Things that Pass By Rapidly, or Summer in Review

What up, StyleNation?! Welcome to another academic term at IPF, Northern Division! While IPF South’s been in the classroom for weeks now, I only returned last Thursday. Before posting back-to-school photos, however, I hearken instead to the sun-drenched, research-and-wine-filled days of summer one last time.

Obvy, SUMMER tops my Sei Shōnagon-inspired list today (i.e. Things that Pass By Rapidly).

Like E-Jo, I spent much of June, July, and August wearing only-occasionally-remarkable attire, so I’ve very little to report, sartorially-speaking. The following saw me through some on-campus workshops and meetings with research assistants throughout the summer:

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Grey and black burnout cowl-neck top: ?? (I removed the tag, new to blog); Black cotton cami: mall anchor store (ubiquitous on this blog); Smart Set pull-on denim skirt: thrifted (new to blog); Fly London Yayas: remixed


Pistachio Cotton 3/4-sleeve Cardigan: ?? new to blog (via Winners, but I removed the tag); Navy/white Stripe Mexx cotton/linen Drop-waist Dress: new to blog (purchased 2 or 3 summers ago); White Hue Jegging Capris: new to blog (via The Bay – be honest: how do we really feel about white jeggings? I can’t decide); Yellow Mousse Fly London Yakin Ankle Strap Wedges: new to blog (via lovely shoe boutique around the corner)


DKYNY Studded Denim Blazer: remixed (via Winners); Necklace: remixed (gifted); Black Cotton T-shirt: H&M (remixed); Teal Smart Set Cotton Trousers: new to blog; Brown leather belt: remixed (ubiquitous on this blog); Nude-for-white-folks Naturalizer Leather Wedge Sandals: remixed


Linen J Crew Pineapple T-shirt: new to blog (summer 2013); Cotton Smart Set Pineapple(coloured) Trousers: new to blog (summer 2013); Silver Pleather Bangle: remixed; Sandals: as above

And now, to finish the list (and the summer):

Things That Pass By Rapidly

5. The period in one’s life when drink the night before has little negative effects the morning after

4. Puppyhood for my Fuzzy Roommate and his dog

3. Periods of extreme hilarity

2. Moments in which first impressions, personal or professional, are formed


What’s on your list, StyleNation?

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!


I was here:
And now I look like this:

I’m going to pair myself with a chilled chablis and bathe in baking soda. I’m taking off again this week for bleaker pastures, but when I return I plan to be less radioactive and easier to style.
What do you wear when you don’t match a thing in your closet?

Hot Cheap Compromises

It’s (finally) smokin’ hot here in the late-blooming north. With the heat comes humidity. It’s no where near the turn-you-into-human-jerky humidity experienced by our lovely readers in the American south, but it’s still moist hot air. In this kind of heat (which I secretly love), a la carte dressing is the only option; non-metal accessories are sticky against sweat and sunscreen, and metals heat up to excruciating temperatures in the sun. My goal, then, is to be as close to naked as possible while remaining paparazzi ready outside my apartment.

As a result, business casual has gone out the window for the past two days—as have my anxieties about being too old to wear spaghetti straps in real life:

Brown cotton jersey dress: Theory

Non-neutral wedges: Geox (remixed)

Yellow beachy-lady bag: thrifted

This bag breaks my once-firm “No Women Besides Me In/On My Clothes” rule. I’ve never seen the point of wearing a face or body other than my own next to my face or body. I still don’t. But the bag is a fun and unusual print, it’s got two wooden peaches on its canvas straps, and it cost next to nothing; so I folded.

Another compromise I made this week involved this “dress”:


jersey bag/dress: Spense (via Winners)

White tank dress: Le Chateau

Studded gladiator sandals: Steve Madden (remixed)

Silver bangle: The Bay (remixed)

I acknowledge this is less a dress and more a bag with straps. But that’s pretty much the point – well, that and the colour, which I pretend makes me look tan. Either way, the “dress” hangs, air blows it around when I walk, and I decrease my chances of melting. I compromise because it’s bloody hot out – but I wear the light tank dress, too, because viscose jersey is WAY too thin to go it alone this far from the beach. (Or at least it’s too thin for my buttock-related comfort.)

What sartorial compromises, if any, do you make in the heat of summer? What have you purchased (and worn) in violation of your style rules?

Two Dresses, a la carte

Have been frantic of late about work and have lost the ability to accessorize. Somehow it seems difficult even to choose clothing, let alone the sparkly ornamental things that make clothes so much more interesting. Nonetheless, in the interests of keeping things as close to business casual as possible while expending absolute minimum effort, I’ve been wearing dresses.

I’ll do more next time, but here are two of the not-so-blank canvases with which I’ll begin:

Printed polyester dress: Kenzie (via Winners)

White cotton cardigan: Togo (via The Bay)

Black leather & cork wedges: Clarks (remixed)

Weird story: the Kenzie dress is an extra large. And I only tried it on because it seemed awesome but didn’t come in my (usual) size. Really, I should have the top tailored, but the belt at the waist helps me cheat, so I’m tempted not to bother. (Side note: how freaking short would the dress be if it were three sizes smaller? Jeez.)

Printed cotton dress: Esprit

White denim blazer: Gap

Silver leather flats: Jump

(Gah. I should have done the Wonder Woman in the image on the right. That would’ve made things less rectangular.)

This dress has more of a surfer chick aesthetic than I’d like. For example, how wicked would it be three inches shorter and worn with the tie undone over a bright blue bikini on a bronze muscled beach goddess? See what I mean?

With my tendency to eat chips, not surf, and to freckle and peel, there’s zero chance of my styling it that way next time. ‘Thoughts? How do you style up your cotton dresses for work or play? (I will, of course, keep checking your blogs, but still, you should tell me, again.)

NSFW: Beach Bag Bingo

Today I’m trying something new. Via the gorgeous Grit and Glamour, I have discovered the Friend Friday Project by Modly Chic. Blogger Katy sends out questions weekly and then we answer them on our blogs. This week the questions are about the beach.

I sort of can’t believe I’m posting pictures of me in a bikini (careful not to look directly at my thigh lest you blind yourself). I got this at an end-of-season sale from some lingerie chain (La Senza?). I loved the brilliant blue and the big yellow pineapple print and both pieces came to $5. The bottoms, however, were an XL. Lesson learned: it is especially important for bikini bottoms to fit snugly.

While I do live an extremely glamourous, jet-setting lifestyle, I cannot remember the last time I was on a beach. The Atlantic is far too cold to swim in, even in the height of summer, and too full of flushable and non-flushable detritus by the shore for my liking. So this post is about what I take to the lake. A-Dubya’s parents live on a glorious lake in northern Ontario and they have a smaller cottage on their property that they, very generously, keep vacant for us for a week every summer so that we (and by we I mean our far-flung grad school friends) can meet, eat, drink, be merry, read, (sometimes we work; many of us wrote chapters of our dissertation at the cottage), play board games, have bonfires, swim, waterski, tube, and all manner of things one does at a cottage in northern Ontario in the blistering summer months. I look forward to it every year.

So here are my answers to Modly Chic’s questions, which work just as well for the dock as they do for the beach:

You’re headed to the beach/pool, what’s in your bag?
Sunscreen: two kinds, non-greasy, unscented for my face and something that makes me smell like a Pina Colada for my bod; lippy with sunscreen; spray-in conditioner for my hair; cheap sunnies in case they fall off the dock; a big floppy hat; style-y beach cover-up; a beach towel with kittens on it; a non-academic book: V.C. Andrews, Jackie Collins, Janet Evanovich, Sue Grafton are preferred authors; gossip magazines; drinks (usually carried in a separate cooler) and snacks, some healthy (watermelon, cherries), some not (chips, cookies).

Be honest…how do you feel about sunscreen? How often do you put it on?
Sunscreen makes me feel like I need a shower but it is essential. I have what the Restoration poets call alabaster skin (to quote Diane Chambers) and I burn quickly and easily. I have several kinds to hand (see above) and I reapply after going in the water. I am a delicate flower.

Do you have any sunburn remedies?

It’s been a long time since I got a sunburn but I used to love everything about Noxema: its blue jar, its cool, thick consistency and its medicinal smell. My grandma used to recommend a cold cloth soaked in milk.

Do you use sunless tanning products? Which do you use, why is it your favorite?
Nope, but A-Dubs gave me this moisturizer once that was supposed to make me glow. I’m not sure I glowed but I did get nicotine-like stains on my fingers. I think sunless tanner requires a more adept application than I am able to manage.

The best part about the beach is…
Cottage bobbing! Allow me to demonstrate with more unflattering pictures.

My bather here is a Speedo and it is doing me no favours but it stays put. The floppy hat is from the Gap and the sunnies are from Dollarama. I do not know the provenance of the life jacket but it is the most important item in this ensemble.

By putting your legs through the armholes of a life jacket, you are able to float mostly up-right just by treading water with your legs, leaving your arms free to hold a bevvie and gesture wildly, as necessary. One of A-Dubya’s cousins invented cottage-bobbing and I think it could be the best idea since the printing press.

Are you looking forward to any summer destinations? Will you wear sunscreen?
(Can you believeI posted these photos?)