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?

Chambray, Two Ways

Hi all!  My brain is too fried from the Project that will not End to add anything substantive to A-Dubs’ recent post on self-esteem.  So, instead, I offer you two recent outfits that feature chambray shirts as their anchor pieces.  I’ve been on record about my love for all things chambray and that love has continued apace into the hellish sunscape that is IPF South summers.

Chambray & white v-neck: Old Navy; Shorts: Target: House flip flops: Old Navy

Chambray & white v-neck: Old Navy; Shorts: Target: House flip flops: Old Navy

Apologies for the crappy, mirror selfie but I forgot to take a picture with my regular camera.  I later added a necklace when I wore this out for some therapeutic wine drinking.  The saddest part of the bad quality of this picture is that it really undersells the brightness of these shorts.  I love them.  Unsurprisingly.  They have them in a bright teal but my local Targets only have that color in teensy sizes.  I’m still trying to decide whether to bite the bullet and order them online.

Chambray: Old Navy; Skirt: Target; Sandals: Birkenstock

Chambray: Old Navy; Skirt: Target; Sandals: Birkenstock

Ahh… that’s better.  Also, look who’s making his glorious return to outfit pictures!  (This is why there are two nearly identical photos of this outfit being posted: different dog placement.  A key and important difference.)  This was a recent coffee shop outfit that both addressed the realities of air conditioning strength in this area, but also allowed for breathability in the blazing heat between buildings and my car.


Anyone else finding a way to translate cold weather items you love into the summer?


I don’t have much to offer you lovely people today as summer continues apace here with its pattern of working and complaining about the heat moving along nicely.  As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve gotten into a nice little work routine where I meet up with friends to work in coffee shops in the afternoon.  Working with other people helpfully shames me into getting far more work done than I do on my own.  Shame, as always, continues to be my greatest and most effective motivator.

Alongside this work routine, I’ve developed a bit of a uniform.  See if you can tell its constituent parts in the following:

Exhibit A:

White t: Old Navy; Brown shorts: Target; Striped scarf: Joe; Black patent Birkenstocks

Exhibit B:

top and shoes: as above; Brown pants & scarf: Old Navy

These shirts are the Old Navy ones that Ally at Wardrobe Oxygen mentioned a couple of months ago and I’m, more or less, obsessed with them.  I think I’ve got six in a pretty regular rotation right now.  I’ve been wearing them A LOT with the cotton pants in the bottom picture — you guys know how much I love an Old Navy cotton casual pant — which I also have in a khaki color.  The pants are good for the freezing coffee shops but light enough that I don’t collapse from heat stroke the minute I go outside.  This makes for comfortable outfits, but not exactly the most visually thrilling ones.  And, if I’m being honest, the outfit is frequently sans scarf.  It’s a thrilling life I lead here.

Anyone else got a style uniform they develop in extreme temperatures?  Or during periods of non-stop work?

Polka Dots & Cardigans

In a shocking change of pace, I’m blogging the outfit that I wore today.  In the ongoing bid to get stuff done in the month before the term starts, I’m apparently also including “take outfit photos” and “blog about them in a timely fashion.”  We’ll see how long THIS lasts.

In fact, this is an outfit chosen in direct response to the exigencies of coffee shop work marathons: ie. they’re freezing, so bring a cardi.  I felt a bit strange pulling one out this morning given the blazing heat, but, after a week of work-related hypothermia, I learned my lesson.  I can only explain the length of time I needed to learn this particular lesson by the fact that I’m generally overheated in most situations so I was in a state of disbelief.

Cardi: Old Navy; Dress & leggings: Target; Birkenstocks

I got this dress on sale just before I left on my trip and I’m kind of in love with it.  It’s hard to see in the pictures (the following one is a little better on this front) but it’s got a faux wrap panel on the bottom half which jazzes the whole thing up a bit.  It’s a touch short for sitting around, working, but leggings fix that pretty readily.  And, in a different context, the length would be fine.  I’m planning, also, to stitch together the top about an inch higher so I’ll fidget with it less.

Also in this picture, which features a new photo location: my bedroom, is the chair I painted months ago and made wild promises about pictures.  It’s a pretty basic Ikea chair I bought through Craigslist.  The frame was initially a light birch but, as a team Color member, that seemed a bit dull.  So it’s coral now!  Thrilling story, no?  This picture is also a touch misleading as the chair is generally covered in clothes, with a small smooth dog burrowed underneath them.

Any new (to you or otherwise) and fun house decor purchases that provide excellent photo posing possibilities?  (To be clear, the poses above are the extent to which I’m making use of the chair as a prop.  Pictures taken while seated seem far too unflattering for my degree of vanity.)


The Return

You know what’s awesome?  Being away from the Southern heat for ten days.  After a brief respite where I wore both pants and long-sleeved things (though, don’t worry, I didn’t take a single outfit picture to commemorate this), I’m back in the trenches of the blazing North American heat that many of you are currently “enjoying.”  Though I do derive some small comfort from others suffering through just a few days of that which I get for five months out of the year.  Schadenfreude over.

These outfit pictures today come from before my trip.

Cardi: Gap Outlet; Cement-colored tank: Loft Outlet; Blue mullet skirt: Target; Black patent Birkenstocks

This is the blue version of my mullet skirt.  It was way too hot for a cardigan but this tank is both a touch of a neckline offender and, because it’s basically the same color as me, can appear pretty naked-y up top.  I believe I was going on campus that day so the cardi helped make the outfit less of a problem.  Because, clearly, just changing my shirt wasn’t an option.

I’m not usually a wearer of multiple different tones of the same color but, I have to say, I liked this pairing.  The light dove grey between the two certainly helped too.

Like I said above, I didn’t take any outfit photos while on my travels but I do have the following partial, not-super-flattering-when-cropped photos that give a reasonable snapshot of my trip.  Not coincidentally, both are wine-related.

Sweater: Gap; Jeans: Old Navy; Tan striped & be-sequined shirt: Joe Fresh; Sneakers: Grey Chucks; Faux-leather messenger bag: Jo’s Totes (it’s also a camera bag); Giant bottle of wine: sadly not brought home with me. Also, it’s made of stone.

This one’s in Oslo.

Shirt: Old Navy; Awesome infinity scarf with birds on it: somewhere in Berlin that I can’t remember

This is from Paris, right before some fabulous steak frites and, even later, a pretty amazing pistachio creme brulee.

How’re your summers going so far?

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.

It’s been a while

You know what’s the worst? A chest cold in the midst of 60+ days of 100 degree weather. It’s made it delightfully difficult to get anything reasonable done, right when the August fears are kicking in. Gah. So, anyhow, I’m keeping this brief today. This is something I wore weeks ago now — the shirt is part of my Old Navy haul from late last month.
Top: Old Navy
Tank & shorts: Target
Sandals: Birkenstocks

I’m loving the color of this shirt. And though it looks slightly wonky in these pictures, I think, once wrangled, it’ll be a great piece for me.

How’s everyone else managing these closing days of summer?

More Pant-type Outfits

I’ve got no crazy dreams to report, unfortunately, but I’ve got a couple of pantal-esque outfits to present.
Outfit #1: In which I embrace leggings
Dress: Joe
Tank & Leggings: Target
Sandals: Birkenstocks

I’ve been slow to get on the legging train. I felt pretty confident that they wouldn’t work on me — that they’d cut my legs off in weird ways, making me look stumpy, etc… Now, I’m not sure they’re absolutely the best look on me or anything, but I’m pretty converted now as they’re super comfy and allow me to wear this dress in public. My mom, when she visited at the beginning of May, brought me a bunch of stuff from Joe (the Canadian department store brand), including this dress and the shirt in the outfit below. The dress is frankly a little too small for me both up top and down below but I love the pattern and it’s easily fixable with a cami, and tights or leggings. Tights are an impossibility right now but capri length leggings do the trick admirably.

Outfit #2: In which I cannot wear sandals for another day

Top: Joe
Shorts: Target
Shoes: Jessica Simpson
This outfit was one that, without proper shoes, probably bordered on way too casual to wear into the office. Plus, it was nice to be able wear proper shoes for the day. I got these ages ago, right before I hurt my ankle earlier this term so this is the first wear they’ve had. I’m really pleased with them. I love a wedge and these have a rubber sole (which, seriously, why don’t all shoes have these??) which is ideal for someone like me who lacks basic grace and balance.

Three for One

Like A-Dubs earlier this week, I’ve got a bunch of outfits for you today. Unlike A-Dub’s outfits, however, mine are decidedly more basic. I’ve tried to be head down, nose to the grindstone the last couple of weeks as I want to be able to take a couple of weeks completely off when I’m in Montreal for my sister’s wedding shortly. Plus, as a colleague/friend recently reminded me, I’m about 8 months away from having to hand in my “halfway to tenure” material which means that, if I want to have heard anything resembling decisions on stuff like articles or book proposals, I need get stuff sent out relatively shortly. Delightful. On top of that, the temperatures here are moving into the high 90s/ low 100s so accessories are decidedly out as are shoes that don’t leave 90% of my feet bare.
So here we go…
Outfit #1

Dress: Gap
T-shirt: Target
House flip-flops: Old Navy

I think this outfit was much better in real life than it is in this picture. Plus it was super comfy as this jersey dress is very soft and stretchy.
Outfit #2

Coral faux wrap top: Addition Elle
Charmeuse tank & shorts: Target
The sun bleaches out the colors here but I really like the combination of these two colors. I’m loving coral this summer — I’m also astonished by how versatile it is — something I wouldn’t have expected.
Outfit #3

Dress: Old Navy
Sandals: Birkenstocks
Here’s a dress that I bought this last winter and that I totally forgot about. I love the print of it. It’s a little too big — particularly up top — but I think I might be able to fix that by shortening the straps a little bit. Also, I took this picture later in the day than the earlier two and clearly this is the magic hour, light wise. In addition, my tripod doesn’t get too hot to touch if it’s outside for more than two minutes at this point.