Once More with Feeling

Happy End-of-term academics, and welcome, StyleNation, to the sweet buttery month of May, the lovely era that follows regularly upon The Watch That Ends the Night!

I really, really hope this is my last preggo post. As of tomorrow morning, I’ll be 41 weeks pregnant. That is more than enough, I think.

My maternity leave began May 1st, but I’m just going to work until the baby’s born – 3 papers done, 1 more to go! Also, my research team will keep working while I’m on leave, and I’ve got to supervise them until my research partner gets back from the other side of the world this June. In short, things are busy but this is good; I need the distraction from my extreme pregnancy-related discomfort.

And so, while it’s increasingly difficult to fit into professional(ish) clothing, I persevere.

#1. Worn for Student-run Event on Campus a Few Weeks Ago

Ha! This isn’t even a maternity dress; it’s a cheap super-stretchy jersey midi dress from H&M. I suspect its clinginess would render it inappropriate on its own in profesh settings when I’m no longer pregnant. But I like super-fitted preggo stylez. They highlight the bump without making me look more gigantic than I am.


Black jersey midi dress: H&M (new to blog); Leather and rhinestone rose cuff: mall anchor store in Florida (new to blog); Black plus-sized tights: Hue (via The Bay); Boots: Khrio (remixed)

In other news, my fellow model here is Foxy T, a friend of the Fuzzy Roommate and the Fuzzy Roommate’s Dog. She stayed with us for March and April while her people are away doing research.

#2. Worn for Off-campus Supervisory Meeting with Grad Students (Last Week)

The floral item here is technically a dress; on a long-body like me, and at this stage of my life, it’s most definitely a tunic. Foxy T kindly supervised the photo-taking, again. I miss her attentiveness and willingness to participate as she deems necessary. The FR and his dog are no longer into blogging with me.


Black floral maternity dress/tunic: New Look (new to blog); Black rayon knit twist-front sweater: Simons (new to blog, purchased with janey_em in Montreal in February; Black pleather and pointe knit maternity leggings: (remixed); Boots: Khrio (remixed)

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Silver Tiffany necklace: remixed; Bootage: (remixed)

What’s up with you, StyleNation?

Please send me contraction-centred thoughts this week!

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


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)


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


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


What’s on your list, StyleNation?

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.


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):


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?  


*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.

The Watch That Ends the Night

Greetings StyleNation, from IPF North, where freedom is so close we can taste it. In fact, while I have in the past referred to end-of-term as The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, some colleagues and I recently agreed that May-August is really the MOST wonderful of times. As April deliciously and painfully anticipates the May-August stretch, we’ve re-named this fourth month The Watch That Ends the Night. We are nerdy, hopeful, and beset by seasonal insomnia.

In other news, all that Target talk in E-Jo’s previous post (see comments section, too) reminded me that I haven’t told you about this bag, purchased while visiting E-Jo in January:

Neon satchel: Target (new to blog); Puffer coat: January sale item at Winners (new to blog); Boots: Blondo (via Browns, remixed)

Yep: it’s trendy, cheap, plastic, and has a funky smell. But my tablet fits into it, and it only cost $30. The bag that inspired it is unacceptably pricey, in my humble opinion (I just can’t justify – or afford – that kind of money for what is clearly destined to be a very short-lived trend). The brightness requires a neutral backdrop; as such, there’s little else going on outfit-wise, in this shot. But I adore that the photo-shy Fuzzy Roommate decided to add his own neutral tones to the colour palette. He is modelling (poorly) his poison green leopard print collar. It is his favourite.

Finally, this is for all you academics out there, struggling towards the light of morning/May. Hold on, people! We’re almost there:

p.s. What cheap copies have you bought or would you buy?

A Bunch of Beige and a Butt Shot

I interrupt IPF‘s regularly scheduled program of marking (or “grading,” as our American friends like to call it) papers to bring you the following update:

It is cold here, so I’ve moved inside for photos. Currently, however, I live in an as-yet-not-fully-furnished house (one of the many exciting and sort of overwhelming effects of buying a home after nearly 20 years of apartment living). In addition, the A-Dubs-Hubs and I work a collective one zillion hours a week, so we’ve not quite finished painting walls better colours than the one showcased below.

In fact, I wouldn’t post this teaching-day outfit at all if (a) the usually-camera-shy Fuzzy Roommate hadn’t photo-bombed, and (b) I hadn’t decided that this would be the last wearing of these boots for the season. I have worn these boots A LOT this term. It is time to take a break so they can feel special, again.


Cotton & silk blend turtleneck: Melanie Lyne (new to blog)
Leather belt: Nine West (new to blog)
Skirt: Take it Easy! (purchased in England with D-Med ages ago, remixed)
Boots: Miss Mooz (remixed)
Butt shot by FR: modelled for E-Jo











And here, because I have it, and because I am skillfully using my glasses as a prop for your entertainment, is another photo in which very little is going on, backdrop-wise:

I’m conference bound this weekend after which I will try to post a sartorial report.
(Once again, I shall be building all conference outfits around a single pair of boots.
Probably you are marvelling at my risk-takiness.)
What’s going on with you this weekend, StyleNation?

Belated Conference Report, Part 1

What is up, StyleNation? You are looking GOOD today. How DO you do it every time?
Let’s get right down to the posting, shall we? 

1. First, an Important Announcement: 

Congratulations to our illustrious Guest Lecturer  
Kelly Bean, Rogue Academic and now Mother of Two Gorgeous Kids! 
Visit Kelly in Beantown to check out the cherubic new Baby T. 
We love you, KB, and wish we could be there with you!

2. Next, a preamble:

In less exciting news, I’ve been holding out on the posting, having convinced myself that I need to take headsuit photos and a complete set of conference outfits pic’s before blogging, again. I’ve decided, however, that this is an unrealistic goal. Instead, things will have to get done in stages.

It is busy here. In the last two weeks I’ve:

* attended a conference (SO good – plus there was some wine drinking with a key contingent)
* visited all too briefly with Rinty the Crusher who lives too far away from me, which is stupid
* hosted my parental units and their dog for five days
* prepped for and attended a disciplinary meeting for a student plagiarist
* hired and started training two research assistants
* plowed through a good portion of The Project That Will Not End (end is in sight – hurrah!)
* looked at about seventy billion houses and put an offer on one (results pending)
* applied to another conference

Currently, there’s one huge and two smaller deadlines fast approaching, but I’m determined to get some blog-reading and posting done before I go back into the breach.

3. And now, the outfit post:

So, the plan to build all conference ensembles around my brown riding boots worked well. As did (IMHO) my effort to be comfortable and semi-professional every day of the conference. Here is Conference Outfit, Day One (a non-presentation day):


Tunic: Cha Cha Vente (via Winners)
Necklace: art show somewhere in southern Ontario
Leggings: Groggy (remixed ad nauseum on this blog)
Riding Boots: Aldo

Because the conference was on a university campus, not at a hotel, we all wore and/or carted around coats all day. For once, I managed to anticipate this important detail and planned all outfits to incorporate this spring coat. I wore this coat everyday, most of the time, because it was chilly indoors and out.

I forget what we call this style of jacket. Swing? Bracelet-length? Mostly I think of it as a necklace highlighter:

Jacket: (I forget but will update when I get home tonight)
I really wanted to style everything around this vintage double-breasted velvet trench, but it’s not a practical option for travelling. What if it gets even more crushed? It’s irreplaceable. So I include it here as the fantasy option. In reality, I wore the above-noted green cotton twill number.  
Trench: thrifted, then switched out gold brass buttons for these faux pewter ones
In closing, I offer the following awesome picture of the Fuzzy Roommate savaging his sock monkey on his new bed cover. My mother loves fabric stores; she shops for quilting materials. I enjoy the stores, too, but barely have time to blow my nose, so when I go to the stores with her, I try to avoid buying fabric for projects that I will never have time to undertake. But a pillow cover is an fast and totally easy thing to make – and who could resist this leopard print?
“Leopard print.” Do you see what I did there?
Conference Report, Part II to follow. 
In the mean time, tell us, all you professionals out there:
what do you do with your coat at professional events?
Wear it? Scrunch it into your bag? Hang it and hope no one swipes it?

Concern, Clothes, Feminist Gate-keeping

There’s a lot to be concerned about of late. First and foremost, of course, is the ongoing fallout from the earthquake in Japan. Please consider donating. Then there’s the whole supposed ceasefire in Libya as we wait to see just how far Moammar Gadhafi and forces are willing to go to to put down the long-suffering rebels. And let’s not forget the Republicans’ attack on labour rights down in Wisconsin or, closer to home, the federal Conservatives’ determination to perpetuate state violence against people who are already at risk of extreme violence in so many other forums.

With all of this major stuff going on, the conclusion of a beloved style blog and a little misguided feminist gate-keeping are relatively minor issues. And yet, as many of us agonize, analyse, and strategize around the above-noted major events in numerous other forums, I cannot help but feel these relatively minor occurrences also need some attention paid.

First, then, here’s an outfit I’m calling Bruised Toughitude: A Sartorial Ode to Style Underdog, one of my absolute favourite bloggers. SU quietly concluded her fantastic blog earlier this week. Goddess, I’m going to miss her.

Shell: H&M
Sweater: Julie & Jack Cashmere (remixed)
Necklace: gifted from Janey_Em
Pleather legging/pant hybrids: Tahari (via Winners)
Boots: Fluevog (remixed)

I’ve got one more ensemble to post, but before we get there, my two cents on feminist gate-keeping. Here goes:

Feminists have a long and important tradition of gate-keeping. In fact, you could even say that gate-keeping is an important element of self-reflexivity (i.e. critiquing ourselves & each other so we can learn from our mistakes), another central tenet of feminism. After all, if we don’t watch the gate, then anti-feminist people like Sarah Palin sneak in and start messing with our things, undoing our good work (see the part in the 2nd paragraph on page 108, where bell hooks argues conservatism and feminism are diametrically opposed), and waving our flags around

But the best forms of feminist gate-keeping offer informed and respectful critique. Thus, for example, if one were going to critique a fashion blog’s virtual feminist conference, an informed and respectful feminist commenter would ensure s/he has read and understood all of the material in question. Moreover, an informed and respectful feminist commenter would acknowledge the strengths as well as the weaknesses of the piece s/he is critiquing.

S/he would also be very careful not to repeat old mistakes by smugly underestimating the people who have produced the cultural text in question. S/he would take care not to perpetuate politically damaging elitism by name-dropping for the sake of name-dropping, or gesturing vaguely toward the writings of well-known and widely-read critics in order to imply that s/he somehow knows and can apply the theories put forward in these other works more thoroughly and astutely than the cultural producers in question.

Finally, the writer of such a critique should be willing to sign her/his name to her/his work in order to facilitate further respectful, productive dialogue. Such owning of one’s work also eliminates the temptation to believe that one can launch such a critique on behalf of feminism as a whole instead of from one particular space in a vast and varied political terrain.

As feminists, we don’t have to be nice, or even friendly; we certainly know by now that we’re not all going to get along. But we need to value ourselves and others. We don’t always succeed – but we need to keep trying. If we don’t, how the hell are we going to form the personal, professional, and politically strategic alliances we need to make change happen?

That’s all on that front (for now).  Here’s that other outfit, worn to deliver a research talk at a campus institute earlier this week. In my head, it was MUCH more interesting than it is in real life. ‘Must get back into the habit of taking morning photos. Also, I think I’m finally convinced this skirt needs shortening. 

Cardigan: Kische (via Winners, remixed)
Top: Kenneth Cole (remixed)
Belt: Buffalo (via Winners, remixed)
Bracelet: The Bay
Skirt: (remixed)
Tights: Hue
Mystery booties: (via Winners, remixed)
Wine: a kiwi Marlborough

 And here, just because I have it, is a close-up of the bracelet, etc:

In other less overtly political or sartorial news, the Fuzzy Roommate has a new girlfriend. I could not be more excited that he has finally – after three years in this new city – made a friend. I really thought I’d broken him with this last move, but he’s having fun once again. Here he is with Abbie, his new favourite dog:


What say you, StyleNation? 
And SU, if you’re reading, we miss you already!

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. 

Thrifted sundress, Take One

I had every intention of making it to campus today, so I dressed for the office. But there were a zillion errands to run and meetings to have, so I didn’t make it. As a result, tonight will be a late one as I struggle to meet my (self-imposed) work quota. I’ve (finally) hit that point when the guilt, self-loathing, and (metaphoric) self-flagellation have amped up to fever pitch. This means I’m finally in a work groove – one I intend to remain in until my current project is off my desk and onto someone else’s.

But before I get grooving, here’s my first attempt at styling a recently-thrifted sundress. My first tries are always on the safe side:

Dress: thrifted

Denim jacket: Smart Set

Red wood & bead necklace: Le Chateau

Wood & brass bracelet: The Bay (remixed)

Brown sandals: Dansko (remixed)

I suspect this dress is a petite, which would normally be out of the question for me. The petite dropped waist falls a couple of inches below my natural waist, however, so I’ve decided it’s working for me, not against me, just this once.

I’m considering taking up the hem so it hits an inch or two above the knee so that I can wear gladiator flats with this dress. ‘Thoughts? Advice?

In other news, here’s Fuzzy Roommate with his new splint on his poor broken toe (the lettering reads “ouch”):

Today, the groomer agreed to cover our vet bills. Thus, although it’s still heart-breaking to see him hop around, the sympathy I feel for FR is less tied up with rage against the groomer.

How do you get into (and stay in) a work groove? More significantly, how would you style this dress? (It took way longer than expected for me to do so this morning, so all suggestions will be appreciated!)