*The following are my (A-Dubs’s) opinions. I speak only for myself, not for my fellow bloggers.*

StyleNation, what are we going to do if the Romney/Ryan ticket prevails today? I can’t even begin to articulate how horrifying that prospect is, especially in the contexts of ongoing legislative assaults on women, Indigenous peoples, the environment, all future generations, the civil service, the poor, and immigrants by Canada’s neo-conservative (and thinly veiled right-wing Christian) regime.

In trying times, we need heroes. Perhaps even heroes like these ones, whose influence is felt only in the most individual domestic contexts, can offer much-needed moments of brightness in the long political night:

1. Get us out from under, Wonder Woman!

Fuzzy Roommate. His headband has a red star on it that’s not quite visible here or anywhere anymore because his puppy chewed it.

2. Another Dark Knight Rises:

The Fuzzy Roommate’s Puppy. Strategic fuzz placement, no?

A visage that inspires confidence.

With hope for a non-Romney-lead American future,

A-Dubs, out.

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.

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? 

The Fool on the Hill

I went to a conference a few weeks ago that was on a beautiful university campus located on the side of a mountain.
Well, a hill, but a very steep hill. With a swiftly-flowing river at the bottom of it.
I wore this:
Black Shirt: J. Crew
Black Checked Skirt: All Saints
Camel Shoes: Stuart Weitzman

Photo Bomber: Vampire Cat








Paper Topic: collection of fifteenth-century East Anglian female saints’ lives (Sort of makes you wish you knew me IRL, doesn’t it?)

I blame the conference organisers for not mentioning that a pencil skirt and heels, while wholly appropriate for disseminating research in a public forum, is not appropriate wear for the mountainous terrain of the campus.  I nearly broke a lot of parts of myself going uphill in this Killer Outfit.  And then again, going downhill toward the swiftly-flowing river.

What do you do when your outfit might actually kill you?  

Pre-term Blahs

Unlike my co-bloggers, I have nothing remotely fancy to offer you. That I have outfits at all is astonishing, since for most of the last two weeks I’ve been in some variation of sloppy t-shirt and yoga pants. My term doesn’t start for another week here and, while I’m glad to have the time away from teaching, I desperately need to get back to schedule-land. I’m really useless at managing my time over such a (relatively) short break (the two & a half, post-New Year’s weeks) even though I have a ton of stuff that needs to be done. Over the summer, I end up getting into a groove — though that takes me an inordinately long time — but I can’t seem to do it at this time of year (or at spring break). I’ve tried dressing up to work at home but that doesn’t seem to do the trick– and then I’m neither getting work done nor am I as comfortable as I could be.

Anyhow, here are the two outfits worthy of photography from the previous two weeks:
Sweater: Gap
Ruffle blouse & jeans: Old Navy
Patent flats (now fully deceased after the mini-FR got a hold of them): Target
Blur behind my leg: the mini-FR trying to get into the picture or climb my back.

I wore this out to dinner with a friend. The sweater is a new purchase — the Gap in the crappy mall in my town is closing so all their sale items were 50% off, making this light wool cardi a superb deal. I haven’t gotten as much use out of this blouse (which I love) as I anticipated as it’s just slightly too small in the chestal arena. It fits well everywhere else though so I just need to layer it more than I have been.

Purple turtleneck & jeans: Old Navy
Black wrap tank: Joe
Shoes: Chucks
Necklace: LOFT Outlet (it’s silver, though it reads slightly gold here)
The mini-FR: revealing his jumpy self to the world in this series of pictures. Half a second later, he was at my waist. Dude’s got game; I should have named him Air Bud.

Not much to say about this outfit other than that I wore it to go to the office only to find that the file I needed to work on that I thought I had saved on my cloud storage was only on my laptop. Saving fail. I did some fussing with my syllabi and I’m back at home now. Great story, no?

How do you avoid the January blahs?

Engagement Par-tay

As promised, here are pictures from the big engagement party that my parents threw for my youngest sister (along with her mother-in-law-to-be, whose house it was at). As any of you with divorced parents know, these kinds of events are fraught with all sorts of stresses and this one was certainly no exception. However, things worked out and the party was great — though it would have been better without my mom repeatedly telling me things that I should be doing according to some unwritten 1970s rules because I’m the maid of honor. Gah.
Photo courtesy of my sister’s boyfriend who’s a fantastic photographer. Faces are blurred rather than cropped to show more of the outfits. I have no idea where my sisters’ clothes are from.

My dress is actually a cheat bought during the 30 for 30. I needed a dress for the party and I ended up getting a great deal on this one. I was a little hesitant about it at first but I totally love it now. It’s a nice thick jersey so it’s super comfortable and hangs quite well. I even think I can make it work for teaching with different accessories. Ideally, I would have worn heels with it but because I was going to be setting things up and then walking around someone’s house for several hours, I went with the flats. Also, they were easier to fit into my over-packed suitcase.
Dress: Lane Bryant
Tights: Hue
Shoes: Old Navy
Necklace: Anthro
FYI, I love the mini-FR’s stare of deadly purpose in this picture.
I’m hesitantly posting this shot of the back of the dress because I think it’s kind of cool and pretty flattering.

Anyone got any other “maid of honor” rules I need to get in front of before July?

How’s everyone surviving being back to work? Managing the shift out of 24 hour yoga pants?

30 for 30: The Home Stretch

Almost there, Style Nation. I’ve got 4 remixes left after today. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to branching out of these 30 pieces. That said, I’ve also been surprised by how little I’ve been dying to wear my other stuff. I’ll have my final thoughts on this whole experience later on but they can probably be summed up by saying that it’s given me a helpful sense of sartorial focus.
That said, this week’s sprint to the finish line got side-tracked by grading and an oncoming cold. I had big plans to wear real clothes yesterday but I just never got there.
Here’s the other recent outfits:
Sweater: Gap
Striped shirt: Joe
Cargos and slippers: Old Navy

May I present to you a Christmas ham shaped like the mini-FR? He wanted to be in the picture and then, as we waited for the flash, a squirrel had the temerity to scamper across my porch. All of a sudden, blogging seemed like the stupidest thing ever. This is my desperate attempt to hang on to him. Also, you get to see my slippers. Exciting, no? I took this picture later in the day and I forgot to put shoes back on.

Sweater and skirt (it’s the reverse of the blue one): Gap
Undershirt: Target
Tights: Hue — you can’t see it, but they’ve got a chevron pattern.
Shoes: Aerosoles
Necklace: Anthro, super sale. Seriously. I paid $10. It’s original price was $60, which I would NEVER have paid.

I wore this for my last day of teaching. The necklace is pretty glorious. Made even more so by the deal I got on it. I’m heading into Austin this weekend to do some Christmas shopping and I’m hoping to score some similar deals. But back to my last day of classes, not much to say other than that both my students and I were fried. I’ve made a couple of serious, but relatively minor, mistakes recently that made me particularly happy to see the end of the term — with the home that I can get my crap together for next term.

Dress as skirt: Old Navy
Shirt: Gap
Navy tights: Hue
Gold flats: Nine West

This is today’s outfit. And while it looks relatively dressy, it was/ is actually super comfortable. God bless you, cotton jersey. One thing that I’m continually surprised by is how comfortable these tights are. I only took them off when I got home so that the mini-FR wouldn’t snag them. Otherwise, I totally would have kept them on. This, to me, is astonishing.

How are you guys handling the onslaught of the cold weather? It’s even cold here (and, by cold, I mean the 50s/10s — though it was in the 80s/20s just days ago).

I’m heading back to do some more grading, but am going to give myself a dancing movie marathon after dinner to keep my spirits up. On the ticket? Center Stage and Dirty Dancing. Other suggestions?

Not Red and Black, II

Today, I am breaking my unofficial red-and-black-ensemble ban. But let’s not talk about such rule-breakiness on this most wonderful of days. On this, my last lecture day of the term, let’s focus on success. (This weekend’s marking will bring failures enough, I suspect.)

Let’s speak instead about my Tuesday ensemble. On Tuesday, I played by the rules. On Tuesday, I wore this to teach twice, then attend an evening event on campus:

Velveteen jacket (it’s actually teal, not blue): Rubber Ducky (thrifted)
Brooch: Blue in the Face (craft show, old)
Black shell: H&M
Clown pants: Tahari (remixed – note that I’ve not yet taken D-Med’s advice to put black ink on the pulled thread on the right pocket)
Shoes: Hilary Radley (remixed)
Trouser Socks: Hue (via Winners)

Now that I see the photos on this larger screen, I don’t love the pant-belt matchiness. I chose this belt so that there wouldn’t be too much going on in front, accessory-wise. But things just didn’t blend the way I imagined they would. Next time, I think I might skip the brooch and wear either a thin grey or black belt. (I have to belt; the pants are too big otherwise. But I like them this size. I think.)

When this jacket first joined my wardrobe this fall, it had fru-fru plastic sparkly buttons in a matching shade of teal. I switched those out for the pewter ones. Here’s a closer look at the buttons and brooch.

I used to love this brooch, but now it bothers me, despite its sparkle. It doesn’t seem like the best idea to pin the face of a much more glamorous woman next to one’s own visage. Especially when one is sickly and pale (as I currently am).*

Obligatory shoe close-up:

And finally, this photo’s for D-Med, who hates monkeys. The FR’s no friend to the monkey either. Especially the sock monkey:

Style Nation, do you think non-black velvet and velvet-like jackets are inherently casual? 
Mine always seem to work better with denim. How do yours work?

* That’s why I haven’t been commenting the last week or so. But I’m on the mend and can’t wait to see what you’ve been wearing while I’ve been broken. 

30 for 30 Week 2

Wow, what a lame title for today’s post. My apologies, Style Nation. I’ll try to do better next time. I offer pictures that include the mini-FR as penance.
Today’s post is a little later than I had planned as, inspired by Anne and Karl Weathers (I tried to find clips from him on Arrested Development where he talks about making a stew. No dice), I decided that today was just cold enough to make stew. So while that’s bubbling away, here’s what I’ve been wearing the last couple of days.
Sweater: Gap
Striped tank: Addition-Elle
Skirt: Old Navy
Ubiquitous Gold Flats: Nine West
Tights: Target

I really loved this outfit — though it was a bit warm for a full teaching day. I haven’t worn patterned tights since I was a child but I like them a lot as a way of broadening my horizons beyond basic black. I had big plans to not wear flats; however, I realized that morning how much my heels need the pads in them to limit toe-slippage. Once that’s taken care of, heels will be back in the 30 for 30 rotation.

Striped top: Target
Dress: Old Navy
Even more ubiquitous purple flats: Joe

This outfit was for a non-teaching day and was, more or less, a dry run for layering this dress in different ways. Next time, I’m going to throw on black tights and belt this sucker to make the darkness of the shirt less glaring against the lightness of the dress. So this wasn’t entirely successful in other words but it gave me some good ideas about where to go.

Striped turtleneck: Target
Grey pinstripe pants: Target
Bronze wedges: Etienne Aigner
Red & gold necklace: Gifted from my sister (though I’m pretty sure she got it at the Bay)

I’ve been finding this turtleneck difficult to style all of a sudden. I wore it a ton before the 30 for 30 challenge begun so it was a no-brainer to include. But since I’ve started this, I’ve planned to wear it on four or five different occasions only to change at the last minute. Hopefully, this wearing is the start of an upswing with it. Also, I’m wearing black and red in solidarity with A-Dubs (a combination I don’t wear that frequently — for instance, I love this necklace but have worn it only a handful of times).

Sweater: Joe
Tank: Hanes
Jeans: Old Navy
Gold flats: Nine West
Necklace: gifted from brother-in-law-to-be

And here’s today’s outfit. Perfect for stew-making and errand-running; not as perfect for the work I should be doing but is gathering dust instead. I’m justifying it by having worked straight through each of the previous three weekends. That’s how it works, right?

What articles of clothing are misbehaving for you? How do you get them back in line?

Pink Slips: Skirting the Issue

Things continue to be crazy here at IPF, Eastern Division, 
and I was getting anxious about not blogging and not commenting and not even really reading anyone’s blogs. 
Not even my own.  

Here’s the thing: taking pictures is not a pleasure.  I have to balance the camera on top of a pile of flat things on top of my bed, set the timer, race into the frame while avoiding the vampire cat who insists on showing me how it’s done, balance on a stool for half the pictures so I can get the whole outfit into two shots.  Then I have to edit my head out of my pictures (you’re welcome) and be amazed all over again at how hilariously un-photogenic I am.  I have a recurring nightmare that I will die in a fiery crash and people will find the entire series of unflattering self-shot photos on my computer and that someone will arrange a slide show of them to be shown at the funeral.  Actually, that might be good for a laugh.  Sometimes I like to think about ways that I can lighten the mood at my own funeral.

And a tripod, as with all other new things for Dr M, is out of the question at the moment.

So blogging, which has been this project I did entirely for myself and which has unexpectedly brought the fantastic StyleNation into my days, is becoming anxiety-producing because I am spread too thin to do a decent job of it.  And that is stupid.  Because, as the wise and wonderful My Edit noted recently, blogging is a hobby.  For me it is, and I like to suck at most of my hobbies.  That’s why I don’t blog professionally (though I’m sort of trying to retain my amateur status to be eligible for the Olympics.  They have that, right?).

So this month, I’ve got to order my affairs and I’m probably not going to be invited to the Blogging Olympic trials.  Because for me blogging isn’t just posting pictures of what I wear, that’s the minimum requirement; it’s more about reading your blogs, commenting on what you’re doing and wearing, and being an active member of StyleNation.  And right now, I’m going to suck at that, because I can’t carve out the time for it.

But when I do post, I’m going to be posting in the pink

Orchids in Buttonholes alerted me to the initiative of A Working Mom’s Closet to raise awareness for breast cancer during the month of October by wearing pink everyday.  I don’t own enough pink to wear it everyday, and I especially do not own enough professorial pink, but when I wear it (usually in the shoe region), I’ll post it.  Here’s a taste of my professorial pink:

Navy Wool Check Skirt: All Saints
Pink Ballerinas: Bloch
Hands: Jazz                                

Grey Wool Skirt:  Banana Republic
Pink Wedges: Two Lips
Skirt length: wrong for me

And, because he hates to be left out of the action, 

here’s the Vampire Cat showing me how it’s done.
One day I hope to be as comfortable in my flesh as the Vampire Cat is in his fur.