Wrapping Up

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.

Chambray: Gap; White v-neck: Old Navy; Pencil skirt: Target; Concrete wedges: Jessica Simpson

Chambray: Gap; White v-neck: Old Navy; Pencil skirt: Target; Concrete wedges: Jessica Simpson

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.

Blazer & shell: Target; Jeggings: Gap; Suede Booties: Kenneth Cole

Blazer & shell: Target; Jeggings: Gap; Suede Booties: Kenneth Cole

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.

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How’s everyone doing?  Hanging in there?

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.

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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.

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How are your Octobers going?

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.)

Faux Snakeskin for Paperwork

The weather today is intense, like orange sky, rolling thunder storms, tornado warnings intense. It’s a good thing I’m in the work groove and won’t be wandering around the city in search of excitement this eve. Instead, FR and I went to my office to deal with one final grade change from the winter term. This one for a student who missed the final exam due to “illness,” then skipped the deferred exam and emailed me two days later, begging for mercy, claiming to have “written the date down wrong.” As she hadn’t actually shown up on said wrong date, I ignored her last request and left her to the (lack of) mercy of the university.

Anyway, here’s what I wore to do that paperwork and to write up the minutes from Monday’s meeting (I REALLY hope I’ve not inherited the latter job indefinitely).

Faux snakeskin polyester/spandex jersey dress: Chapter One (via Winners)

Black cotton blend tank dress: Le Chateau

Jean jacket: Smart Set (remixed)

Black microfibre capri-leggings: ?? (via Winners)

Black & silver patent leather slingbacks: Un Tour en Ville: Chaussures

Moonstone pendant: gifted

The faux-snakeskin dress was an impulse purchase inspired by Style Underdog’s edgy-and-freaking-awesome pleather snakeskin leggings. And much thanks to Sal of Already Pretty for the tank-dress layering idea.

What’s your favourite thing to do with animal print? ‘Care to link us to some of your ensembles?