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.

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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:

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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:

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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)

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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: Summer Dress, or How to Make Everyone Uncomfortable

(scroll down for outfit post) 

I’m preparing another conference report. It was super hot and sweaty at this particular conference, however, so there are things I have to wash and iron before I can even consider donning them, again, for you, StyleNation. In the mean time, I offer the following.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year has proved exceptionally busy, if not particularly productive as yet, at least in terms of the multiple writing projects I’m meant to have on the go. I’ve travelled three times already, and I’ve got another trip this weekend. That said, it’s still  pleasant not to be teaching, and thus to have time to organize and prepare for what promises to be a frenzied and – I hope – invigorating summer of writing and getting things off my desk and onto the desks of others.

Even the student who skipped his deferred exam, emailed two days later to offer a weak and implausible excuse, then asked for another deferral really hasn’t phased me. Two months ago, this situation would have filled me with rage. But last week, I merrily denied his request, sent him back to his home faculty, and only bitched to D-Med about it for (what I recall as) a relatively short time last week.

Outfit Post: Live and Learn 

Recently, I wore a dress and took some photos of it so I can learn things. What I have learned is as follows:

1. The top of this dress is a little big for me, so it gapes in ways that are probably pretty uncomfortable for my students and colleagues. You know, unless they want to see my laundry-day bra and some blindingly white fleshy bits.

2. While the skirt is swirly, the pattern huge, and the colours pleasingly vibrant, the whole thing would, I think, be better on a woman a little older, and much darker-skinned than me. I think either a brown woman, or a very dark-skinned woman with a little more bosom, and a lot more experience and presence could do this baby more justice. Me, I feel like a ghost in it. A ghost whose boobs and armpit cleavage are occasionally on display if I do anything more than stand like this:

Crinkly summer dress: ?? (I cut out the scratchy tag. It is cotton and was on sale at one of those big discount department stores in Florida); “Snakeskin” gladiator sandals: Report (via Winners); Classy office boombox: bottom-of-the-line Canadian Tire, Baby

Sandal close-up. They are more comfortable than I expected. Like wear-around-all-day -in-the-heat-and-don’t-get-blisters comfortable.

And here, because I have it and was feeling frustrated about how awkward things were looking, is a super-unflattering image of me doing an angry high kick:

Now that I see it again, the kick’s not that high. Probably I should do some stretches.

What clothes have you bought for other women, StyleNation? 

Just how successful are we at shopping for the lives we have

(as Angie, at You Look Fab might say)?

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!

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.

Summer Dressing

Hmmph. It’s been one hell of a summer, hasn’t it?

Perhaps most horrifying are the droves of people dying of starvation in Somalia (if you’ve resources to spare and haven’t done so already, please consider donating). Then there’s that right-wing anti-Islamist sack of sh*t who killed 93 people in Norway (is anyone else peeved that he and his stupid manifesto are getting so much media attention? I’ve yet to hear a single newscast lead off with extended coverage of the victims).

Update: Interrobangs Anonymous’s Katie gave us this link. CBC’s Rex Murphy foregrounds the plight of Norway’s grieving population.

And while we’re on the subject of stupid, pointless deaths, I am really going to miss Amy Winehouse (Oh Amy. You were one beautiful, talented mess!).

With all these seriously awful things happening, and after we’ve given them due consideration (taking action where we can), it’s sweet to enjoy some hilarity and clothes talk.

Clothes talk: remember that thrifted sundress from last summer?

I finally wore it with a coral cardigan. Prepare yourself: I am mixing it up pose-wise in this shot (click the link above to see more of the dress):

MAK coral cardigan: remixed
Thrifted cotton sundress: remixed
Portia gold leather and cork wedges: new (via Shoe Heaven)  
Fantastic leg tan: unfortunate sunless tanner incident

I know. The pose-related excitement is almost overwhelming for me, too.

In other news, how much are we loving the coral with all the other colours here? I could probably use accessories to take me out of the June Cleaver realm, but there are so few people around the department these days that I’m having a hard time bringing my sartorial A game. Also, these are my new favourite shoes.  



NSFW: afternoon wedding

The Hubs’s friend got married on Friday. We attended his breezy outdoor afternoon wedding and stayed for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the sunny, breezy patio-by-the-park. After trying on a series of dresses stashed in the back of my closet and declaring them either (a) too formal, or (b) too much in need of horribly squeezy, sweaty under-armour, I opted for this combination instead:

Le Chateau ruched and lined cotton (not jersey) top: remixed
Jacob lined cotton pencil skirt: remixed
Dangly and sparkly earrings, sparkly cuff: remixed (worn with the pale pink wedding dress)
Naturalizer silver sandals: remixed (see link above)

Then I added my silver clutch and the wrap I bought for my mother, but that she didn’t want, so I kept it and she can eat her heart out:

Dezario silver clutch: new to blog (via Shoe Heaven, ages ago)
Fuschia pashmina: who knows? I never keep the tags I cut off scarves (via Winners)

This appeared to hit the right note. And it was great to play hooky for an afternoon from my quiet office. 

What are you remixing this summer, StyleNation?

Also, what’s your position on afternoon weddings and sartorial formality? 

NSFW: Bridesmaiding

As promised, here is the long awaited wedding round-up! None of these pictures are mine — they come from an assortment of other people (bridesmaids, friend of the best man, etc…)
Let’s start off with the bachelorette:
My dress: Lane Bryant
Bronze clutch: Gap outlet
Necklace: The Bay
The Bride-to-be’s Dress (middle): H&M
Other sister’s dress: Bought somewhere in Cuba
This is my favorite picture of the three of us from that night — after dinner and before the quasi-madness really begun. My dress was a last minute purchase before I went to Montreal when I realized that I didn’t really have anything really appropriate for a bachelorette. I love it — so comfortable and very “me,” I think. Mostly because it’s jersey.
The Big Day:
They got married in the chapel on McGill Campus which was really lovely — and especially fitting since they met while in university (only at the University of Alberta) and my brother-in-law is a med student there now.

The bridesmaids waiting in the chapel for the bride. My sister picked out a bunch of different dress styles in the same fabric and by the same designer. It was a nice way to keep things consistent but with a bit of individualism. The brown pearl necklace that the bridesmaids are wearing and that I’m wearing as a bracelet was the gift from the bride.


The bride. Obvy, I guess. Her dress was really beautiful and she looked amazing. I kind of hate her.


My immediate family. My mom’s wearing a dress she and I picked out at a Nordstrom’s when she was visiting me here in IPF South in the spring.


Me with my adorable Grandma at the reception. The dresses held up really nicely, considering it was super warm in the reception hall and we (along with the bride) kept the DJ busy with country music requests until 2 am. There may have been line dancing, half-remembered from learning it in early at the elementary school my sisters, two of the other bridesmaids and I attended. Maybe. All in all, a fantastic wedding with an open bar where the bartender remembered all the bridemaids’ drinks and had them ready as we walked towards the bar.

Anyone else heading to/ returning from summer weddings?

NSFW: Bridesmaid Style

As promised, here is the long awaited bridesmaid dress post. I think it’s a pretty fantastic dress in a great color and in a fabric that’s shiny, but not obnoxiously so. All the other bridesmaids will be in dress in the same color and fabric but in different styles from the same designer; they all have a slightly Mad Men-esque quality to them. Even better my sister (who is, FYI, an awesome, non-demanding bride) chose a style that we were all able to order online for half price. Same deal with the shoes.
Dress: Alfred Sung Collection for some sort of bridal line
My apologies for its wrinkled state — I refuse to iron it, only to travel with it in six weeks or so.


The shoes are still in flux — these are the current contenders. I LOVE them. My sister originally wanted bronze shoes but they proved unreasonably difficult to get in a style that was appropriately wedding-y. There’s now some uncertainty about whether nude is the way to go or not. I’m totally on Team Nude in this scenario (have at ‘er, A-Dubs). I’m also probably keeping these shoes whether they make the cut or not. ‘Cause, I mean, look at them. How awesome would they be with just about any outfit I could throw at them? They also sell them in a deep rich red patent and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted.


Shoes: Jessica Simpson
Any awful bridesmaid dresses in your past? I’ve been pretty lucky so far, I have to say.

NSFW: What I’m not wearing to the Wedding of the Century

No, not that wedding.*  My mother is getting married in a couple of weeks and my brother and I have been conscripted to walk her down the aisle.  This means I have to wear something fabulous and flattering, not just because I will be on display for the event in a way I wish I weren’t but also because this Wedding of the Century is taking place in my backward hometown, a place I have not visited in many, many years and I am none the worse for it.  Until now.

I loved this dress on the model because, you know, she’s a model and that’s her job.
But it is doing me no favours.  Whoever said the wrap dress is universally flattering has never met me.

 
 And why does the skirt hit me at that oh-so-unflattering mid-calf point?  What is she, like, 9-feet tall?
Also, this dress makes me look like I have heaving alabaster bosoms.  And not in a good way.

Silk Chiffon Dress: Diane von Furstenberg
Chunky Beads: Tarina Tarantino
Frump Factor: Inexplicable

The colours of this dress are amazing.  The fabric is lovely and floaty and the dress is lined in thick silk and is comfortable, if slippery, to wear, but for the fact that I look like linebacker in it I should just wear it.  I won’t though.

And because I live in a shopping wasteland, I bought this dress on-line and now I have to sell it on-line.  Blergh.
I’m waiting until I get to the Big City to shop, days before the wedding.  This isn’t going to go well, is it?

I’d really love to wear something like this.  This exactly, actually.  
Substituting fabulous shoes for the sneakers and a fabulous headsuit for the hat, of course.

Why don’t I have anything in my closet that is lovely and that makes me feel lovely?  Am I a Shopping Failure

*How much did I love Pippa’s dress?  A lot.  How appropriate would it be for this Wedding of the Century?  Entirely.

NSFW: Tailoring for Autoeroticism

Recent developments have simultaneously strengthened AND weakened my resolve to find a better tailor (see blue dress). The dark wash bootleg jeans pictured below have been in my denim rotation since I bought them with D-Med, Kelly Bean, and Rinty the Crusher during the infamous Vegas 2006 tour of faux brides. Five years of vigorous wear lead to some threadbaredness in the crotchal and thighal regions helpfully highlighted for you here:

Red cardigan: Anne Klein (worn last Friday on National Wear Red Day to which Anne & Rad alerted us last week)
Grey top: Kenneth Cole (via Winners)
Jeans: Lucky
Socks: gifted from Santa Claus
Pose: yes, I am brushing my teeth

So I took the jeans for patching* at my current tailor where, instead of sewing two individual patches inside the jeans on the shredded areas, they placed an extra layer of denim inside the entire crotch and upper thigh sections and tacked it in place on the most shredded parts.

Obviously, this strategy is not ideal. It’s not preventing further degeneration in the highlighted areas and all that extra cloth feels like I’m wearing a denim diaper. “Clearly,” I thought, “I need a better tailor.”

While driving to campus Friday morning in these babies, however, I made an important discovery. And then I rediscovered the important discovery on my drive home. And here it is:

The combination of the angle of my car’s driver’s-side seat and the extra denim between my legs makes driving in these newly altered jeans pleasant. Very, very pleasant. As in, for the first time while driving (alone), I found myself thinking “It’s over already? But I was almost there!”

So, maybe I’ll get a few more trousers in to my current tailor. . .

* In fact, they’re already patched in the first image. I don’t have any “before” photos, so we’re using our imaginations today. 

NSFW: Le Rouge et le Noir

This is what I wore to the annual dinner and dance thrown by the university President over the holidays.
It was, predictably, freezing that night, so I went crazy and wore pants with my dress.

Cigarette Pants: Monsoon
Ruby Ballet Flats: Bloch London
Purse: unknown provenance, but it is the perfect size for relief flats except I was already wearing my relief flats
Finger Guns: Classic

The affair was held in the Athletic Centre, in the gym.  After the lukewarm buffet dinner I danced to Lady Gaga and Shania Twain (seriously) beneath the glow of the scoreboard and warmed by cheap red wine.  It was a magical night.

No really, it was.  I didn’t go to my high school formal but I’m pretty sure it would have looked a lot like this.  But I never would have worn pants to the formal.  Or flats.  And, no doubt, I would have been there with a spotty youth, since I was myself a spotty youth.

I am so glad I am no longer a teenager.

What did you wear to your high school formal?