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.

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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.

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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?

 

 

 

End-of-term – Hoo-ahhh!

Has it really been almost a month since last we posted, StyleNation? Yeesh!

As usual, November was insanely busy at IPF North. In addition to the teaching, applying for things, attending meetings every second hour, and pretending to maintain a research program, I also jetted off to the emerald isle for a conference. For reasons I’ll discuss some other time, I’ll not be filing a conference report.

I have, however, worn some things to the above-noted on-campus activities. Also, perhaps because of my growing excitement about the research leave I begin as soon as this last batch of grades is submitted, I’ve not been following the November rules. Instead I’ve been fiddling around with boots and blue things.

1. Blue and boots

Worn for a day comprised of a long morning meeting, 75 minutes of teaching, then nearly 2 hours of guest lecture and discussion elsewhere on campus. These boots are meant to replace the brown riding boots that have begun to make my feet crazy-achy.

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Mexx navy and floral faux silk dress: new to blog (via Mexx); Fuchsia cotton t: mall anchor store; Hue Navy tights: remixed (via The Bay); Brown leather back-lace boots: new to blog (via Browns Shoes)

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2. Blue dots, etc

Worn for another meeting and teaching day. I’m still practicing with this skirt and seem to have skewed toward the crazy in this iteration. Whatevs. It’ll happen at some point. But I’m taking suggestions. . .

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Dalia Collection navy and neon faux silk blouse: new to blog (via Winners); “Silver” bead necklace: remixed; Zara navy and blue dot midi pencil skirt: remixed; Hue indigo tights: remixed (via The Bay); Fly London navy and pewter flatforms: remixed

What’s up with you, StyleNation?

What rules are you breaking?

Mid-Term: Stripes

Ohmigod, how is it only Tuesday?  In a bout of wishful thinking, I kept referring to today as Thursday in both classes, because, man, this has been a full week already.  Fortunately, I have a glorious writing day tomorrow so hopefully things will return to an even keel — or at least I’ll have a clue about what the day of the week is.  Maybe.  In the meantime, I’m listening to the new albums by Chvrches and Haim on repeat and having mini-dance breaks in my office to get me through.

Dress: Target; Necklace: The Bay; Sandals: Aerosoles

Dress: Target; Necklace: The Bay; Sandals: Aerosoles

Well, this dress went on sale.  So I bought it in the navy & maroon color.  And I think I like it even more than the black & tan: note to self, wear that dress on St. Patrick’s Day.

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I tried it out with my style soul mate Anne’s suggestion of a chambray tied over top, which looked awesome and is definitely something I’ll be doing when it cools down here.

Dress: Gap; Necklace: Anthropologie; Boots: Corso Como

Dress: Gap; Necklace: Anthropologie; Boots: Corso Como

I wore this today in an attempt to make “dress for the weather you want, not the weather you have” a thing.  So far I have been unsuccessful, but I will persevere.  When I got up this morning, I just couldn’t face down an October without sleeves.  Plus, even though it’s gotten (very slightly) cooler here, my office A/C is still stuck on Antarctic so I was freezing in there both yesterday and today.

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Here’s a detail shot, as well, of the boots which were a late spring purchase last year and, thus, got limited wear and never received a proper close up.

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How are your Octobers shaping up?  It’s the month of my birthday so it’s clearly a really important month.

 

First Days: Dresses

Whew! September is flying  by, thank the gods. It’s always a full-on month-long scramble I can’t wait to be over, despite the piles of marking that arrive with October. Also, one of the courses I’m teaching this term is a 3-hour afternoon one I’ve not taught before. This means eons of prep time and a LOT of dashing around last minute, searching for books, making copies, and throwing tech into bags to haul to class just in case it’s needed.

All of this dashing and scrambling generally means I spend less time than I should planning outfits. Thus, there’ve been some misses of late, sartorially speaking. I offer the following for your consideration/commentary:

1. Dress that Hangs like a Bag

Purchased last year in a funky shop that makes me want to be as cool as it is. The dress/bag itself is made of summer weight wool and lycra, so it’s super-comfortable. I’m forced to admit, however, that it looks like a potato sack. Tits.

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Banana Blue Mauve/gray dress: new to blog; Black cotton T and leggings: ubiquitous on this blog; Beaded silver bracelets: remixed; Fly London Yayas in black: remixed

Here’s another iteration, equally unsuccessful:

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Dress: as above; Mexx long white linen cardigan: remixed; Stella & Dot silver bib necklace: remixed; “Silver” beaded bracelets: remixed; Mexx white camp: remixed; Ecco Silver leather sandals: new to blog

2. Summer-Sale Misfire

This dress is sort of insane; it has a LOT going on. Probably too much. I can see why it was in the sales, but it’s redonk comfortable, and I kind of dig the crazy. Also,  I think I can style it better than this. In short, I am keeping it but recognize that this first iteration leaves a lot to be desired:

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Kenneth Cole insane dress: new to blog (via Kenneth Cole online); Black cotton/lycra cropped cardigan: ?? (I cut out the itchy, itchy tag); Black bamboo capri leggings: Joe Fresh (technically pyjamas, purchase last year before we knew exactly how much Joe Fresh, the brand, sucketh); David Dixon embellished pewter “snakeskin” leather flats: remixed

And here it is from the back. I told you there’s a LOT going on:

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3. This One I Love

It’s got everything on my new work-dress checklist: high neckline? check; Heavy cotton jersey that doesn’t show my underwear line? check; Colour that is kind to my complexion? check. In other news, there’s no big dark wet patch on the right side. The camera put that there. Or maybe it’s a ghost.

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Neon Buddha steel-grey cotton jersey dress: new to blog; Loft cream cotton short-sleeved cropped cardigan: remixed; Necklace: remixed; Naturalizer nude-for-my-skin-tone leather wedge sandals: remixed

I’d love to stay and chat, but I need my hands for eating cake. The A-Dubs-Hubs is working late, so the dogs and I are having a picnic in bed.

Here’s a final question: is the dress I love too casual for work? Is it a going-to-yoga thing?

(I am easily seduced by yoga clothes.)

First Two Weeks: Dresses

There’s nothing easier in the first two weeks of classes than a dress.  As I get used to being back on a fall routine, I do appreciate the ease of one piece dressing.  Almost as much as I appreciate that my classes this fall are ones I’ve taught numerous times before and that one class is smart, super chatty, and already laughing at my HILARIOUS jokes, making the back-to-school transition reasonably seamless.

Note: in these pictures, I am not wearing white pantyhose.  You’ll see what I mean.

Dress: Lane Bryant; Belt: NY & Co.; Shoes: Jessica Simpson

Dress: Lane Bryant; Belt: NY & Co.; Shoes: Jessica Simpson

I wore this dress for my second day of classes last week (the first day outfit is coming soon, horribly out of order).  This dress is an old favorite, so it seemed a natural choice for a day where we moved beyond basic syllabus material and into the course proper.

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Excuse the weird pose here, but I wanted to show a little bit more shoe detail.  An aim which failed because the wedge of my shoe is pretty much the color of my hardwood floors.

Dress: Target; Beloved Tear-shaped Pendant: H&M; Black flats: Me Too

Dress: Target; Beloved Tear-shaped Pendant: H&M; Black flats: Me Too

This dress I wore yesterday after picking it up over the weekend.  And, reader, I’m in love.  It has pockets!  It has stripes!  It’s made of ponte material so it’s comfortable!  It’s flattering!  All things that emphatically put it into the win category for me.  To the extent that I’m considering picking it up in another color.

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Weirdly enough for me, though, is that both these dresses are full-on neutrals.  And as a hardcore member of Team Color, this feels strange.  Not to worry, though.  I’ve got a technicolor outfit planned for tomorrow’s class.

Did everyone have a good Labor Day weekend?

Things that Make me Fondly Recall the Past

Exciting news, StyleNation! One with whom IPF peeps corresponded regularly back in the early days of this blog has returned to the interwebz. Check her out here. She is awesome.

In other news, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – or May, in non-academic parlance – is really opening up. The sun is shining, colleagues are emerging from end-of-term isolation looking at least semi-relaxed and less glassy-eyed, and for those of us who’ve only just figured out what we need research assistant-wise, the race in ON to hire the best summer students. Thus far, I’ve won one ridiculously excellent person, and lost another equally excellent and much-in-demand one to a very worthy opponent. (Crap. Dang.)

Also, I wore some things. (But as you are about to discover, the real news for today is in the first two lines of this post.)

#1: Casual On-campus Meeting

To be clear, this linen dress was MUCH less wrinkly when I met my co-chair to begin planning an upcoming speakers series. My co-chair is MUCH more senior than me, however, so she showed up in faded capris, sneakers, and a t-shirt. Academia is funny that way.

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Linen Boden dress: new to blog; White cotton cami: mall anchor store; Dr. Marten distressed leather boots: remixed; Colourful beaded necklace: the airport in Belize last year

There are belt loops on this dress, but I think they’re too high and am planning to cut them off. Also, when it’s not all stretched out like this, the dress is slim enough that a belt is not necessary.

Here’s an entirely unhelpful close-up of the necklace accompanied by the strap of my Nella Bella bag (mine’s cream, but the bag itself is not shown here as I am very, very good at photography):

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And finally, to extend today’s Shōnagon-inspired list:

Things that Make Me Fondly Recall the Past

5. To shop for cherry blossom art for one’s bedroom. (Travel to Kyoto now seems so utterly impossible, or at least improbable, given how much there is to do, here. . .)

4.To contemplate the graduation of one’s favourite student.

3. To encounter one’s mother on social media and to know, therefore, that one can never safely bitch about her on FB or Twitter, again.

2. To celebrate one’s Fuzzy Roommate’s 11th birthday. 11 summers ago, he arrived and shortly thereafter became integral to my day-to-day survival.

1. To rediscover a wonderful style maven with whom IPF once shared many hilarious and educational exchanges. Yes, the writer of Beverly Like Hills once educated us like nobody’s business – see the Style Underdog comments. Thank the goddess she’s back!

What inspires nostalgia in you, StyleNation?

Let’s have a glass of vino and reminisce, shall we?  

NSFW: Summer Dress, or How to Make Everyone Uncomfortable

(scroll down for outfit post) 

I’m preparing another conference report. It was super hot and sweaty at this particular conference, however, so there are things I have to wash and iron before I can even consider donning them, again, for you, StyleNation. In the mean time, I offer the following.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year has proved exceptionally busy, if not particularly productive as yet, at least in terms of the multiple writing projects I’m meant to have on the go. I’ve travelled three times already, and I’ve got another trip this weekend. That said, it’s still  pleasant not to be teaching, and thus to have time to organize and prepare for what promises to be a frenzied and – I hope – invigorating summer of writing and getting things off my desk and onto the desks of others.

Even the student who skipped his deferred exam, emailed two days later to offer a weak and implausible excuse, then asked for another deferral really hasn’t phased me. Two months ago, this situation would have filled me with rage. But last week, I merrily denied his request, sent him back to his home faculty, and only bitched to D-Med about it for (what I recall as) a relatively short time last week.

Outfit Post: Live and Learn 

Recently, I wore a dress and took some photos of it so I can learn things. What I have learned is as follows:

1. The top of this dress is a little big for me, so it gapes in ways that are probably pretty uncomfortable for my students and colleagues. You know, unless they want to see my laundry-day bra and some blindingly white fleshy bits.

2. While the skirt is swirly, the pattern huge, and the colours pleasingly vibrant, the whole thing would, I think, be better on a woman a little older, and much darker-skinned than me. I think either a brown woman, or a very dark-skinned woman with a little more bosom, and a lot more experience and presence could do this baby more justice. Me, I feel like a ghost in it. A ghost whose boobs and armpit cleavage are occasionally on display if I do anything more than stand like this:

Crinkly summer dress: ?? (I cut out the scratchy tag. It is cotton and was on sale at one of those big discount department stores in Florida); “Snakeskin” gladiator sandals: Report (via Winners); Classy office boombox: bottom-of-the-line Canadian Tire, Baby

Sandal close-up. They are more comfortable than I expected. Like wear-around-all-day -in-the-heat-and-don’t-get-blisters comfortable.

And here, because I have it and was feeling frustrated about how awkward things were looking, is a super-unflattering image of me doing an angry high kick:

Now that I see it again, the kick’s not that high. Probably I should do some stretches.

What clothes have you bought for other women, StyleNation? 

Just how successful are we at shopping for the lives we have

(as Angie, at You Look Fab might say)?

NSFW: IPF Summit, or Rinty the Crusher’s Wedding

Hello StyleNation, and welcome to what we (or perhaps just I) shall henceforth be calling The (New and Improved) Most Wonderful Time of the Year! This period directly follows The Watch That Ends the Night, and we (or perhaps just I) marked its beginning this year  at the blessed nuptials of Dr. Rinty the Crusher and The Librarian.

In related news, said wedding extravaganza marked the first In Professorial Fashion summit of 2012. Attendees: Dorky Medievalist, E-Jo, Kelly Bean, and me, Academic Writer. Sadly, janey_em was not in attendance this time – but someone had to blog whilst the rest played.

You are probably super-excited to know that we took pictures.  Without further ado, I offer the following record of what we hope is only the first of at least two IPF meet-ups this year. For the record, we know that all items pictured below are NSFW (Not Suitable For Work).

1. Dr. Rinty the Crusher: The Woman in White

Obvy, you’ll want to see the gorgeous bride – or a faceless version of the same (as that is how we roll). Here she is in the dress she commissioned, the original style of which has been named for her and is available for others to purchase at her dressmaker’s:

Bonus in this photo: D-Med being awesome

Because I am an excellent photographer, in this next photo, probably you cannot quite see the delicate covered buttons up the back of The Crusher’s dress, or the two tiny lines of crystals that encircle the waist like a belt:

hourglass shape: courtesy of the goddess

2. The Other Key Players

The rest of us brought our fashion A-game, too. Here we are doing that. Because some of us are very classy, we did a photo shoot in the hotel parking lot in direct sunlight. Probably you should not look directly at the glaring whiteness of our skin lest you go blind:

Pictured from left to right: A-Dubs, D-Med, E-Jo
awesome gams: courtesy of the goddess

Ensemble details below. How much do you love what my photo editor does when I blur faces, IPF stylz?

Next, the lovely ceremony took place. Some of us may or may not have had a WAH in the church when Crusher started to shake. Afterward, we celebrated the return of irony with more poorly staged photos. Case in point: I have 5 photos of this configuration of players. In every single image, the bride’s head is directly in front of E-Jo’s face. Also, D-Med’s cropped out here because she would have pounded me had I left her in and posted this photo on the internets.

Left to right in back row: Kelly, A-Dubs, E-Jo; Not pictured: D-Med
Front: Dr. Rinty the Crusher

Kelly: Luxury Fabrics and Lovely Cleavage

Dress: Kenneth Cole, c 2006. Hemmed 6 inches!; Earrings: Betsy and Iya (check out their online store – Kelly says they rule); Shoes: Clarks; Wee yellow wristlet (not pictured): Nine West via TJ Maxx; Shawl: Kashmiri, silk, gift from a globe-trotting friend

E-Jo: Intense Colour against Luxuriant Alabaster Skin

Dress: Lane Bryant (remixed); Bronze clutch:  Gap Outlet; Bronze wedges (sandals): Bandolino; Dove grey wrap: World Market

D-Med: Darling Topper and Devilish Curves

Darling Hat: Etsy (as discussed previously); Dress: Banana Republic; Clutch: kicky little store in Steeltown; Invisible turquoise bead bracelet: Tarina Tarantino; Suede pumps that would appear nude at the end of a less vampirically pale pair of legs: Stuart Weitzman (remixed)

A-Dubs: Gown Revise and Remix

Dress: my own wedding dress, shortened (remixed); Cuff: Melanie Lyne (new to blog); Clutch: Fossil (via The Bay, new to blog – also, it’s a make-up bag); Fuschia wrap: no tag (remixed from last summer’s event); Nude-for-pale-peeps patent slingbacks: Tahari (via Winners, remixed)

Probably I should have worn my hair up. But I was too lazy and inept to do so; and who cares? Everyone was looking at the bride anyway.

3. Shoe Survival Strategies

All players, save the bride (who wore her pumps all day and all night like some sort of self-flagellating superhero), employed high heel survival strategies throughout the day. These included:

– zipping back to the hotel after the ceremony, taking off shoes, having wine and snacks in E-Jo and D-Med’s room (E-Jo, D-Med, Kelly, A-Dubs)

– tucking Dr. Scholl’s fold-up flats into a clutch and breaking them out when dancing began (E-Jo, of course – no digging around under the gift table like a wiener for her classy self)

– bringing a bag of flats for everyone to the reception, hiding it under the gift table, digging it out and switching shoes when the dancing began (D-Med, Kelly, A-Dubs)

– planning ceremony vs. reception outfit revisions such that a thinking cap worn for the ceremony was switched out for statement red Bloch flats for dancing after supper (D-Med, of course)

– wearing shoes comfortable enough that a switch was not required, despite the availability of back-up flats (Kelly)

4. Other Important Summit Images

Finally, because I have them and can’t resist uploading them, and because we are kicking off The Most Wonderful Time of the Year with this post, I offer a few more memorable images from the summit.

Here’s the Early Modernist Cool Kid as fantastic foil for E-Jo’s signature vibrant hues:

Probably they are both smiling at me because I, too, am being awesome. Not because they have posed a number of times for this photo already.

Here’s the A-Dubs-Hubs, our photographer for the parking lot photo shoot, working his angles:

shoe-highting pose: modelled first by D-Med

Note how his golden tan contrasts with the white of his shirt. Unlike our excruciating whiteness above.

I don’t know his outfit details.

I’d check, but he’s wearing that jacket and shoes, again, today.

I DO know, however, that his tie is Kenneth Cole, gifted from moi on the day I knocked over the tie table in The Bay.

Here’s the Hubs being awesome outside the church with Kelly’s partner, The Geneticist:

Geneticist’s ensemble: all but shoes purchased at Mexx on his way to the wedding

Here’s D-Med BRINGING IT at the grocery store (during key player shopping days prior to nuptials):

Consider it brung.
Photo credit: Kelly

And here’s E-Jo’s future book jacket photo:

I think we know why this one’s on clearance.
Photo credit: Kelly

Happy term’s end, StyleNation.

We are looking forward to a fabulous summer with you!

Dress vs. Dress

As I mentioned last week, it’s starting to warm up here at IPF South, making it a good time to continue an ongoing process of evaluating what should stay in my wardrobe and what should leave. Today and yesterday I broke out two dresses that I haven’t worn in a while (and only one has been on the blog before) in order to determine what to do with them. Neither was an unqualified success or disaster. Both however made me think about the way I shop: that I tend to buy the same shapes again and again (which is generally good, I think) but don’t think enough about whether the colors/ patterns are ones that I actually like to wear.
Wednesday’s dress:
Dress: MaxStudio
Black top: Joe
Black tights: Target
Gold flats: Nine West
Black & white bracelet: gifted
I really like this dress intellectually. It’s flattering. It’s comfortable. It washes well. I bought it in Vegas so it’s got all sorts of fun memories attached to it. But I’ve worn it twice in the nearly two years I’ve had it — suggesting that I don’t actually like wearing it, which is sort of important. I think one of the obstacles to wearing it is that I need to wear something under it for teaching/ daytime wear but my ideas for colors to wear underneath end at black, white and blue (and I don’t actually own any blue layering pieces). I’m going to hang onto it for another 6 months. If I don’t wear it again, it’s time to release it to the wild.
Today’s dress (today’s not a teaching day but a working in a coffeeshop day — hence the more casual styling and the bare legs with a fairly short skirt):

Dress: Old Navy
Blue flats: Joe
Blue cuff: The Bay
With this dress, on the other hand, I’m declaring defeat. I just don’t like wearing it. I like it on Rebecca of MinnChic who has it in blue. I don’t even mind the way it looks on me. But I prefer a straighter skirt on an empire waisted dress. The slight a-line on this one makes the skirt feel perilously short to me at moments and makes it more susceptible to be getting caught in today’s wind. I’m also not in love with its scoop neck.
All of this reminds me of a shopping lesson I seem to need to learn repeatedly: being more mindful when I’m shopping — paying attention to more than just price and a generic sense of fit & general flattering-ness. As I’ve also discovered with buying the same piece in multiple colors, the lady magazine advice to find a shape that works for you and then keep buying it is perhaps best used in moderation.
What other shopping lessons do you need to learn repeatedly? And what colors would you wear with black and blue?

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?