Once More with Feeling

Happy End-of-term academics, and welcome, StyleNation, to the sweet buttery month of May, the lovely era that follows regularly upon The Watch That Ends the Night!

I really, really hope this is my last preggo post. As of tomorrow morning, I’ll be 41 weeks pregnant. That is more than enough, I think.

My maternity leave began May 1st, but I’m just going to work until the baby’s born – 3 papers done, 1 more to go! Also, my research team will keep working while I’m on leave, and I’ve got to supervise them until my research partner gets back from the other side of the world this June. In short, things are busy but this is good; I need the distraction from my extreme pregnancy-related discomfort.

And so, while it’s increasingly difficult to fit into professional(ish) clothing, I persevere.

#1. Worn for Student-run Event on Campus a Few Weeks Ago

Ha! This isn’t even a maternity dress; it’s a cheap super-stretchy jersey midi dress from H&M. I suspect its clinginess would render it inappropriate on its own in profesh settings when I’m no longer pregnant. But I like super-fitted preggo stylez. They highlight the bump without making me look more gigantic than I am.

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Black jersey midi dress: H&M (new to blog); Leather and rhinestone rose cuff: mall anchor store in Florida (new to blog); Black plus-sized tights: Hue (via The Bay); Boots: Khrio (remixed)

In other news, my fellow model here is Foxy T, a friend of the Fuzzy Roommate and the Fuzzy Roommate’s Dog. She stayed with us for March and April while her people are away doing research.

#2. Worn for Off-campus Supervisory Meeting with Grad Students (Last Week)

The floral item here is technically a dress; on a long-body like me, and at this stage of my life, it’s most definitely a tunic. Foxy T kindly supervised the photo-taking, again. I miss her attentiveness and willingness to participate as she deems necessary. The FR and his dog are no longer into blogging with me.

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Black floral maternity dress/tunic: New Look (new to blog); Black rayon knit twist-front sweater: Simons (new to blog, purchased with janey_em in Montreal in February; Black pleather and pointe knit maternity leggings: (remixed); Boots: Khrio (remixed)

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Silver Tiffany necklace: remixed; Bootage: (remixed)

What’s up with you, StyleNation?

Please send me contraction-centred thoughts this week!

Things That Should be Large

Greetings, StyleNation, from the midst of my research leave, almost end-of-term, and month 7.75 of my pregnancy. I should be large. And I am.

Also, something creepy but simultaneously kind of hilarious happened last week. I have little else to report, so I’m posting mostly to share about that.

First, the outfit I was wearing when it happened.

#1. Worn to an early evening professional event with cocktails

As my footwear choices are currently limited to those that can adjust to fit my stupid swollen preggo feet, I wore this.

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Pointe knit draped blazer: Grace Elements (new to blog, via Belk); Silver bib necklace: Stella and Dot (gifted by DSW, remixed; Black maternity tunic/t-shirt: Bump Maternity (via Motherhood Maternity – worst store name ever – new to blog); Brooch: made by an artist whose name I forget, from a series called Blue in the Face; Black pointe and pleather maternity leggings: Queen Mum (new to blog, via the new maternity boutique down the street); Boots: Khrio (new to blog, via adorably hip shoe boutique by my favourite coffee place downtown)

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I strode into the event and began mingling with students and colleagues. It was lovely because I mostly work from home right now and haven’t seen anyone all term.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a colleague from another institution doing a huge lean out of her conversation group, clearly eyeballing my preggo form. She had a big weird grin on her face was trying to catch my eye. (This particular colleague has been awkwardly and arrogantly hot and cold with me in ways I’ve found both embarrassing and annoying in the recent past. For example, despite our knowing each other for years and having attended (and hung out at) many of the same conferences, at a social event a number of months ago, she refused to acknowledge my efforts to catch her eye. Later, when I made a point of seeking her out to chat briefly, she acted like I was a ridiculous hanger-on with a major crush on her who was, her demeanour implied, embarrassing both of us in front of her new girlfriend. It was the dumbest.)

At last week’s event, she soon made her way over to me, grinning all the while, and we had the following creepy and kind of awesome exchange:

COLLEAGUE: Hey A-Dubs, you’re looking. . . . . you’re looking (pausing and grinning strangely). …

MOI: Uh, is “rotund” the word you’re looking for?

COLLEAGUE: Well, no. Uh (more pausing, grinning, and looking me up and down), it’s hard not to objectify pregnant women. I mean, don’t you find that?

MOI: (at a loss for words) Ummmm, what?

COLLEAGUE: No, I mean, it’s hard FOR ME not to objectify pregnant women. (more awkward and now openly lecherous grinning)

                              The M.C. begins her opening comments; everyone but us is now sitting down.

MOI: Hmmm. Well, more on this later. See you afterward. (I escape to my seat.)

                                         She left early, so we were both spared any further interactions like the above.

WTF? I suppose I spend so much time in feminist spaces that I’d forgotten what it’s like to be leered at in a professional setting. That said, I kind of love that she embarrassed herself in this manner.  I believe now, according to the grade-five-rules-of-mean-girl-relationships, I have the upper hand. And yet, blech. Also, this took place in a feminist space!

In other news, I wore a variation of the all-black-with-fat-feet-adjustable-boots outfit. I will show it to you via my exceptional photography.

#2. Worn to attend two research talks on campus

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All same as above, but switched out jacket for Black silk/cotton blend non-maternity slim sweater, and switched out bib necklace and pin for gifted and oft-remixed silver
Tiffany necklace

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Mostly, I am over being pregnant and cannot wait to carry this baby on the outside of my body. However, I have another two articles to complete and submit to journals, and at least two weeks worth of research-related administrata to take care of before this baby comes into the world. So probably I should just embrace the largeness and all associated crappy symptoms (carpal tunnel in both wrists, for example) for just a wee bit longer.

Finally, let’s finish today’s Sei Shōnagon-inspired list, shall we? I’ll do 5, and you add your ideas in the comments section:

Things that Should be Large

5. One’s publication record prior to the commencement of maternity leave

4. More of my boots

3. One’s capacity for compassion (currently, I excel instead at smugness)

2. One’s wine collection and accompanying glasses

1. One’s budget for the purchasing of baby supplies (srsly: holy maude)

What else should be large, StyleNation? 

Prego Profesh-ish

StyleNation, February is almost over and I’m betting MANY of you across North America are more than ready for the end of this crappy stormy month.

Outfit #1: Off-campus meeting

In other news, I’m on research leave but still occasionally have to get out of my pyjamas. For instance, I wore this relatively casual ensemble for an off-campus meeting with a research assistant:

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Cotton jersey tunic: Boden (new to blog); White cotton cami: ??; Wool/acrylic stripe drape-front cardigan: (remixed, via Winners); Maternity under-belly dark-wash skinny jeans: Indigo Blue (via Motherhood Maternity – worst store name ever – new to blog); Black leather riding boots: Blondo (via Brown’s, remixed ad nauseum on this blog)

And here, just because I have it, is another view. Can you tell I’m trying to emphasize the baby belly? People keep missing that I’m pregnant. Case in point: upon learning that I am almost 7 months along, a woman I met at a meeting last week said, “Oh, that’s exciting! I thought you were just chunky!

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Outfit 1: Things are exactly as they appear

I wore this for a fantastic but very long day on and off-campus during which I co-hosted multiple events with multiple guest speakers. I needed to be super-comfortable.

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Wool/acrylic beige and silver cable 3/4 sleeve cardigan: H&M (very old but new to blog); Cotton jersey blue and grey stripe ruched maternity dress: Isabella Oliver (via the indie prego store down the street, new to blog – also, it can be worn post-pregnancy because of all the wicked ruching!); “Silver” bead necklace: craft fair (remixed, old); Brown tights: Hue (plus-size, for my prego comfort); Brown leather boots: Browns (remixed)

Here’s another view. Apologies for cutting out the bootage. It was very early, and I was in a HUGE rush:

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Sadly, even with this fantastic dress, things got dire, comfort-wise, by hour 16. Also, tights are the worst if you are (a) pregnant (and thus have ridiculously sensitive skin on the back of your stupid legs), and (b) sitting on hard chairs for much of the day. That said, the dress held its shape all day. Also, its horizontal stripes emphasized the baby belly and minimized the “chunky” talk.

Do you use fashion to help others know/recognize things about you?

How so?

Things that are Especially Rare

To echo E-Jo, (belated) Happy New Year, StyleNation! Welcome to IPF 2014 and, more particularly, Research Leave at IPF North! That’s right. I get a break from teaching and service work for the next six months as I prepare to apply for tenure and promotion in the next year or so.

Today’s post, a bit of a catch-up from the end of last term, includes boots, bada$$ery, and a bit of a reveal. Here we go.

#1. Office Pyjamas as Teaching Wear

That’s right. I wore this to teach – but just in my 4th-year honours seminar – in late November. Because I couldn’t make myself care about wearing anything but this bada$$ ensemble.

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Draped black wool/angora/acrylic turtleneck tunic thingy: gifted (from my elegant sis-in-law, Designer Shoe Whore); Stainless steel non-boob-wrangling necklace: gifted (from the A-Dubs-Hubs); Black pleather-front and pointe leggings: H&M (new to blog); Black leather buckled up winter boots: Cougar (new to blog, purchased in Canada’s most stylish ville with janey-em and kelly last spring

Here’s a better bootal view:

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Remember when Cougar boots were those tan coloured lace-ups that we wore undone so the tongues would flap around and show the red cloth lining? It was the ’80s. Cougar’s changed things up a bit since, it seems.

#2. Holiday Party – New booties and a reveal

Both janey_em and Rinty the Crusher informed me that my search for kick-ass black pumps for the A-Dubs-Hubs’s work holiday party would be fruitless. They said I should relent and get some damn ankle booties already. So I did. Possibly I will never wear these again as I am supposed to be retired from high heels. But they were too hard core to pass up.

In other news, I am pregnant, so that’s why I have a different belly than usual in these pic’s:

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Black polyester jersey and lace blazer: Thyme Maternity (new to blog); Black jersey and gold sequin short-sleeved maternity tunic/dress: Séraphine Luxe (new to blog); Black leather, gold metal, and crystal belt: gift with purchase of dress at local prego store; Black micro fibre leggings: remixed; Black leather and gold metal booties: Steve Madden (new to blog)

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And now, to complete today’s Sei Shōnagon-inspired list,

Things that are Especially Rare

5. Blessed, blessed research leave

4. Wicked black pumps this winter

3. Regular posts on this blog (sorry!)

2. Holiday seasons during which I cannot consume booze (thank the goddess these are rare)

1. Canadian cities that are colder than mars

What’s especially rare in your life, StyleNation?

Also, is anyone else totally over booties, yet? 

End-of-term – Hoo-ahhh!

Has it really been almost a month since last we posted, StyleNation? Yeesh!

As usual, November was insanely busy at IPF North. In addition to the teaching, applying for things, attending meetings every second hour, and pretending to maintain a research program, I also jetted off to the emerald isle for a conference. For reasons I’ll discuss some other time, I’ll not be filing a conference report.

I have, however, worn some things to the above-noted on-campus activities. Also, perhaps because of my growing excitement about the research leave I begin as soon as this last batch of grades is submitted, I’ve not been following the November rules. Instead I’ve been fiddling around with boots and blue things.

1. Blue and boots

Worn for a day comprised of a long morning meeting, 75 minutes of teaching, then nearly 2 hours of guest lecture and discussion elsewhere on campus. These boots are meant to replace the brown riding boots that have begun to make my feet crazy-achy.

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Mexx navy and floral faux silk dress: new to blog (via Mexx); Fuchsia cotton t: mall anchor store; Hue Navy tights: remixed (via The Bay); Brown leather back-lace boots: new to blog (via Browns Shoes)

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2. Blue dots, etc

Worn for another meeting and teaching day. I’m still practicing with this skirt and seem to have skewed toward the crazy in this iteration. Whatevs. It’ll happen at some point. But I’m taking suggestions. . .

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Dalia Collection navy and neon faux silk blouse: new to blog (via Winners); “Silver” bead necklace: remixed; Zara navy and blue dot midi pencil skirt: remixed; Hue indigo tights: remixed (via The Bay); Fly London navy and pewter flatforms: remixed

What’s up with you, StyleNation?

What rules are you breaking?

Things that can be seen comfortably

Hi All! Who’s ready for end-of-term? Much as I’m enjoying my two courses this term, I cannot wait for this term to be over. Because then I’ll be on research leave for 6 months and can wear mostly real pyjamas – not office pyjamas – for much of the winter.

To pass the time until then, I offer two ensembles that can be seen comfortably. Mostly because of these new patent leather booties. With the platform, they’re barely high heels at all. This is good as I am trying to retire from wearing uncomfortable shoes. I’ve completely lost patience with footwear that hurts my feet, knees, hips, and back; and I’m no longer willing to tolerate shoes in which I can do little more than mince or tiptoe around.

1. Belting a Cardigan Like we Did Back in the Day (i.e. 2008)

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Navy floral-printed draped cardigan: Melanie Lyne (remixed); Satine cotton cami: Jockey (via The Bay); Silver leather skinny belt: Smart Set; Black cotton twill pencil skirt (lined): Melanie Lyne; Tights: Hue; Black patent leather booties: Rockport (new to blog)

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2. Black and Gold and Booties

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Cream rayon knit t-neck: BCBG Maxazria; Black and gold dress: BCBG Maxazria (remixed); Leggings: Smart Set (remixed); Booties: as above

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And finally, let’s finish today’s Sei Shōnagon-inspired list:

Things That Can be Seen Comfortably

1. These booties.

2. The first snow of the season (already happened here, fyi – probably you’re jealous)

3. Cherry blossoms anywhere (seriously: online, in visual media, in person – they’re always exquisite)

4. Puppies and kittens

5. Mannequins shaped like real women

What will you add to the list, StyleNation?

What visual things are comfortable for you to see?

Pencil Skirts, Northern Division

Having woken early to the dulcet tones of a dog puking, I’ve found a whole extra hour with which to blog. How’ve you been, StyleNation? Things here at IPF North have been verging on frantic at least in part because this is now my fourth year at my job and I’m no longer contractually protected from service work at the faculty and university levels. This means I’ve a whole new set of meetings to map onto existing research, teaching, and department-level meetings.

I’ve also discovered that prepping adequately for every meeting (i.e. thoroughly reading ALL attachments emailed prior) cuts into necessary sleep and having-at-least-a-little-life time. I am, therefore, developing a survival strategy. Unless I’m prepping for someone else’s tenure review, I’ll be skimming what appear to be the most important documents in the 10-15 minutes prior to the meeting/s in which they’re to be discussed. I just don’t see any other way to survive the landslide of text-based documents this fall.

In outfit-related news, I’ve been trying to try. This is me saying good-bye to bare legs. The crisp autumn season is now firmly upon this city; but we had one last push of sun and warm breeziness last week:

1. Needs bigger shoes

I’m trying to channel me some E-Jo. Her flats seem to balance her ensembles better than these tiny gold ones. I’ll keep trying!

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Black flowered tunic/blouse: ?? (I removed the scratchy tag, remixed); Black sleeveless T: H&M (remixed a LOT); Rose gold leather belt: Smart Set (new to blog); Cream satin-finish cotton pencil skirt: Jacob (remixed); Gold faux-snakeskin embellished flats: David Dixon (remixed)

 

2. Blacks and blues

This was my first attempt at styling this skirt. I’ve got bigger plans for it, but this is a reasonable warm-up.

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Sheer black silk button-up blouse: Equipment (via Winners, new to blog); Black sleeveless T: as above: Silver medallion necklace: The Bay; Navy and blue polka dot midi pencil skirt: Zara: Black suede flats: Browns

How’s fall treating you, StyleNation?

Also, for those of you with meeting-rich professional lives, how do you do it?

First Days: Dresses

Whew! September is flying  by, thank the gods. It’s always a full-on month-long scramble I can’t wait to be over, despite the piles of marking that arrive with October. Also, one of the courses I’m teaching this term is a 3-hour afternoon one I’ve not taught before. This means eons of prep time and a LOT of dashing around last minute, searching for books, making copies, and throwing tech into bags to haul to class just in case it’s needed.

All of this dashing and scrambling generally means I spend less time than I should planning outfits. Thus, there’ve been some misses of late, sartorially speaking. I offer the following for your consideration/commentary:

1. Dress that Hangs like a Bag

Purchased last year in a funky shop that makes me want to be as cool as it is. The dress/bag itself is made of summer weight wool and lycra, so it’s super-comfortable. I’m forced to admit, however, that it looks like a potato sack. Tits.

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Banana Blue Mauve/gray dress: new to blog; Black cotton T and leggings: ubiquitous on this blog; Beaded silver bracelets: remixed; Fly London Yayas in black: remixed

Here’s another iteration, equally unsuccessful:

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Dress: as above; Mexx long white linen cardigan: remixed; Stella & Dot silver bib necklace: remixed; “Silver” beaded bracelets: remixed; Mexx white camp: remixed; Ecco Silver leather sandals: new to blog

2. Summer-Sale Misfire

This dress is sort of insane; it has a LOT going on. Probably too much. I can see why it was in the sales, but it’s redonk comfortable, and I kind of dig the crazy. Also,  I think I can style it better than this. In short, I am keeping it but recognize that this first iteration leaves a lot to be desired:

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Kenneth Cole insane dress: new to blog (via Kenneth Cole online); Black cotton/lycra cropped cardigan: ?? (I cut out the itchy, itchy tag); Black bamboo capri leggings: Joe Fresh (technically pyjamas, purchase last year before we knew exactly how much Joe Fresh, the brand, sucketh); David Dixon embellished pewter “snakeskin” leather flats: remixed

And here it is from the back. I told you there’s a LOT going on:

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3. This One I Love

It’s got everything on my new work-dress checklist: high neckline? check; Heavy cotton jersey that doesn’t show my underwear line? check; Colour that is kind to my complexion? check. In other news, there’s no big dark wet patch on the right side. The camera put that there. Or maybe it’s a ghost.

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Neon Buddha steel-grey cotton jersey dress: new to blog; Loft cream cotton short-sleeved cropped cardigan: remixed; Necklace: remixed; Naturalizer nude-for-my-skin-tone leather wedge sandals: remixed

I’d love to stay and chat, but I need my hands for eating cake. The A-Dubs-Hubs is working late, so the dogs and I are having a picnic in bed.

Here’s a final question: is the dress I love too casual for work? Is it a going-to-yoga thing?

(I am easily seduced by yoga clothes.)

Things that Pass By Rapidly, or Summer in Review

What up, StyleNation?! Welcome to another academic term at IPF, Northern Division! While IPF South’s been in the classroom for weeks now, I only returned last Thursday. Before posting back-to-school photos, however, I hearken instead to the sun-drenched, research-and-wine-filled days of summer one last time.

Obvy, SUMMER tops my Sei Shōnagon-inspired list today (i.e. Things that Pass By Rapidly).

Like E-Jo, I spent much of June, July, and August wearing only-occasionally-remarkable attire, so I’ve very little to report, sartorially-speaking. The following saw me through some on-campus workshops and meetings with research assistants throughout the summer:

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Grey and black burnout cowl-neck top: ?? (I removed the tag, new to blog); Black cotton cami: mall anchor store (ubiquitous on this blog); Smart Set pull-on denim skirt: thrifted (new to blog); Fly London Yayas: remixed

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Pistachio Cotton 3/4-sleeve Cardigan: ?? new to blog (via Winners, but I removed the tag); Navy/white Stripe Mexx cotton/linen Drop-waist Dress: new to blog (purchased 2 or 3 summers ago); White Hue Jegging Capris: new to blog (via The Bay – be honest: how do we really feel about white jeggings? I can’t decide); Yellow Mousse Fly London Yakin Ankle Strap Wedges: new to blog (via lovely shoe boutique around the corner)

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DKYNY Studded Denim Blazer: remixed (via Winners); Necklace: remixed (gifted); Black Cotton T-shirt: H&M (remixed); Teal Smart Set Cotton Trousers: new to blog; Brown leather belt: remixed (ubiquitous on this blog); Nude-for-white-folks Naturalizer Leather Wedge Sandals: remixed

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Linen J Crew Pineapple T-shirt: new to blog (summer 2013); Cotton Smart Set Pineapple(coloured) Trousers: new to blog (summer 2013); Silver Pleather Bangle: remixed; Sandals: as above

And now, to finish the list (and the summer):

Things That Pass By Rapidly

5. The period in one’s life when drink the night before has little negative effects the morning after

4. Puppyhood for my Fuzzy Roommate and his dog

3. Periods of extreme hilarity

2. Moments in which first impressions, personal or professional, are formed

1. CANADIAN SUMMERS

What’s on your list, StyleNation?

Black Mirror

One of the best things my parents did was tell me consistently throughout my childhood and adolescence that I was beautiful. Whether or not it was true didn’t matter then, and it doesn’t matter now. Because deep down, despite my current age (40) and all the crazy things dominant culture tells me every day about my supposedly “failing” looks, I continue to believe I am good-looking. Because people who mattered to me during my formative years assured me of it ALL THE DAMN TIME.* (Case in point: my face looks AWFUL in most pictures. I look at these images, hear my father or mother’s voice exclaiming over how gorgeous I am, and I blame photography for not being able to capture my real face.)

UPDATE: I know I have to address race and body privilege as they relate to this issue. I know, too, that in doing so I must engage more directly with the influences of wider culture, not just parental/domestic training. I will do so in an upcoming post. Please stand by.

Feminism took over where my parents left off. Dominant culture tells me, “You’re getting wrinkles around your eyes and lips”; “There are grooves in your cheeks, and you’re starting to get jowls”; “Wrinkles are the worst, and you are not beautiful if you have them.” But feminism assures me that it’s perfectly natural to look older as I grow older; that it’s crazy to treat visible signs of aging like some kind of moral failure; that beauty is only one of the ways to evaluate my worth; and that beauty is not determined by lines – or lack thereof – on one’s face.

That said, as much as I love colour, I’ve learned I like my outfit photos best when I wear black. For whatever reason, I feel most myself, and most beautiful – however we interpret this politically loaded word – in black.

Black Outfit #1: Office Pyjamas

Worn on a cooler day to hole up in my office, slipping out occasionally to take advantage of the fantastically short coffee lines during The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

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Black cotton mesh-sleeve Mexx sweater/tunic: new to blog; Necklace: gifted (remixed); Joe Fresh cotton tank: new to blog; Black cotton leggings: remixed; Also brown leather riding boots: remixed a LOT on this blog

And here, because as you know, I am a genius with the camera, is a close-up of the mesh sleeves that make this sweater springy:

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Black Outfit #2: Convocation

I wore this under my insufferably hot robes at convocation which I attended because, as noted previously, my favourite student graduated. Then I sat in my office trying to write things until I decided I had heat exhaustion and could, therefore, go home and watch the new season of Arrested Development. (My review: Meh, despite repeated ostrich appearances and Portia de Rossi’s cute haircut. I laughed out loud WAY LESS in this season than in others.)

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H&M mesh/lace and lyocel t-shirt: new to blog; Green suede and silver metal belt: new to blog (via mall anchor store); Mexx black cotton (with a sheen) wide-leg trousers: new to blog; Fly London black leather Yayas: remixed

Is there a colour you feel best in, StyleNation?

Also, if you feel like sharing, how did your parental figures get it right or wrong

when it came to building your self-esteem?