Coming Up for Air

Man, I can.not. wait for Spring Break.  Just two days to go until I head for parts northward where I get to visit with my adorable niece and nephew, and get some precious days off of work (and, I suppose, hang out with my sisters and their husbands).  This last month has been totally chaotic and did its very best to make me cry in public as deadlines overlapped one another and assignments just kept coming in and coming in.  I’ve got to take work with me when I travel but I’m definitely taking the weekend off completely.  Though I said that LAST weekend and I ended up doing my typical “work all the days” trick so… Anyhow, since I’ve just been trying to keep my head above water, there’s been a lot of repeats and generally underwhelming sartorial decisions throughout February.  But by the end of last week, I decided I needed to pick my game up a bit in order to keep myself awake.

Sweather, t-shirt, skirt: Target; Tights: Hue; Boots: Corso Como

Sweather, t-shirt, skirt: Target; Tights: Hue; Boots: Corso Como

This t-shirt is from the Jason Wu for Target collection of a couple of years ago and has an adorable little black and grey wagon wheel print.  The shirt itself is pretty transparent so it’s strictly a layering piece — and one that I tend to forget about.  The bow is a little twee for me sometimes but pairs nicely with the v neck sweater and the pencil skirt.


I don’t have much to say about this, really, apart from observing that one way you can tell I’ve been busy/ stressed is that my nails aren’t done.  I think it’s going to take Spring Break for me to get back on that habit.

Dress: Old Navy; Scarf: Bought in Berlin; Tights: Spanx; Boots: Jessica Simpson

Dress: Old Navy; Scarf: Bought in Berlin; Tights: Spanx; Boots: Jessica Simpson

So, yesterday morning it was 25 Celsius/ 77 Fahrenheit here.  Two hours later it was 0 Celsius/ 32 Fahrenheit.  Which is a ludicrous change in temperature in such a short time.  This place I live in is weird.  This morning I woke up to -13 Celsius/ 9 Fahrenheit.  So, as any other smart individual would do, I put on my shortest dress & tights and went to work.  I am, obviously, some sort of super genius.


The dress is new so its shortness came as a bit of surprise plus it kept riding up my tights as I walked & in the wind.  Altogether, then, it was the best possible choice today.

So… March has definitely come in as a lion, right?  This means we’re due some lamb-like weather soon, right?




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.


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?

Variations on a Theme

I second A-Dubs’ jubilation on the end of term.  I submitted my last set of grades for the term yesterday — though now the trick is to rein in my sense that I’m on vacation, until I actually leave on Tuesday — so things are pretty awesome here.  Classes ended last week  so this week has meant a bunch of end of term meetings as I transition out of professional wear, into sweatpants.  I chose — inadvertently — to wear variations on a “grey & black stripes with blue accents” theme.

Blazer: Target; Chambray & black t-shirt: Old Navy; Ponte jeggings: Gap; Boots: Corso Como

Blazer: Target; Chambray & black t-shirt: Old Navy; Ponte jeggings: Gap; Boots: Corso Como

So I wore this today to work at a coffee shop and then to meet other assistant professors from my department for lunch to discuss mentorship.  Also, I’m wearing jeggings.  I know.  I’m surprised too.  But, ohmigod, are they the most comfortable things ever.  I love them.  I’m never wearing anything else (this may be an untruth).


Also, this blazer continues to be a workhorse.  I’m honestly a little surprised by how much wear I get out of a striped blazer.  Perhaps the fact that it is ludicrously flattering helps somewhat.  I mean, seriously.

Sweater & pencil skirt: Target; Scarf: World Market; Tights: Hue; Boots: Corso Como

Sweater & pencil skirt: Target; Scarf: World Market; Tights: Hue; Boots: Corso Como

This, I wore to give an exam earlier this week.  I figured it was one last chance to dress up for my students.  The exam was at 8 in the morning so I couldn’t wear what I wanted (my pajamas, back in bed), so I might as well dress up.  Also, the mini-FR is super into smelling my skirt here for unknown reasons.


I suspect this is it from me until the new year so I hope everyone enjoys the next few weeks!

Not Dead Yet

Dudes.  What. is. up?  So, yeah, we’ve been on a bit of a hiatus here at IPF.  Busy summers, etc…   But, do not worry, A-Dubs and I had an important discussion — which I’m clearly disregarding — about being reinvigorated by the start of the term.  But then I went for drinks with friends and actually put on a outfit that seemed like it might be worth blogging — at the least, it wasn’t yet another repetition of the outfits from my last post.  Also, the mini-FR deigned to put in an appearance.

T shirt: Old Navy; Skirt: Target; Pendant: Old Navy; Shoes: Born; Nail polish: Essie Mint Candy Apple

T shirt: Old Navy; Skirt: Target; Pendant: Old Navy; Shoes: Born; Nail polish: Essie Mint Candy Apple

So, yeah, I wore this to go to my local wine bar where the waiters know my order.  Though the cute, imminently flirtable-with waiter wasn’t there, which led to my friends and I interacting with a waiter who wanted to talk about his home-brewed beer.  Sigh.


Anyhow, this is just to pop by and assure you that all is well, here at IPF, and we’ll be back, at something resembling full force, soon.  Possibly with less rambling posts than this one.  No promises, though.

How’re YOUR summers going?  

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.

Spring Break! Woot!

Oh my god, you guys, I could not be happier to see the arrival of spring break.  Ours seemed particularly slow to arrive this year and, as always, those weeks leading up to a break seem slooow.  (It seemed therefore pretty appropriate to lecture today on perceptions of private and public time in Mrs.Dalloway.)  I’ve got a bunch of non-teaching related work to get to in the next week but, for the next couple of days, I’m letting myself relax a bit.  To wit, when I got home from work today, I had an awesome (though accidentally 3 hour long) nap.

In addition to anticipating Spring Break, this week was also about enjoying some professorial outfits before next week’s parade of yoga pants and pajamas-as-daywear (though only within the boundaries of my home!).

First up, my first (photographed) wearing of the teal pencil skirt:

Black faux-wrap top: Joe; White t-shirt: Gap Outlet; Teal pencil skirt: Target; Gold flats: Nine West; Purple necklace: gift from brother-in-law

This outfit was clearly inspired by Janey-emm’s black and white pairing!  (Also, the mini-FR is totally over being part of the photo; here, he’s much more interested in retrieving his plush baked potato from its storage place: behind the couch.)  Rather than add in a bunch of color through clothing (apart from, you know, my teal skirt!), I decided to bring it through accessories and nail polish (a close up which comes below).

Nail polish: OPI Mod-ern Girl

I’m sort of in love with this color.  In the last six months or so, I’ve been much more consistent in doing my nails.  I like having my nails done because it’s a place for yet another burst of color but have a typically voided the work of it.  My sister introduced me to Sally Hansen Insta-dri top coat* and now I can do my nails in 10 minutes, usually while watching TV.

Today I wore the following:

Black cardigan, khaki tank, and coral pencil skirt: Target; Black flats: Me Too; Nail polish: Essie Mint Candy Apple

Again, note the dog’s total disinterest.  As we move into spring/ summer here, things are starting to both warm up and get super humid — a lovely combination to dress for, especially in buildings where the heat still seems to be on.  I suspect this cardigan will be an increasing workhorse as its drapey-ness is lovely and cool.

Two weeks until the start of spring, y’all!  

*This is a totally un-sponsored endorsement.

From One Extreme to Another

So, on Monday, we had D-Med’s thoughts on J.Crew cashmere, complete with photos of arm warmers.  Today, you have pictures of me, bare legged.  We like to cover all the bases here at IPF.

Down here at IPF South, we’re basically out of our 6 week winter (or what passes for such here) and are moving rapidly into the warm spring.  This means each day covers a wide spectrum of temperatures, with occasional torrential downpours.  Not helping matters, the various temperatures in university buildings vary widely so while my office is often on the cool side, the classroom I teach in is often boiling.  Layers have thus been a godsend.

In addition to constantly changeable weather, the approaching spring is making me desperately want color in my wardrobe options.  I’ve long been admiring various blogger’s colorful pencil skirts but have been unwilling to shell out the money for one.  Once again, Target comes to the rescue where I bought not 1 but 3 pencil skirts in veritable rainbow of colors.  They only had 3 colors; believe me, if there had been more options I probably would have bought them!

Cardigan & ruffly top: Gap Coral pencil skirt: Target Black flats: Me Too

Can you spot the mini-FR in this picture?  Even though this picture was taken later in the evening, its colors are definitely bright!  This may well be one of my favorite all-time outfits.  As a bonus, it gave me a chance to wear this yellow top which I got last fall at the outlets but have had trouble wearing.  This is, in part, because it’s made of rayon so just looking at it causes it to wrinkle; therefore, it really needs to be under something.  It’s also got a rounded neck, rather than my preferred v-neck, so it helps to pair it with this v-necked workhorse of a cardigan.

Black drapey cardigan, tank, and periwinkle pencil skirt: Target Belt: NY & Co. Nude flats: Me Too

Here’s the same skirt in a periwinkle blue (I also got a teal one but I haven’t worn it yet).  Both skirts are made out of my favorite ponte knit fabric so they’re super comfortable.  Combine that with this super soft, drape-y cardigan I bought with A-Dubs, and a cotton tank, and this is totally office pajamas.  Plus I even got my seemingly required pop of coral here in my nails!

How’s everyone managing the end of February?  As excited about March and the subsequent arrival of Spring Break as I am?