Prego Profesh-ish

StyleNation, February is almost over and I’m betting MANY of you across North America are more than ready for the end of this crappy stormy month.

Outfit #1: Off-campus meeting

In other news, I’m on research leave but still occasionally have to get out of my pyjamas. For instance, I wore this relatively casual ensemble for an off-campus meeting with a research assistant:


Cotton jersey tunic: Boden (new to blog); White cotton cami: ??; Wool/acrylic stripe drape-front cardigan: (remixed, via Winners); Maternity under-belly dark-wash skinny jeans: Indigo Blue (via Motherhood Maternity – worst store name ever – new to blog); Black leather riding boots: Blondo (via Brown’s, remixed ad nauseum on this blog)

And here, just because I have it, is another view. Can you tell I’m trying to emphasize the baby belly? People keep missing that I’m pregnant. Case in point: upon learning that I am almost 7 months along, a woman I met at a meeting last week said, “Oh, that’s exciting! I thought you were just chunky!


Outfit 1: Things are exactly as they appear

I wore this for a fantastic but very long day on and off-campus during which I co-hosted multiple events with multiple guest speakers. I needed to be super-comfortable.


Wool/acrylic beige and silver cable 3/4 sleeve cardigan: H&M (very old but new to blog); Cotton jersey blue and grey stripe ruched maternity dress: Isabella Oliver (via the indie prego store down the street, new to blog – also, it can be worn post-pregnancy because of all the wicked ruching!); “Silver” bead necklace: craft fair (remixed, old); Brown tights: Hue (plus-size, for my prego comfort); Brown leather boots: Browns (remixed)

Here’s another view. Apologies for cutting out the bootage. It was very early, and I was in a HUGE rush:


Sadly, even with this fantastic dress, things got dire, comfort-wise, by hour 16. Also, tights are the worst if you are (a) pregnant (and thus have ridiculously sensitive skin on the back of your stupid legs), and (b) sitting on hard chairs for much of the day. That said, the dress held its shape all day. Also, its horizontal stripes emphasized the baby belly and minimized the “chunky” talk.

Do you use fashion to help others know/recognize things about you?

How so?

Conference Recap

Well, it’s almost taken me two months to do this but here is my boot-centric conference wear from early October.  I know, I know.  You’ve been waiting with bated breath.

Day One: Eager Conference Attendee, Ready to Listen Attentively

Cardi: Old Navy; Dress: Lane Bryant; Tights: Hue; Boots: J. Simp

Cardi: Old Navy; Dress: Lane Bryant; Tights: Hue; Boots: J. Simp

This dress typically has a belt but I forgot to pack it.  I think it needs the belt to break up the pattern a bit, but, otherwise, this dress is an excellent conference powerhouse as it’s super comfortable.

Day Two: Presenter, Substantially Inferior Listener

Cardi: Old Navy; Dress: Target; Tights and Boots as before

Cardi: Old Navy; Dress: Target; Tights and Boots as before

So you’ll no doubt see that Team Color was very much making its presence known at this conference (which, incidentally, was pretty excellent).

Day Three: Conference had Half a Day*


Chambray Shirt & White T: Old Navy; Skirt: Target; Tights and Boots: Ibid.

This outfit also had a blazer but I’m too lazy to restage that part of the outfit.  Also, while it’s slightly more casual than I might typically wear for a conference, the day before a male academic at about the same career point as me was wearing what looked to be his house-painting clothes.  So, I decided to chambray it up.

The pillow you can see progressively more of in these pictures is this one.  It might be one of my favorite things I own.

Boot Close-ups:



*I can’t find the clip that goes with this but I’m pretty sure some of you out there get what I’m putting down here.

Anyone got any updates on current time machine science?  I’d be pretty interested in getting these last two months back as they’ve gone ridiculously fast…

End-of-term Countdown

It’s that time, again.

(Welcome back to work, U.S. members. How was your holiday?)

This time of year, as final papers and projects roll in, and my panic regarding the utter lack of time for my own research reaches a fever pitch once again, I begin to feel a little like this:

Tiniest Treadmill User Ever

As previously noted, now is the time for serious ensembles. While I have occasionally snuck into my office on non-teaching days wearing things like this:

Purple cashmere cardigan: Ricki’s (gifted from A-Dubs-Hubs); Blouse: Joe Fresh (new to blog via the grocery store); Cami: Smart Set (old); Cheetah necklace: Stella and Dot (remixed); Skinny trousers: Mexx (remixed); Lined cognac leather boots: Rieker (via Shoe Heaven, remixed)

Teaching days are all about authority colours and power clothes – well, power clothes for a Women’s and Gender Studies professor, at least:

Sleeveless printed wrap blouse: Mexx (new to blog); Cami: ?? (cut out the tag, via Winners); Necklace: Gifted; Charcoal cardigan: Smart Set (new to blog); Navy wool-mix trousers: Melanie Lyne (new to blog); Studded leather flats: Fugitive de Francesco Rossi (remixed)

Who’s got even better Final Countdown videos?

Will you share the titles?

(We’ll credit you when we use them!)

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.)


Violence, Rage, and Research Clothes

A Sad and Enraging Report (Scroll down for outfit post):

Recently, one of my students was murdered. The program I work in is a small one, so we all knew and enjoyed this lovely young woman. We are heartbroken over her death, particularly because she died so violently, and her loss is all the more sudden and senseless. Unlike so many of the hundreds (some estimate thousands) of murder cases involving Indigenous women across Canada in recent years (for more information see reports by Native Women’s Association of Canada’s research initiative Sisters in Spirit  and Amnesty International), this woman’s family and friends know who killed her and how she died. Her murderer has paid for his crime, however inadequate some of us may consider his “payment.”

After much deliberation, I’ve decided that it’s appropriate to write about this here. In part because I experience her loss as though it is part of my job, and in part because I can’t not write about it. I am heartsick and enraged. And I am very, very worried about all of my students, especially the women, and especially those women who are visibly Indigenous. Like many Canadian cities, my current city is a very racist and violent one. As an educated white middle-class woman, I don’t experience this menace as directly as some. As in many Canadian cities, the bodies of Indigenous women seem instead to ‘absorb’ the most extreme violence such that ‘the rest of us’ don’t experience it as much (for more information on urban spaces and violence against Indigenous women, see Sherene Razack’s article in Race, Space, and The Law, or Andrea Smith’s book, Conquest).

As the findings of Amnesty International, Sisters in Spirit, and numerous other groups and individual researchers make clear, women who trace their lineage from North America’s First Peoples are 5 times more likely to experience violence in their lifetime than any other group of people in Canada. Moreover, recent research suggests that non-Indigenous men – especially young white/caucasian men – are responsible for upwards of 80% of the violence to which Indigenous women are subject (see, for example Ladner and Peach’s article, “Missing Out and Missing” in CPRC Press’s 2008 collection Torn From Our Midst).

In short, the violent colonial project continues apace. Moreover, while some suffer more directly and immediately than others, the violence itself is everybody’s problem. Educating ourselves on the issues is just one of the ways we can add our efforts to ongoing anti-violence activism. Believing that we can be a part of positive change, then taking a step (any step) toward this end is important, too. There are a multitude of ways to fight racism and violence in our day-to-day lives, as I’m sure you already know. (Sadly, for example, one of the easiest ways available to me outside the contexts of research, is to not laugh at racist or misogynist jokes, and to then find ways to identify racism and misogyny that don’t shut down conversation entirely.)

I can’t believe she’s gone. We have A LOT of work to do.

Outfit Post: Clothing in which to continue anti-violence research/activism

Cardigan: (via Winners, remixed); Ruffly top: French Connection (via Winners, new to blog); Cream and grey microfibre lace cami: Elite (via The Bay); Jean capris: Jacob Connection (very old); Boots: Rockport (very old); Faceless stuffed chicken: gifted to the FR, claimed by his puppy

Outfit plus a puppy in whose smallness and silliness I find what Kelly might term moments of grace:

The FR’s Puppy likes to help with morning photos. Also, she must be supervised at all times, so it’s good she likes to play while I pose. (Can you see the FR’s puppy portrait in the background?)

Where do you take refuge when sadness or rage threaten to overwhelm?

Can you think of other ways to do anti-violence and anti-racism work in our day-to-day lives? 

Luke, I am your Marker.

Yeah, I know. But I couldn’t leave the Star Wars stuff alone.

What’s up, StyleNation? As it’s horrifically close – and yet so far away – to the The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, I’ll keep this short. Kind of like my fuse right now. Not with you, of course. With the students who’ve shown little interest all term in achieving more than the bare minimum to pass. And now, they “disagree” with their marks, they want to “discuss” their papers/grades, they want a meeting outside of regular office hours and it needs to be tomorrow between 1 and 1:15pm because they are super-busy and important and as their professor, I probably live in my office praying that yet another student will “drop by” and make my life meaningful.

‘Bitter and burnt out? Who me?

Outfit #1: Worn for a Teaching Day

There’s nothing like a big-ass skirt to make a rectangular person appear curvy-ish:

Top: Anne Klein (remixed); Belt: Mexx (remixed); Skirt: Tommy Hilfiger (via The Bay); Tights: Hue; Boots: Blondo (remixed); Wonder Woman Pose: all IPF, all the time

Outfit #2: Less is Much, Much More

The less you see of this dress, the better it looks. See? It looks pretty good this way (for a day of marking papers in my office, at least – it’s a little low cut for teaching):

Cardigan: Max Studio (remixed); Dress: Chapter One (via Winners, remixed); Bracelet: The Bay (remixed); Leggings: Smart Set (new-to-blog); Boots: Rieker (remixed)

I bought it because it reminded me of dress of Sheila’s. Without the cardigan, however, my dress is utterly cheap and silly looking. Case in point:

See the wing-like flaps? Not only is the lighter back of the polyester on display, but the flappy parts are unfinished. Seriously. The fabric’s just been cut into wingy shapes and sewn on with raw edges. It’s ridiculous.

What do you have to hide, sartorially speaking, StyleNation?

Come on – you can tell us! We won’t tell a soul!

On Shopping: Ca$hmere, or why I’m not shopping at J.Crew anymore

A couple of months ago, in a rare move outside of my black cardi comfort zone, I bought this cashmere cardi online at J.Crew:

It was on sale, there was some kind of further promotion that may or may not have involved free shipping (rare to Canada) and I had long admired the colour and cut of these very cardigans in action on the exquisite and (sadly) now defunct  blog Orchids in Buttonholes.

When it arrived I was mildly disappointed that the colour was not quite what had been represented on-line–I was expecting a wine-dark purple and this is more grape juice than wine–but that is the nature of the beast of on-line shopping.  And it is still a lovely colour.  And the cut and the pearly buttons are just 50s enough to thrill me to the core.  In fact, the first time I wore it, with a pencil skirt of course, one of my colleagues remarked on my Mad Men aesthetic.  Dorky FTW, or so I thought.

After a single wearing, and not even a long day’s wear, there was a lot of pilling.  Too much for the price tag, even the sale price tag, of the sweater.  So I made enquiries at J.Crew and was told that pilling is a natural process for natural fibres.

Bullshit, J.Crew.  Do you think I’m some kind of idiot?  Pilling might be inevitable with natural fibres, but tightness of weave and knit in quality products should prevent pilling for some time.  And this amount of pilling after one wear is unacceptable.  The sweater, now a couple of months old, is so covered in pills that it looks shabby.

J.Crew has lost my custom.  And not just because of this experience, though this sealed the deal.  Items on the Canadian site are more expensive, apparently because the company is offloading the cost of producing a French site onto the consumer, but I am more bothered by the fact that J.Crew does not allow for customer reviews.  Had I known that this sweater would pill like it did, I would not have bought it, even on sale.  Little wonder that they want their customers to remain silent.

We are breaking up, J.Crew.  It was a very brief fling that began with your giddy entree into the Canadian market but this Canadian is worth more than you have to offer.*

But there is some good news.  I have had nothing but great customer service from Golightly Cashmere** (who I found thanks to a review on Passage des Perles).

I’ve had this Golightly Cashmere hat for two years.  I wear it every day of the winter and still no pilling. It’s really hard to take a picture of yourself in a hat, as it turns out.

I’ve had these Golightly Cashmere Arm Warmers for about the same amount of time.  I wear them almost everyday, indoors and out.  No pilling.  Plus hipster cred. And warm zombie arms.

Both Amid Privilege and Passage des Perles swear by Brora and Eric Bompard.  Not much more expensive than the full-price cardis at J.Crew and probably well worth the extra.  I’m saving up, and waiting for the sales.

Because I’m worth it.

Did you miss me StyleNation?

* To be fair, I don’t hate this shirt.

**This is an independent endorsement.  Golightly Cashmere doesn’t even know I blog.  Neither does my Mum.

Black Month, Black Things, ‘Tocks of Pup

I can’t help worrying that our blogger followers haven’t found us over here. We were getting so close to 100 followers! It was going to be a modest, but exciting milestone for us!

As an academic working in the humanities, I cannot stress enough how awesome it is to have more than 2 people read what I write. This is especially true because I am an amateur – a fledgling, even – in this fashion genre/discipline (i.e. in the field in which I am a specialist, I dream of even 3 other specialists reading the stuff I sweat blood to produce).

In short, StyleNation, I miss you and your wonderful commentary. (And thank-you to those of you who have been commenting over here.) I hope the others will come back to talk with us, again, someday.

Let’s have a quick outfit photo to break up the relentless text here, shall we?

Outfit #1: For Teaching Last Week:

ImageMexx ruffle-front dress (as tunic): remixed; Max Studio bias-cut black short-sleeved cardigan: remixed; Cotton Mossimo t-shirt: Target (bought in Texas with E-Jo during the beautiful, warm, wine-soaked dream); Grey “pearl” stretchy bracelets: The Bay; Black leggings: remixed ad nauseum on this blog; Blondo lined riding boots: Browns (remixed)

Here’s another view – note my skillful change of pose:


In other news, February persists and continues to SUCK. This is in part because I am very close to being overwhelmed by marking responsibilities of late, and in part because, according to a not-at-all rigorous or even-close-to-clinical self-diagnosis on the internet, I may have a smidge of seasonal affective disorder. Also, the Hubs and I are living mostly in the basement of our new house because we’re having the kitchen renovated this winter. That’s right: I live underground, like a mole, and it is stupid.

‘Good thing we have the Fuzzy Roommate and His Puppy. The FR continues to avoid the camera, but His Puppy is a total publicity whore. Case in point:

Outfit #2: Worn for Office Hours and a Meeting with Two Women I Really, Really Admire


BcbgMaxazria Cardigan: new to blog (via Winners, January sales); Necklace: gifted; H&M t-shirt: new to blog (but old to me); Mexx pointe knit trousers: remixed; Nine West belt: remixed (via The Bay); Invisible Hush Puppy winter ankle boots: remixed; Prop: flappy, bumble bee puppy chew toy; The FR’s Dog: not into the bee just now

Something about this cardigan makes me think of Sal. She’s like the jedi master of long flowy cardigan wearing. Also, check out the FR’s Pup’s adorable ‘tocks:

Finally, just because I have it:

‘Got any survival strategies for February, StyleNation?

I’d sooo appreciate anything advice you’re willing to offer.

Low Tide

Apparently I wear a black cardigan everywhere I go, 
even when I am standing on the ocean floor with my toes in the primordial ooze.
Apparently I also wear a tie-dyed skirt when I am standing on the ocean floor.  It’s a look.

I’m off to the archives on the other side of this ocean though I have no plans to stand in it while I’m there.  Or to wear tie-dye.  
It’s very likely, however, that I will be wearing a black cardigan.

Black Cardigans Anonymous

My name is Dorky and I love black cardigans.
If Coco Chanel counsels that we should remove one item of jewellery before we leave the house, lest we seem overdressed, Dorky Medievalist counsels that we should slip into a black cardigan before we leave the house, lest we seem underdressed.
(What?  It’s not weird that I speak of myself in the third person.  It is, after all, only a persona.)

Black cardigans are the foundation and the signature of many of my outfits.  
Here is a tour of a few that I am currently rocking:

The Indispensable
This has a matching shell and skirt, which I wore for the second day of my interview for my current job.  The model might be wearing it better than I but would you trust her to teach you Middle English or make you a sandwich? 

( Hint: your answer should be “No.”)
Edgy Modernist in my department has the same twin set.  I would be lying if I said this didn’t make me feel just a little bit more awesome.
Black Cardigan: Comrags
Black Shell: Comrags

The Casual Acquaintance
Perfect three-quarter sleeves, cotton jersey and casual snaps.  
Snap indeed.  Black cardigan, you complete me.

Black Cardigan:  Cotton Ginny (from A-Dubs)
Graphic Tee: We walk

The Feminino
This was the first thing I ever bought from J. Crew, now in Canada.  
It pilled immediately after the first wearing; I’m underwhelmed, Jenna, underwhelmed.
Black Cardigan: J. Crew
Brown Tank: Jacob

The Twin Cherries
And I’m not talking about my boobs.  You didn’t know I was also a hipster, did you? 

Black Cardigan: Rock Steady
Grey-and-Black T-shirt: Gap

The Old Friend
This is a cashmere blend and cable-y.  
It is neither style-y nor shapely but someone always remarks on how great this sweater is.  
They are right.
Black Cardigan: Park Vogel
Top: Calvin Klein

The New Friend

A colleague of mine gave me this and she always notes how much she likes how I wear it when I wear it.
Black cardigans can make you friends.
Black Cardigan: Banana Republic, swapped
Turtleneck: Park Vogel
The Dark Horse
Or not-as-dark horse.  Baby steps, StyleNation, baby steps.
Grey Cardigan: Club Monaco
Pink Sweater: Banana Republic
Are you so freakishly loyal to a single item of clothing that you keep buying versions of it over and over again?  
Black cardigans are awesome, right?