Wrapping Up

Oh, hi there, internet.  It’s been a while.  So, any theories on where the last six weeks have gone?  It seems as though I blinked and March and April disappeared.  I can’t even say that I’ve been grading the whole time as that was heavier in January and February for me — before next week’s onslaught of final papers.  March, at least, was filled with travel — for work and otherwise.  I spent a delightful week in Montreal with my sisters and their adorable, adorable progeny.  I was also in New York for a lightning fast conference trip — though I DID get to hang out with the delightful Susan and a host of other, non-blogging work friends.  Conferencing is such a mixed bag — it’s a great opportunity to see fun places, hang out with colleagues who are geographically distant, and get some new ideas/ book suggestions BUT it’s also a moment for a reminder of how obnoxious certain aspects of academia can be.  Old dude who tried to score cheap laughs at the expense of his undergraduates and dude grad students who think that my lady-brain can’t possibly match the awesome power of theirs, I’m looking at you.  But now I’m home (or, more accurately, I’ve been home for OVER A MONTH) and am in the dying days of the term.

Chambray: Gap; White v-neck: Old Navy; Pencil skirt: Target; Concrete wedges: Jessica Simpson

Chambray: Gap; White v-neck: Old Navy; Pencil skirt: Target; Concrete wedges: Jessica Simpson

One of the buildings I’m teaching in this term is a bit of a treacherous hike from my office — it’s sloping downward over very uneven pavement — so I haven’t worn heels to teach as that’s a recipe for disaster.  But, over the last two weeks, I’ve been meeting with my students to discuss their final papers, rather than holding class sessions, so I decided to break out the heels for those days where I was just in my office or only teaching in the building that doesn’t require risking life and limb to get to it.  This is also a new chambray shirt.  I’ve long had my eye on this one from the Gap — it’s got western detailing and pearl snaps, which appeals to my Prairie upbringing — so I snapped it up when it was on clearance.  I’m quite smitten with it and plan on wearing the crap out of it until it gets ludicrously hot here and sleeves become unviable.

Blazer & shell: Target; Jeggings: Gap; Suede Booties: Kenneth Cole

Blazer & shell: Target; Jeggings: Gap; Suede Booties: Kenneth Cole

These jeggings are another recent, Gap sale purchase, worn here on a day last week where I met with fifteen students to discuss their papers.  And then promptly passed out at home, never wanting to say another word.  I actually really love doing these paper conferences, as I both love talking about writing with students AND having a captive audience — and this was a day when some of my very favorite students of this term were scheduled.  But, man, by the end of the day, my brain was pretty fried.

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How’s everyone doing?  Hanging in there?

Casual Wear

Nothing like a busy week or two to provide blog fodder, right?  I have three, that’s right THREE (and it’s actually three plus one variation), outfits for you today — and a bunch still waiting to be blogged.  With Halloween, a friend’s birthday, another friend’s band playing, and the usual social shenanigans, I’ve got a number of bloggable casual outfits for y’all.

To start things off, here’s what I wore to teach on Halloween and, later, out for drinks & cupcakes to celebrate a friend’s birthday.  Note that I’m emphatically not a costume person — as both A-Dubs and D-Med who have spent many a Halloween with me know — but that my students thought I was in costume anyhow.  I’ll take guesses as to what you think they thought I was (I don’t know what they thought though as I was too busy spluttering out that I wasn’t in costume).

Button-up Shirt: Old Navy; Tank & Pencil Skirt: Target; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Lucite Necklace: Anthropologie

Button-up Shirt: Old Navy; Tank & Pencil Skirt: Target; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Lucite Necklace: Anthropologie

Anyhow, a good time was had by all.  Apart from our usual server, who we did our best to get fired by being so hilarious that we kept distracting him from his other tables.

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This next outfit is from the next evening out.  You’ll note that over the next series of photos  temperatures were dropping as my legs require more and more covering up.

Dress: Gap; Denim jacket: Old Navy; Tights: Hue; Boots: Corso Como

Dress: Gap; Denim jacket: Old Navy; Tights: Hue; Boots: Corso Como

I don’t have much to say about this — apart from the fact that I love that it is FINALLY tights weather here (a love that I’m sure won’t be shared by many of you who have had this weather for a while already and have far more of it to look forward to than I do).  Also, the jean jacket fits better than that first picture makes it seem.

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Lastly, here is the outfit I wore the third night out for the performance of a band that two of my friends are in.  And on this night even tights wouldn’t cut it as leg covers.

Blazer & virtually unseen black ponte shell: Target; Jeans: Old Navy; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Scarf: some store in Berlin

Blazer & virtually unseen black ponte shell: Target; Jeans: Old Navy; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Scarf: some store in Berlin

I wore this same outfit with some alterations earlier in the work for a day split between a coffee shop, working, and campus, attending meetings.  Variations of this outfit are turning into a bit of a uniform for non-teaching campus days.

Pretty much the same as above but with Me Too flats.

Pretty much the same as above but with Me Too flats.

Are you a stick-in-the-mud about Halloween like me?  Or did you dress up?

 

 

Themeless

Well, after a series of posts that nicely fell into little mini-themes, I’ve lost some momentum in that direction.  Unless, “things I’ve bought recently” counts as a theme.  Which I suppose it sort of does.  Anyhow, this is/ has been a relatively busy week, full of meetings and such things.  Like conference acceptances that mean delightful upcoming travel destinations.  And the birth of adorably teensy nieces. Also my birthday.

Dress: Old Navy; Navy Tights: Hue; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Beloved silver pendant: H&M

Dress: Old Navy; Navy Tights: Hue; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Beloved silver pendant: H&M

I wore this sucker yesterday for my birthday.  It’s a lovely sweatshirt material so it’s like wearing pajamas.  The tights and boots were slightly overkill for the weather here; we’re tentatively making steps towards fall so it’s somewhat chilly in the morning when I leave my house (50F/ 10C) but then gets quite a bit hotter by the time I leave work (80F/ 27F).  This makes it a giant pain to dress for the weather and since I love fall clothes, I’m unapologetically just declaring it time to wear boots.

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Also, this dress requires tights when I teach as there’s quite a bit of side leg on display without them.  I wore this out after work for drinks with the local key players at the fancy steakhouse.  I took the tights off then because, at that point, I was awfully warm.  And figured that the martinis with goat cheese stuffed olives I planned on consuming wouldn’t help matters.

Blazer: Target; Navy shirt & jeans: Old navy; Black flats: Me Too

Blazer: Target; Navy shirt & jeans: Old navy; Black flats: Me Too

This I wore on Monday for a day that begun with some writing in a coffee shop and then transitioned into the first of the week’s meetings.  The jeans, like the previous dress, are both new.  After a bunch of months where it’s been way too hot to contemplate sheathing my legs in fabric tubes, I’ve been wearing these pretty constantly since snagging them last week.

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How are the rest of you enjoying the beginning of October?

Things that Pass By Rapidly, or Summer in Review

What up, StyleNation?! Welcome to another academic term at IPF, Northern Division! While IPF South’s been in the classroom for weeks now, I only returned last Thursday. Before posting back-to-school photos, however, I hearken instead to the sun-drenched, research-and-wine-filled days of summer one last time.

Obvy, SUMMER tops my Sei Shōnagon-inspired list today (i.e. Things that Pass By Rapidly).

Like E-Jo, I spent much of June, July, and August wearing only-occasionally-remarkable attire, so I’ve very little to report, sartorially-speaking. The following saw me through some on-campus workshops and meetings with research assistants throughout the summer:

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Grey and black burnout cowl-neck top: ?? (I removed the tag, new to blog); Black cotton cami: mall anchor store (ubiquitous on this blog); Smart Set pull-on denim skirt: thrifted (new to blog); Fly London Yayas: remixed

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Pistachio Cotton 3/4-sleeve Cardigan: ?? new to blog (via Winners, but I removed the tag); Navy/white Stripe Mexx cotton/linen Drop-waist Dress: new to blog (purchased 2 or 3 summers ago); White Hue Jegging Capris: new to blog (via The Bay – be honest: how do we really feel about white jeggings? I can’t decide); Yellow Mousse Fly London Yakin Ankle Strap Wedges: new to blog (via lovely shoe boutique around the corner)

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DKYNY Studded Denim Blazer: remixed (via Winners); Necklace: remixed (gifted); Black Cotton T-shirt: H&M (remixed); Teal Smart Set Cotton Trousers: new to blog; Brown leather belt: remixed (ubiquitous on this blog); Nude-for-white-folks Naturalizer Leather Wedge Sandals: remixed

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Linen J Crew Pineapple T-shirt: new to blog (summer 2013); Cotton Smart Set Pineapple(coloured) Trousers: new to blog (summer 2013); Silver Pleather Bangle: remixed; Sandals: as above

And now, to finish the list (and the summer):

Things That Pass By Rapidly

5. The period in one’s life when drink the night before has little negative effects the morning after

4. Puppyhood for my Fuzzy Roommate and his dog

3. Periods of extreme hilarity

2. Moments in which first impressions, personal or professional, are formed

1. CANADIAN SUMMERS

What’s on your list, StyleNation?

Occasions That Induce Half-heartedness

It is a truth universally acknowledged that great stacks of papers appear at precisely the point when instructors are least able to muster the requisite energy to deal with them in an efficient and timely fashion. Sweet are the papers, then, that argue a clear, cogent, thesis that is (a) appropriate to the assignment, (b) well-researched, and (c) largely original. Harsh are those that are (a) craptacular and clearly produced by slackers, or (b) terribly written and/or offensive, despite students’ best efforts to the contrary.

The cumulative effects of the above, in concert with the various grant applications, administrative bullshit paperwork, conference proposal-and-paper-writing panic that make up the remainder of my working life during the winter term, tend to coalesce into generalized half-heartedness in relation to all work-related activities. This year, all is exacerbated by sleeplessness and winter’s stranglehold on this city, despite the change of season we are meant to be experiencing right effing now. (My weather-related feelings diverge in intensity from those work-related.)

Sadly for you and me, StyleNation, my efforts fashion-wise have also been half-hearted(ish). Each of the following began with (a) excitement about one specific piece, and (b) the best of intentions. Nonetheless, I fear the end result for each induces half-heartedness.

Outfit #1: Theory vs. Praxis – the sweater dress

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Mexx silk/cotton sparkly sweater dress: new to blog; “Silver” snowflake brooch: gifted; Smart Set T-shirt; Beaded bracelets: from Michaels (that’s right: the craft store. But I saw them marked up approximately 400% in a local boutique. Is that even legal???!); Hue Tights; Fly London boots (new to blog, maybe? I’m too half-hearted to check)

So here’s the thing about sweater dresses: they’re clingy, and they show where one’s tights squeeze at one’s waist, even when one is not wearing control tops. On the model in the picture at the store, and on my bare legs in the changeroom, these problems were not apparent. If I weren’t preoccupied with weather-rage and work-half-heartedness, I’d be pissed about this.

Outfit #2: It’s all about the Necklace

In my mind, this was a great way to highlight the necklace my sister-in-law gave me for xmas. In reality, I’m not sure this does it justice:

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Stella & Dot silver bib necklace: gifted (new to blog); DKNY polyester top: Winners (new to blog); Joe Fresh Shell (old); Black Lucky jeans (new to blog); Nine West black and silver belt: remixed (old); Rieker boots: remixed

Here’s close-up of the sweet neck decoration (thanks, again, DSW!):

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Probably this was a little too casual for a teaching day. But I was tired and the prospect of wearing jeans was the only thing that got me out of bed that day. Later, a student who should know better remarked on the see-through blouse as soon as I walked into class, implying it was a risqué choice. If looks could make people do things, she’d be romancing her own sphinctral region even now. My half-heartedness does not extend to taking crap from students in non-textual life.

OK StyleNation, it’s list time.

Grading student work and wearing these outfits are 1 and 2 on my Shōnagon-inspired “Occasions that Induce Half-heartedness.” Other occasions include

3. Being facebook friends with my mother

4. Watching “kracken attack” videos with my nephew (to clarify: this induces a half-hearted effort to find my tablet when he insists we watch a kracken attack that has “a really nice tune”)

5. Contemplating the growing food museum in my fridge (produced via whole-hearted shopping for healthy things, then half-heartedly eating cereal and a smoothie for every meal)

What’ve you got, StyleNation?

I’m taking (a) further occasions inducing half-heartedness, or (b) suggestions for jazzier versions of the above ensembles. 

Repetition 2.0

StyleNation, how did summer get to be almost over?

Like many academics, I am currently scrambling to complete and send off multiple writing/research projects, to write proposals for conferences to which I’ll regret applying come spring, and to draft grant applications that will be due in the next couple of months. I am also placing the book orders I meant to submit ages ago, finalizing course outlines, securing guest speakers, creating course websites, and resisting the urge to delete immediately any and all keener-student requests for information about courses I’m not done planning.

In short, some of us – myself included – are losing the plot right now. Some of us – myself included – are lucky if we remember to brush our hair and put on pants most days. The Summer Uniform regularly saves valuable brain cells. Summer uniform-wise, here’s what’s cooking at IPF North.

Uniform #1: for cooler days, on campus but no meetings

version 1:

Dress: Chapter One (remixed); cami: H&M; Cuff: Le Chateau; Microfibre leggings: ?? (via Winners – they are scratchy, uncomfortable, and stupid. This was their last wearing.); Black leather and brass sandals: Sam & Libby (via Shoe Heaven, this season)

version 2:

Dress: as above; Cami: H&M; Green bead necklace: little shop in Rinty the Crusher’s new hometown last summer; Boot-cut jeggings: Hue (via The Bay – you should check these babies out. they’re stupid-comfortable and they stay up when you walk); White leather flats: Camper (via Barcelona shop during Key Player shopping tour 2006)

Uniform #2: for hotter days, casual student meetings on campus

version 1:

Cotton jersey top: Mexx (new to blog); Striped cotton blazer: Tribal (via Winners, remixed; Necklace: gifted (and only worn at night in summer, otherwise it burns); Cotton and brushed metal belt: Nine West (via Winners); White cargos: Mango (remixed); Gold wedges: Portia (via Shoe Heaven, last summer)

Obvy, the jacket comes off outside but goes on, again, under the a/c in my office.

version 2: (Ok, so not the best for campus, but I wore this for a meeting I had to host at my house this morning since the FR’s Puppy requires supervision and the A-Dubs-Hubs’s schedule is even more insane than my own)

Chambray top: Smart Set (last year; but they’ve got the same one this year for all seasons); Cami: H&M; Cargos: as above; Silver leather, canvas and neoprene flipflops: DKNY

Exciting, no? I almost fell asleep while posting all of the above. Here’s hoping I can step things up a little when term begins next week. (Gah!)

In the mean time, ‘good thing the FR’s Puppy photo bombed in her colour-coordinated puffy neck cone. The poor sweetie was spayed yesterday, so she’s especially heartbreakingly sore AND cute right now. Case in point:

What’s shaking with you, StyleNation?

How do you prepare for September,

if indeed you must prepare for September?

A Short Post

It’s hot and I’ve not got air-conditioning, but there’s also no drought or drought-famine here (yet), so I am thankful.*

In significantly less life-or-death-related news, how do we feel about shorts for work or play? Last summer I found these linen-cotten-lycra blend shorts and have developed a deep and abiding love for them. I’ve been wearing them to campus and out at night around the city.

As Sal over at Already Pretty is discussing today, others are wearing (much) shorter things with (much) higher heels. I did short-shorts in the nineties, however, and have no patience (or buttocks) to take on, again, all the little irritations that accompany such sartorial choices.

1. On-campus, Student Meeting (a casual one)

Lucite necklace: thrifted; Cardigan: Mexx (old, but new to blog); Billowy silk-look tunic: Winners (I cut out the scratchy tag); Shorts: Winners (new to blog); White-girl nude sandals: Naturalizer (purchased with D-Med on the way to Rinty the Crusher’s wedding); Puppy: the FR’s Dog, almost all grown up; Super-natural-looking pose: an attempt at shoe-highlighting. I am a natural both in front and behind the camera.

Next time, I’ll probably tack the cardigan over the straps of the top. Otherwise, I was pretty happy with the get-up as it maximized air flow. Also, I used the necklace to fill in the chestal expanse (FYI: the necklace isn’t lit from within and I am not pinching a small white thing between my thumb and pointer finger on my left hand. These are funky photo tricks. Yegads, I’m good with a camera.)

I wouldn’t wear this top for teaching because any bending for pages, etc., at the front of the class could bare a little cleavage.

2. Casual Evening Art Show and Out for Dinner

This is not a teaching top either. I used to think it was, but I’ve come to believe it’s a bad idea to take things this low in front of undergrads or older male professors.

Cotton blazer: Tribal (via Winners, remixed); Ruffle-front top: Zokai (via a shop in Steeltown, remixed); Shorts & Sandals: as above; Brown woven leather clutch: a little shop in Steeltown

Yeah, I know. This is kind of low key for evening. I tried to jazz it up with bright lipstick that matched my pedicure, but really, it needs a necklace, at least. Maybe also a little less cotton and some funner shoes. In my defence, I was zonked that day and couldn’t make myself care more than this.

What are your thoughts on shorts for work and play, StyleNation?

How much chestal expanse is too much for work?

* Let’s all be sure to give what we can for famine victims here and abroad. Let’s also continue lobbying government to make environmental responsibility a priority.

Spring On-campus Jeanage

What up, StyleNation? Who’s having a spring to remember?

Recent crappy events at IPF North have encouraged me to appreciate life while I’ve got it, and I’ve been doing so in my garden. My gardening goal for this summer is to encourage as many bumblebees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and bunnies as possible to stop by for pollination, snacks, and/or general frolicking.

When on campus, I’m alone in my office for much of the day (sweet solace!), so I’ve been doing some significant dressing down. Case in point:

1. Should have tucked the shirt, but can’t make myself care

I can’t believe I don’t post these jeans more often. They’ve been a non-teaching-day staple for ages (or since 2008):

Blouse: Mexx (remixed); Necklace: gifted (remixed); Pin-stripe grey trouser jeans: Parasuco for Smart Set (2008, remixed); Shoes: Fugitive de Francesco Rossi (remixed)

 

And here, just because I have it, is a much less flattering angle that potentially gives a better view of the jean stripe:

Mug: ubiquitous in morning photos

2. Even though I’m broken up with Distressed Denim, I still have this skirt

I don’t know. Should we get rid of stone-washed or otherwise distressed denim so as not to contribute to the trend that results in factory/sweatshop-worker deaths? I’ve considered dyeing the skirt but suspect the wash variation would be reproduced in some way regardless. ‘Thoughts?

Necklace: gifted (remixed); Cotton jersey top: MaxStudio (remixed); Denim skirt: Bebe (remixed); Green leather belt: purchased with D-Med in England ages ago (remixed); Brown leather bootage: Rockport (super-old, remixed)

And here, because I’m the modelliest, is a slightly modified pose that does not, despite my best intentions, highlight the boots:

Mug: ubiquitous

Tell us about your spring, StyleNation!

How are you spending your down time these increasingly warm days?

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? 


Holy Crap – Distressed Denim Kills People!

We don’t pretend to be cutting edge here at IPF. This explanation/excuse is the only one I can offer for my only recently having discovered the following:

kills the workers who do it
Image via Clean Clothes Campaign
For more information, please follow this link
Obviously, killing workers so we can look awesome is unacceptable. 
If you haven’t done so already, StyleNation, 
let’s all vow here and now that 
we will not buy jeans from companies that kill workers. 
p.s. I, A-Dubs, solemnly swear that I will not buy jeans from any company that kills workers.