Wrapping Up

Oh, hi there, internet.  It’s been a while.  So, any theories on where the last six weeks have gone?  It seems as though I blinked and March and April disappeared.  I can’t even say that I’ve been grading the whole time as that was heavier in January and February for me — before next week’s onslaught of final papers.  March, at least, was filled with travel — for work and otherwise.  I spent a delightful week in Montreal with my sisters and their adorable, adorable progeny.  I was also in New York for a lightning fast conference trip — though I DID get to hang out with the delightful Susan and a host of other, non-blogging work friends.  Conferencing is such a mixed bag — it’s a great opportunity to see fun places, hang out with colleagues who are geographically distant, and get some new ideas/ book suggestions BUT it’s also a moment for a reminder of how obnoxious certain aspects of academia can be.  Old dude who tried to score cheap laughs at the expense of his undergraduates and dude grad students who think that my lady-brain can’t possibly match the awesome power of theirs, I’m looking at you.  But now I’m home (or, more accurately, I’ve been home for OVER A MONTH) and am in the dying days of the term.

Chambray: Gap; White v-neck: Old Navy; Pencil skirt: Target; Concrete wedges: Jessica Simpson

Chambray: Gap; White v-neck: Old Navy; Pencil skirt: Target; Concrete wedges: Jessica Simpson

One of the buildings I’m teaching in this term is a bit of a treacherous hike from my office — it’s sloping downward over very uneven pavement — so I haven’t worn heels to teach as that’s a recipe for disaster.  But, over the last two weeks, I’ve been meeting with my students to discuss their final papers, rather than holding class sessions, so I decided to break out the heels for those days where I was just in my office or only teaching in the building that doesn’t require risking life and limb to get to it.  This is also a new chambray shirt.  I’ve long had my eye on this one from the Gap — it’s got western detailing and pearl snaps, which appeals to my Prairie upbringing — so I snapped it up when it was on clearance.  I’m quite smitten with it and plan on wearing the crap out of it until it gets ludicrously hot here and sleeves become unviable.

Blazer & shell: Target; Jeggings: Gap; Suede Booties: Kenneth Cole

Blazer & shell: Target; Jeggings: Gap; Suede Booties: Kenneth Cole

These jeggings are another recent, Gap sale purchase, worn here on a day last week where I met with fifteen students to discuss their papers.  And then promptly passed out at home, never wanting to say another word.  I actually really love doing these paper conferences, as I both love talking about writing with students AND having a captive audience — and this was a day when some of my very favorite students of this term were scheduled.  But, man, by the end of the day, my brain was pretty fried.

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How’s everyone doing?  Hanging in there?

Bitches and Bad Lighting

Thursday was one of those days, fashion-wise. Frankly, it was a day that would have been better had I not taken morning photos as prior to this point, I was convinced this ensemble was Bad A$$. After photos, I found it blah, but there was no time to change. Also, after D-Med’s hard core grown-up pattern mixing in her post yesterday, mine is like that of an itty-bitty baby. But I digress.

Before morning photos, the title of this post was “Butch with a Shoe Surprise.” I imagined it as a secret* tribute to a butch friend and colleague who occasionally wears an awesome ensemble consisting of black dress pants, black dress shirt, and black crewneck sweater. Her version of this look, however, is perfectly fitted, pressed, and seemingly effortless. Mine, not so much – plus my femme-surprise shoes and lace trouser socks bit me, the bitches:

Navy polka-dot cotton blouse: Jacob
Belt: The Bay
Blue pin-stripe cotton trousers: Theory (via Vegas outlet)
Mug/prop: because I am just that edgy, pose-wise
Bad lighting: courtesy of my stellar mad camera skillz 
(in concert with yesterday’s unnecessary morning panic)

Here’s a closer look at the blouse that pulled across my chest, constantly came untucked and/or  bunched under the waistband of my pants all day:

Necklace: mall anchor store (as Cynthia would say)
Black cami: Hmm, I cut the tag out, so I’ll take a guess – Winners
And let’s not forget the once-magically-comfortable bitches who made my 15-minute trek across campus, the 75 minutes of my first lecture, and my 15-minute trek back to my office (and emergency bandage stash) a living hell:

Shoes: Liz Claiborne (remixed)

Trouser socks: Calvin Klein
To be clear, I’m not a NOOB (short for newbie. I saw it a student’s ironic hipster t-shirt yesterday, as in “I’m with NOOB” and an arrow. Funny. Hip. Ironic. Gah). I understand the importance of comfortable footwear for those of us who hike between offices and lecture halls. These shoes have served me well in the past; I’ve worn them for similar hikes, and they took me through my final day-long campus visit/job interview last winter.
For now, therefore, I am assuming that the lethal combination of lacey socks and shoes is responsible for my current enraging 5-blisters-per-foot situation. Each of these items shall, on separate days, receive one more opportunity to prove their worth. Then, we’ll see.
* The tribute must be secret because this friend has made it very clear that she does not wish to discuss fashion with me or anyone else, at any time. (‘Stern, no? It’s one of the things I really enjoy about this woman.)
Have any cherished pieces ever turned on you? How did you deal?
**Also, hang in for just a little longer – the Wonder Woman pose fest is coming so very soon!**

Carrie Bradshaw Goes to University

You know what they say about the best laid plans? That happened to me on Wednesday morning when I was up at 5:30 to get ready to go in and teach my first classes of the semester. I was totally going to take your advice, Blognation, and I was going to wear the blouse you picked out for me with my best grey dress pants and my red patent booties. I was going to look (as I have before when I have worn this outfit to teach in) professional yet feminine, and very spit spot smart.
But then I wondered what would happen if I tried on the plaid blouse with my floral skirt …
THIS HAPPENED:

Total Pattern-Mixing Mayhem!
Usually I like to leave pattern-mixing to The Professionals but I’ve decided that this works for me because everything is in the same basic shades of grey, which is a much more flattering colour on me than black.
The Devil in the Details:



Grey Plaid Cotton Blouse: All Saints
Grey Floral Skirt: All Saints
Black Chevron Tights: Marks & Spencer
Red Patent Booties: Fly London
Going Rogue: Priceless
I know this is a bit of a remove from the professional dressing I’m trying to cultivate. I would never wear this to a conference or to a meeting with the Dean, but I wonder if the classroom is the one place where I can push the boundaries of what I count as professional dressing. As a medievalist I teach courses that are generally under-enrolled because there is an assumption that medieval literature is going to be difficult (true-ish) and boring (not true) and not at all relevant (not true either) and the first day is a Shopping Day for students, a day when they decide if they are going to stay in a course they have already enrolled in or drop it for something better or easier. I am not going to dumb down the material for lazy students, but I am going to bring my sartorial A-game to help me sell some Chaucer. I thought I would dress with some pizzazz to go with my lecture on why it is important to study medieval literature and why I won’t accept papers that are more than seven days late. I’m hoping my outfit–which I adored–belied some of the boring-but-necessary laying down of the law that has to be done on the first day and underscored my own creative approach to the material, which I love almost as much as I love this skirt.

This is how I congratulated myself on a day well-dressed.
Cheers.

Do you sometimes throw caution to the wind with your dressing when it is 5:30am and your judgement might be compromised?
Isn’t it great when it works out?

Dispatches from London


UPDATE:
Fish Monkey wondered about the length of this sweater so here are a couple of snaps:
It’s tough to measure because the button placket is off-centre and the hem is purposefully uneven. It’s also tough to measure because I can’t find my measuring tape. It hits just below the waistband of my mid-rise jeans, though I think the length can be played with because of the loose collar. The back is higher than the front, except for the little tail.
I tried taking some outfit pictures this morning to show you what I wore to the library (not at all exciting: green t-shirt handed down from A-Dubs, black cardi because manuscript reading rooms are like freezers, denim skirt from the grocery store, black flat mary-janes), but the light in my little dorm room was not working in my favour. Plus I’m sick and I am too snotty and cough-y for the manuscript room. The Watchtower was blanching and you can’t take water into the reading room so it seemed best to cut my losses and come back and sleep. Right now I’m drinking wine (Good Ordinary Claret) because it is a cough suppressant. Also because it is wine. I can’t believe I’m sick.
Anyway, while I was trying to talk myself out of buying my dream boots yesterday (I am counting on these boots to change my life. Is that unhealthy?), I went into All Saints and I bought these two items. I’m sort of panicking and thinking of taking them back even though they are awesome and I love them:

The skirt is actually a grey-on-black pattern, so much less “ditzy floral” than the one pictured and it hits just above the knee. I actually love the stripes and florals together and I’m not much of a pattern-mixer so I think the tone-on-tone entree is the way to go. I’m picturing it in the classroom with black tights and my new boots. (Because I have to wear my new boots with everything to justify the expense. Oh yes, and because they rock.) All Saints seems to me like the high street version of Vivienne Westwood, whom I love. Not cheap, but considerably less than lovely Viv.
Anyway, here’s another tone-on-tone pair. I love London, and I love being here, but I sure do miss the fur treasures. This is a scene from the conference-paper-writing frenzy that occurred just before I left:
Can they get any closer to me or each other?

I am very familiar with this look that says why-did-you-feed-me-out-of-fitting-comfortably-into-this-box? Also, please feed me.
Are you on any fun vacation adventures? What do you do to mitigate ill-timed illness?