No Repeats: Quick – Switch Lives with Me!

My brain is fried, even though it’s only Tuesday. My second grant application of the academic year went in Monday after a weekend of writing, revising, fretting, raging, and not sleeping. There was no extra sleep allowed, however, as my department is hosting a guest speaker this week, I taught something new this morning, and I’ve got two reference letters for students due for pick up tomorrow.

In short, I miss my bed, and I miss you, StyleNation. I dream of lying in bed and browsing your blogs. So, if anyone who’s relaxed, loving life, and living in a warm sunny climate wants to switch lives with me for the remainder of this week, I. Am. In. (if I can bring the Hubs and my dog)

This post concludes my participation in No Repeats, but I’m tempted to continue in Anne fashion, remixing, but not repeating a whole outfit, until the end of term. I’ll let you know next time if I’m going to do it. In the mean time, let’s get to it:

1. First up, welcome to bland. I was excited to wear this soft cashmere blend sweater, but I probably should have pushed myself to do something more interesting with it:

Pale green sweater: Moon (via The Bay)
Pin-striped trousers: Mexx (remixed – see below)
Necklace: The Bay (remixed – see 2nd outfit)
Bracelet: gifted from Designer Shoe Whore
Sensible shoes: Nine West (via eBay)
Men in Pants mug: gifted from Rinty the Crusher

2. Weekend low-key concert wear: a variation on Vegas concert wear. Also, I bumped into a student at this event. ‘Good thing I didn’t do the cleavage-baring. (p.s. I love Sarah Harmer. She is my new celebrity crush.)

Velvet blazer: Rubber Ducky (remixed)
Pleather studded top: Sejis (remixed – see 2nd outfit)
Skinny jeans: Revolt (remixed – see 3rd outfit)
Boots: Rieker (remixed)

3. Exhaustion-Monday ensemble. The Hubs gave me this blazer ages ago. I love the colour, and the cotton velveteen is magically combined with a teensy bit of lycra, so it feels great.

Blazer: RW & Co.
Jersey top: Max Studio (via Winners – the blue version of this one – see 2nd outfit)
Necklace: gifted & remixed (it’s better with darker colours, no?)
Trousers: Nine West
Shoes: close-up below

Shoes: Bobbi Blu (via Shoe Heaven)

4. Before and After. I started with this:

Cardigan: (via Winners)
Blouse: Moon (via The Bay)
Belt: Buffalo (remixed – see 2nd outfit)
Skirt: Jacob (remixed)
Tights: Hue
Boots: ?? (remixed)

But it just wasn’t working for me. So, I went a different way. Some would call this chickening out. They might be right. But that cardigan was squishing these sleeves against my wrists:
  Trousers: Mexx (as above)
 Thank-you, and goodnight! 
(As soon as Obama’s done addressing a good portion of the StyleNation, I’m hitting the sack.)

Oh, and which is better – the before or after?

No Repeats: Almost Home

Welcome, StyleNation, to this, my second-last No Repeats post. If I weren’t still participating in this challenge, I probably wouldn’t post the photos that follow. There: you’ve been warned.

1. I wore this stumpifying combo on Monday, a non-teaching and no-meeting day. This sweater, picked up recently during January sales, is more of a challenge to style than I originally anticipated. It seems top-heavy, no?

I’m taking styling suggestions, so please forward at will. With jeans, maybe? Or a heavier boot – the Bondgirls, for example?

Sweater: Groggy (via Winners)
T-shirt: H&M
Watch: Mossimo
Leggings: Groggy (remixed – I know: again)
Boots: Rieker (via Shoe Heaven, remixed)

2. It was freaking freezing yesterday, so my teaching ensemble consisted of my only pair of wool trousers over silk long underwear, and this cashmere and wool blend top. I feel the need to wear natural fibres when things get this cold and dry. Unnatural fibres create too much static electricity. And what if I catch on fire from one of those huge sparks?

Also included is the stainless steel necklace the Hubs gave me recently, having registered my concerns about boob-wrangling (Sheila’s word – see the comments). He assured me this one would do no such thing:

Top: Mango
Trousers: Banana Republic (last year)
Long underwear (not pictured): Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC)
Belt: Nine West (via The Bay)
Invisible Boots: Browns (full-on winter lining, remixed)

3. And today, I am breaking my own rules and wearing skinny jeans on campus because I’m holed up in my office with no plans to see anyone while I slog through this next grant proposal.

I’m also breaking my rules about not wearing pants tucked into boots (a look that usually gives me claustrophobia – what if an emergency arises whereby I need to get at my legs immediately? The unzipping and untucking could add seconds I won’t have). But I’m trying it, just for today, because I like the look on others, and it’s always bothered me to cover up awesome boots with boring pant legs. So far, I’m not feeling exceedingly claustrophobic. And there’s a pleasing amount of boot showing. Perhaps I could do this more often. . .

Tunic: Max Studio (via Winners)
Necklace: The Bay
Microfibre cami: Elita (via The Bay)

Jeans: Revolt (via Winners, remixed)
Boots: as above

What’s up StyleNation? 
Also, how would you style the Groggy sweater in the first photo?

No Repeats – Still Going

As a result of my previously-acknowledged punking out on the No Repeats challenge, I’ve made an executive decision to (a) extend my participation in No Repeats, and (b) extend it only until the end of this week. I’ve made this decision because it is the dark month of January, I only teach on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’ve very few meetings this month, and I thus anticipate that I’ll want to repeat a LOT on non-teaching days.

In other news, I was recently reminded that way back in September, I agreed to participate in a New Faculty Speakers Series. This means that in addition to getting my next research project off the ground, putting the final touches on The Project That Will Not End, submitting yet another grant proposal, hosting my very own set of guest speakers, and teaching this term, I also have to prep and deliver a 40-minute talk on my research for a (probably very small) group of faculty. Let the crazy begin.

But enough griping about work. Here are some outfit shots from the last week or so:

1. This is last week’s casual Monday outfit in which I introduce the second pair of boots I picked up for a song at Shoe Heaven in December. The boots are low-heeled, warm, and comfortable enough for my regular hikes across campus on teaching days. Plus, they’re Frye-reminiscent, or so I choose to believe.


Tunic/Dress: Chapter One (via Winners, usually I wear it as a beach cover)
Long-sleeve gray T: H&M
Ribbon & faux-pearl necklace: came attached to a summer t-shirt (Winners)
Leggings: Groggy (remixed)
Lined leather boots: Rieker (via Shoe Heaven)

2. This is another non-teaching ensemble from last week, worn on a day when a colleague and I had a brief morning meeting with a group of students we jointly supervise. Like Anne, I’m trying to use colour to improve my mood. However, my camera’s refusal to capture the real shade of coral in the top and cardigan is sabotaging the whole mood-elevation initiative.

Coral cardigan: M.A.K. (remixed, gifted from D-Med)
Silk knit coral shell: Anne Klein (? – I’ll check & confirm) (via The Bay)
Silver necklace: January sale (The Bay)
Belt: Winners
Trouser jeans: Joe Fresh (remixed)
Socks: (I forget. Do we care?)
Shoes: (Fugitive de Franceso Rossi, remixed)

3. I wore this dress, the colour and style of which make me miss my maternal grandmother even more, to teach last week. Morning photos confirmed what the mirror made me suspect: the dressmaker who shortened the skirt and sleeves of this wool knit dress last summer did so unevenly. Clearly I need to find a better tailoring service.

Dress: Ports International (thrifted)
Necklace: August sale (The Bay)
Cream & silver metallic bangle: awesome end-of-summer gift-in-the-mail from Kelly Bean
Tights: Hue
Boots: Rieker (as above)

4. I hate this suit because it’s boring, makes me look like a long black rectangle, and I can never think what to pair with it. But I had to appear before a Parliamentary Committee, a setting I think calls for more formal business attire than I generally wear. When I wore this suit for an interview a couple of years ago, I added a long silvery-black necklace and wore the jacket open. I learned then that the necklace bangs on tables when I lean forward while sitting, so it didn’t make the cut this time. Also, it was cold in the meeting room, so the jacket stayed closed.

Poly-blend knit suit: Mexx
Silk shell: (I forget-I’ll update later) (via Winners)
Necessary winter boots: Feet First (remixed)

I actually like this silk shell when it’s mixed with other things. However, I think it looked better on me when I had dark auburn-ish hair. Either way, it’s my go-to piece with this suit right now. But I’m taking suggestions.

That’s all from IPF, Northern Division today. 
Except for the part where I ask what you do to make suits more interesting. 
What do you do?

No Repeats: Hitting the High Points

So, I punked out of No Repeats. In fact, after this post, I pretty much fell into a fashion black hole filled with yoga pants, pyjamas, and before-bed showers (i.e. massive daytime bedhead). This happened in part because for three days of the holidays, I had a bedroom next door to my six-year-old niece who got all up in my business from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same. My niece may be awesome, but I am an old, grumpy, academic who takes ages to recover from such intense “quality time.”

In addition, my Fuzzy Roommate was gone for a month, staying with the Hubs’s family in Ontario as we couldn’t find anyone to care for him for the four days both the A-Dubs-Hubs and I were travelling, and because the airlines have a stupid month-long black-out period during which you cannot fly animals because they need the cargo space for all the holiday travellers. In short, I was bagged, the university was closed, and there was no awesome dog here to make me go outside.

Explanatory blah-blahs aside, I’ve begun to dress, again, so I have things to share. Here they are – and for what it’s worth, I’m not repeating until Anne, Rad, & Cynthia say I can.

1. I wore this out for dinner and then to a par-tay on New Year’s Eve. Well, this, plus a black cardigan and some hose, because it’s approximately a zillion below zero here. I bought the skirt for a song with D-Med in England in 2007, but this is the first time I’ve worn it. (I know.)

Top: H&M
Skirt: (I cut the tag out. I have enough itchy to deal with in the cheap lace and polyester. There’s no tolerance left for tags.)
Boots: The Bay (ages ago)

As you can perhaps tell, especially around the flounce in the rearview, this skirt is made of cheap, scratchy materials. But it seemed Vivienne Westwood-ish at the time, and I couldn’t afford the real Westwood. Plus, D-Med had this Westwood-y skirt (see the brown wooly tights pic), and I wanted to be all style-y, too.

Cardigan: Kenzie (remixed)

2.  The next time I actually got dressed (in a good way) was my first day of teaching this term, when I wore this:

Dress: Chapter One (via Winners)
Cardigan: (via Winners, remixed)
Belt: Mexx (remixed)
Tights: Hue (via Winniers)
Necklace: mall anchor store (remixed)
Boots: Rieker (via Shoe Heaven, gifted from my sis-in-law, a.k.a. Designer Shoe Whore)

Something about this pose, the boots, and the draped layers is making me think of Katie over at Interrobangs Anonymous. ‘Too bad I’m not even close to being as ridiculously photogenic as Katie. Because maybe then I’d be tempted to put my face in a shot or two.

In other news, here’s what the dress looks like on its own. Also, here’s what the belt looks like without a cardigan to hide that it’s a bit loose over this thin dress:

Look at all that greenery around me. It’s almost like I live in the tropics, no?

p.s. Welcome to the gun show.

3.  And finally, here’s my birthday suit. Or, what I wore out for my birthday dinner with the Hubs last night. Mostly, I was going for non-teachy, even though my wardrobe is heavy on the teachy stuff, and much lighter than I want it to be on the sultry/sexy pieces.

Sequined tunic: Forever Fashion (via Winners, remixed)
Cardigan: (via Winners, remixed from the necklace/blue tights day linked above)
Belt: Mexx
Skirt: Mexx
Tights: Hue
Boots: as above (awesome, aren’t they? And lined for winter, too. This is very important as I have to hike across campus to teach this term.)

You can see the sequins a bit better in this shot. Also, how awesome is that light glinting off my decolletage? It’s like I’m all dewy, or whatever. You know, instead of merely shitfaced tipsy from all the delicious wine at dinner and trying desperately to create a waist through posing alone.

That’s all I’ve got, StyleNation.
What up with you these crappy January days?
Also, what designer-ish duds do you own? Do you regret buying the knock-offs instead of the real things? 
Or are the “ish” things working for you? 

Catching up & Epic Meeting

Guten tag, StyleNation, from the centre of my carefully choreographed holiday travels. I began this post over tea with Rinty the Crusher in southwestern Ontario this morning; now, it’s almost midnight, and I’ve just come in from night-skiing with my dad after a day of travelling east and north. In short and to sum up, things have improved VASTLY since Sunday’s horrible-but-oh-so-very-necessary all-night marking marathon.

This post shall be a two-parter. First, it’s been a whole week of No Repeats; so I’ve got some catching up to do. Then, stay tuned for epic photos from my Monday meet-up with the lovely, super-smart, and sartorially inspired La Historiadora de Moda of Fashionable Academics.

Let’s get this party started, shall we?

Skipping over last Thursday’s snooze-inducing ensemble, I give you Friday’s combination – worn for a day of exam marking and panicked course prep:

Grey jersey top: Max Azria (via Winners; you saw the black version here)
Cami: mall anchor store
Cardigan: Smart Set
Trouser jeans: Joe Fresh (remixed)
Necklace: Le Chateau
Invisible ankle boots: ?? (via Winners)

Next up, another lesson-to-self-via-public-humiliation, otherwise known as Saturday’s outfit, worn for a day of holiday gift-buying and a long-overdue trip to the aesthetician. In other words, here’s how I will teach myself not to wear low-slung pants with a slim-fitting turtleneck – SUCH a long-body faux pas:

Turtleneck: Melanie Lyne
Cropped jeans: Jacob
Belt: (I forget)
Boots: Fluevog (remixed)
Lesson learned: invaluable

But there was another day of gift-buying to be done, so I had a chance to redeem myself on Sunday:

Top: Ralph Lauren (via The Bay, remixed)
Cardigan: Cashmere (via Winners)
Cami: mall anchor store
Pashmina: gifted (mom got it in Sri Lanka)
Pants: Smart Set
Belt: ?? (bought it in Russell Square in London with D-Med)
Invisible boots: Rockport (old)

Finally, and most importantly, La Historiadora de Moda is as awesome in real life (IRL) as she is here in the virtual StyleNation. Her partner, M, is also lovely. Together, they are quite the power couple.

We met for drinks Monday afternoon at Epic, a restaurant in the Royal York hotel in Toronto. Wait until you see her epic ensemble! But first, let me confirm that it was an absolute pleasure to spend the afternoon talking academia, StyleNation, fashion, and epic grad school histories with LHdM & M. I wish we all lived closer – or that Kelly Bean could finally get that transporter thingy that we always talk about up and running – so we could hang as often IRL as we do every week in the virtual world. Probably, you’re ready to see photographic evidence of our meet-up, now, so I’ll stop type-blabbing and get on with the phot’s.

On LHdM:
Cardigan: Target
T-shirt: H&M
Pendant: Etsy
Skirt: Zara
Tights: Hue
Boots: Fluevog Mallory
For the record, Moda, I can see your halo in these images. Also, does it not look like the sign is directing us to an epic set of toilets?
On Moi:
Wrap-ish cardigan: Smart Set
Black 3/4-sleeve cotton jersey dress (not shown, layered under sweater): Max Studio
Leggings: Groggy (remixed)
Boots that look less dusty on snow days: Browns

I also wish to state for the record that I felt some serious sartorial pressure prior to this meeting. It was an epic travel day for me – a day that involved plane, train, and automobile transport, so comfort was key – but Moda’s a fashionista, and I didn’t want her to think I’m a fashion loser IRL. I feel certain I could have done something more exciting, outfit-wise, if I hadn’t been travelling. Oh well. ‘Good thing Moda brought it, no?

That’s all for now. For those of you who celebrate Christmas (secularly or otherwise), I hope you get – and enjoy – a holiday this year. For those of you who do not, ‘sorry about all the horrible carols and “non-denominational ‘Holiday’ parties” you have to endure.

Christmas celebrants (and all other interested parties), have you been nice or naughty this year? What’s the naughtiest thing you’ve done in 2010? 

What’s the nicest thing someone else has done for you?

No Repeats: Off the Wagon

It’s day three of the No Repeats Challenge, and I’ve not repeated yet. I am, however, back on the red and black. I blame Style Underdog; her outfit post yesterday pushed me off the wagon.

Well, there may have been a few other forces involved in the selection of today’s ensemble: I needed to wear something comfortable and washable as I had to move offices (more on this later). But I couldn’t wear jeans as my faculty’s “Holiday Party” (horrible title – why can’t it just be an End-of-Term Shindig?) was this afternoon, and I promised my department Chair I’d go and do some hobnobbing (gah).

In short, this is what I’ve got on now as I sit happily in my new office*:

Wash & wear tunic: Tiana B. (remixed)
Belt-as-necklace: thrifted
Leggings: Groggy (via Winners)
OTK boots: France Mode (remixed)

~ I had to take approximately one zillion pictures this morning because this kept happening. I was VERY careful during the soiree.

* Professorial Aside: I cannot believe I finally have an office with a window AND a desk that’s neither constantly squeaking nor made of dented steel. I know a LOT of  university faculty don’t ever get any of these things. But for whatever reason, these resources are available in my department. Until very recently, however, there was no one in charge who was interested in allocating said resources. Hurrah for new leadership! 

And now, it’s back to marking hell for me. 

Tell me fun things you’re doing this week, StyleNation. 
Let me live vicariously through your fabulous lives.  

No Repeats: Long Skirts/Wardrobe Orphans

Welcome Style Nation, to our next challenge. Well, it’s Be Fabulous Daily and The Cohabiting Closet‘s No Repeats challenge, and I am giving it a go. Thus far, the challenge has been a sweet bit of respite in a week of paper-and-exam-marking hell.

Today, I offer ensembles styled around long casual(ish) skirts, items I’ve not worn since the very early years of this millenium.

Orphan #1
I saw this Bebe jean skirt in fall Vogue in 2005 or 2006. (‘Strange, no? How often do Bebe items appear in Vogue?)  If finally became mine when D-Med, Kelly Bean, Rinty the Crusher, and I shopped in Vegas the following winter. And I’ve been struggling to style the ridiculous thing ever since.

As it turns out, a low-slung, super-long, curve-creating denim skirt is a weirder item to work with than I ever could have anticipated. Re-watching Season 6 of Buffy has helped. As have the examples of Sal, of Already Pretty, V, of Grit & Glamour, and Sheila, of Ephemera. Here’s what I came up with yesterday, outfit-wise:

Acrylic wrap sweater: Smart Set (old)
Black tank: H&M
Necklace: gifted (remixed)
Skirt: Bebe (via Vegas, Baby)
Invisible boots: Browns

~ This is why I don’t teach in this baby. You know, in case I need another reason in addition to its denimness.

Ha! ‘Awkward mannequin pose much? ~

Orphan #2
I thrifted this skirt in 2002 way out by D-Med’s stomping grounds in IPF East. I’d firmly established it as a winter item before I realized that the pattern is made up of tropical flowers. But whatever: they have winter in the tropics. Because of the floral pattern, it’s fun to wear with bada$$ boots and a lot of black.

Cotton jersey top: Max Azria (via Winners)
Belt: Mexx (remixed)
Polyester skirt: thrifted (VV at IPF East)
Boots: Fluevog (old, I forget what style; also, they’re no longer on the website)

~ Mid-breakfast pose. I never sit to eat breakfast on work days. Also, probably you are excited that I’m introducing a new prop.

And this is one of the reasons why I don’t wear this skirt very often. According to training my mother received in school (Seriously. In high school.) that she passed on to me during my childhood, one should take shorter steps when walking in a skirt. I’ve decided that this is stupid – why should I be hobbled in any way by my clothing? Plus, I’m always in a hurry; big strides get me there faster. But not in this skirt:

I’m tempted to shorten this skirt. But I tend to think of the giant pattern as a reason to keep its extreme length. Also, it’s just polyester with an elastic waist; what if it needs to be long to be awesome and not old-lady housedress-ish?

Are you rising to the No Repeats challenge? If so, what are your strategies?

Also, should I shorten skirt number two?