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.  


Casual Wear

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).

Button-up Shirt: Old Navy; Tank & Pencil Skirt: Target; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Lucite Necklace: Anthropologie

Button-up Shirt: Old Navy; Tank & Pencil Skirt: Target; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Lucite Necklace: Anthropologie

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.

Dress: Gap; Denim jacket: Old Navy; Tights: Hue; Boots: Corso Como

Dress: Gap; Denim jacket: Old Navy; Tights: Hue; Boots: Corso Como

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.

Blazer & virtually unseen black ponte shell: Target; Jeans: Old Navy; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Scarf: some store in Berlin

Blazer & virtually unseen black ponte shell: Target; Jeans: Old Navy; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Scarf: some store in Berlin

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.

Pretty much the same as above but with Me Too flats.

Pretty much the same as above but with Me Too flats.

Are you a stick-in-the-mud about Halloween like me?  Or did you dress up?




Well, after a series of posts that nicely fell into little mini-themes, I’ve lost some momentum in that direction.  Unless, “things I’ve bought recently” counts as a theme.  Which I suppose it sort of does.  Anyhow, this is/ has been a relatively busy week, full of meetings and such things.  Like conference acceptances that mean delightful upcoming travel destinations.  And the birth of adorably teensy nieces. Also my birthday.

Dress: Old Navy; Navy Tights: Hue; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Beloved silver pendant: H&M

Dress: Old Navy; Navy Tights: Hue; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Beloved silver pendant: H&M

I wore this sucker yesterday for my birthday.  It’s a lovely sweatshirt material so it’s like wearing pajamas.  The tights and boots were slightly overkill for the weather here; we’re tentatively making steps towards fall so it’s somewhat chilly in the morning when I leave my house (50F/ 10C) but then gets quite a bit hotter by the time I leave work (80F/ 27F).  This makes it a giant pain to dress for the weather and since I love fall clothes, I’m unapologetically just declaring it time to wear boots.


Also, this dress requires tights when I teach as there’s quite a bit of side leg on display without them.  I wore this out after work for drinks with the local key players at the fancy steakhouse.  I took the tights off then because, at that point, I was awfully warm.  And figured that the martinis with goat cheese stuffed olives I planned on consuming wouldn’t help matters.

Blazer: Target; Navy shirt & jeans: Old navy; Black flats: Me Too

Blazer: Target; Navy shirt & jeans: Old navy; Black flats: Me Too

This I wore on Monday for a day that begun with some writing in a coffee shop and then transitioned into the first of the week’s meetings.  The jeans, like the previous dress, are both new.  After a bunch of months where it’s been way too hot to contemplate sheathing my legs in fabric tubes, I’ve been wearing these pretty constantly since snagging them last week.


How are the rest of you enjoying the beginning of October?

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?

Into the Great Wide Open

And finally the term is over.  And it’s less than two weeks until the return of Arrested Development.  You might say this is the final countdown.  This also means that we’ve moved into the most wonderful time of the year.  That special time of year where you’re not technically paid, even if you’re tenured or on the tenure-track, but, instead, you get to do all the work that, hopefully, will help you keep your job.  Sigh.  At least I can wear glorified pajamas for the next three months.  Except for tomorrow, when I have a dissertation defence (my first on this side of the table.  Yikes).

Here, then, are two of my final profesh outfits of the term.

Shirt: Gap; Skirt: Target; Shoes: Nine West; Silver Pendant: H&M

Shirt: Gap; Skirt: Target; Shoes: Nine West; Silver Pendant: H&M

I bought this shirt while in the Shivering Northern Wetlands for a conference.  While there, I got to do some excellent hanging out with Rinty the Crusher and my sisters.  When I bought the shirt, I was wearing a shirt with black & white stripes — leading both my sisters to ask why I was buying an identical shirt to what I was already wearing.  Duh.  This one has navy & mint stripes.  Geez.  They seemed skeptical about this logic.  They don’t know.

The following I wore my exam & a subsequent grading marathon with my writing group:

Top: Target; Pants; NY&Co; Flats: Me Too; Watch: Kenneth Cole (gifted)

Top: Target; Pants; NY&Co; Flats: Me Too; Watch: Kenneth Cole (gifted)

This shirt was an impulse, clearance-rack purchase and, man, few things I own have produced as much of a reaction from my co-workers and writing group.  It’s super fun and blouse-y, and more flattering than this picture might suggest.  It’s going to look awesome with a pencil skirt in the fall once I start dressing like a grown-up again.  For the time being, it’ll also fancy up some bermudas.

How are you celebrating the return of summer?  My writing group* and I kicked it off with a waffle-mimosa brunch, leading us to make wildly ambitious writing and revising goals, fueled by sugar and champagne.

*Because we are the awesomest, the group calls itself “Hero, Squad.”  Lucille Bluth and Liz Lemon are our patron saints.

First Week of Spring

These two outfits which flanked* Spring Break — making one of them quite old now — represent a strategy of all jersey knits, all the time that will, hopefully, get me through the next couple of weeks of the term.  Now that Spring Break is over, we’re in the downhill rush to the end of the term which means, in addition to all sorts of student anxiety, a counterintuitive ramping up in meetings and guest speakers.  Both of these things I find exponentially more exhausting than dealing with students.  When working with students — however frustrating it can be at moments (and to be fair, my students this term are lovely and no problem at all) — it feels like I’m doing my job.  Meetings and speakers, however, though similarly part of my job, produce a constant sense that I really should be doing something else.  Plus, I find the motives of students to be pretty transparent.  Let’s just say that that’s not always the case in other scenarios.  All this to say that this first week back from break has been both long and incredibly fast.  Fortunately, the weather has been lovely most of the week!

This dress, a purchase from the great Vegas trip of 2009, hasn’t got much wear in the last little while.  But the jersey is wonderfully soft and comfortable and a great color (though it’s actually starting to get a little washed out).

This shirt is the first time I’ve ever purchased something from one of the Target designer collections.  I often find those collections to be made of such cheap, polyester-heavy material that their cuteness is minimized.  I’m pretty pleased, however, with the construction of this shirt.  Typically shirts with bows like this leave the bow separate from the neckline, which, for those of who have a chest, leads to gaping and fussing.  This one, however, is secured all the way around which is excellent.

This might be my final wearing of long sleeves for a while.  As we move into what promises to be a long, hot summer, tubes of fabric on my arms and legs become an impossibility.  M. asked yesterday whether or not we go sleeveless in the classroom.  I have no particular problem wearing things without sleeves in the classroom, in no small part because temperatures here stay well into the 90s/ 30s into late October (in early September, it’s routinely in the 100s/ high 30s) and then start to heat up again in April.  Plus, academic buildings being what they are, they’re often over heated (that is, if they’re not freezing) — not helping the lecture sweatiness.  Any concerns about the need for sleeves to look professional are mitigated by the need to not pass out from heat stroke.  That said, I’m sad to be leaving my cardigans in the drawer for the next several months — fortunately I have a trip to Canada coming up in just over a month, and I’ll probably be able to wear them then!

Any tips for getting back in the groove, post-break?  

For those of you who enjoyed The Hunger Games, I read Veronica Roth’s Divergent over break and really recommend it.

* “Flanked” reminds me of a very awesome moment in the final episode of Party Down, which I can’t find on YouTube.  However, this will do the trick (from this awesome Tumblr).

Spring Break! Woot!

Oh my god, you guys, I could not be happier to see the arrival of spring break.  Ours seemed particularly slow to arrive this year and, as always, those weeks leading up to a break seem slooow.  (It seemed therefore pretty appropriate to lecture today on perceptions of private and public time in Mrs.Dalloway.)  I’ve got a bunch of non-teaching related work to get to in the next week but, for the next couple of days, I’m letting myself relax a bit.  To wit, when I got home from work today, I had an awesome (though accidentally 3 hour long) nap.

In addition to anticipating Spring Break, this week was also about enjoying some professorial outfits before next week’s parade of yoga pants and pajamas-as-daywear (though only within the boundaries of my home!).

First up, my first (photographed) wearing of the teal pencil skirt:

Black faux-wrap top: Joe; White t-shirt: Gap Outlet; Teal pencil skirt: Target; Gold flats: Nine West; Purple necklace: gift from brother-in-law

This outfit was clearly inspired by Janey-emm’s black and white pairing!  (Also, the mini-FR is totally over being part of the photo; here, he’s much more interested in retrieving his plush baked potato from its storage place: behind the couch.)  Rather than add in a bunch of color through clothing (apart from, you know, my teal skirt!), I decided to bring it through accessories and nail polish (a close up which comes below).

Nail polish: OPI Mod-ern Girl

I’m sort of in love with this color.  In the last six months or so, I’ve been much more consistent in doing my nails.  I like having my nails done because it’s a place for yet another burst of color but have a typically voided the work of it.  My sister introduced me to Sally Hansen Insta-dri top coat* and now I can do my nails in 10 minutes, usually while watching TV.

Today I wore the following:

Black cardigan, khaki tank, and coral pencil skirt: Target; Black flats: Me Too; Nail polish: Essie Mint Candy Apple

Again, note the dog’s total disinterest.  As we move into spring/ summer here, things are starting to both warm up and get super humid — a lovely combination to dress for, especially in buildings where the heat still seems to be on.  I suspect this cardigan will be an increasing workhorse as its drapey-ness is lovely and cool.

Two weeks until the start of spring, y’all!  

*This is a totally un-sponsored endorsement.

From One Extreme to Another

So, on Monday, we had D-Med’s thoughts on J.Crew cashmere, complete with photos of arm warmers.  Today, you have pictures of me, bare legged.  We like to cover all the bases here at IPF.

Down here at IPF South, we’re basically out of our 6 week winter (or what passes for such here) and are moving rapidly into the warm spring.  This means each day covers a wide spectrum of temperatures, with occasional torrential downpours.  Not helping matters, the various temperatures in university buildings vary widely so while my office is often on the cool side, the classroom I teach in is often boiling.  Layers have thus been a godsend.

In addition to constantly changeable weather, the approaching spring is making me desperately want color in my wardrobe options.  I’ve long been admiring various blogger’s colorful pencil skirts but have been unwilling to shell out the money for one.  Once again, Target comes to the rescue where I bought not 1 but 3 pencil skirts in veritable rainbow of colors.  They only had 3 colors; believe me, if there had been more options I probably would have bought them!

Cardigan & ruffly top: Gap Coral pencil skirt: Target Black flats: Me Too

Can you spot the mini-FR in this picture?  Even though this picture was taken later in the evening, its colors are definitely bright!  This may well be one of my favorite all-time outfits.  As a bonus, it gave me a chance to wear this yellow top which I got last fall at the outlets but have had trouble wearing.  This is, in part, because it’s made of rayon so just looking at it causes it to wrinkle; therefore, it really needs to be under something.  It’s also got a rounded neck, rather than my preferred v-neck, so it helps to pair it with this v-necked workhorse of a cardigan.

Black drapey cardigan, tank, and periwinkle pencil skirt: Target Belt: NY & Co. Nude flats: Me Too

Here’s the same skirt in a periwinkle blue (I also got a teal one but I haven’t worn it yet).  Both skirts are made out of my favorite ponte knit fabric so they’re super comfortable.  Combine that with this super soft, drape-y cardigan I bought with A-Dubs, and a cotton tank, and this is totally office pajamas.  Plus I even got my seemingly required pop of coral here in my nails!

How’s everyone managing the end of February?  As excited about March and the subsequent arrival of Spring Break as I am?

February Madness

Happy Galentine’s Day everyone!  (My apologies to our non-U.S. readers but the Internet failed to provide me a non-Hulu clip from Parks & Rec).  I’m spending it writing at home, and hanging out with my dog and his bestie, a lovely and submissive golden retriever (submission is the only thing my dog is interested in in a best friend).

So even though A-Dubs was lamenting the double-edged knife that is February last week, I have to admit that, so far, February is behaving nicely.  It’s finally no longer stiflingly humid here; I heard some good news from a journal; I have a sixth of the students I normally have so the grading is remarkably lovely so far; inspired by M.’s and Raquelita’s super impressive writing pilgrimage, I’ve gotten a bunch of stuff done (though sadly not actually brand-new words: one of the weird things about being in the post-dissertation, pre-second project portion of an academic career is how little actual writing you get to do).  Here’s hoping that this streak can last…

In the meantime, I’ve worn clothes.

Dress: Lane Bryant; Cardigan: Old Navy; Tights: Hue; Belt: NY & Co.; Black flats: Me Too

This is the dress I wore to my sister’s engagement party over a year ago.  I’ve had trouble styling it since then as it was so linked to a fancier occasion that it seemed impossible to imagine it in my very casual life.  However, in a recent closet purge, I determined that I either had to wear it or get rid of it.  Apparently, I respond well to style self-ultimatums.  I’m pleased I’ve reclaimed it for teaching days as it is awesome.  Also, in this picture, it looks like the mini-FR is looking up my skirt.  What a naughty, smooth little guy!

Cardigan: Gap; Blouse: Old Navy; Pants: NY & Co.; Bracelets: World Market (pink) & gifted from my mom (silver)

Not too much to say about this outfit.  As I recall, though, this was one of the super humid days so the many artificial fibers in both the blouse & pants were distinctly ill-advised.  I did wear one of the awesome pairs of shoes I bought with A-Dubs when she was here.

Nude open toes: Me Too

While I regret the lack of pedicure, I’m pretty pleased with these shoes.  They’ve got a slight wedge so they’re very comfortable.  Plus patent nude shoes!  I love ’em.

Got any exciting Valentine’s plans?  More importantly, how about Galentine’s?  Also, how awesome is Leslie Knope?