Black and Gold

Come March, many of us in academia have gotten to know our students a little bit, and it’s very tempting to let the university classroom become a more casual space. But experience has taught me that it’s in everyone’s best interests if a level of formality is maintained in the classroom, even as our discussions of course material get a little deeper, and students become more comfortable with me and with the material under consideration. I wish to avoid – A.VOID. – any situation where a low mark is read as a betrayal of trust between friends rather than a necessarily honest appraisal of a student’s work.

And so, as in November, I walk the line between bringing it in terms of sartorially interesting ensembles (to keep eyes front and cultivate student engagement) and keeping things profesh.

This was my March 1st teaching outfit: 

I bought this dress (on sale) with Janey Em in January. The light in these photos is brightening the black, but I couldn’t wait for better pictures. I’ve dressed it down quite a bit for teaching – but I’m soooo looking forward to dressing it up (for a non-teaching event) at some point very soon.

Polyester crepe & gold silk dress: BCBG MaxAzria
T-shirt: Kenneth Cole
Bangle: The Bay (remixed)
Not-as-opaque-as-I’d-hoped tights: Hue
OTK boots: France Mode (via Shoe Heaven, remixed)
Mug slogan: I love not camping. (This is my favourite mug.)
I’ve decided that the black and gold keep things formal enough that a cotton t-shirt and flat boots don’t make things too casual. Here’s a close-up of the belting, etc:
Now I’m wondering what else to do with the dress for classroom wear. And frankly, now that I’ve made it teaching appropriate, I’m having a hard time imagining dressier styling options.
What would you do for either or both, StyleNation? 
(I know you’ve already got some excellent ideas.)

Dress Me Up

Winter continues to administer solid butt-kickings all around, here in IPF North. In addition, we’re solidly into the marking-papers portion of the term, and I have a growing sense of panic that I’m not going to publish enough this year if I don’t get The Project That Will Not End off my desk by the end of this month.

In short, the darkness of January has extended into this month. Thus, the Fuzzy Roommate, the A-Dubs-Hubs’s cooking, your blogs, and yoga are the only things standing between me and the winter pit of despair, StyleNation. So thanks for that!

Outfits of late have featured a lot of black. As I noted last year around this time, black just seems easier, somehow, in the wee hours of these winter morns.

1. Ruffle-front dress re-mix:

I tried, this time, to treat this dress like a tunic, to expose the trendy exposed zipper (not shown), and to dial down the sexy. I consider this a step forward, in terms of classroom appropriateness. How’s it working for you?

Dress: Mexx (remixed)
Black t-shirt: Kenneth Cole (via Costco – I know. Evilness.)
Leggings: ??  (probably Winners)
Bracelet: Le Chateau (remixed)
Over-the-knee boots: France Mode (via Shoe Heaven, remixed)

2. Dress and boots, another version:

You’ll recall, of course, that I MUST wear boots for teaching right now because I have to slog across campus to get to my classroom this term. Hence, I purchased these lined, low-heeled, rubber-soled boots to make the trek bearable and to keep things as classroom appropriate as possible in these frigid snowy months.

Also, I decided to treat this dress like a tunic, too:

Wool dress: Calvin Klein (via Melanie Lyne, remixed)
Necklace: The Bay (remixed)
Leggings: (as above)
Boots: Rieker (via Shoe Heaven, remixed)

Frankly, looking forward to wearing these dresses has helped me to get out of bed of late. In addition, as I’ve been doing more than a little emotional eating and not nearly enough hitting the gym this winter, it has also helped me to avoid all the pants that have begun to squeeze and annoy me.

What do you do to drag yourself through winter?
(Also, how do we feel about large vs. extra-large photos? These ones are large.
The extra-large ones were starting to feel a little indulgent to me. What do you think?)

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.  

Headsuit & Boots

‘Morning, StyleNation, from IPF Northern Division where the countdown to term’s end continues. But we’re not talking about term today; instead, we’re live from The Great White North with ridiculous headsuit photos and a non-presentation-day conference ensemble. First, in response to inexplicable popular demand (see the comments sections), the curled up version of my new(ish) headsuit:

Hair Today, (Pi)goon Tomorrow*

It’s perhaps difficult to see here, but my favourite part of this haircut is the longer dangly wisps by my chin on each side of my face. I also enjoy that only the top layers are highlighted while the bottom and back are dyed a few shades darker than my natural colour.

Now that winter is here in earnest (it snowed ALL weekend, and snow continues to dump down today), the smoother version of this ‘do will probably be a better choice. Because then I can wear hats, not hoods. Hoods create static and fuzz.

* so titled in honour of the author featured at the event for which this ‘do was styled last night

Conference Outfit, Not Presenting

I wore this outfit to a conference in October the day after I delivered my paper. When I present, I dress more formally. On days when I’m just attending others’ panels, I dress more casually but avoid jeans. To my mind, I’m still too junior a scholar to relax entirely at professional conferences.

Poly-blend Dress: Chapter One (via Winners)
Cardigan: Nygard (remixed)
Jersey scarf: Gap (old; it came with a matching tunic that I rarely wear)
Leggings: (label’s rubbed off)
OTK boots: (via Shoe Heaven, remixed)
Wine: key element of conference evenings

Comfortable footwear is often key to good conference experience, don’t you think? It can be a bit of a hike between panel venues, or to the restaurant/pub for dinner, or from your hotel to the conference.

The conference I attended was in my home city, so I came home for cocktails with the A-Dubs-Hubs before heading out for an evening book launch/pub-based hobnobbing thingy.

I’ll remix the dress, again, soon. For now, you’ll have to trust me when I tell you that it’s best under this kind of sweater.

I’m off to meet with panicked students and to power through a pile of papers that MUST be returned tomorrow. Everything seems soooo dire at this time of the term.

What’s your week look like? And will you be dressing up or down for your stuff this week?

NSFW: The Vegas Report

As previously noted, I recently spent a weekend in Vegas. As requested, the report that follows details some key moments from this trip.

Night/outfit #1: Drinks & Dinner

We flew in on Friday, changed like lightning, then met the Hubs’s friend S and his lovely partner N for drinks and dinner. We see S & N about once a year, so we’ve a LOT of catching up and playing to do when we meet. This was our second meeting in Vegas. And we got a LOT done.

Sartorially, I was most excited about this first ensemble. I picked up the tunic at Winners the day before we left (Vegas requires sparkly things), and I planned to style it by following V’s skin-to-clothing ratio, but modifying it for evening, not workwear (see this and other excellent sartorial rules to live by at this Grit & Glamour post).
I bought the tunic in XL because the medium wasn’t long enough (possibly because it’s a shirt, not a tunic). In retrospect, however, I find this outfit to be the least exciting of the three. The tunic is doing that thing tunics tend to do: eliminating all curves and turning me into a puffy rectangle. In the mirror the night before we flew, and again the first night in Vegas, I perceived curves. But the camera says no, and that sucketh.
Sequin tunic: Forever Fashion (via Winners)
Leggings: [label rubbed off] (via Winners)
OTK boots: France Mode (remixed)
Wristlet/clutch: Mat&Nat
Let’s pretend it’s nighttime. After all, that’s when I wore it.
Hmm. ‘More sparkle, but still no real shape. . .
Wise StyleNation, I turn to you for counsel once again: how can this sparkly tunic/top thingy work in future? Or is it a lost cause?

Night/outfit #2: Buffett Ridiculousness
Regular concerts don’t do it for me. Also, I despise stadium concerts because I can’t see anything good, and then the sound disappears into the rafters, then comes back down to bounce off the concrete walls, so I can’t hear anything good either. But it was the A-Dubs-Hubs’s birthday, and he and S share a love of Jimmy Buffett music. The lovely N is a much better sport about this ridiculous preference than I am. I tried to follow her example on this evening.
In the interests of good sportiness, I agreed to go to dinner at Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffett’s restaurant (it’s a chain, for pete’s sake), before heading to the arena/stadium down the street for the concert. Thankfully, the margaritas over dinner were strong, and the bikini-clad woman who slides down a fake volcano into a giant margarita glass once every hour at this classy establishment appeared to have the night off.
Thinking about the concert we attended, the reason for which this whole Vegas trip was undertaken, inspires fatigue. Depression even. Maybe I’ll just sit down for a minute. . .
Studded pleather & viscose top: Sejis J (via Winners)
Skinny jeans: Revolt (via Winners)
Studded pointy Vegas walking shoes: Fugitive de Francesco Rossi (remixed)
Faux-wine & glass: included to recall multiple debilitatingly strong margaritas consumed pre-concert in effort to will self into Buffett-concert mindset (didn’t work); bonus side effect: giant nap during concert
Moving on: this ensemble breaks my recently-developed rule prohibiting the wearing of jeans and t-shirts out at night. But I dressed down a wee bit anyway as I was told that Buffett concerts are super-casual affairs.
As it turns out, I was still over-dressed. Or under-dressed, depending on your perspective. After all, I was not wearing a toy shark or parrot as a hat; and I was not dressed as a pirate (or a “sexy pirate wench” – whatever that is); nor was I – like many of the shit-faced soft-bodied middle-aged straight white men in attendance – wearing a grass skirt, fake-coconut bra, 16 plastic leis, and a straw hat with blinking lights threaded through it. (please note: neither the Hubs nor S was thus costumed; probably they would also disavow any association with middle-age and soft-bodiedness)
A-Dubs to N: “Seriously? It’s like a Jimmy Buffett-lead cult.”
N to A-Dubs: “Yes. It’s kind of great that they’re so into it. But it’s also kind of sad, if you think about it. ‘All these people dreaming of a better life, but not actually having it.”

Moving on once more.

Can you tell I’ve a new pointy-sided chin-length bob? It’s inspired by N’s awesome style. (Except hers is curly and blond.) I was tired of long hair. I don’t have the time to take care of or style it, so I just wore it up every day. And my face really needs a hair frame.
The jacket pictured below, and the clutch pictured above were involved with this outfit, too.
Also, tall shoes would be better here, no? But this night involved a LOT of walking. I can handle EITHER concert-related OR shoe-related discomfort. Not both. The concert rage discomfort was inevitable; the flat shoes were, therefore, an additional inevitability.
Earrings: The Bay

I keep forgetting to pose with – not drink from – the wine glass. Each time I sip in these photos, the grape juice creates disappointment. And yet, I keep lifting the glass through sheer force of habit.

Night/outfit #3: Tapas, “Love,” Dinner
By far my favourite of the three Vegas nights, this evening saw our happy crew drinking champers over early-evening tapas, then attending “Love,” the Cirque de Soleil show inspired by The Beatles music (a show in which, I’m told, the indomitable Yoko Ono had a creative hand, as this brilliant woman owns the rights to a number of Beatles tunes), then talking into the wee hours over late-night dinner and drinks.

(Still drinking, not posing. Kind of like drowning, not waving.)

Items in this sequence were much smoother when they appeared in Vegas. Today, they’re fresh out of my (just-now-unpacked) suitcase. I do not iron things I’m not wearing into the (real) world.

Blazer: Mexx
Green silk blouse: Banana Republic (gifted from Designer Shoe Whore two xmases ago)
Skinny pants: Mexx (remixed)
Kitten heels (the only ones that have EVER worked for me): Moda (via Shoe Heaven)

Dangly earrings: The Bay
Bunch of bracelets: The Bay (remixed)

In short and to sum up, StyleNation, we should go to Vegas, wear sparkly things, be merry, and take piles of photos doing it all. I had a great time with the crew last weekend; but you and I both know that together, we could make a party bomb.

Leather Boots, Ceramic Balls

It’s almost midnight and I should go to bed; but I’ve been working for the last one zillion hours, and I want to do at least one fun, non-grant proposal-or-teaching-related thing before I pack it in. Without further ado, StyleNation, meet my new boots. 

They scrunch down like this, or they pull up over my knees. I wore them to teach today and am happy to report that they’re campus-hiking friendly, soft like black butter, and from France, dahling, France.

OTK leather boots: France Mode (via Shoe Heaven)
Dress: Tammy Mars (via Winners, remixed)
Heart Necklace/lip gloss compact on silk cord: 
Yves St. Laurent (gifted)
Pleather belt: C’est Moi 
Long cotton cardigan: Nygard (old)
Oops. ‘Cut my arm out of the photo, again. 
Let the record show that I have two arms. 
(But not nearly enough sleep.)

Boot close-up. I would have pulled them up instead of bunching, but my dress gets caught when I do that. Obviously this is a sign that I should wear shorter skirts.

You’ll notice a necklace change here. I switched this one out and added the cardigan after the first photo. But this picture’s included because I thought you might like, as a special Friday treat, to see the ceramic phallus.

Other necklace: thrifted (remixed)

Can you see it over there on your left? It was a wedding present. And now it’s a Friday present for you. (In fact, if you dig it, it can be a much more literal present for you. Just say the word.)

Canadians, who’s ready for the weekend? 
Americans, why is your Thanksgiving so late? 
It’s totally unreasonable that you get ZERO long weekends in October.