and everything that can be sent out for a last minute CV boost.
I haven’t worn too many pencil skirt centred outfits this school year. Not entirely sure why. Partly it’s that my collection of pencil skirts don’t really fit that well anymore and I haven’t replaced them in the seemingly continuous shopping I do. Partly it’s that I’ve been really drawn to more neutral grounding pieces for my teaching outfits, so the bright colors aren’t always what I’m wanting first thing in the morning.
You guys sick of this blazer yet? ‘Cause I’m sure not. So I broke out the teaching denim in the second week of term this year. Craziness. I know many of you feel strongly about the not-wearing of denim in the classroom, and certainly not early in the term. But I’ve decided that I don’t. I mean, I did dress it up more than I might later — though the necklace was as much about covering up the lowness of the v-neck as it was about dressing up the denim. Students here are very attentive to authority (they ARE Southern) so it unexpectedly grants me a little flexibility in my performance of that authority.
Anyone else got any sartorial rules that they’ve decided they’re not actually concerned about?
Ok. So there actually is barely enough snow on the ground to count and anyone north of us would totally laugh, but it’s totally a snow day here. Or a snow morning, anyhow. IPF South is, in many, many ways, a weird place, but especially about “cold” weather. Which means we have a glorious reprieve from the morning’s classes, despite it being barely winter outside. And tomorrow the temperature is supposed to be 17 celsius/ 60 fahrenheit. So, so weird.
Anyhow, to the outfits:
Here’s what I wore for the first day of classes last week. The dress and boots are recent acquisitions — both gifts, in full or part, from my Mom for Christmas. Both are pretty great — the boots, in particular, have gotten a LOT of wear since I got them.
As you can sort of see in this picture, the dress has pockets. A thing that continues to be the greatest. A cardigan was necessary last week, but I love the dress on its own as well.
And here’s the obligatory boot close-up.
This I wore the next day for a writing day at one of my usual haunts. And I love it. All of it. This coat and these pants continue to be my very favorite things as the pants feel like pajamas and the coat ups the game of any and everything else. I am on the lookout for new black flats, though, as these ones are starting to look a bit rough.
Got big weekend plans? This weekend is the beginning of candidate visit season so I’ve got a bunch of work things on deck.
Happy New Year, everyone! The last month has been a bit of a whirlwind: I had a delightful 3 day bout of bronchitis. I spent some excellent, but busy, time with family, meeting my (at the time) nearly-three month old niece for the first time and being at the hospital when my nephew decided to arrive, just under the wire, before I flew home. I’ve been home for nearly two weeks and I’ve been busy trying to catch up with things that were left unfinished before the holidays. Local key players are slowly returning from their holidays so things are starting to return to normal in this, the last week of break (here at least — I believe that many of our Canadian academic readers are already back at it).
Part of returning to form means doing the rounds of my coffee shops, making sure that baristas remember my order after my absence.
Fortunately, they all passed the implicit test. It’s as though a three week absence doesn’t make that much difference when you go to a place two to three times a week for the six months previous to this absence. And are, clearly, awesome.
While we’re experience nothing even remotely similar to the insane deep freeze that IPF North is currently in the midst of, the last few days have been the coldest I’ve ever experienced in IPF South — a location where all windows are only single glazed and, thus, super drafty, and where even the slightest drop below freezing is viewed as apocalyptic. After four and a half years here, I’ve gotten weak and so today I had to layer underneath my fantastic fox shirt and eat soup in order to manage. I lead an exceedingly difficult life.
Another form that needs to returning to is having some drinks and tacos. A difficult task but one that I proved myself up to.
Both outfits are also vehicles for some of my holiday loot (with further such vehicles to come — namely boots): the fox t shirt in the above outfit, and the moto jacket here. Both outfits are also all about my youngest sister — the one who kindly had a baby five hours before I had to be at the airport so I could meet the little duffer. I technically bought the moto jacket in this outfit in the Boxing Day sales, but it’s the twin of the one I gifted said sister. Similarly, she brought back the scarf for me from a recent-ish trip to Milan.
Hope all of your new years are off to a good start! And if you’re currently in the midst of the polar vortex, that you’re keeping warm!
I second A-Dubs’ jubilation on the end of term. I submitted my last set of grades for the term yesterday — though now the trick is to rein in my sense that I’m on vacation, until I actually leave on Tuesday — so things are pretty awesome here. Classes ended last week so this week has meant a bunch of end of term meetings as I transition out of professional wear, into sweatpants. I chose — inadvertently — to wear variations on a “grey & black stripes with blue accents” theme.
So I wore this today to work at a coffee shop and then to meet other assistant professors from my department for lunch to discuss mentorship. Also, I’m wearing jeggings. I know. I’m surprised too. But, ohmigod, are they the most comfortable things ever. I love them. I’m never wearing anything else (this may be an untruth).
Also, this blazer continues to be a workhorse. I’m honestly a little surprised by how much wear I get out of a striped blazer. Perhaps the fact that it is ludicrously flattering helps somewhat. I mean, seriously.
This, I wore to give an exam earlier this week. I figured it was one last chance to dress up for my students. The exam was at 8 in the morning so I couldn’t wear what I wanted (my pajamas, back in bed), so I might as well dress up. Also, the mini-FR is super into smelling my skirt here for unknown reasons.
I suspect this is it from me until the new year so I hope everyone enjoys the next few weeks!
What’s this, a second post in one week? Craziness. As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve got a bit of a backlog of outfits to share with you. But today’s post was catalyzed by a gauntlet, thrown down by Anne. To recap the story so far, my students thought I was wearing a costume on Halloween, when I was, in fact, just wearing my regular clothes. Anne, theorizing that I was in costume as her, decided to recreate the outfit, dressing as me, dressing as her. So, today, to add yet another level of something like meta-ness, I dressed as Anne, dressing as me, dressing as her.
Boom. Your move, Anne. Your move. I also didn’t fully go headless in the picture below in order to reveal the red lipstick (which I normally wear) but which is also part of my Anne costume. Note that the mini-FR even graced this post with his presence, as homage to the ridiculously photogenic dogs of Anne Really Blogs. Also, this is the most emphatically Team Color outfit I’ve worn in a while. It was occasionally distracting.
And since, I’m posting anyhow, here are a few more recent outfits.
Yeah, I have no idea what I’m doing in this picture. But it shows the outfit better than the other shots I have. Clearly, I’m a posing genius. Anyhow, this outfit was designed around these shoes. Which are awesome, and much more comfortable than they look/ I would have assumed.
And this might be the most flattering outfit I’ve ever worn on this blog. As I mentioned when I last wore this peplum top, I really like the look of it with a pencil skirt, but found the sleeveless pairing of it with the fitted skirt to be a little much for the classroom. I was playing around with outfit planning, as you do, and decided to throw this t shirt on underneath, and, all of sudden, it became classroom workable. I’m going to try it out with a cardigan as well, but this was an excellent work around.
Any exciting plans for the weekend?
Nothing like a busy week or two to provide blog fodder, right? I have three, that’s right THREE (and it’s actually three plus one variation), outfits for you today — and a bunch still waiting to be blogged. With Halloween, a friend’s birthday, another friend’s band playing, and the usual social shenanigans, I’ve got a number of bloggable casual outfits for y’all.
To start things off, here’s what I wore to teach on Halloween and, later, out for drinks & cupcakes to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Note that I’m emphatically not a costume person — as both A-Dubs and D-Med who have spent many a Halloween with me know — but that my students thought I was in costume anyhow. I’ll take guesses as to what you think they thought I was (I don’t know what they thought though as I was too busy spluttering out that I wasn’t in costume).
Anyhow, a good time was had by all. Apart from our usual server, who we did our best to get fired by being so hilarious that we kept distracting him from his other tables.
This next outfit is from the next evening out. You’ll note that over the next series of photos temperatures were dropping as my legs require more and more covering up.
I don’t have much to say about this — apart from the fact that I love that it is FINALLY tights weather here (a love that I’m sure won’t be shared by many of you who have had this weather for a while already and have far more of it to look forward to than I do). Also, the jean jacket fits better than that first picture makes it seem.
Lastly, here is the outfit I wore the third night out for the performance of a band that two of my friends are in. And on this night even tights wouldn’t cut it as leg covers.
I wore this same outfit with some alterations earlier in the work for a day split between a coffee shop, working, and campus, attending meetings. Variations of this outfit are turning into a bit of a uniform for non-teaching campus days.
Are you a stick-in-the-mud about Halloween like me? Or did you dress up?
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:
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.
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?