Good goddess, StyleNation. Where the hell did November go? How is it the end of the month already?! (Here’s hoping our American members enjoyed their long weekend.)
As I noted this time last year, I’ve learned to amplify the profesh in my on-campus ensembles as the term winds down. I need to bring what authority I can to in-office and classroom interactions, especially at this time in the term. Struggling and slacker students can get downright nasty as grades for their final assignments come in.
After this post, profesh is the word.
Today, I owe you a conference report. So, here goes.
Please note that the white walls in my new, as-yet-unfurnished home office are weird in photos. Thus, when I place my hands against the wall to hold myself up (or in a pose – I’m tippy), the walls disappear and it looks like I’m trying to be graceful, or gently balletic (yep. I’m calling “balletic” a word). I am not balletic or graceful; but I am tired (and lacking in camera know-how). And so, I offer the following “Gentle Hands Series”:
Day 1: Teaching & Mad Dash to Airport for Conference Travel
In retrospect, I don’t think I’d do the bow-belt on the dress, again. It seems a little girlish, no? Otherwise, the dress is perfect conference attire in that it’s polyester (read: non-wrinkling, even after hours in airports, planes, and trains), profesh without being overly polished (my field is not an especially formal one), densely printed (read: won’t show spills, even if they’re red wine), and mix-and-matchable. Also, it has pockets (read: options for hand placement that avoid awkwardness like that shown below).
Dress: Rachel Roy (via The Bay, new to blog)
Cotton t-shirt: mall anchor store (Smart Set, I think)
Leggings: Groggy (remixed ad nauseum on this blog)
Waterproof black knee-high winter boots: Blondo (via Browns Shoes)
Day 3: Dress Remixing, Non-presentation Day
Full disclosure: I actually wore the shorter cardigan (pictured in the bottom two images) at the conference. But when I saw that cardigan in pictures, it made the dress look babydollish and I wish I hadn’t worn it that way.
Here’s what I wish I’d worn. Also, I wore this ensemble to teach earlier this week, and then to speak at an event later that evening. I began the day with a wide black belt over the cardigan and dress, but things got waaayyy too sweaty, so the belt was discarded after my first class that morning. It’s still in my office (the belt, not the class), so it’s not pictured here.
Silver necklace: gifted from the Hubs (more on this later)
Long black cardigan:
Day 2: First Day of Conference, & Day 4: Presentation Day
Originally, for my presentation on Day 4, I’d planned to wear this black wool dress with the pashmina pictured below, and the boots and leggings shown above. This more casual ensemble was meant to be worn on Day 2 only. But I’d forgotten about the extreme blond shagginess of the dog at my brother’s place – where I crashed for a portion of my stay. That huge, friendly dog leaves carpets of fur on everyone within a 2-mile radius. The black dress was impossible to wear under these circumstances.
Fortunately, I had these lycra-rich, skinny trousers on deck. Also a polyester blend, these babies don’t wrinkle at all (again, this is key for conference travel – who wants to iron when there are panels to attend first thing every morning?). Even more importantly in my case, dog fur doesn’t adhere to these unnatural tightly-woven fibres.
, via Winners, slightly better image below)
Black polyester jersey top:
Anne Klein (via Winners, remixed
Skinny poly-lycra-rayon trousers: Mexx (new to blog)
Boots: as above
Here’s a better image of the trousers. Despite appearances, I am NOT gently stroking the leaf of that plant. The plant is well in the foreground, but the bloody white walls and poor lighting are throwing everything off kilter.
Overall, to me, the building of conference-wear around on pair of conference-friendly boots worked really well, again. The boots were foot-friendly – low-heeled, rubber-soled, warm without being too warm, and comfortable for hiking around the conference city and campus – and dressy enough for my sartorial tastes.
As an added bonus, these boots bring me one comfortable step closer to my professional goal of modelling good footwear “behaviour” for my students. Currently, I use my wearing of high heels to teach the concept of hegemony – what better way to illustrate my own consent to gender subordination?* Having taught this lesson numerous times to date, I hope, someday, to require a different illustrative example.
* Interesting side note: young women in one of this year’s classes were especially interested in promoting rather than discouraging my high heel wearing via multiple suggestions of “comfortable” or wedge heels as “cute and more comfortable than stilettos.” My suggestion that no wedge or exceptionally-well-padded high heel was as comfortable as any of my husband’s shoes was met with peels of laughter.