Things That Should be Large

Greetings, StyleNation, from the midst of my research leave, almost end-of-term, and month 7.75 of my pregnancy. I should be large. And I am.

Also, something creepy but simultaneously kind of hilarious happened last week. I have little else to report, so I’m posting mostly to share about that.

First, the outfit I was wearing when it happened.

#1. Worn to an early evening professional event with cocktails

As my footwear choices are currently limited to those that can adjust to fit my stupid swollen preggo feet, I wore this.


Pointe knit draped blazer: Grace Elements (new to blog, via Belk); Silver bib necklace: Stella and Dot (gifted by DSW, remixed; Black maternity tunic/t-shirt: Bump Maternity (via Motherhood Maternity – worst store name ever – new to blog); Brooch: made by an artist whose name I forget, from a series called Blue in the Face; Black pointe and pleather maternity leggings: Queen Mum (new to blog, via the new maternity boutique down the street); Boots: Khrio (new to blog, via adorably hip shoe boutique by my favourite coffee place downtown)


I strode into the event and began mingling with students and colleagues. It was lovely because I mostly work from home right now and haven’t seen anyone all term.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a colleague from another institution doing a huge lean out of her conversation group, clearly eyeballing my preggo form. She had a big weird grin on her face was trying to catch my eye. (This particular colleague has been awkwardly and arrogantly hot and cold with me in ways I’ve found both embarrassing and annoying in the recent past. For example, despite our knowing each other for years and having attended (and hung out at) many of the same conferences, at a social event a number of months ago, she refused to acknowledge my efforts to catch her eye. Later, when I made a point of seeking her out to chat briefly, she acted like I was a ridiculous hanger-on with a major crush on her who was, her demeanour implied, embarrassing both of us in front of her new girlfriend. It was the dumbest.)

At last week’s event, she soon made her way over to me, grinning all the while, and we had the following creepy and kind of awesome exchange:

COLLEAGUE: Hey A-Dubs, you’re looking. . . . . you’re looking (pausing and grinning strangely). …

MOI: Uh, is “rotund” the word you’re looking for?

COLLEAGUE: Well, no. Uh (more pausing, grinning, and looking me up and down), it’s hard not to objectify pregnant women. I mean, don’t you find that?

MOI: (at a loss for words) Ummmm, what?

COLLEAGUE: No, I mean, it’s hard FOR ME not to objectify pregnant women. (more awkward and now openly lecherous grinning)

                              The M.C. begins her opening comments; everyone but us is now sitting down.

MOI: Hmmm. Well, more on this later. See you afterward. (I escape to my seat.)

                                         She left early, so we were both spared any further interactions like the above.

WTF? I suppose I spend so much time in feminist spaces that I’d forgotten what it’s like to be leered at in a professional setting. That said, I kind of love that she embarrassed herself in this manner.  I believe now, according to the grade-five-rules-of-mean-girl-relationships, I have the upper hand. And yet, blech. Also, this took place in a feminist space!

In other news, I wore a variation of the all-black-with-fat-feet-adjustable-boots outfit. I will show it to you via my exceptional photography.

#2. Worn to attend two research talks on campus


All same as above, but switched out jacket for Black silk/cotton blend non-maternity slim sweater, and switched out bib necklace and pin for gifted and oft-remixed silver
Tiffany necklace


Mostly, I am over being pregnant and cannot wait to carry this baby on the outside of my body. However, I have another two articles to complete and submit to journals, and at least two weeks worth of research-related administrata to take care of before this baby comes into the world. So probably I should just embrace the largeness and all associated crappy symptoms (carpal tunnel in both wrists, for example) for just a wee bit longer.

Finally, let’s finish today’s Sei Shōnagon-inspired list, shall we? I’ll do 5, and you add your ideas in the comments section:

Things that Should be Large

5. One’s publication record prior to the commencement of maternity leave

4. More of my boots

3. One’s capacity for compassion (currently, I excel instead at smugness)

2. One’s wine collection and accompanying glasses

1. One’s budget for the purchasing of baby supplies (srsly: holy maude)

What else should be large, StyleNation? 

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? 

Things That Give a Hot Feeling

I’m almost certain a recent 2-day stint of video conferencing (that kept me sitting in my too-hot office for hours each day) gave me a yeast infection. Obvy, this is too high a price to pay to my profession; I shall be declining this bit of service work next year.

In other news, as The Watch That Ends the Night transitions to The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, I’m deeply relieved and totally exhausted. While there are other things on which to report – a conference, a summit with janey_em and kelly – as I’ve barely the energy to type, that stuff will have to wait.

For now, I offer the following boots and a dress/tunic purchased recently. I suspect the dress will become a regular in the on-campus-day-outfit rotation. The boots may be too casual for work. In these pic’s, I’m dressed for dinner and a party last weekend.

Spring’s not quite here; thus, the layers:


RW&Co cotton velvet blazer: remixed; Gap black jersey scarf: new to blog; Jacob cream on black polka-dot dress/tunic: new to blog; Black leggings: remixed; Purple and silver faux-patent clutch: new to blog (purchased in small boutique in IPF North city); Doc Marten brown distressed leather boots: new to blog (purchased at recent friend summit in my favourite ville bilingue)

Under the jacket and scarf. I wore this to the conference minus the clutch and bracelet, plus a black t-shirt to fill the plunging V, and a pashmina-as-jacket:


Red and silver plastic cuff: new to blog (thrifted)

And finally, to complete the Sei Shōnagon-inspired list,

Things that Give a Hot Feeling:

5. Spring (soon – please, let it be soon), and then summer.

4. Journals whose peer review process takes up to 12 months, but who then require article revisions to be turned around in 1-2 weeks.

3. My current crush, CBC Radio 2 host Julie Nesrallah. Every weekday morning, she speaks gently to me and plays me soul-reviving things.

2. When Facebook advertisements make very clear ad-makers have access to all my FB stuff.

1. The above-noted 2-day video conference. Yeesh.

Once again, it’s your turn StyleNation.

What things give you a hot feeling in either a good or bad way?

Polka Dots & Cardigans

In a shocking change of pace, I’m blogging the outfit that I wore today.  In the ongoing bid to get stuff done in the month before the term starts, I’m apparently also including “take outfit photos” and “blog about them in a timely fashion.”  We’ll see how long THIS lasts.

In fact, this is an outfit chosen in direct response to the exigencies of coffee shop work marathons: ie. they’re freezing, so bring a cardi.  I felt a bit strange pulling one out this morning given the blazing heat, but, after a week of work-related hypothermia, I learned my lesson.  I can only explain the length of time I needed to learn this particular lesson by the fact that I’m generally overheated in most situations so I was in a state of disbelief.

Cardi: Old Navy; Dress & leggings: Target; Birkenstocks

I got this dress on sale just before I left on my trip and I’m kind of in love with it.  It’s hard to see in the pictures (the following one is a little better on this front) but it’s got a faux wrap panel on the bottom half which jazzes the whole thing up a bit.  It’s a touch short for sitting around, working, but leggings fix that pretty readily.  And, in a different context, the length would be fine.  I’m planning, also, to stitch together the top about an inch higher so I’ll fidget with it less.

Also in this picture, which features a new photo location: my bedroom, is the chair I painted months ago and made wild promises about pictures.  It’s a pretty basic Ikea chair I bought through Craigslist.  The frame was initially a light birch but, as a team Color member, that seemed a bit dull.  So it’s coral now!  Thrilling story, no?  This picture is also a touch misleading as the chair is generally covered in clothes, with a small smooth dog burrowed underneath them.

Any new (to you or otherwise) and fun house decor purchases that provide excellent photo posing possibilities?  (To be clear, the poses above are the extent to which I’m making use of the chair as a prop.  Pictures taken while seated seem far too unflattering for my degree of vanity.)


Decisions, Decisions

This outfit, from last week, is clearly my attempt at channeling A-Dubs’ and her wicked office pajamas.  I didn’t actually wear it to my office, but it did make an appearance at my office-away-from-office: Starbucks (there is a serious dearth of coffee shops in my college town — which is totally weird.  It makes me long for the coffee shop office in Steel Town).

Dress: Target; Belt: NY & Co.; Leggings: Lane Bryant; Blue shoes that read as black here: Jessica Simpson

I got this dress at Target last summer, inspired by Anne, but the lining of it shrunk after I washed it.  As a result, I haven’t worn it much because it feels too short with a good 3 inches of sheer, unlined skirt.  It’s been hanging in my closet, being all awesomely polka-dotted but unworn, when, finally, a lightbulb went on: leggings!  I think it’s going to get a lot more wear now as I’ve wanted to wear this exact outfit twice in the last week — though I’ve been foiled by laundry.

Semi-kicky pose: Inspired by A-Dubs

Also, I really needed a coffee mug in one of these pictures.

Finally, I need your help, Style Nation.  I’m trying to decide on shoes for Rinty the Crusher’s wedding.  I’m wearing this dress (the first one in the post).  I’ve bought the following shoes in both gold and bronze and can’t decide which ones to wear.

(The gold ones are shiner than this photo suggests.)


A Dress and a Dog

So glad you decided to join us over here at WordPress, StyleNation. Who doesn’t like a little more light in this, the dark month of February?

Things at IPF North are intense of late. My awesome visit to E-Jo and the Mini-FR at IPF South is but a beautiful, warm, wine-soaked, Mini-FR-rich dream. Also, teaching and research are totally kicking my a$$, of course. But there’s more:

Not only am I sitting in a purple dog fart haze as we speak, but the A-Dubs-Hubs and I got the Fuzzy Roommate his own dog. Thus far, however, the FR is really not doing his part in training and caring for his new puppy. So the Hubs and I have stepped up. (Oh goddess, StyleNation. How do people with human babies retain any semblance of sanity or self?)

Anywho, here’s the FR’s dog, and here’s what I wore today to teach twice, then to help host three guest speakers at my department:

Dress: BCBGMazazria, remixed; Cotton t-shirt: Missoni (via Target, purchased with E-Jo during The Beautiful Dream); Leggings: remixed, LOT; Boots: Blondo (via Browns Shoes, remixed)

Adorable hypoallergenic puppy: imported from Canada's east coast

(can you see the puppy’s hobo-clown beard?)

What’s up with you, SN?

Have you any survival strategies for this dark crappy month?

p.s. Please, teach me how to do links and lists of garment details like we did over at Blogger.

Idealistic Decisions and Office Pyjamas

Ah, January! A time characterized for academics and non-academics alike by the idealistic determination to be better, to do better things, or to get better at things one is already doing.

For academics like myself, January seems regularly to involve the making of a series of idealistic decisions to do things that I soon come to regret having made. Case in point: in the early days of this month, I decided to entirely re-vamp one of my courses (you know: to make it better).

In principle, I know this is the right decision; it’s good to change things up once in a while. It helps to keep me and the material fresh, and it thwarts potential plagiarizers. Moreover, in this course in particular, this change will help to eliminate the smug “I’ve got all your slides from my buddy who took your course last year” expressions on the faces of the cadre of guffawing and disruptive buffoons who keep showing up in this class because the Faculty of Engineering says they need a writing credit but is unwilling to teach them to write like engineers.

Already, I regret the decision to change the course. I’ve sentenced myself to an entire term of writing new lectures and creating new digital slide presentations. As much as I enjoyed the panic of the buffoons (“Holy crap! We’re gonna have to do our own work in this course? WTF?!”), I enjoy carving my preparation time out of my sleep schedule much, much less.

There is, however, another decision I do NOT regret. Office pyjamas. The plan is as follows: on non-teaching days, I will not wear jeans, but I WILL wear outfits that come as close to the comfort of pyjamas as possible while still approximating professionalism.

Here for your consideration are my first two efforts:

Office Pyjamas – Episode 1:

Polyester jersey dress: Chapter One (remixed)
Acrylic knit cardigan: Joe Fresh (new to blog)
Necklace: gifted (remixed)
Fleece-lined winter leggings: Plush (new to blog)
Lined cognac leather boots: Rieker (remixed)

This ensemble was really, really comfortable, despite the abundance of unnatural fibres from which much of it is constructed. There was no squeezy tailoring, no stiff fabric, no confining belts or ties. Plus, that cardigan is from the sleepwear section of the grocery store clothing department (why, you ask? I have no bloody idea. Who wears cardigans to bed?)

Office Pyjamas – Episode 2:

Cotton jersey & polyester satin dress: I cut the scratchy tag out – but I found it on the sale rack at the Canadian designer store around the corner. (new to blog)
Metal and plastic purple fried egg necklace: crazy jewellery store in Florida
Draped cotton cardigan: Max Studio (via Winners)
Fleece-lined winter leggings: as above
Lined cognac leather boots: as above

And here’s a weird pose in which I am trying to show you the cool lines of the sweater. Mostly, it looks like I’m being arrested, or preparing for a pat-down at the airport. And this is yet another of the many, many reasons I am an academic, not a model.

Overall, I am excited about the office pyjama decision. I think this good decision will facilitate my survival of the bad decision to sentence myself to three months of sleeplessness due to new lecture prep.

What decisions are you making this month, StyleNation? 
Do you have any regrets, yet?

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. 

Getting this Show Back on the Road

We interrupt IPF‘s unscheduled month-long hiatus in order to get this show back on the road. In the interest of starting slowly and retaining what sanity is available to academics at this ridiculous time of year, I bring you the following non-teaching-day ensemble:

 Just kidding.  

That’s what I wore to walk the dog this morning.  It’s the hellish part of Start-of-Term, so I plan to hide out in my office all day today. The coffee and lunch lines are too long, and there are too many lost students milling around in the hallways. I’ll just hunker down here with my thermos and lunch bag. And I’ll wear this to do so (This is the on-campus version of the above – in strange light that adds cool texture where it does not actually exist):

And in real light: 

DKNY tunic (with pockets!): new to blog
Mall anchor store tank dress: do we care? It’s a stretchy white undergarment.
Moonstone pendant: my cousin’s spa/shop in Tiny Town, Canada
Black microfibre leggings: remixed a LOT 
Fly London Yayas: remixed

How’ve you been, StyleNation? 
And how’s September treating you thus far?

More Pant-type Outfits

I’ve got no crazy dreams to report, unfortunately, but I’ve got a couple of pantal-esque outfits to present.
Outfit #1: In which I embrace leggings
Dress: Joe
Tank & Leggings: Target
Sandals: Birkenstocks

I’ve been slow to get on the legging train. I felt pretty confident that they wouldn’t work on me — that they’d cut my legs off in weird ways, making me look stumpy, etc… Now, I’m not sure they’re absolutely the best look on me or anything, but I’m pretty converted now as they’re super comfy and allow me to wear this dress in public. My mom, when she visited at the beginning of May, brought me a bunch of stuff from Joe (the Canadian department store brand), including this dress and the shirt in the outfit below. The dress is frankly a little too small for me both up top and down below but I love the pattern and it’s easily fixable with a cami, and tights or leggings. Tights are an impossibility right now but capri length leggings do the trick admirably.

Outfit #2: In which I cannot wear sandals for another day

Top: Joe
Shorts: Target
Shoes: Jessica Simpson
This outfit was one that, without proper shoes, probably bordered on way too casual to wear into the office. Plus, it was nice to be able wear proper shoes for the day. I got these ages ago, right before I hurt my ankle earlier this term so this is the first wear they’ve had. I’m really pleased with them. I love a wedge and these have a rubber sole (which, seriously, why don’t all shoes have these??) which is ideal for someone like me who lacks basic grace and balance.