NSFW: Thinking Cap

Later this week I am meeting up with my IPF and other grad school colleagues to attend the wedding of Dr. Rinty the Crusher and The Librarian.  I will be trying not to look too awesome so as not to upstage the bride (impossible due to her loveliness) but it is going to be difficult because I will be wearing this:

This is not a photograph of me but of the brilliant hat designer and builder, who has the most amazing Etsy shop, but she and I have the same hair so you get the idea.  I’m planning to look at least as kicky and alluring as she though I’m going to need someone to help me with my eyeliner.  I considered doing a trial run with my new topper when I gave my final exams recently–you know, call it a thinking cap–and I think many of my students would have loved the gesture but I work at a fairly small university and the likelihood of running into the Dean, who I’m pretty sure thinks I’m a little too quirky, is high so I resisted.

I regret that decision.

Monday, Monday

Man, does it ever feel like November here (apart from the fact that I still can’t completely turn off the air-conditioning): I spent the weekend grading, it’s gray and blustery today, and I just want to stay in my pjs all day.  While I work out some way to dress today that’s basically pajamas but still teaching acceptable, here’s a couple of things I was wearing last week.

Black faux-wrap shirt: Joe
Black tank: Target
Jeggings: Old Navy
Gold flats: Nine West
Feather print scarf: France

Here’s an outfit built around the scarf I bought in France (detail shot below).  It’s silk and gorgeous, and subtly the colors of the tricolore.  The rest of the outfit didn’t photography well here but it’s really beside the point: it’s merely a background for feathery goodness.

Dress: Old Navy
Cardigan: Gap
Gold flats: Nine West
Purple tights: Target
Scarf: Germany

I love this dress.  It’s the perfect piece for showing off things like scarfs or bright blue cardigans.  This is also my first foray into the colorful tights arena.  I love a dark purple so this seemed well within my comfort zone.  

Inspired by M. of An Epic Battle in High Heels, I went for a long overdue head suit alteration.  I didn’t get a shot of it when doing these outfit pictures, but one’s coming…  My hair’s the longest it’s been in years so I find that haircuts appear less significant but there’s something to be said for the psychological effect of having a tidied up head–even if just externally!  

Conference Bootage

What up, StyleNation? I had planned a whole big thing on conference ensembles today, but time got away from me. So I’m doing/wearing this instead with the boots around which I will be building all of this weekend’s conference ensembles:









Cardigan: M.A.K. (gifted from D-Med, remixed)
T-shirt: Tahari (via Winners)
Gold-tone necklace: mall anchor store
Skirt: Mexx (remixed)
Belt: I forget
Boots: Aldo (remixed)

This skirt became MUCH more wearable after I sewed the button placard shut starting at the last button at the knee and continuing to just around the crotchal region. Prior to this point, it gaped. Also, I’m not usually a fan of the high-neck t-shirt, but this one called out to me and promised not to make my boobs look massive. It appears, thus far, to be honourable and trustworthy. Well, except for the part where it creates the illusion of flatness.

In other news, here’s a tiny glimpse of what’s going on headsuit-wise of late. Except for the single, just-visible triangle of bleach blond on one side, it’s all a darker brown that, in my humble opinion, looks  better than the previous goldish blond against my occasionally too-red face. But you’ll have to take my word on this point:

Conference travel brings with it the challenge of the capsule semi-professional wardrobe. I’ve also recently determined that my conference wardrobes must also be comfortable. Like, REALLY comfortable, not just teaching-ensemble comfortable. I’ll let you know how this pans out this time.

I’m hoping to bring ONLY these boots this weekend because big suitcases SUCK to haul all over the damn place, and the conference I’m attending requires this attendee to travel by plane, bus, and train just to get to the hotel. That said, I may also bring a wee pair of flats just in case. I’ve yet to find a pair of flats that walks me around in comfort for days on end, however. (But I’m taking suggestions – as I believe Cynthia was doing earlier this week over at Be Fabulous Daily. Maybe I’ll just pop over and see what she learned. . . Feel free to ring in here if you didn’t get a chance to suggest things to Cynthia.

Headsuit & Boots

‘Morning, StyleNation, from IPF Northern Division where the countdown to term’s end continues. But we’re not talking about term today; instead, we’re live from The Great White North with ridiculous headsuit photos and a non-presentation-day conference ensemble. First, in response to inexplicable popular demand (see the comments sections), the curled up version of my new(ish) headsuit:

Hair Today, (Pi)goon Tomorrow*

It’s perhaps difficult to see here, but my favourite part of this haircut is the longer dangly wisps by my chin on each side of my face. I also enjoy that only the top layers are highlighted while the bottom and back are dyed a few shades darker than my natural colour.

Now that winter is here in earnest (it snowed ALL weekend, and snow continues to dump down today), the smoother version of this ‘do will probably be a better choice. Because then I can wear hats, not hoods. Hoods create static and fuzz.

* so titled in honour of the author featured at the event for which this ‘do was styled last night


Conference Outfit, Not Presenting

I wore this outfit to a conference in October the day after I delivered my paper. When I present, I dress more formally. On days when I’m just attending others’ panels, I dress more casually but avoid jeans. To my mind, I’m still too junior a scholar to relax entirely at professional conferences.

Poly-blend Dress: Chapter One (via Winners)
Cardigan: Nygard (remixed)
Jersey scarf: Gap (old; it came with a matching tunic that I rarely wear)
Leggings: (label’s rubbed off)
OTK boots: (via Shoe Heaven, remixed)
Wine: key element of conference evenings

Comfortable footwear is often key to good conference experience, don’t you think? It can be a bit of a hike between panel venues, or to the restaurant/pub for dinner, or from your hotel to the conference.

The conference I attended was in my home city, so I came home for cocktails with the A-Dubs-Hubs before heading out for an evening book launch/pub-based hobnobbing thingy.

I’ll remix the dress, again, soon. For now, you’ll have to trust me when I tell you that it’s best under this kind of sweater.

I’m off to meet with panicked students and to power through a pile of papers that MUST be returned tomorrow. Everything seems soooo dire at this time of the term.

What’s your week look like? And will you be dressing up or down for your stuff this week?

Sometimes It Just Helps to Shop

So today is the final weekday before the term starts. Both yesterday and today have been jampacked with errands in an attempt to get ahead of the term a little bit. Yesterday I went for coffee with one of the new hires in my department which went really well and met friends for $2 beers. Today, I got my headsuit altered, my car got its safety inspection, later the mini-FR gets to audition for doggie daycare, and tonight is the department meet n’ greet–an event that feels SIGNIFICANTLY less stressful now that I’m no longer one of the newbies.

I wanted something casual today then that could, with minimal fuss, transition into the department event.

Dress: Max Studio
T-shirt: Gap Outlet
Sandals: Birkenstocks


It’s nothing fancy but I think with a silver necklace & cuff and different shoes it’ll work for a casual event with colleagues.




























And after I got my hair cut this morning, I succumbed to Target’s siren song where I bought a couple of shirts and a pair of shorts to replace a pair I got gum on when sitting down on the bus to Steeltown earlier in the summer while visiting Rinty the Crusher & Early Modern Cool Kid. One of the shirts I got made the cut for my first day of school outfit. It might be a little warm — though it’s supposed to be a balmy 93/34 so after the last two weeks of 100+, I can probably handle short sleeves.


Shirt: Target

Skirt: Old Navy
Necklace: Forever 21

I’m still working out this whole “photo taking” thing, I wasn’t able to get my shoes in. I’m planning on wearing the ones below:

Grey patent pumps: Madden Girl from the Macy’s Shoe Sale


And, because I forgot to include them before, these are the patent nude wedges that I would save in case of fire. They rule.
Nude patent wedges: Nine West


Who else finds that sometimes doing a little bit of shopping is all you need to do to re-think what you already own?

Friend Friday: My Private Parts

It’s Friend Friday and this week Modly Chic has some thought-provoking questions about blogger privacy.
And I have another picture of my boots.

Do you think privacy is something we should worry about as bloggers?

I think it depends on what you mean by privacy. This is a public forum, one that is given to discussion, so I think if I were truly worried about privacy I would not blog at all. I do, however, take certain precautions to hide my “real world” identity for various professional reasons. And I feel fully in control of that. That said, anyone who knows A-Dubs and me well in real life would know it was us immediately. And I’m in control of that too.

Do you use your real name or a pen name? What was behind that decision?
A pen name, though it winks at my public profession, often good-naturedly derided by the cool kids. Little do those Early Modernists know,
we are the cool kids, yo.


My work is also very public. A twerpy little man from mine and AW’s grad school days would often stress the importance of our job as “public intellectuals” and I remember thinking he was overstating the case. He was not. I am very much under scrutiny by students, by university administrators, by colleagues at work and by colleagues in my field and I need to maintain degrees of professionalism that adhere to the standards of decorum of the most conservative of those eyes. So I do not blog under my own name, which is an essential part of my professional identity.

How much personal information do you reveal about your life beyond the blog?
This blog is about our profession, and our professional dress sense, so this blog is very much a part of my “life beyond,” though that life can be tricky to navigate, especially as early-career scholars and probationary faculty members. As a result, I feel much more comfortable working on this blog anonymously. None of my colleagues know about this blog and very few of my friends know about it. At AW’s urging, this was an exercise for me to step away from my work with something fun and frivolous. It says a lot about our profession that “fun and frivolous” for us is still, in some ways, tied inextricably to our work.

And it has, I think, become something much more than just our teaching outfits, and much more than frivolous and much more fun, which has been an excellent, excellent surprise.

What will you never reveal?
My nipples. They’re pretty nice, but we’re not that kind of blog.

As bloggers, we have to an extent made ourselves ‘public’ figures. But still there are things that are intimate to each of us that does not need to be known by anyone that stumbles across our blog. How do you determine what is appropriate for public consumption and what is private to you?
As you may have noticed. A-Dubs and I do not show our faces in photos. For me, this is partly about remaining relatively anonymous but it is partly (okay a big part) about vanity. One of my friends (an early modernist cool kid) has observed about me that I am “much better-looking in real life”: a polite way of pointing out I do not work my angles in photographs, i.e. I am NOT photogenic. Not even a little bit. And since picture-taking is already a bit of a chore (I know, I need to get a tripod) cutting off my head is the best solution. Also, on those days I work from home, it means I don’t have to do my hair or make-up just to take horrible pictures of myself.

To demonstrate. This is my hair in public-consumption mode:


Clean, combed, jaunty.










This is my hair in early-morning-surprise mode:

Unwashed and insane. (I’m a restless sleeper.)



I feel it is best that I don’t subject Blognation to Early Morning Surprise Hair on a regular basis. Best for both of us. You’re welcome.

And, in case you are wondering, here are my boots.
I’m wearing them with my nightshirt.

Do you have private parts you keep from the internet?

Your Hair Is Your Headsuit

Previously on In Professorial Fashion

I dyed my fringe pink.
So I wore my chastity dress. See all of those teeny-tiny buttons? The only way into and out of this dress is through those teeny-tiny buttons.
Seriously, FCUK, what do you have against the side zipper?

Even the sleeves have teeny-tiny buttons. An extra pair of hands (handsome and talented hands, preferably with opposable thumbs) is a useful accessory, but not absolutely necessary.


I thought a reverse mullet approach was the way to go to downplay the hair: business on the bottom, party on the top.
I love the way this dress fits, especially the perfect knee-length of the skirt, and I love my brown wool tights with my brown lace-up darling, darling shoes. Brown and black is one of my fave combinations. Often when I wear this dress to work, though, I like to diminish its Victorian sensibility with a pair of brighter shoes or, on one occassion, a hot pink scarf tied at my neck, but I think at the moment my hair is the only accessory I need.
Hair: Manic Panic
Dress: French Connection
Tights: I’ve had them for so long I don’t remember
Shoes: Zinda
Lecture: Sir Gowther

Why, I am the very pinke of curtesie

Well, I’m back from the brink, though not yet in the pink. Here are two more things about me:
3. I live in the upstairs flat of a pink house. While it is a lovely, lovely apartment, I think that the brilliant pink of the house, painted by my landlords who live downstairs, sold me on it. I knew that living in a pink house in this new city where I didn’t know anyone would bring me some cheer in the lonely damp that can pervade this place at times. And it does.
4. At this moment, I have pink hair. For reasons that I will not go into on this forum, I have had a trying time of late which culminated last week in a very long and unpleasant confrontation with professional arguers. For better or worse, it is over now. As a result I am feeling somewhat rebellious and so I did this:
I love it. I do query the professional read on this, however. I think a lot about what I wear in the classroom (hence the blog) and I find that I strive to balance the professional (and professorial) with personal style. That said, I do not work in a law office, nor is my department especially conservative (though some department members do fall on the conservative side, style-wise), so I think I can get away with this with few raised eyebrows (though there will definitely be a few raised eyebrows). The thing is, we all work hard to offer fresh and interesting work in our fields; indeed, especially as young scholars we are hired based on our potential for the new eyes we can cast on the artefacts we study. In my classroom, I also work hard to find new ways to reach students who are increasingly resistant to traditional teaching methods, and I am encouraged to do so. With this in mind then, why shouldn’t my personal style reflect something original and extraordinary, if that is what is valued in my work? That said, I don’t think I would ever dye my hair pink for a job interview and I’m glad that I don’t have a meeting with the Dean on my schedule within the next two weeks (it’s semi-permanent and will wash out eventually). But I also think that I am lucky to find myself in a department where the concept of academic freedom seems to be extended to our personal style as well (cf. Casual Sockless) and I do not think that this will be frowned upon. If I did, despite how much I am feeling like a recalcitrant teen, I never would have dyed my fringe pink.
Since tomorrow is the debut, I am planning on conservative dress. I’ll let you know how it plays out.