Variations on a Theme

I second A-Dubs’ jubilation on the end of term.  I submitted my last set of grades for the term yesterday — though now the trick is to rein in my sense that I’m on vacation, until I actually leave on Tuesday — so things are pretty awesome here.  Classes ended last week  so this week has meant a bunch of end of term meetings as I transition out of professional wear, into sweatpants.  I chose — inadvertently — to wear variations on a “grey & black stripes with blue accents” theme.

Blazer: Target; Chambray & black t-shirt: Old Navy; Ponte jeggings: Gap; Boots: Corso Como

Blazer: Target; Chambray & black t-shirt: Old Navy; Ponte jeggings: Gap; Boots: Corso Como

So I wore this today to work at a coffee shop and then to meet other assistant professors from my department for lunch to discuss mentorship.  Also, I’m wearing jeggings.  I know.  I’m surprised too.  But, ohmigod, are they the most comfortable things ever.  I love them.  I’m never wearing anything else (this may be an untruth).


Also, this blazer continues to be a workhorse.  I’m honestly a little surprised by how much wear I get out of a striped blazer.  Perhaps the fact that it is ludicrously flattering helps somewhat.  I mean, seriously.

Sweater & pencil skirt: Target; Scarf: World Market; Tights: Hue; Boots: Corso Como

Sweater & pencil skirt: Target; Scarf: World Market; Tights: Hue; Boots: Corso Como

This, I wore to give an exam earlier this week.  I figured it was one last chance to dress up for my students.  The exam was at 8 in the morning so I couldn’t wear what I wanted (my pajamas, back in bed), so I might as well dress up.  Also, the mini-FR is super into smelling my skirt here for unknown reasons.


I suspect this is it from me until the new year so I hope everyone enjoys the next few weeks!

Halloween, Take Two

What’s this, a second post in one week?  Craziness.  As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve got a bit of a backlog of outfits to share with you.  But today’s post was catalyzed by a gauntlet, thrown down by Anne.  To recap the story so far, my students thought I was wearing a costume on Halloween, when I was, in fact, just wearing my regular clothes.  Anne, theorizing that I was in costume as her, decided to recreate the outfit, dressing as me, dressing as her.  So, today, to add yet another level of something like meta-ness, I dressed as Anne, dressing as me, dressing as her.

Sweater: Joe; Buffalo plaid button down: Old Navy; Pencil skirt: Target; Grey tights: Hue; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Watch: Kenneth Cole

Sweater: Joe; Buffalo plaid button down: Old Navy; Pencil skirt: Target; Grey tights: Hue; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Watch: Kenneth Cole

Boom.  Your move, Anne.  Your move.  I also didn’t fully go headless in the picture below in order to reveal the red lipstick (which I normally wear) but which is also part of my Anne costume.  Note that the mini-FR even graced this post with his presence, as homage to the ridiculously photogenic dogs of Anne Really Blogs.  Also, this is the most emphatically Team Color outfit I’ve worn in a while.  It was occasionally distracting.


And since, I’m posting anyhow, here are a few more recent outfits.

Striped shirt: Joe; Pencil skirt: Target; Watch & suede booties: Kenneth Cole

Striped shirt: Joe; Pencil skirt: Target; Watch & suede booties: Kenneth Cole

Yeah, I have no idea what I’m doing in this picture.  But it shows the outfit better than the other shots I have.  Clearly, I’m a posing genius.  Anyhow, this outfit was designed around these shoes.  Which are awesome, and much more comfortable than they look/ I would have assumed.


All clothing items: Target; Shoes: Jessica Simpson

All clothing items: Target; Shoes: Jessica Simpson

And this might be the most flattering outfit I’ve ever worn on this blog.  As I mentioned when I last wore this peplum top, I really like the look of it with a pencil skirt, but found the sleeveless pairing of it with the fitted skirt to be a little much for the classroom.  I was playing around with outfit planning, as you do, and decided to throw this t shirt on underneath, and, all of sudden, it became classroom workable.  I’m going to try it out with a cardigan as well, but this was an excellent work around.


Any exciting plans for the weekend?

Repeats and Whimsy

Well, here we are in the cruel heart of the term: stacks of assignments to grade, reading that you’ve gotten behind on, meeting after meeting after meeting, panicked realizations about term writing goals that seemed so plausible in September and which now require significantly more concentrated attention.  So there’s nothing like a five hour, nose to the grindstone stint in a coffee shop to start to realign things — while simultaneously realizing that getting on top of things is a wonderful dream that will never be attained, and thus needs to be ignored.  Though this follows a weekend where I was supposed to be grading, and ignored the stacks of papers in favor of baking a bourbon pumpkin cheesecake for a belated celebration of Canadian Thanksgiving, so I suppose I can’t complain too much.

Here are outfits representing my two contrasting sartorial strategies for responding to the October rush:

Dress and Cardigan: Target; Boots: Jessica Simpson

Dress and Cardigan: Target; Boots: Jessica Simpson

 Strategy #1: Repeat, with very slight variation, previous outfits.  This I wore to a major faculty meeting where we wrapped up the curriculum changes we’ve been working on for the past two years (and with which I’ve been very actively involved).  This meeting needed an outfit that I could count on to be both comfortable and professional and this sucker fit the bill nicely.


This dress and its twin are proving to be total wardrobe workhorses in a term where I’ve been wearing a lot of dresses.  You can’t beat a dress for easy early morning dressing when all you really want is to stay in bed for another half hour.  At least.

Fox sweater!: Old Navy; Pencil skirt: Target; Concrete wedges: Jessica Simpson

Fox sweater!: Old Navy; Pencil skirt: Target; Concrete wedges: Jessica Simpson

Strategy #2: So if strategy #1 was about minimizing stress by using the familiar as armour, this guy was about perking myself up at the end of a long week.  And, holy crap, did my students love this.  One of things I’ve really noticed about my classes this semester is how much more informal and casual I am with them.  And this leads to me wearing awesome things like this fox sweater, which has previously been consigned to casual wear.  I did have a fevered text exchange with the youngest sister about whether this was TOO whimsical but the pencil skirt and heels keeps it on the right side of the line for me.


How are your Octobers going?

Not Dead Yet

Dudes.  What. is. up?  So, yeah, we’ve been on a bit of a hiatus here at IPF.  Busy summers, etc…   But, do not worry, A-Dubs and I had an important discussion — which I’m clearly disregarding — about being reinvigorated by the start of the term.  But then I went for drinks with friends and actually put on a outfit that seemed like it might be worth blogging — at the least, it wasn’t yet another repetition of the outfits from my last post.  Also, the mini-FR deigned to put in an appearance.

T shirt: Old Navy; Skirt: Target; Pendant: Old Navy; Shoes: Born; Nail polish: Essie Mint Candy Apple

T shirt: Old Navy; Skirt: Target; Pendant: Old Navy; Shoes: Born; Nail polish: Essie Mint Candy Apple

So, yeah, I wore this to go to my local wine bar where the waiters know my order.  Though the cute, imminently flirtable-with waiter wasn’t there, which led to my friends and I interacting with a waiter who wanted to talk about his home-brewed beer.  Sigh.


Anyhow, this is just to pop by and assure you that all is well, here at IPF, and we’ll be back, at something resembling full force, soon.  Possibly with less rambling posts than this one.  No promises, though.

How’re YOUR summers going?  

Chambray, Two Ways

Hi all!  My brain is too fried from the Project that will not End to add anything substantive to A-Dubs’ recent post on self-esteem.  So, instead, I offer you two recent outfits that feature chambray shirts as their anchor pieces.  I’ve been on record about my love for all things chambray and that love has continued apace into the hellish sunscape that is IPF South summers.

Chambray & white v-neck: Old Navy; Shorts: Target: House flip flops: Old Navy

Chambray & white v-neck: Old Navy; Shorts: Target: House flip flops: Old Navy

Apologies for the crappy, mirror selfie but I forgot to take a picture with my regular camera.  I later added a necklace when I wore this out for some therapeutic wine drinking.  The saddest part of the bad quality of this picture is that it really undersells the brightness of these shorts.  I love them.  Unsurprisingly.  They have them in a bright teal but my local Targets only have that color in teensy sizes.  I’m still trying to decide whether to bite the bullet and order them online.

Chambray: Old Navy; Skirt: Target; Sandals: Birkenstock

Chambray: Old Navy; Skirt: Target; Sandals: Birkenstock

Ahh… that’s better.  Also, look who’s making his glorious return to outfit pictures!  (This is why there are two nearly identical photos of this outfit being posted: different dog placement.  A key and important difference.)  This was a recent coffee shop outfit that both addressed the realities of air conditioning strength in this area, but also allowed for breathability in the blazing heat between buildings and my car.


Anyone else finding a way to translate cold weather items you love into the summer?

Spring Break! Woot!

Oh my god, you guys, I could not be happier to see the arrival of spring break.  Ours seemed particularly slow to arrive this year and, as always, those weeks leading up to a break seem slooow.  (It seemed therefore pretty appropriate to lecture today on perceptions of private and public time in Mrs.Dalloway.)  I’ve got a bunch of non-teaching related work to get to in the next week but, for the next couple of days, I’m letting myself relax a bit.  To wit, when I got home from work today, I had an awesome (though accidentally 3 hour long) nap.

In addition to anticipating Spring Break, this week was also about enjoying some professorial outfits before next week’s parade of yoga pants and pajamas-as-daywear (though only within the boundaries of my home!).

First up, my first (photographed) wearing of the teal pencil skirt:

Black faux-wrap top: Joe; White t-shirt: Gap Outlet; Teal pencil skirt: Target; Gold flats: Nine West; Purple necklace: gift from brother-in-law

This outfit was clearly inspired by Janey-emm’s black and white pairing!  (Also, the mini-FR is totally over being part of the photo; here, he’s much more interested in retrieving his plush baked potato from its storage place: behind the couch.)  Rather than add in a bunch of color through clothing (apart from, you know, my teal skirt!), I decided to bring it through accessories and nail polish (a close up which comes below).

Nail polish: OPI Mod-ern Girl

I’m sort of in love with this color.  In the last six months or so, I’ve been much more consistent in doing my nails.  I like having my nails done because it’s a place for yet another burst of color but have a typically voided the work of it.  My sister introduced me to Sally Hansen Insta-dri top coat* and now I can do my nails in 10 minutes, usually while watching TV.

Today I wore the following:

Black cardigan, khaki tank, and coral pencil skirt: Target; Black flats: Me Too; Nail polish: Essie Mint Candy Apple

Again, note the dog’s total disinterest.  As we move into spring/ summer here, things are starting to both warm up and get super humid — a lovely combination to dress for, especially in buildings where the heat still seems to be on.  I suspect this cardigan will be an increasing workhorse as its drapey-ness is lovely and cool.

Two weeks until the start of spring, y’all!  

*This is a totally un-sponsored endorsement.

From One Extreme to Another

So, on Monday, we had D-Med’s thoughts on J.Crew cashmere, complete with photos of arm warmers.  Today, you have pictures of me, bare legged.  We like to cover all the bases here at IPF.

Down here at IPF South, we’re basically out of our 6 week winter (or what passes for such here) and are moving rapidly into the warm spring.  This means each day covers a wide spectrum of temperatures, with occasional torrential downpours.  Not helping matters, the various temperatures in university buildings vary widely so while my office is often on the cool side, the classroom I teach in is often boiling.  Layers have thus been a godsend.

In addition to constantly changeable weather, the approaching spring is making me desperately want color in my wardrobe options.  I’ve long been admiring various blogger’s colorful pencil skirts but have been unwilling to shell out the money for one.  Once again, Target comes to the rescue where I bought not 1 but 3 pencil skirts in veritable rainbow of colors.  They only had 3 colors; believe me, if there had been more options I probably would have bought them!

Cardigan & ruffly top: Gap Coral pencil skirt: Target Black flats: Me Too

Can you spot the mini-FR in this picture?  Even though this picture was taken later in the evening, its colors are definitely bright!  This may well be one of my favorite all-time outfits.  As a bonus, it gave me a chance to wear this yellow top which I got last fall at the outlets but have had trouble wearing.  This is, in part, because it’s made of rayon so just looking at it causes it to wrinkle; therefore, it really needs to be under something.  It’s also got a rounded neck, rather than my preferred v-neck, so it helps to pair it with this v-necked workhorse of a cardigan.

Black drapey cardigan, tank, and periwinkle pencil skirt: Target Belt: NY & Co. Nude flats: Me Too

Here’s the same skirt in a periwinkle blue (I also got a teal one but I haven’t worn it yet).  Both skirts are made out of my favorite ponte knit fabric so they’re super comfortable.  Combine that with this super soft, drape-y cardigan I bought with A-Dubs, and a cotton tank, and this is totally office pajamas.  Plus I even got my seemingly required pop of coral here in my nails!

How’s everyone managing the end of February?  As excited about March and the subsequent arrival of Spring Break as I am?

February Madness

Happy Galentine’s Day everyone!  (My apologies to our non-U.S. readers but the Internet failed to provide me a non-Hulu clip from Parks & Rec).  I’m spending it writing at home, and hanging out with my dog and his bestie, a lovely and submissive golden retriever (submission is the only thing my dog is interested in in a best friend).

So even though A-Dubs was lamenting the double-edged knife that is February last week, I have to admit that, so far, February is behaving nicely.  It’s finally no longer stiflingly humid here; I heard some good news from a journal; I have a sixth of the students I normally have so the grading is remarkably lovely so far; inspired by M.’s and Raquelita’s super impressive writing pilgrimage, I’ve gotten a bunch of stuff done (though sadly not actually brand-new words: one of the weird things about being in the post-dissertation, pre-second project portion of an academic career is how little actual writing you get to do).  Here’s hoping that this streak can last…

In the meantime, I’ve worn clothes.

Dress: Lane Bryant; Cardigan: Old Navy; Tights: Hue; Belt: NY & Co.; Black flats: Me Too

This is the dress I wore to my sister’s engagement party over a year ago.  I’ve had trouble styling it since then as it was so linked to a fancier occasion that it seemed impossible to imagine it in my very casual life.  However, in a recent closet purge, I determined that I either had to wear it or get rid of it.  Apparently, I respond well to style self-ultimatums.  I’m pleased I’ve reclaimed it for teaching days as it is awesome.  Also, in this picture, it looks like the mini-FR is looking up my skirt.  What a naughty, smooth little guy!

Cardigan: Gap; Blouse: Old Navy; Pants: NY & Co.; Bracelets: World Market (pink) & gifted from my mom (silver)

Not too much to say about this outfit.  As I recall, though, this was one of the super humid days so the many artificial fibers in both the blouse & pants were distinctly ill-advised.  I did wear one of the awesome pairs of shoes I bought with A-Dubs when she was here.

Nude open toes: Me Too

While I regret the lack of pedicure, I’m pretty pleased with these shoes.  They’ve got a slight wedge so they’re very comfortable.  Plus patent nude shoes!  I love ’em.

Got any exciting Valentine’s plans?  More importantly, how about Galentine’s?  Also, how awesome is Leslie Knope?

Breaking in the New Blog

Welcome to our snazzy new space!  We recently decided to make the switch from Blogger to WordPress as we prefer the look of WordPress and had heard that it’s somewhat more straightforward.  Let the great experiment begin!

So, in honor of the new site, here are some outfit pictures from December!

I don’t have too much to say about this outfit, other than to, again, praise the glory that is ponte-knit fabrics.  For some reason I wear this dress infrequently.  This needs to change.  Also, I somehow failed to get a single photo that included shoes.


Dress: Lane Bryant; Cardigan: Old Navy; Tights: Hue

The main talking point for the following outfit is the skirt.  Which used to be a dress.  Which I altered all by myself.  Alright, based on this tutorial.  I don’t have a before shot of the dress — which I’m not sure that I ever actually wore.  But it was a classic case of “I love the print” and “it’s so cheap — I’m sure I’ll wear it.”  And, as is ALWAYS the case with those scenarios, I proceeded to never wear it.  Thing is, the only problem was the top portion, which just wasn’t flattering.  So, along comes the nifty sewing machine my sisters (and their significant others) got me for my birthday/ Christmas, $1 worth of elastic, and I’ve got a new skirt.

Cardigan: Gap; Tank: Target; Skirt: Formerly a Joe dress, altered by me; Necklace: LOFT; Shoes: Me Too
Here’s a better look at the skirt’s pattern and my awesome (new in December, no longer new because I wear them CONSTANTLY) flats.
So that addresses my ridiculously old photos.  I’m totally going to get on up-to-date photos soon.  I blame the “half way to tenure” review package that I had to put together in the mean time.  Also, Christmas.  And, yeah, last week A-Dubs and I had a totally awesome reunion.  Where not a single photo was taken.  We totally fail as fashion bloggers.
Thoughts on the new site?  Any tips from fellow WordPress users?  Also, you’ll notice that we’re using the WordPress comment feature for the time being, rather than Disqus.  Hopefully this will cause fewer problems for everyone!

Stripes, Tights, and a Gratuitous Dog Picture

Wow, November & December is a swirling vortex, isn’t it?  I’m almost on the other side of it now — I’ve submitted grades for one class and will be done with the other on Thursday or so — so things seem suddenly, wonderfully manageable.  This is the first December in nearly 10 years where I haven’t jetted out the door as soon as exams were written so the rest of the month will be calmer in a very new way for me — for which I’m excited.

Striped cardigan: Gap Outlet
Tank (unseen): Target
Khaki skirt: Gap
Navy tights: Hue
Gold flats: Nine West

I wore this today to work in a coffee shop, and make a brief appearance on campus for the department’s winter lunch (can I just say that a winter lunch without alcohol is a somewhat poor substitute for the traditional holiday party?  Though this did feature a delicious 7 layer dip in the shape of the state I live in).  As I was getting dressed, I decided on the navy tights first and then wished that I had a navy, breton striped top to wear, forgetting about this sweater’s very existence.  Now, this hardly matches the Platonic ideal of the navy breton striped shirt that exists in my mind, but it worked as a substitute in a pinch.

Scarf: Gifted from a friend of my mom

This scarf, which I hardly ever wear (it’s slightly too upholstery-y for me), worked perfectly — tying together the blues, greens and golds.  Matching while pattern mixing FTW.

A gratuitous mini-FR shot, since he’s totally over the outfit photo shoots.  I’m biased, but, seriously, can you imagine a cuter face??
How is everyone feeling about the middle of December?  Academics, you surviving?  Non-academics, are sick of academic bloggers complaining about December yet?

Also, great blog alert: Celebrity Gossip, Academic Style.  Lots of fun and really thoughtful articles here about celebrity and gossip (like about why everyone loves Michael Fassbender, and Claire Dane’s return to television).