Snow Day!

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:

Dress: Lands End (gifted); Cardigan: Joe; Tights: no clue, probably Hue; Boots: Sofft

Dress: Lands End (gifted); Cardigan: Joe; Tights: no clue, probably Hue; Boots: Sofft

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.

Jacket & ponte leggings: Gap; Plaid & white t-shirt: Old Navy; Black flats: Me Too

Jacket & ponte leggings: Gap; Plaid & white t-shirt: Old Navy; Black flats: Me Too

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.  


First Two Weeks: Separates

Here are the final two outfits from my first two weeks of classes.  One of the difficult things about dressing for the beginning of the fall term here at IPF South is that we are still very much in the grip of summer — read: temperatures in the 90s/ high 30s.  This will typically last into October.  This means that some of the typical strategies for conveying authority in the classroom in the first few weeks become difficult.  Namely, I find that sleeves can only lead to heat stroke.  It’s tricky, then, to craft outfits that still convey the professionalism you might want, alongside things that are appropriate to the temperature.  It DOES help that my students are experiencing the same temperatures, and so they’re dressing proportionally more casually as well (though I do teach on a campus where students where university branded t-shirts & athletic shorts all year so they’re always super casual).

Top: Target; Skirt: Eddie Bauer; Sandals: Aerosoles; Necklace: RW & Co.

Top: Target; Skirt: Eddie Bauer; Sandals: Aerosoles; Necklace: RW & Co.

I wore this on the first day of classes.  This is the skirt that I’ve had for ages but, between this outfit and the one in the linked outfit, I’ve decided to cut it loose and it’s currently in my to-donate pile.  I’m taking A-Dubs’ advice and looking for one that is neither too long nor so swingy.


Also, while I love the bursts of cognac in the shoes and necklace, the coral top and black skirt are reading a bit Hallowe’en to me here.  But enough of what didn’t work well.  It was a comfortable outfit for the first day — and I’d forgotten about these shoes (which photograph horribly) which are great stomping around the classroom heels.

Top: Target; Skirt: Gap; Bronze Wedges: Etienne Aignier

Top: Target; Skirt: Gap; Bronze Wedges: Etienne Aignier

Here’s another great pair of class-stomping shoes that I haven’t worn in ages.  This semester both my classes are in the same building as my office, so it makes it much easier to teach in heels as I don’t need to traipse across campus with its ridiculously uneven pavement.  So you’ll notice far more of my heels being trotted out over the next couple of weeks.


I had a different outfit in mind with this top — I wanted to pair it with a pencil skirt — but it turned out to be a little too much for the classroom.  I’m slightly at a loss about what to pair it with now; I liked this pairing, but the proportions aren’t ideal.  It will work nicely with jeans on the weekend or non-teaching days, but I’m not sure beyond dress pants what to pair it with for the classroom.  That said, once it cools down enough to add a cardigan, I think the pencil skirt version of this outfit will work as it will seem less like I’m wearing a makeshift cocktail dress to class.

Anybody got some other suggestions for styling shirts with a peplum?


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:

DSC_0028 2

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


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)


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


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


What’s on your list, StyleNation?

First Two Weeks: Dresses

There’s nothing easier in the first two weeks of classes than a dress.  As I get used to being back on a fall routine, I do appreciate the ease of one piece dressing.  Almost as much as I appreciate that my classes this fall are ones I’ve taught numerous times before and that one class is smart, super chatty, and already laughing at my HILARIOUS jokes, making the back-to-school transition reasonably seamless.

Note: in these pictures, I am not wearing white pantyhose.  You’ll see what I mean.

Dress: Lane Bryant; Belt: NY & Co.; Shoes: Jessica Simpson

Dress: Lane Bryant; Belt: NY & Co.; Shoes: Jessica Simpson

I wore this dress for my second day of classes last week (the first day outfit is coming soon, horribly out of order).  This dress is an old favorite, so it seemed a natural choice for a day where we moved beyond basic syllabus material and into the course proper.


Excuse the weird pose here, but I wanted to show a little bit more shoe detail.  An aim which failed because the wedge of my shoe is pretty much the color of my hardwood floors.

Dress: Target; Beloved Tear-shaped Pendant: H&M; Black flats: Me Too

Dress: Target; Beloved Tear-shaped Pendant: H&M; Black flats: Me Too

This dress I wore yesterday after picking it up over the weekend.  And, reader, I’m in love.  It has pockets!  It has stripes!  It’s made of ponte material so it’s comfortable!  It’s flattering!  All things that emphatically put it into the win category for me.  To the extent that I’m considering picking it up in another color.


Weirdly enough for me, though, is that both these dresses are full-on neutrals.  And as a hardcore member of Team Color, this feels strange.  Not to worry, though.  I’ve got a technicolor outfit planned for tomorrow’s class.

Did everyone have a good Labor Day weekend?

Day Zero

Tomorrow is the first day of classes for me (they officially begun today at my university).  Cue my requisite outrage at the sped up passage of time over the summer.  Anyhow, after a really busy summer, full of super casual and repeated outfits, I’m nerdily a little excited for the opportunity to wear real clothes — though, to be clear, my clothes have not been imaginary throughout the summer, however appealing in this heat.  Last week begun to ease me into the transition a bit as some department commitments began to kick in.

Cowl neck tank: Old Navy; Black tank: Target; Black skirt: Eddie Bauer; Black flats: Me Too

I wore this to our new graduate student orientation where I was tasked with convincing students to take my spring grad course.  The presentation, like the outfit, was intermittently successful, but didn’t entirely come together as I had envisioned.DSC_0018-004

This skirt — which I bought as an undergrad and is nearing its eleventh year in my possession, and thus the crown for the article of clothing I’ve owned the longest — is one that I almost never wear and which I have almost gotten rid of several times, only for it to be saved by the obvious versatility of a black jersey skirt.  The problem with it is twofold: I don’t wear a lot of black, generally, and it’s too long (I’ve got it hiked to high heaven here).  Also, it doesn’t really fit anymore.  So its problems are secretly threefold.  But, sometimes, I need a neutral skirt and so I pull this sucker into rotation.  Still, wearing something less than five times in five years would argue that I need to just find a neutral option that I like better.

Shirt & cargos: Old Navy; Sandals: Birkenstock

Shirt & cargos: Old Navy; Sandals: Birkenstock

This sucker I wore for the last official coffeeshop work day of the summer.  Y’know, to be followed by today’s first coffeeshop work day of the semester.  Spoiler alert: I’m basically wearing this outfit today as well.


While at the coffeeshop, I frantically worked to finish the draft of an in-progress article and to discuss the fate of the project that will not end with the cute barista.  I was also wearing it when I got home, immediately post this conversation, to get notice of the changed status of the project that will not end.  So good times all around.  Also, the mini-FR decided to join in the fun.

How’s the back-to-school season treating everyone?

Back to School

Hi All!  I’m nearly two weeks into the term and, after a term off of teaching, I am ex. haust. ed.  With the start of term business and the return to department service, the last two weeks have been super busy.  This will all settle itself down shortly, no doubt, but getting back into the swing of things has me crashing with Portlandia marathons when I get home.

One thing that’s unexpectedly taken some adjustment is getting back into the professorial sartorial game.  After eight months of dressing super casually, I’ve found that my sense of appropriate dressing needs some recalibration.  Or, at the very least, demands a ludicrous amount of thought each morning.  Something I super appreciate at 6 am.

Blazer: Target; Navy scoop-neck: Old Navy; Grey pencil skirt: Lane Bryant; Black tights: Hue; Boots: Jessica Simpson

Blazer: Target; Navy scoop-neck: Old Navy; Grey pencil skirt: Lane Bryant; Black tights: Hue; Boots: Jessica Simpson

This was my first day of classes outfit.  In retrospect, I would have worn a necklace.  Though, actually, since these photos are a re-creation 10 days after the fact, I may well have done so and just forgotten.


This blazer is my new favorite thing though.  Well, along with its solid grey twin.  They fit super well and look far more expensive than they were.  So, score.

Cardi: Joe; Dress & tank: Target; Boots & tights: as above

Cardi: Joe; Dress & tank: Target; Boots & tights: as above

Again, clearly I need to re-learn how to accessorize.  Anyhow, I had planned to wear purple tights to introduce some color to the outfit but my purple tights are control tops and since I had a 9 hour day ahead of me, that seemed like a recipe for a stress headache.  So these Hue workhouses were called up from the minors.

How are you managing the doldrums that is the end of January?

Things Later Regretted

Happy New Year, StyleNation – and Happy New Term to the academics in the group!

As it is now the ides of janvier, we had best get this party re-started, n’est-ce pas?

In recent past, the brilliant E-Jo recommended that I read Ruth Ozeki’s wonderfully terrifying novel My Year of Meats. Among MANY other things, My Year of Meats introduced me to the historical Japanese writer Sei Shōnagon and her hilariously ruthless, poetical lists.

In short, thanks to E-Jo, Ozeki, and Shōnagon, I introduce a new feature here at IPF. Over the next while, I’ll use Shōnagon’s titles to create new lists—and I’ll enlist your help in expanding them, StyleNation!

For reasons that may become obvious shortly, I shall begin as follows:

Things Later Regretted

1. To eat mountains of sweets and drink gallons of nog and mulled wine over one’s holidays.

2. To squeeze one’s increasing girth into one’s beautiful, already-fitted leather skirt for the first day of teaching, and to blow out a seam in the process:


Scarf: Smartset; Top: Dalia (via Costco, the evil empire with whom I recently broke up); Skirt: Danier Leather (thrifted, new to blog); Tights: Hue (remixed); Shoes: Fly London

(here’s a shoe close-up):


3. To inform one’s spouse that one of their gifts was gently re-wrapped and re-gifted from the box of last year’s gifts (found recently in the back of his office).

4. To agree to teach yet another new course when one desperately needs more time to apply for grants and publish in order to retain one’s job.

5. To ask one’s favourite undergrad to house-and-dogsit, and to mention that they may help themselves to the wine.

Now it’s your turn, StyleNation.

What might you add to “Things Later Regretted”?

Trying to Try

Cheers, StyleNation, and welcome to the new academic year! Yes, almost everybody in the Northern (academic) hemisphere is back to class now, except for the lucky few – our own E-Jo, for example – who are excused from teaching and will thus spend the term engrossed in their research.

To be clear, gentle readers, for all my griping about prep and marking, I enjoy my time in the classroom. Generally, my students are great, and I LOVE the stuff I teach. But the balance is off lately, and I dream of months of uninterrupted research coupled with some respite from student demands. With almost 200 students this term and very little in the way of assistance with marking, I must (and will) rally. But I’m eligible for leave next year (hurrah!) and am counting down the days!

Professorial rant (scroll down for outfit post)

In the mean time, I have serious concerns about young feminists/feminism. I have this fantasy that this is only happening in my city, but regular (and VERY annoying) exposure (at conferences) to feminist and/or queer cultural studies suggests otherwise. Here’s the problem as I see it: gender-queer practices are the new (so-called) feminism, and the new (so-called) feminism tends to be anti-historical, intensely preoccupied with (Euro-North American) selfhood/identities, alarmingly elitist, and often misogynist. In short, gender-queer politics, at least in the incarnations in which I witness them, are not feminist at all. Instead, there’s an apparent “need” to eliminate the category of “woman” because it is, apparently, reprehensible and ostensibly irrecuperable. In this context, too, gender-queer’s preoccupation with a representative gender-neutral “personhood” seems to over-value a form of (relatively young) slightly re-fashioned masculinity. Gender-queer politics names this refashioned masculinity “androgyny.”

If this is actually a thing now, then, in my not-so-humble opinion, we’ve got a serious – and very tiresome – problem. For my part, I grow INTENSELY WEARY of the refusal, on the part of gender-queer critics, theorists, and students, to interrogate the assumptions underlying their politics.

How does this politics manifest in the undergraduate women’s studies classroom, the nerdier among you might ask? Currently, I am informed on a semi-regular basis, by 17-to-22-year-old persons with carefully-styled “androgynous” hair and clothing, that gender binaries must be disregarded to the point where any research or activism that acknowledges constructed genders is irrelevant.

How many times do we have to learn that socially constructed ideas have real effects, and that “refusing” to engage with a particular ideology does not, in fact, negate its effects in culture? Why can they not hear when a vast and diverse body of feminist cultural critics and theorists points out that even their gender-queer counter-culture defines itself in relation to mainstream gender ideals (i.e. gender-queer NEEDS normative gender constructions in order to understand what it is not)?

Moreover, I am sick and tired of research examining gender-based cultural belief systems that result, for example, in “women’s” starvation and death, or in infant mortality being disregarded and dismissed because those who wrote up the research failed to problematize the constructed categories of “man” and “woman,” or failed to account for a “woman”‘s personal agency when she “chose” to feed her husband and children before herself.

Here endeth my ranting. For now.

Outfit #1: First day of class

No, it’s not exciting, but I wasn’t excited to start teaching, again:


Cardigan: M.A.K. (gifted from D-Med, remixed); Silk & lycra shell: Le Chateau (new to blog); Black cami: H&M (remixed); Linen trousers: H&M (remixed and redyed); Invisible black flats: MTNY (via Winners, new to blog)

Outfit #2: Teaching Day (today)

It’s chillier today. My classroom this morning was especially cold, so I lectured in this jacket:


Cotton velvet blazer: RW & Co. (gifted from the A-Dubs-Hubs ages ago); Printed polyester tunic: Smart Set (new this season); Black leather belt: Mexx (remixed); Pleated black maxi skirt: Reitmans (end-of-season sales this summer); Trouser socks: Joe Fresh; Pewter faux-snakeskin flats with hardware: David Wilcox for Town Shoes (love these, bought ’em in gold, too)

Then, it warmed up, so I took off the jacket for my second class in the afternoon:

What’s up with you, StyleNation?

Also, am I being crazy about this gender-queer stuff?

Repetition 2.0

StyleNation, how did summer get to be almost over?

Like many academics, I am currently scrambling to complete and send off multiple writing/research projects, to write proposals for conferences to which I’ll regret applying come spring, and to draft grant applications that will be due in the next couple of months. I am also placing the book orders I meant to submit ages ago, finalizing course outlines, securing guest speakers, creating course websites, and resisting the urge to delete immediately any and all keener-student requests for information about courses I’m not done planning.

In short, some of us – myself included – are losing the plot right now. Some of us – myself included – are lucky if we remember to brush our hair and put on pants most days. The Summer Uniform regularly saves valuable brain cells. Summer uniform-wise, here’s what’s cooking at IPF North.

Uniform #1: for cooler days, on campus but no meetings

version 1:

Dress: Chapter One (remixed); cami: H&M; Cuff: Le Chateau; Microfibre leggings: ?? (via Winners – they are scratchy, uncomfortable, and stupid. This was their last wearing.); Black leather and brass sandals: Sam & Libby (via Shoe Heaven, this season)

version 2:

Dress: as above; Cami: H&M; Green bead necklace: little shop in Rinty the Crusher’s new hometown last summer; Boot-cut jeggings: Hue (via The Bay – you should check these babies out. they’re stupid-comfortable and they stay up when you walk); White leather flats: Camper (via Barcelona shop during Key Player shopping tour 2006)

Uniform #2: for hotter days, casual student meetings on campus

version 1:

Cotton jersey top: Mexx (new to blog); Striped cotton blazer: Tribal (via Winners, remixed; Necklace: gifted (and only worn at night in summer, otherwise it burns); Cotton and brushed metal belt: Nine West (via Winners); White cargos: Mango (remixed); Gold wedges: Portia (via Shoe Heaven, last summer)

Obvy, the jacket comes off outside but goes on, again, under the a/c in my office.

version 2: (Ok, so not the best for campus, but I wore this for a meeting I had to host at my house this morning since the FR’s Puppy requires supervision and the A-Dubs-Hubs’s schedule is even more insane than my own)

Chambray top: Smart Set (last year; but they’ve got the same one this year for all seasons); Cami: H&M; Cargos: as above; Silver leather, canvas and neoprene flipflops: DKNY

Exciting, no? I almost fell asleep while posting all of the above. Here’s hoping I can step things up a little when term begins next week. (Gah!)

In the mean time, ‘good thing the FR’s Puppy photo bombed in her colour-coordinated puffy neck cone. The poor sweetie was spayed yesterday, so she’s especially heartbreakingly sore AND cute right now. Case in point:

What’s shaking with you, StyleNation?

How do you prepare for September,

if indeed you must prepare for September?

First Week Back

Well, I’ve survived the first week back! After a week where I couldn’t motivate myself to do anything productive, it’s nice to be back in the swing of things. I’m teaching my Modernism course this term which is old hat now so it’s pretty easy to get into but I’ve also got a new course I’m developing on post-1980s British literature which I’m really excited about. I’m sure in a few weeks the stress of the term will catch up but, for the time being, I’m enjoying being back in the classroom.
Here’s what I wore on the first day:
Dress: Lane Bryant (part of my 30×30 cheating)
Sweater: Gap
Tights: Hue
Gold flats: Nine West
Pink bracelet that you can’t really see in this picture: World Market

I love this dress. It’s a thick ponte jersey so it’s both super comfortable and professional. I think this dress is going to be a conference staple for me. It came with a ridiculous belt but I’ve got a belt that’ll work nicely when I don’t have a cardi on top.

These bracelets are both recent purchases. I haven’t worn the mother of pearl one yet but I’m pretty confident both are going to become staples (along with a black & white one my sister brought me back from Morocco).
Today, for my second day of classes and for surreptitiously trying to convince one of my grad students from last term that he wants to slightly tweak his project and get me to supervise it, I wore this:
Navy Cardi: Gap
White, ruffly top & purple flats: Joe
Grey pin-striped pants: Target
Amber-colored biga$$ cocktail ring: gifted, my sister (blurry closeup below)

By the way, this cardigan isn’t this see-through. It’s just the stupid flash. I’m trying to take pictures without it (see the outfit above) but my non-flash pictures weren’t working today and I refuse to take more than 3 pictures. Anyhow, this white shirt is weirdly a closet orphan for me. I have the exact same shirt in black which I have to actively prevent myself from wearing everyday. This white version, however? I think this might be only my 3rd wearing of it over the last year. Part of the problem is that it’s pretty sheer — though today when I put it on, it didn’t seem so bad. However, inspired by A-Dubs, Cynthia, Rad and Anne, I’m determined to make this orphan work for me.

Anyone else have this problem of owning duplicates of an item where one is a closet workhorse and the other a closet orphan?
Any tricks for flash-less photos?