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 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.


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:


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:


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:


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.


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.)

Summer Patterns

So, um, wow.  It’s been a while.  I’d like to say that time flies when you’re having fun but, apart from an important summit and some subsequent time in Montreal, I’m not sure where the last month has gone at all.  All of a sudden it’s June and the “most wonderful time of the year” has kicked into high gear.  I find the first part of the summer to be a little bit difficult, work-wise, as I have to adapt to a self-directed schedule, which is lovely but also all too easily gets away from me.  I’m getting stuff done but it all feels a little aimless. Fortunately, I leave in exactly three weeks for a conference in Paris so that deadline will helpfully get things moving.

As evidence of time-slippage, here’s an outfit from the dog days of the end of term.

Everything but the shoes: Target; Nude peep-toes: Me Too

This outfit worked really well for me, in a way that I don’t think the photos quite capture.  I love the mix of coral and periwinkle blue (seriously, coral is totally the best).  The cardigan wasn’t particularly necessary, weather wise, but the top is sleeveless and I wanted a bit more arm coverage.

Again, with another slightly awful picture.  You should see the ones I deleted.  Yikes.  Something about the print was creating some horrifying optical illusions.

Black t-shirt: Gap Outlet; Blue & white maxi skirt: Joe; Silver pendant: H&M; Black patent sandals: Birkenstocks

I bought this excellent skirt on a wonderful excursion to Joe Fresh with A-Dubs, D-Med and Kelly during the IPF summit at the beginning of May.  Up until then, I hadn’t really found a way for the maxi trend to work for me but this skirt sealed the deal.  Somewhat unexpectedly, I find that a printed, rather than solid color, maxi skirt or dress feels much more inconspicuous to me.  It seems more casual, less like I’m wandering around in jersey evening wear.  This styling here isn’t my favorite but it was super comfortable and a good first wear of the skirt.

Any summer trends you’re trying out?  You can’t really see it in these pictures, but I also have neon pink fingernails in the last two.

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?

Idealistic Decisions and Office Pyjamas

Ah, January! A time characterized for academics and non-academics alike by the idealistic determination to be better, to do better things, or to get better at things one is already doing.

For academics like myself, January seems regularly to involve the making of a series of idealistic decisions to do things that I soon come to regret having made. Case in point: in the early days of this month, I decided to entirely re-vamp one of my courses (you know: to make it better).

In principle, I know this is the right decision; it’s good to change things up once in a while. It helps to keep me and the material fresh, and it thwarts potential plagiarizers. Moreover, in this course in particular, this change will help to eliminate the smug “I’ve got all your slides from my buddy who took your course last year” expressions on the faces of the cadre of guffawing and disruptive buffoons who keep showing up in this class because the Faculty of Engineering says they need a writing credit but is unwilling to teach them to write like engineers.

Already, I regret the decision to change the course. I’ve sentenced myself to an entire term of writing new lectures and creating new digital slide presentations. As much as I enjoyed the panic of the buffoons (“Holy crap! We’re gonna have to do our own work in this course? WTF?!”), I enjoy carving my preparation time out of my sleep schedule much, much less.

There is, however, another decision I do NOT regret. Office pyjamas. The plan is as follows: on non-teaching days, I will not wear jeans, but I WILL wear outfits that come as close to the comfort of pyjamas as possible while still approximating professionalism.

Here for your consideration are my first two efforts:

Office Pyjamas – Episode 1:

Polyester jersey dress: Chapter One (remixed)
Acrylic knit cardigan: Joe Fresh (new to blog)
Necklace: gifted (remixed)
Fleece-lined winter leggings: Plush (new to blog)
Lined cognac leather boots: Rieker (remixed)

This ensemble was really, really comfortable, despite the abundance of unnatural fibres from which much of it is constructed. There was no squeezy tailoring, no stiff fabric, no confining belts or ties. Plus, that cardigan is from the sleepwear section of the grocery store clothing department (why, you ask? I have no bloody idea. Who wears cardigans to bed?)

Office Pyjamas – Episode 2:

Cotton jersey & polyester satin dress: I cut the scratchy tag out – but I found it on the sale rack at the Canadian designer store around the corner. (new to blog)
Metal and plastic purple fried egg necklace: crazy jewellery store in Florida
Draped cotton cardigan: Max Studio (via Winners)
Fleece-lined winter leggings: as above
Lined cognac leather boots: as above

And here’s a weird pose in which I am trying to show you the cool lines of the sweater. Mostly, it looks like I’m being arrested, or preparing for a pat-down at the airport. And this is yet another of the many, many reasons I am an academic, not a model.

Overall, I am excited about the office pyjama decision. I think this good decision will facilitate my survival of the bad decision to sentence myself to three months of sleeplessness due to new lecture prep.

What decisions are you making this month, StyleNation? 
Do you have any regrets, yet?

One Dress Two Ways

I post today in support of E-Jo’s upcoming hard core 30 for 30 remixing. Even though I’m not participating in the challenge (this much planning stresses me out), I’m excited to see what she – and many of you – come up with this month. And I’m remixing this dress today in solidarity.

But first, a Brief Professorial Interlude: (scroll down for outfit post)
Like E-Jo, I also have only ten teaching days left in this term. That’s right, StyleNation, we’re entering the final countdown to at least two weeks of uninterrupted work on The Project That Will Not End. Sweet buckets of awesomeness!*

I usually feel the need to bring it, sartorially, in these final weeks as students are bleary-eyed and worn out from too much studying or too much partying (or both). It becomes necessary, therefore, to work a little harder – especially in my large Intro. course – to keep eyes open and focused on the front of the room.

But some students are panicking because they’re failing, and they’re looking for someone (else) to blame for their having slacked off all term. Which is a long way of saying that now is perhaps not the time for sartorial whimsy for woman-identified professors. Deep-seated cultural chauvinism (misogyny, even) hidden under politeness and political correctness at other times of the year seems to surface during these weeks. In other words, women beware.** My only protection against these kinds of threats – you know, aside from feminist anti-violence policy, research, and education – is to retain what professional presence I can in the classroom instead of relaxing into a more casual instructor-persona as I come to know many of the students in my classes.

Outfit post Resumes Here:
After today’s relatively whimsical ensembles, I will be working to strike a balance between bringing it interest-wise, and dialling it back in terms of whimsical details. But first, this is me taking Rad and D-Med’s long-ago-offered advice and wearing knee socks under boots:

Poly-blend microfibre dress: Cleo (thrifted)
Cardigan: Nygard (remixed)
Tank dress: Le Chateau
Necklace: mall anchor store (If this were high school, I’d be going steady with a LOT of people. That’s what a ring on a necklace means, right?)
Boots: Miss Mooz (remixed)
Socks:do we care? They’re black.

~ Trying a more boot-focussed pose. Huh. ‘Harder than it looks. Maybe I hate the magazine ads with scantilly-clad models wearing boots and sprawling on the floor with their feet in the air a little less. .  .

I thrifted this dress in August for $7 with its original tags in place. This is an important detail because these kinds of unnatural fibres tend over time to absorb and retain sweat smells; I prefer to smell only myself in my clothes. Also, the chain link pattern is awesome and will be fun to use as a backdrop for giant necklaces.

Warning: the next ensemble’s a wee bit wonky. Even my colleague who never wants to talk fashion noted that this was a “crazy outfit.” I blame Paula Reed’s Style Clinic for this bit of weirdness. This book told me to match my shoes to my tights, not my dress, to elongate my legs. I’m not sure this is what the guide had in mind:

Dress: as above
Cami: H&M (I’ll be eliminating the high-necked cami in future dress stylings. ‘Seems like overkill now that I see the photos)
Black ribbon & faux-silver necklace: mall anchor store
Cardigan: Kische (via Winners)
Tights: Hue
Faux-snakeskin wedges: Aerosoles

~ Sideways combination Wonder Woman & Not-at-all-ridiculous Back Stretch pose

Obligatory shoe close-up (extracted from another outfit):

What bits of style advice haven’t worked for you, StyleNation?

Also, how do you survive the final weeks of term?

* Other academics will know this already, but for our more well-adjusted readers I will note this enthusiasm is not ironic. Breaks between teaching assignments are not for making merry; they are for madly researching, writing, and planning future research and writing time/s.

** Research from a variety of sources suggests that deep-rooted cultural racism also surfaces during times of anxiety. So visible minorities, and persons who speak with an “other” accent are also subject to more intense scrutiny and pressure during such periods.