NSFW: Summer Dress, or How to Make Everyone Uncomfortable

(scroll down for outfit post) 

I’m preparing another conference report. It was super hot and sweaty at this particular conference, however, so there are things I have to wash and iron before I can even consider donning them, again, for you, StyleNation. In the mean time, I offer the following.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year has proved exceptionally busy, if not particularly productive as yet, at least in terms of the multiple writing projects I’m meant to have on the go. I’ve travelled three times already, and I’ve got another trip this weekend. That said, it’s still  pleasant not to be teaching, and thus to have time to organize and prepare for what promises to be a frenzied and – I hope – invigorating summer of writing and getting things off my desk and onto the desks of others.

Even the student who skipped his deferred exam, emailed two days later to offer a weak and implausible excuse, then asked for another deferral really hasn’t phased me. Two months ago, this situation would have filled me with rage. But last week, I merrily denied his request, sent him back to his home faculty, and only bitched to D-Med about it for (what I recall as) a relatively short time last week.

Outfit Post: Live and Learn 

Recently, I wore a dress and took some photos of it so I can learn things. What I have learned is as follows:

1. The top of this dress is a little big for me, so it gapes in ways that are probably pretty uncomfortable for my students and colleagues. You know, unless they want to see my laundry-day bra and some blindingly white fleshy bits.

2. While the skirt is swirly, the pattern huge, and the colours pleasingly vibrant, the whole thing would, I think, be better on a woman a little older, and much darker-skinned than me. I think either a brown woman, or a very dark-skinned woman with a little more bosom, and a lot more experience and presence could do this baby more justice. Me, I feel like a ghost in it. A ghost whose boobs and armpit cleavage are occasionally on display if I do anything more than stand like this:

Crinkly summer dress: ?? (I cut out the scratchy tag. It is cotton and was on sale at one of those big discount department stores in Florida); “Snakeskin” gladiator sandals: Report (via Winners); Classy office boombox: bottom-of-the-line Canadian Tire, Baby

Sandal close-up. They are more comfortable than I expected. Like wear-around-all-day -in-the-heat-and-don’t-get-blisters comfortable.

And here, because I have it and was feeling frustrated about how awkward things were looking, is a super-unflattering image of me doing an angry high kick:

Now that I see it again, the kick’s not that high. Probably I should do some stretches.

What clothes have you bought for other women, StyleNation? 

Just how successful are we at shopping for the lives we have

(as Angie, at You Look Fab might say)?

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.

Wardrobe One Trick Ponies

We (Style Nation) talk a lot about wardrobe workhorses: items that we wear and wear and wear and that are fall back, fail safe items. I’ve got a bunch of these myself: my khaki green full skirt, my various colorful flats, my ponte knit pants. But what about those items that aren’t so flexible? What about wardrobe one trick ponies?
Dress, scarf: gifted
Gold flats: Nine West


This dress is one such item. For some crazy reason, I had been toying with donating it but, after a Style Nation intervention, I decided to keep it and have worn it a couple of times since. The thing is, it’s almost impossible to wear any way other than this. I can change up the accessories — subbing in a necklace for the scarf, switching up the shoes — but other than that it’s stays pretty static (the sleeves are a slightly dolman style which makes it somewhat bulky to wear under something — plus it’s getting hot here so the thought of layers makes me break out in a sweat just thinking about it). Now, in many ways, this is a matter of “why fix what isn’t broken?” However, this means that I don’t often wear this dress since it’s such a highly memorable pattern. Lady mag wisdom would suggest that if you can’t imagine three variations of an item, it’s probably not that versatile. But what about those items that work well in only a single way?




What’s your policy on wardrobe one trick ponies?
Also, today is a wonderful day: Style Underdog is back!