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.


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:


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:


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)


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? 

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!

Dressing (Just) Outside the Academy: I’m Hot, Then I’m Cold

Greetings, StyleNation!

Has it really been two months since my last post?  I would refuse to believe it, but it seems that WordPress helpfully adds a date to the top of every entry.  Whoops.  To be fair, it’s well-known here at IPF DeskJob that if it ain’t in my BlackBerry, I ain’t showing up, so it’s pretty much a minor miracle that I found my way back at all.

Either that, or A-Dubs and I finally got ourselves in the same room long enough to a) catch up and b) photograph my outfit.  I’m delighted with the results of both.

Spring dressing is tricky for me.  Either I wear winter suits and get all overheated and grumpy on the way to work, or I try to bust out summer clothes too soon, both freezing and looking ridiculous in the process.  Nothing says, “hey, I’m a professional!” like arriving in a light dress and cardigan to find that the rest of your meeting has opted for the winter suit.  (Fortunately, they’re generally too overheated and grumpy to notice.)

The outfit below represents the best of both worlds.  Spring colours on the top, winter colours down below.  A mix of softness and structure, plus plenty of polkadots (for further alliteration).   Also, nude hose, because I don’t feel properly dressed for my job without it.

Cardigan: Ann Taylor; Cami: Smart Set; Pencil skirt: Banana Republic; Black pearls: remixed; BlackBerry: The Man; Pose: Post-Academic-Writer-Reunion-Casual-Kitchen-Hangout

Shoes: as pictured, Calvin Klein, but I felt they were slightly too fetishy for an office setting and swapped ‘em out for dark red Nine West round-toed heels.

PS: Can I reopen the nude hose debate, StyleNation?  Because I have views.

PPS: I feel you should know that in the process of posting this, my first independently formatted guest lecture, I managed both to mangle the alignment and to post a massive picture of my body (no text) to the public blogspace.  I removed it.  You’re welcome.

Conference Report: the gentle hands series

Good goddess, StyleNation. Where the hell did November go? How is it the end of the month already?! (Here’s hoping our American members enjoyed their long weekend.)

As I noted this time last year, I’ve learned to amplify the profesh in my on-campus ensembles as the term winds down. I need to bring what authority I can to in-office and classroom interactions, especially at this time in the term. Struggling and slacker students can get downright nasty as grades for their final assignments come in.

After this post, profesh is the word.

Today, I owe you a conference report. So, here goes.

Please note that the white walls in my new, as-yet-unfurnished home office are weird in photos. Thus, when I place my hands against the wall to hold myself up (or in a pose – I’m tippy), the walls disappear and it looks like I’m trying to be graceful, or gently balletic (yep. I’m calling “balletic” a word). I am not balletic or graceful; but I am tired (and lacking in camera know-how). And so, I offer the following “Gentle Hands Series”:

Day 1: Teaching & Mad Dash to Airport for Conference Travel

In retrospect, I don’t think I’d do the bow-belt on the dress, again. It seems a little girlish, no? Otherwise, the dress is perfect conference attire in that it’s polyester (read: non-wrinkling, even after hours in airports, planes, and trains), profesh without being overly polished (my field is not an especially formal one), densely printed (read: won’t show spills, even if they’re red wine), and mix-and-matchable. Also, it has pockets (read: options for hand placement that avoid awkwardness like that shown below).

Dress: Rachel Roy (via The Bay, new to blog)
Cotton t-shirt: mall anchor store (Smart Set, I think)
Leggings: Groggy (remixed ad nauseum on this blog)
Waterproof black knee-high winter boots: Blondo (via Browns Shoes)
Day 3: Dress Remixing, Non-presentation Day
Full disclosure: I actually wore the shorter cardigan (pictured in the bottom two images) at the conference. But when I saw that cardigan in pictures, it made the dress look babydollish and I wish I hadn’t worn it that way.
Here’s what I wish I’d worn. Also, I wore this ensemble to teach earlier this week, and then to speak at an event later that evening. I began the day with a wide black belt over the cardigan and dress, but things got waaayyy too sweaty, so the belt was discarded after my first class that morning. It’s still in my office (the belt, not the class), so it’s not pictured here.
Silver necklace: gifted from the Hubs (more on this later)
Long black cardigan: Nygard (remixed)
Day 2: First Day of Conference, & Day 4: Presentation Day

Originally, for my presentation on Day 4, I’d planned to wear this black wool dress with the pashmina pictured below, and the boots and leggings shown above. This more casual ensemble was meant to be worn on Day 2 only. But I’d forgotten about the extreme blond shagginess of the dog at my brother’s place – where I crashed for a portion of my stay. That huge, friendly dog leaves carpets of fur on everyone within a 2-mile radius. The black dress was impossible to wear under these circumstances.

Fortunately, I had these lycra-rich, skinny trousers on deck. Also a polyester blend, these babies don’t wrinkle at all (again, this is key for conference travel – who wants to iron when there are panels to attend first thing every morning?). Even more importantly in my case, dog fur doesn’t adhere to these unnatural tightly-woven fibres.

Grey-mix cardigan: ?? (remixed, via Winners, slightly better image below)
Black polyester jersey top: Anne Klein (via Winners, remixed)
Pashmina: gifted (remixed)
Skinny poly-lycra-rayon trousers: Mexx (new to blog)
Boots: as above

Here’s a better image of the trousers. Despite appearances, I am NOT gently stroking the leaf of that plant. The plant is well in the foreground, but the bloody white walls and poor lighting are throwing everything off kilter.

Overall, to me, the building of conference-wear around on pair of conference-friendly boots worked really well, again. The boots were foot-friendly – low-heeled, rubber-soled, warm without being too warm, and comfortable for hiking around the conference city and campus – and dressy enough for my sartorial tastes.
As an added bonus, these boots bring me one comfortable step closer to my professional goal of modelling good footwear “behaviour” for my students. Currently, I use my wearing of high heels to teach the concept of hegemony – what better way to illustrate my own consent to gender subordination?* Having taught this lesson numerous times to date, I hope, someday, to require a different illustrative example.
* Interesting side note: young women in one of this year’s classes were especially interested in promoting rather than discouraging my high heel wearing via multiple suggestions of “comfortable” or wedge heels as “cute and more comfortable than stilettos.” My suggestion that no wedge or exceptionally-well-padded high heel was as comfortable as any of my husband’s shoes was met with peels of laughter. 

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?