Things that are Especially Rare

To echo E-Jo, (belated) Happy New Year, StyleNation! Welcome to IPF 2014 and, more particularly, Research Leave at IPF North! That’s right. I get a break from teaching and service work for the next six months as I prepare to apply for tenure and promotion in the next year or so.

Today’s post, a bit of a catch-up from the end of last term, includes boots, bada$$ery, and a bit of a reveal. Here we go.

#1. Office Pyjamas as Teaching Wear

That’s right. I wore this to teach – but just in my 4th-year honours seminar – in late November. Because I couldn’t make myself care about wearing anything but this bada$$ ensemble.

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Draped black wool/angora/acrylic turtleneck tunic thingy: gifted (from my elegant sis-in-law, Designer Shoe Whore); Stainless steel non-boob-wrangling necklace: gifted (from the A-Dubs-Hubs); Black pleather-front and pointe leggings: H&M (new to blog); Black leather buckled up winter boots: Cougar (new to blog, purchased in Canada’s most stylish ville with janey-em and kelly last spring

Here’s a better bootal view:

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Remember when Cougar boots were those tan coloured lace-ups that we wore undone so the tongues would flap around and show the red cloth lining? It was the ’80s. Cougar’s changed things up a bit since, it seems.

#2. Holiday Party – New booties and a reveal

Both janey_em and Rinty the Crusher informed me that my search for kick-ass black pumps for the A-Dubs-Hubs’s work holiday party would be fruitless. They said I should relent and get some damn ankle booties already. So I did. Possibly I will never wear these again as I am supposed to be retired from high heels. But they were too hard core to pass up.

In other news, I am pregnant, so that’s why I have a different belly than usual in these pic’s:

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Black polyester jersey and lace blazer: Thyme Maternity (new to blog); Black jersey and gold sequin short-sleeved maternity tunic/dress: Séraphine Luxe (new to blog); Black leather, gold metal, and crystal belt: gift with purchase of dress at local prego store; Black micro fibre leggings: remixed; Black leather and gold metal booties: Steve Madden (new to blog)

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And now, to complete today’s Sei Shōnagon-inspired list,

Things that are Especially Rare

5. Blessed, blessed research leave

4. Wicked black pumps this winter

3. Regular posts on this blog (sorry!)

2. Holiday seasons during which I cannot consume booze (thank the goddess these are rare)

1. Canadian cities that are colder than mars

What’s especially rare in your life, StyleNation?

Also, is anyone else totally over booties, yet? 

Things that can be seen comfortably

Hi All! Who’s ready for end-of-term? Much as I’m enjoying my two courses this term, I cannot wait for this term to be over. Because then I’ll be on research leave for 6 months and can wear mostly real pyjamas – not office pyjamas – for much of the winter.

To pass the time until then, I offer two ensembles that can be seen comfortably. Mostly because of these new patent leather booties. With the platform, they’re barely high heels at all. This is good as I am trying to retire from wearing uncomfortable shoes. I’ve completely lost patience with footwear that hurts my feet, knees, hips, and back; and I’m no longer willing to tolerate shoes in which I can do little more than mince or tiptoe around.

1. Belting a Cardigan Like we Did Back in the Day (i.e. 2008)

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Navy floral-printed draped cardigan: Melanie Lyne (remixed); Satine cotton cami: Jockey (via The Bay); Silver leather skinny belt: Smart Set; Black cotton twill pencil skirt (lined): Melanie Lyne; Tights: Hue; Black patent leather booties: Rockport (new to blog)

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2. Black and Gold and Booties

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Cream rayon knit t-neck: BCBG Maxazria; Black and gold dress: BCBG Maxazria (remixed); Leggings: Smart Set (remixed); Booties: as above

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And finally, let’s finish today’s Sei Shōnagon-inspired list:

Things That Can be Seen Comfortably

1. These booties.

2. The first snow of the season (already happened here, fyi – probably you’re jealous)

3. Cherry blossoms anywhere (seriously: online, in visual media, in person – they’re always exquisite)

4. Puppies and kittens

5. Mannequins shaped like real women

What will you add to the list, StyleNation?

What visual things are comfortable for you to see?

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)?

Black and Gold

Come March, many of us in academia have gotten to know our students a little bit, and it’s very tempting to let the university classroom become a more casual space. But experience has taught me that it’s in everyone’s best interests if a level of formality is maintained in the classroom, even as our discussions of course material get a little deeper, and students become more comfortable with me and with the material under consideration. I wish to avoid – A.VOID. – any situation where a low mark is read as a betrayal of trust between friends rather than a necessarily honest appraisal of a student’s work.

And so, as in November, I walk the line between bringing it in terms of sartorially interesting ensembles (to keep eyes front and cultivate student engagement) and keeping things profesh.

This was my March 1st teaching outfit: 

I bought this dress (on sale) with Janey Em in January. The light in these photos is brightening the black, but I couldn’t wait for better pictures. I’ve dressed it down quite a bit for teaching – but I’m soooo looking forward to dressing it up (for a non-teaching event) at some point very soon.

Polyester crepe & gold silk dress: BCBG MaxAzria
T-shirt: Kenneth Cole
Bangle: The Bay (remixed)
Not-as-opaque-as-I’d-hoped tights: Hue
OTK boots: France Mode (via Shoe Heaven, remixed)
Mug slogan: I love not camping. (This is my favourite mug.)
I’ve decided that the black and gold keep things formal enough that a cotton t-shirt and flat boots don’t make things too casual. Here’s a close-up of the belting, etc:
Now I’m wondering what else to do with the dress for classroom wear. And frankly, now that I’ve made it teaching appropriate, I’m having a hard time imagining dressier styling options.
What would you do for either or both, StyleNation? 
(I know you’ve already got some excellent ideas.)