Champagne Tastes: Wolford Marlene Tights

You already know how much I love tights, but these are a cut above:

One of my colleagues actually owns a pair of these and so I have seen them in person and they are absolutely divine.

And I don’t even like nude tights. I don’t even like to say “nude tights.”  It sounds unseemly.  (You see what I did there, right?)

How I would wear them: Definitely with a simple black pencil skirt that perfectly skims my knee at its prettiest and narrowest point.  Definitely after some kind of calf-defining calisthenics.
And definitely with a pair of Christian Louboutin Helmut pumps.

That I also do not own.

Reasons to hesitate:  If I laddered them–and, let’s face it, of course I (or the Vampire Cat) would ladder them–I would be distraught to the point of distraction and I would never be able to get any work done.  Can you imagine if I didn’t get tenure because I laddered my stockings?  That would be unseemly.  (You definitely saw what I did there, right?)

But here’s my question about Wolford tights:  are they worth the price of admission?  I have plenty of pairs of inky black, non-sheer, non-shiny, practically indestructible cotton tights (Life brand from Shoppers D) that cost less than $10 a pair.  They aren’t Wolford Matte Opaque 80 but they still achieve that Edie Sedgwick je ne sais quoi at a fraction of the cost.  What is the siren call of Wolford?

Of course, the Marlene tights are a whimsical work of art and maybe that’s enough to make you want to stop your ears. You know, those of you who don’t live with a psychotic cat.
Do you have a pair of Wolford tights?  Are they worth it? 

N.B. Wolford has not compensated me in any way for this post because, really, my legs are not those legs.  And Christian Louboutin doesn’t even know I have feet.

Champagne Tastes: Ann Demeulemeester Triple Lace Boots

I’m following the lead of A-Dubs in today’s edition of Champagne Tastes and dreaming big.  Usually I lust after things that I could conceivably (sort of) afford to buy but that I cannot reasonably justify buying because either the price or the object, or the price of the object, is simply too much.  Of course, this leaves room for sale and serendipity to collide and sometimes my beer budget can overlap with my champagne tastes.

I’m fairly certain that won’t happen this time.
How I would wear them: Well, first I would need to decide whether I wanted the flat black or the stacked-heel oxblood.  Although this is The Fantasy Wardrobe League, I don’t think that even I could conceive of owning two pairs of boots that are so distinctive and so similar.  I’ve been wanting a pair of flat, black knee-high boots for a long time and I think that the practicality and versatility of a pair of wear-anywhere boots would win out.  Then again, I could seriously kick ass and take names in those heels.
I would wear these with just about every skirt I own but I think they would look especially awesome with this skirt.  I would wear my black cigarette pants tucked into them, and maybe I would even venture into overdyed skinny jeans territory, which I would be able to wear because I would have to give up eating for a while if I bought these boots.
Unfortunately, I’d probably also have to buy the Vivienne Westwood Anglomania Thursday Sword Dress, because how could I resist how awesome it would look with these boots and this cardi (because I don’t do bare shoulders in the classroom)?

Reasons to hestitate: I’m pretty sure these boots are from 2008 and so no longer available.  I’m also pretty sure they cost about 2008 dollars.  Seriously,2008$.  That’s entering A-list celebrity territory and they don’t have an A-list celebrity category in my profession.  That I’m aware of.

Also, given the way I swan through my days, I’m fairly certain I would trip over the shoelace yardage on these babies.  Either that or I would get them so hopelessly entangled that I would become trapped in my boots forever, just like Moira Shearer in The Red Shoes.  A less graceful version, obviously.

What do you think, StyleNation, are knee-high lace-up boots missing from my wardrobe, at any price point?
Are they missing from yours?

N.B. Obviously Ann D and Viv did not compensate me in any way for this post.  As noted above, I am not on the A-list.  Yet.

Champagne Tastes: Tiffany Anchor Pendant, revisited

Remember this, from Tiffany’s where nothing very bad could happen to you?:
Very bad things can happen to your credit card though (well, to my credit card).
So imagine my delight when, via an interview at Grit and Glamour with Etsy seller Amanda Deer, I found this Tiny Silver Anchor Necklace:

It’s delicate. It’s sterling silver. And it’s about ten times gentler on the credit card than the Tiffany version.
Someone always mentions how pretty it is when I wear it and they want it to have a story.
I’m working on one right now about my charitable work with sailors during Fleet Week.
Do you have any Champagne Tastes that came true? (I now have two.)
Please note that my delight in this necklace is not a compensated endorsement. I admire Amanda Deer’s pretty designs independently.
And Tiffany’s has no idea I exist because I only fantasy shop there.

Champagne Tastes: In Another Place, Not Here*

A number of circumstances, both professional and personal, are conspiring of late to make me dream of alternatives to my academic life. As I’ve only just achieved an element of professional stability, however, my alternative-life fantasies remain exactly that: fantastic – and (currently) impossible.
Most Alternative-Life-A-Dubses have spectacular wardrobes. For example, in another place, not here, I own a tiny-but-posh studio space on a fancy Caribbean island. I rent the studio for exorbitant fees to a parade of designers of beautiful clothing who sometimes pay me with clothes.
When Caribbean-Island-Alterna-Dubs is not committing Dionne Brand novels to memory, doing yoga cliffside, or frolicking in shady groves with my flock of wheaten terriers, Fantasy-Me mostly hangs out in flowing silk dresses, and sparkly sandals. Then I drink champagne, and decide what deserving charitable enterprises most deserve portions of my millions.
Sometimes I wear long drapey numbers like this (because Fantasy Me has naturally golden brown skin, even in winter). Obviously, I wear such things with strappy silver flats, not those clunky black things. This one’s perfect for standing by the ocean while the wind blows my gorgeous mane of hair around and hot nubile young men plan ways to pick me up:

(But, I never do that blue eyeshadow. Never.)

Other nights call for a steamy petal dress like this one by Loris Diran. Those shoes are all wrong, of course. Gold sandals with paper-thin ankle straps are really a better fit for my glamorous island paradise. This one’s perfect for sitting in profile while the sun sets over the ocean and I decide which nubile young men I’ll take salsa (or lambada) dancing later:

Ah, sweet fantasy life and wardrobe – all in another (maybe pretend) place, not here! Not here where my jersey is so rarely (alright, never) silk, my golden sandals lose their precious heels, and where negotiating for office spaces, futzing with muffed pay (always too low – why? Why?), and placing my one broken wheaten leaves precious little time for Brand novels or yoga in the place down the street where they drape orange fabric through the fluorescent lights.
Needless to say, I’ll not be buying either of the above dresses. Or the posh studio by the sea. Also, neither Gucci nor Loris Diran will be compensating me for not buying their clothes.
* This phrase is the title of my fantasy-BFF Dionne Brand’s first novel. And I borrow it – and use it out of context – with awe and reverence.
What’s does your fantasy-alternative self do? Does s/he have great clothes?

On Shopping: Yoga Wear

Grad School, a mild obsession with bum-enhancing loungewear, and a series of generous gift cards have given me a solid collection of Lululemon yoga pants. When I started doing yoga I came to appreciate the awesome utility of said pants. And even though my new city has a Lululemon store, my schedule, my budget, and a concerted effort to give Mr. Visa a much-needed break have kept me from acquiring more yoga gear.

I’ve resolutely worked out in one of two tops with one of two sports bras (acquired back when I was a runner – gah. running flashback. I hate running).Even when one of my students showed up in my favourite yoga class, I made myself keep going. And I made myself believe the loose T that rides up and shows my stomach in downward dog was fine; if she wanted to invade my non-Dr.Dubs time, she could just endure all associated sights.

But now it’s summer, things are sweatier, and I REALLY want cropped yoga pants that do not chafe in alarming places.In fact, I want these:

Lululemon “Clam Digger II”

And maybe I’d need to do less pre-class steeling of my body-image-resolve if I had this awesome tank/sports bra thingy to keep key areas covered:

Lululemon “Scoopneck Tank”

And it’s been quite rainy this spring, so if I’m going to the store anyway, what if I also picked up this jacket?

Lululemon “Apres Yoga Jacket”

Reasons to hesitate: D-Med’s and my occasionally hyperbolic friend, A, informed me last summer that (1) spending up to $100 on one piece of workout wear constitutes a$$holery, and (2) wearing the pants outside the gym is akin to demanding that members of the general public think sexual thoughts about one’s buttocks.Having researched for a woman who routinely wore her lululemons as dress pants (seriously – complete with strappy heels and flowered blouses), I have to agree with A’s second point (and I would add that said pants are definitely NSFW).

But what about A’s first critique?Especially when we figure in the part where Lululemon, despite their brand’s dedication to “the yoga lifestyle” and all the freedoms said lifestyle supposedly enables, does not seem concerned about sweatshop labour in the offshore factories where their garments are produced?

So maybe I’m not getting these awesome things. But where can I get some appropriate gear, then?

Champagne Tastes: Denis Gagnon dress

Unlike D-Med, I don’t usually fantasy-shop. Generally, I find it frustrating to browse things I cannot afford, just to determine what I cannot have. Despite my initial reservations, however, I actually enjoyed clicking around to find an appropriate item for this fantasy-shopping post.

Thus for my “Champagne Tastes” debut, I chose this gorgeous Denis Gagnon spring/summer 2010 zippered pocketed dress and the shoes with which it is styled:

How I would wear it: Obviously, this dress would be NSFW (not suitable for work), but imagine if it wasn’t? For example, if I played a housewife on a soap opera, this would be ideal afternoon loungewear for when I returned home – after horseback riding all morning – to wait for random past lovers to drop by for some rehashing of issues and illicit messing around. Alternatively, if I were a leggy young celebrity, I could rock this on the red carpet at my premiere where I would pretend to have a relationship with either or both of my hot male co-stars, but would in fact be fantasizing about the woman who snuck into my trailer every night. (That one’s for my colleague who suspects a certain leggy young celebrity is a lesbian.)

Reasons to hesitate: I assume this ensemble is a contender for this not-buying segment because I can find absolutely no price point anywhere (read: nothing retrieved in two basic Googles). And to me, this means I cannot afford it. Possibly ever.

As I have neither an excess of cash nor the above occupations, I will (not) be buying this dress. I will subsequently (not) wear it to friends’ weddings this summer, and I will (not) layer it over black tights and shoes for university fundraising events next fall.

Denis Gagnon is another Canadian designer based in Montreal. I have family in Montreal, so I hope to visit both them and this dress very, very soon. (I will, of course, report in re: price points, etc.) I also sense some more (not) buying of Denis Gagnon fashions-for-fall coming on. His fall/winter 2010 line does things with zippers and leather that are so awesome they should be illegal.

Would you (not) buy this ensemble? Where would you (not) wear it?

p.s. Denis Gagnon is not compensating me for not buying this dress & shoes.

Champagne Tastes: Soia Kyo Vera Leather Jacket

UPDATE: For those of you in NYC, Soia Kyo is holding a sample sale May 24 & 25 at 275 W. 39th Street , 7th Floor, 12-7pm. For those of you in NYC, I am jealous.
Two words: Bad A$$.

More words: Soia Kyo is a Canadian company, headquartered in Montreal, I believe, and it does not get more stylish than Montreal around these parts. It would sort of be my national duty to buy this jacket. I would probably get some kind of award from the PM if I bought this jacket (well, not from our current PM who would tell me to “just shut the F@#! up”).

How I would wear it: At a bar. In a car. With a guitar. (These options are inspired by Blondie. And Dr Seuss.) It would be very cool to-and-from outerwear for the fall and the spring. Plus I have a beautiful flame-coloured fringed scarf I bought from a street vendor in Barcelona that would be amazing with this.

Reasons to hesitate: I live in Monsoonville and I don’t think sleek leather jackets wear all too well when they are constantly getting rained on. Some leather jackets look great when they are worn in (I had one in high school. I wore a cut-off denim vest over top of it and I accessorized the denim vest with a Blue Oyster Cult pin. OMG, where did you go, Bad A$$ self?) but I think this is too tailored to wear weather well.

Plus I can’t decide which colour I like better. I’m leaning toward the black because I think it would make me look more like Emma Peel, which is important. Hypothetically.

Someone forgot to wear pants over her bloomers. How embarrassing.

Soia Kyo is not compensating me for not buying this jacket.

Should I not buy this jacket in black? Or should I not buy it in brown?

Champagne Tastes: Fiorentini & Baker Eli Boot

I have been stalking these boots on-line now for at least a year. I love them. And I love them because they represent for me a style that I think I can pull off; more accurately, they represent a style that I want to be able to pull off. They are tough and exquisite and possibly the best shoe colour ever.

Fiorentini & Baker Eli boot in mattone*
photo source:
How I would wear them: With everything. I would even sleep in them (no really, The Vampire Cat gets mad sometimes and pees on my shoes. It’s very unpleasant.). For work I would wear them with a long, brown wool plaid Vivienne Westwood wiggle skirt that I bought deeply discounted when I lived in London. I’d wear them with my black cigarette pants, with my black knee-length pencil skirt, with my black jumper; the colour and style would bring an edge to these wardrobe staples that would effectively undercut the conservative vibe that I think my professorial dressing leans toward. And I would wear them with jeans, with shorts, with jean shorts. I’m certain I would be irresistible in these boots.
Reasons to hesitate: Besides the heart-palpitation-inducing price tag (they are handmade! In Italy!), I already own these, which you have seen recently:

Both of these are in the vein of my dream boots though I wear neither of these pairs of boots to work. I think I could if I polished them up a bit. They aren’t that beautiful shade of red/orange/brown though …

But in the wise words of one of my fashion blogger colleagues, I should work with what I’ve got.
*In Professorial Fashion is not sponsored by Fiorentini & Baker or Gravity Pope. I lust after these boots independently.

Champagne Tastes:Tiffany "S" Pendant

When I was a child, I had a nameplate necklace that proclaimed my name in cursive long before I ever could (and long before Carrie Bradshaw ever did), so I’ve always had a secret love of monograms even though I have nothing monogrammed. I do love this necklace, however:

Elsa Peretti Letter “S” Pendant, Tiffany’s
Photo source:
How I would wear it: With everything. It’s a signature piece, quite literally. It’s from Tiffany’s, designed by Elsa Peretti (of the Tiffany bean, which I also covet) and I love its curvy confidence. Most people call me “Medievalist” (including my students) because it’s my last name but I love the interrupted moebius-quality of this “s” (full name S. Dorky Medievalist) and its nod to my secret, secret self.
And nothing very bad could happen to you in Tiffany’s.
Reasons to hesitate: Funding, as usual. Can we just agree that funding is an inherent deterrent in “Champagne Tastes”? It’s not so out-of-reach for something I would plan to have forever, though.
But I also love this, which has a similar allure with a much more reasonable price tag:
Letter “S” Vintage Typewriter Key Necklace
How I would wear it: As above, though it is a little more casual and perhaps less of a “forever” piece. But maybe not. It’s made out of an old typewriter key, so it is actually more appropriate for me in that sense. And I enjoy its no-nonsense and modern simplicity.
Reasons to hesitate: Few. And I would be supporting an independent designer. And recycling.
But what I really love, is this:

Anchor Pendant in Sterling Silver, Tiffany’s
Photo source:

An anchor charm signals hope. My Mum wants to buy me a robot vacuum cleaner, which would be fun to watch the cats ride around on, but I’m willing to forgo that for a Tiffany’s anchor pendant, because it’s nice to be reminded that there is hope.
* In Professorial Fashion is not sponsored by Keys and Memories at Etsy or by Tiffany’s. My endorsement is entirely independent.

Do you have a signature piece of jewellery? Something that you rarely are without? Something that signals hope?