Once More with Feeling

Happy End-of-term academics, and welcome, StyleNation, to the sweet buttery month of May, the lovely era that follows regularly upon The Watch That Ends the Night!

I really, really hope this is my last preggo post. As of tomorrow morning, I’ll be 41 weeks pregnant. That is more than enough, I think.

My maternity leave began May 1st, but I’m just going to work until the baby’s born – 3 papers done, 1 more to go! Also, my research team will keep working while I’m on leave, and I’ve got to supervise them until my research partner gets back from the other side of the world this June. In short, things are busy but this is good; I need the distraction from my extreme pregnancy-related discomfort.

And so, while it’s increasingly difficult to fit into professional(ish) clothing, I persevere.

#1. Worn for Student-run Event on Campus a Few Weeks Ago

Ha! This isn’t even a maternity dress; it’s a cheap super-stretchy jersey midi dress from H&M. I suspect its clinginess would render it inappropriate on its own in profesh settings when I’m no longer pregnant. But I like super-fitted preggo stylez. They highlight the bump without making me look more gigantic than I am.

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Black jersey midi dress: H&M (new to blog); Leather and rhinestone rose cuff: mall anchor store in Florida (new to blog); Black plus-sized tights: Hue (via The Bay); Boots: Khrio (remixed)

In other news, my fellow model here is Foxy T, a friend of the Fuzzy Roommate and the Fuzzy Roommate’s Dog. She stayed with us for March and April while her people are away doing research.

#2. Worn for Off-campus Supervisory Meeting with Grad Students (Last Week)

The floral item here is technically a dress; on a long-body like me, and at this stage of my life, it’s most definitely a tunic. Foxy T kindly supervised the photo-taking, again. I miss her attentiveness and willingness to participate as she deems necessary. The FR and his dog are no longer into blogging with me.

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Black floral maternity dress/tunic: New Look (new to blog); Black rayon knit twist-front sweater: Simons (new to blog, purchased with janey_em in Montreal in February; Black pleather and pointe knit maternity leggings: (remixed); Boots: Khrio (remixed)

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Silver Tiffany necklace: remixed; Bootage: (remixed)

What’s up with you, StyleNation?

Please send me contraction-centred thoughts this week!

Things That Should be Large

Greetings, StyleNation, from the midst of my research leave, almost end-of-term, and month 7.75 of my pregnancy. I should be large. And I am.

Also, something creepy but simultaneously kind of hilarious happened last week. I have little else to report, so I’m posting mostly to share about that.

First, the outfit I was wearing when it happened.

#1. Worn to an early evening professional event with cocktails

As my footwear choices are currently limited to those that can adjust to fit my stupid swollen preggo feet, I wore this.

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Pointe knit draped blazer: Grace Elements (new to blog, via Belk); Silver bib necklace: Stella and Dot (gifted by DSW, remixed; Black maternity tunic/t-shirt: Bump Maternity (via Motherhood Maternity – worst store name ever – new to blog); Brooch: made by an artist whose name I forget, from a series called Blue in the Face; Black pointe and pleather maternity leggings: Queen Mum (new to blog, via the new maternity boutique down the street); Boots: Khrio (new to blog, via adorably hip shoe boutique by my favourite coffee place downtown)

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I strode into the event and began mingling with students and colleagues. It was lovely because I mostly work from home right now and haven’t seen anyone all term.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a colleague from another institution doing a huge lean out of her conversation group, clearly eyeballing my preggo form. She had a big weird grin on her face was trying to catch my eye. (This particular colleague has been awkwardly and arrogantly hot and cold with me in ways I’ve found both embarrassing and annoying in the recent past. For example, despite our knowing each other for years and having attended (and hung out at) many of the same conferences, at a social event a number of months ago, she refused to acknowledge my efforts to catch her eye. Later, when I made a point of seeking her out to chat briefly, she acted like I was a ridiculous hanger-on with a major crush on her who was, her demeanour implied, embarrassing both of us in front of her new girlfriend. It was the dumbest.)

At last week’s event, she soon made her way over to me, grinning all the while, and we had the following creepy and kind of awesome exchange:

COLLEAGUE: Hey A-Dubs, you’re looking. . . . . you’re looking (pausing and grinning strangely). …

MOI: Uh, is “rotund” the word you’re looking for?

COLLEAGUE: Well, no. Uh (more pausing, grinning, and looking me up and down), it’s hard not to objectify pregnant women. I mean, don’t you find that?

MOI: (at a loss for words) Ummmm, what?

COLLEAGUE: No, I mean, it’s hard FOR ME not to objectify pregnant women. (more awkward and now openly lecherous grinning)

                              The M.C. begins her opening comments; everyone but us is now sitting down.

MOI: Hmmm. Well, more on this later. See you afterward. (I escape to my seat.)

                                         She left early, so we were both spared any further interactions like the above.

WTF? I suppose I spend so much time in feminist spaces that I’d forgotten what it’s like to be leered at in a professional setting. That said, I kind of love that she embarrassed herself in this manner.  I believe now, according to the grade-five-rules-of-mean-girl-relationships, I have the upper hand. And yet, blech. Also, this took place in a feminist space!

In other news, I wore a variation of the all-black-with-fat-feet-adjustable-boots outfit. I will show it to you via my exceptional photography.

#2. Worn to attend two research talks on campus

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All same as above, but switched out jacket for Black silk/cotton blend non-maternity slim sweater, and switched out bib necklace and pin for gifted and oft-remixed silver
Tiffany necklace

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Mostly, I am over being pregnant and cannot wait to carry this baby on the outside of my body. However, I have another two articles to complete and submit to journals, and at least two weeks worth of research-related administrata to take care of before this baby comes into the world. So probably I should just embrace the largeness and all associated crappy symptoms (carpal tunnel in both wrists, for example) for just a wee bit longer.

Finally, let’s finish today’s Sei Shōnagon-inspired list, shall we? I’ll do 5, and you add your ideas in the comments section:

Things that Should be Large

5. One’s publication record prior to the commencement of maternity leave

4. More of my boots

3. One’s capacity for compassion (currently, I excel instead at smugness)

2. One’s wine collection and accompanying glasses

1. One’s budget for the purchasing of baby supplies (srsly: holy maude)

What else should be large, StyleNation? 

First Quarter

How the heck is it February already?  Somehow we’re into the fourth week of the term here, meaning that the term is a quarter over already.  For all the chaos that surrounds the beginning of the school year in September, I always find that the spring term feels link a non-stop sprint.  The spring is conference season for me so all of a sudden all the ideas that seemed so exciting in September now need to actually have some sort of concrete plan behind them.  I go up for tenure this summer/ fall, so I’m also in the midst of trying to put together anything and everything that can be sent out for a last minute CV boost.

Turtleneck & skirt: Target; Tights: I don't know, Hue probably; Boots: Jessica Simpson

Turtleneck & skirt: Target; Tights: I don’t know, Hue probably; Boots: Jessica Simpson

I haven’t worn too many pencil skirt centred outfits this school year.  Not entirely sure why.  Partly it’s that my collection of pencil skirts don’t really fit that well anymore and I haven’t replaced them in the seemingly continuous shopping I do.  Partly it’s that I’ve been really drawn to more neutral grounding pieces for my teaching outfits, so the bright colors aren’t always what I’m wanting first thing in the morning.

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Blazer & Sweater: Target; Skinnies: Old Navy; Booties: Kenneth Cole; Lucite necklace: Anthropologie

You guys sick of this blazer yet?  ‘Cause I’m sure not.  So I broke out the teaching denim in the second week of term this year.  Craziness.  I know many of you feel strongly about the not-wearing of denim in the classroom, and certainly not early in the term.  But I’ve decided that I don’t.  I mean, I did dress it up more than I might later — though the necklace was as much about covering up the lowness of the v-neck as it was about dressing up the denim.  Students here are very attentive to authority (they ARE Southern) so it unexpectedly grants me a little flexibility in my performance of that authority.

 

Anyone else got any sartorial rules that they’ve decided they’re not actually concerned about?

Things that are Especially Rare

To echo E-Jo, (belated) Happy New Year, StyleNation! Welcome to IPF 2014 and, more particularly, Research Leave at IPF North! That’s right. I get a break from teaching and service work for the next six months as I prepare to apply for tenure and promotion in the next year or so.

Today’s post, a bit of a catch-up from the end of last term, includes boots, bada$$ery, and a bit of a reveal. Here we go.

#1. Office Pyjamas as Teaching Wear

That’s right. I wore this to teach – but just in my 4th-year honours seminar – in late November. Because I couldn’t make myself care about wearing anything but this bada$$ ensemble.

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Draped black wool/angora/acrylic turtleneck tunic thingy: gifted (from my elegant sis-in-law, Designer Shoe Whore); Stainless steel non-boob-wrangling necklace: gifted (from the A-Dubs-Hubs); Black pleather-front and pointe leggings: H&M (new to blog); Black leather buckled up winter boots: Cougar (new to blog, purchased in Canada’s most stylish ville with janey-em and kelly last spring

Here’s a better bootal view:

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Remember when Cougar boots were those tan coloured lace-ups that we wore undone so the tongues would flap around and show the red cloth lining? It was the ’80s. Cougar’s changed things up a bit since, it seems.

#2. Holiday Party – New booties and a reveal

Both janey_em and Rinty the Crusher informed me that my search for kick-ass black pumps for the A-Dubs-Hubs’s work holiday party would be fruitless. They said I should relent and get some damn ankle booties already. So I did. Possibly I will never wear these again as I am supposed to be retired from high heels. But they were too hard core to pass up.

In other news, I am pregnant, so that’s why I have a different belly than usual in these pic’s:

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Black polyester jersey and lace blazer: Thyme Maternity (new to blog); Black jersey and gold sequin short-sleeved maternity tunic/dress: Séraphine Luxe (new to blog); Black leather, gold metal, and crystal belt: gift with purchase of dress at local prego store; Black micro fibre leggings: remixed; Black leather and gold metal booties: Steve Madden (new to blog)

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And now, to complete today’s Sei Shōnagon-inspired list,

Things that are Especially Rare

5. Blessed, blessed research leave

4. Wicked black pumps this winter

3. Regular posts on this blog (sorry!)

2. Holiday seasons during which I cannot consume booze (thank the goddess these are rare)

1. Canadian cities that are colder than mars

What’s especially rare in your life, StyleNation?

Also, is anyone else totally over booties, yet? 

Pencil Skirts, Northern Division

Having woken early to the dulcet tones of a dog puking, I’ve found a whole extra hour with which to blog. How’ve you been, StyleNation? Things here at IPF North have been verging on frantic at least in part because this is now my fourth year at my job and I’m no longer contractually protected from service work at the faculty and university levels. This means I’ve a whole new set of meetings to map onto existing research, teaching, and department-level meetings.

I’ve also discovered that prepping adequately for every meeting (i.e. thoroughly reading ALL attachments emailed prior) cuts into necessary sleep and having-at-least-a-little-life time. I am, therefore, developing a survival strategy. Unless I’m prepping for someone else’s tenure review, I’ll be skimming what appear to be the most important documents in the 10-15 minutes prior to the meeting/s in which they’re to be discussed. I just don’t see any other way to survive the landslide of text-based documents this fall.

In outfit-related news, I’ve been trying to try. This is me saying good-bye to bare legs. The crisp autumn season is now firmly upon this city; but we had one last push of sun and warm breeziness last week:

1. Needs bigger shoes

I’m trying to channel me some E-Jo. Her flats seem to balance her ensembles better than these tiny gold ones. I’ll keep trying!

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Black flowered tunic/blouse: ?? (I removed the scratchy tag, remixed); Black sleeveless T: H&M (remixed a LOT); Rose gold leather belt: Smart Set (new to blog); Cream satin-finish cotton pencil skirt: Jacob (remixed); Gold faux-snakeskin embellished flats: David Dixon (remixed)

 

2. Blacks and blues

This was my first attempt at styling this skirt. I’ve got bigger plans for it, but this is a reasonable warm-up.

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Sheer black silk button-up blouse: Equipment (via Winners, new to blog); Black sleeveless T: as above: Silver medallion necklace: The Bay; Navy and blue polka dot midi pencil skirt: Zara: Black suede flats: Browns

How’s fall treating you, StyleNation?

Also, for those of you with meeting-rich professional lives, how do you do it?

Black Mirror

One of the best things my parents did was tell me consistently throughout my childhood and adolescence that I was beautiful. Whether or not it was true didn’t matter then, and it doesn’t matter now. Because deep down, despite my current age (40) and all the crazy things dominant culture tells me every day about my supposedly “failing” looks, I continue to believe I am good-looking. Because people who mattered to me during my formative years assured me of it ALL THE DAMN TIME.* (Case in point: my face looks AWFUL in most pictures. I look at these images, hear my father or mother’s voice exclaiming over how gorgeous I am, and I blame photography for not being able to capture my real face.)

UPDATE: I know I have to address race and body privilege as they relate to this issue. I know, too, that in doing so I must engage more directly with the influences of wider culture, not just parental/domestic training. I will do so in an upcoming post. Please stand by.

Feminism took over where my parents left off. Dominant culture tells me, “You’re getting wrinkles around your eyes and lips”; “There are grooves in your cheeks, and you’re starting to get jowls”; “Wrinkles are the worst, and you are not beautiful if you have them.” But feminism assures me that it’s perfectly natural to look older as I grow older; that it’s crazy to treat visible signs of aging like some kind of moral failure; that beauty is only one of the ways to evaluate my worth; and that beauty is not determined by lines – or lack thereof – on one’s face.

That said, as much as I love colour, I’ve learned I like my outfit photos best when I wear black. For whatever reason, I feel most myself, and most beautiful – however we interpret this politically loaded word – in black.

Black Outfit #1: Office Pyjamas

Worn on a cooler day to hole up in my office, slipping out occasionally to take advantage of the fantastically short coffee lines during The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

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Black cotton mesh-sleeve Mexx sweater/tunic: new to blog; Necklace: gifted (remixed); Joe Fresh cotton tank: new to blog; Black cotton leggings: remixed; Also brown leather riding boots: remixed a LOT on this blog

And here, because as you know, I am a genius with the camera, is a close-up of the mesh sleeves that make this sweater springy:

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Black Outfit #2: Convocation

I wore this under my insufferably hot robes at convocation which I attended because, as noted previously, my favourite student graduated. Then I sat in my office trying to write things until I decided I had heat exhaustion and could, therefore, go home and watch the new season of Arrested Development. (My review: Meh, despite repeated ostrich appearances and Portia de Rossi’s cute haircut. I laughed out loud WAY LESS in this season than in others.)

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H&M mesh/lace and lyocel t-shirt: new to blog; Green suede and silver metal belt: new to blog (via mall anchor store); Mexx black cotton (with a sheen) wide-leg trousers: new to blog; Fly London black leather Yayas: remixed

Is there a colour you feel best in, StyleNation?

Also, if you feel like sharing, how did your parental figures get it right or wrong

when it came to building your self-esteem?

Things That Give a Hot Feeling


I’m almost certain a recent 2-day stint of video conferencing (that kept me sitting in my too-hot office for hours each day) gave me a yeast infection. Obvy, this is too high a price to pay to my profession; I shall be declining this bit of service work next year.

In other news, as The Watch That Ends the Night transitions to The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, I’m deeply relieved and totally exhausted. While there are other things on which to report – a conference, a summit with janey_em and kelly – as I’ve barely the energy to type, that stuff will have to wait.

For now, I offer the following boots and a dress/tunic purchased recently. I suspect the dress will become a regular in the on-campus-day-outfit rotation. The boots may be too casual for work. In these pic’s, I’m dressed for dinner and a party last weekend.

Spring’s not quite here; thus, the layers:

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RW&Co cotton velvet blazer: remixed; Gap black jersey scarf: new to blog; Jacob cream on black polka-dot dress/tunic: new to blog; Black leggings: remixed; Purple and silver faux-patent clutch: new to blog (purchased in small boutique in IPF North city); Doc Marten brown distressed leather boots: new to blog (purchased at recent friend summit in my favourite ville bilingue)

Under the jacket and scarf. I wore this to the conference minus the clutch and bracelet, plus a black t-shirt to fill the plunging V, and a pashmina-as-jacket:

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Red and silver plastic cuff: new to blog (thrifted)

And finally, to complete the Sei Shōnagon-inspired list,

Things that Give a Hot Feeling:

5. Spring (soon – please, let it be soon), and then summer.

4. Journals whose peer review process takes up to 12 months, but who then require article revisions to be turned around in 1-2 weeks.

3. My current crush, CBC Radio 2 host Julie Nesrallah. Every weekday morning, she speaks gently to me and plays me soul-reviving things.

2. When Facebook advertisements make very clear ad-makers have access to all my FB stuff.

1. The above-noted 2-day video conference. Yeesh.

Once again, it’s your turn StyleNation.

What things give you a hot feeling in either a good or bad way?

End-of-term, or Things That Make One’s Heart Beat Faster

Sweet End-of-term, how we’ve longed for you. How anxiously we’ve anticipated your exhausting-yet-somehow-still-invigorating conclusiveness.

That’s right fellow sufferers – where “sufferers” means “academics at certain universities and colleges in the northern parts of North America – relief is nigh! Here at IPF, Northern Division, a smidge of marking, two in-class exams, and the evaluation of two Honours theses stand between me and the time I so desperately need to research and write my paper for next week’s conference. Once again, End-of-term brings The Watch That Ends the Night before The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

In short, End-of-term constitutes the tippy-top of my Shōnagon-inspired list, Things That Make One’s Heart Beat Faster. (Stick around to help me finish that list, StyleNation!)

1. Also, this happened

Not as memorable as I’d hoped, but little is. It’s End-of-term.

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Swingy sweater: BCBG Maxazria (new to blog); Tie-front blouse: Mexx (remixed); Pointe knit skirt: Calvin Klein (via Winners, new to blog); Tights: Hue; Boots: Fly London (remixed)

And here, just because I have it, is another poorly lit photo of the ensemble I thought was all that and a bag of chips:

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Silver brooch-as-tie-pin: was my grandmother’s; Necklace: gifted from A-Dubs Hubs

I was trying to be cool(ish) to host yet another set of guest speakers who research awesome things. One of your blogs taught me this tie-pin-like thing. I’m so sorry I’ve forgotten which one – You Look Fab, maybe?; but thanks, whoever you are.

To conclude,

Things That Make One’s Heart Beat Faster

5. Insultingly obvious plagiarism in student work

4. My upcoming ENTIRE YEAR off from teaching Intro (sweet goddess, I need it)

3. My pending summit with Janey Em and Kelly in one of Canada’s coolest villes bilingues (wooHOO!)

2. Anticipation of pending responses to two of the past year’s 4 grant applications

1. End-of-term! END-OF-TERM!!! Thanks the goddess, it’s End-of-term!!

 

What makes your heart beat faster, StyleNation? Share the love. 

Occasions That Induce Half-heartedness

It is a truth universally acknowledged that great stacks of papers appear at precisely the point when instructors are least able to muster the requisite energy to deal with them in an efficient and timely fashion. Sweet are the papers, then, that argue a clear, cogent, thesis that is (a) appropriate to the assignment, (b) well-researched, and (c) largely original. Harsh are those that are (a) craptacular and clearly produced by slackers, or (b) terribly written and/or offensive, despite students’ best efforts to the contrary.

The cumulative effects of the above, in concert with the various grant applications, administrative bullshit paperwork, conference proposal-and-paper-writing panic that make up the remainder of my working life during the winter term, tend to coalesce into generalized half-heartedness in relation to all work-related activities. This year, all is exacerbated by sleeplessness and winter’s stranglehold on this city, despite the change of season we are meant to be experiencing right effing now. (My weather-related feelings diverge in intensity from those work-related.)

Sadly for you and me, StyleNation, my efforts fashion-wise have also been half-hearted(ish). Each of the following began with (a) excitement about one specific piece, and (b) the best of intentions. Nonetheless, I fear the end result for each induces half-heartedness.

Outfit #1: Theory vs. Praxis – the sweater dress

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Mexx silk/cotton sparkly sweater dress: new to blog; “Silver” snowflake brooch: gifted; Smart Set T-shirt; Beaded bracelets: from Michaels (that’s right: the craft store. But I saw them marked up approximately 400% in a local boutique. Is that even legal???!); Hue Tights; Fly London boots (new to blog, maybe? I’m too half-hearted to check)

So here’s the thing about sweater dresses: they’re clingy, and they show where one’s tights squeeze at one’s waist, even when one is not wearing control tops. On the model in the picture at the store, and on my bare legs in the changeroom, these problems were not apparent. If I weren’t preoccupied with weather-rage and work-half-heartedness, I’d be pissed about this.

Outfit #2: It’s all about the Necklace

In my mind, this was a great way to highlight the necklace my sister-in-law gave me for xmas. In reality, I’m not sure this does it justice:

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Stella & Dot silver bib necklace: gifted (new to blog); DKNY polyester top: Winners (new to blog); Joe Fresh Shell (old); Black Lucky jeans (new to blog); Nine West black and silver belt: remixed (old); Rieker boots: remixed

Here’s close-up of the sweet neck decoration (thanks, again, DSW!):

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Probably this was a little too casual for a teaching day. But I was tired and the prospect of wearing jeans was the only thing that got me out of bed that day. Later, a student who should know better remarked on the see-through blouse as soon as I walked into class, implying it was a risqué choice. If looks could make people do things, she’d be romancing her own sphinctral region even now. My half-heartedness does not extend to taking crap from students in non-textual life.

OK StyleNation, it’s list time.

Grading student work and wearing these outfits are 1 and 2 on my Shōnagon-inspired “Occasions that Induce Half-heartedness.” Other occasions include

3. Being facebook friends with my mother

4. Watching “kracken attack” videos with my nephew (to clarify: this induces a half-hearted effort to find my tablet when he insists we watch a kracken attack that has “a really nice tune”)

5. Contemplating the growing food museum in my fridge (produced via whole-hearted shopping for healthy things, then half-heartedly eating cereal and a smoothie for every meal)

What’ve you got, StyleNation?

I’m taking (a) further occasions inducing half-heartedness, or (b) suggestions for jazzier versions of the above ensembles. 

Office Pyjamas: November Survival Edition

Greetings, StyleNation, from the Great White North. Congratulations to all for making it to the middle of November.

Office PJs are going to be key to my survival to the end of this term because if I stay home in my actual pyjamas, I’ll just go back to bed. I’m really feeling the weight of this term’s teaching load. Also, as previously noted, it is once again time to delineate clear professional boundaries: slacker students are about to re-emerge to submit crappy or plagiarized work, blame women and racial minority professors for their (the students’) failures, and generally get up in my business as they panic about bringing a term’s worth of terrible grades home at winter break.

Autumn Office PJs #1

I’ll be sneaking into my office today in something like this (worn for another non-teaching day in October):

Zipper-front dress: D.E.P.T. (new to blog); Cami: H&M (old); Necklace: gifted; Leggings: ??, I cut out the giant scratchy tag (via Cosco, in a 2-pack. Must quit that place); Boots: Ben Sherman (remixed)

Yes, I am taking a call during this photo. I am very busy and (self)important.

 

Autumn Office PJs #2

Recently, I taught in this. After reviewing the photos, I think probably it should be relegated to the pyjama category. Some mornings, one cannot face either pants or tights; leggings thus become the only real option, even if items that cover one’s butt are limited by one’s failure to do laundry on even a semi-regular basis.

Mullet dress/tunic-thingy: ?? (that tag was scratchy, too; new to blog from end-of-summer sales); Black T-shirt: Kenneth Cole (remixed); “Gold” kitteh brooch: thrifted (bought for D-Med, but kept because ended up seeming to cheap to gift. Also, D-Med said people should stop buying her cat things just because she likes cats.); Stack of sparkly bracelets: The Bay; Leggings & boots: as above

Return of the Wonder Woman pose! (Remember when we used to do that all the time? Remember when we had a WW pose conference? I miss when we all did that.)

What strategies will you be employing to survive November, StyleNation?