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.


How’s everyone doing?  Hanging in there?

End-of-term – Hoo-ahhh!

Has it really been almost a month since last we posted, StyleNation? Yeesh!

As usual, November was insanely busy at IPF North. In addition to the teaching, applying for things, attending meetings every second hour, and pretending to maintain a research program, I also jetted off to the emerald isle for a conference. For reasons I’ll discuss some other time, I’ll not be filing a conference report.

I have, however, worn some things to the above-noted on-campus activities. Also, perhaps because of my growing excitement about the research leave I begin as soon as this last batch of grades is submitted, I’ve not been following the November rules. Instead I’ve been fiddling around with boots and blue things.

1. Blue and boots

Worn for a day comprised of a long morning meeting, 75 minutes of teaching, then nearly 2 hours of guest lecture and discussion elsewhere on campus. These boots are meant to replace the brown riding boots that have begun to make my feet crazy-achy.


Mexx navy and floral faux silk dress: new to blog (via Mexx); Fuchsia cotton t: mall anchor store; Hue Navy tights: remixed (via The Bay); Brown leather back-lace boots: new to blog (via Browns Shoes)


2. Blue dots, etc

Worn for another meeting and teaching day. I’m still practicing with this skirt and seem to have skewed toward the crazy in this iteration. Whatevs. It’ll happen at some point. But I’m taking suggestions. . .


Dalia Collection navy and neon faux silk blouse: new to blog (via Winners); “Silver” bead necklace: remixed; Zara navy and blue dot midi pencil skirt: remixed; Hue indigo tights: remixed (via The Bay); Fly London navy and pewter flatforms: remixed

What’s up with you, StyleNation?

What rules are you breaking?

Halloween, Take Two

What’s this, a second post in one week?  Craziness.  As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve got a bit of a backlog of outfits to share with you.  But today’s post was catalyzed by a gauntlet, thrown down by Anne.  To recap the story so far, my students thought I was wearing a costume on Halloween, when I was, in fact, just wearing my regular clothes.  Anne, theorizing that I was in costume as her, decided to recreate the outfit, dressing as me, dressing as her.  So, today, to add yet another level of something like meta-ness, I dressed as Anne, dressing as me, dressing as her.

Sweater: Joe; Buffalo plaid button down: Old Navy; Pencil skirt: Target; Grey tights: Hue; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Watch: Kenneth Cole

Sweater: Joe; Buffalo plaid button down: Old Navy; Pencil skirt: Target; Grey tights: Hue; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Watch: Kenneth Cole

Boom.  Your move, Anne.  Your move.  I also didn’t fully go headless in the picture below in order to reveal the red lipstick (which I normally wear) but which is also part of my Anne costume.  Note that the mini-FR even graced this post with his presence, as homage to the ridiculously photogenic dogs of Anne Really Blogs.  Also, this is the most emphatically Team Color outfit I’ve worn in a while.  It was occasionally distracting.


And since, I’m posting anyhow, here are a few more recent outfits.

Striped shirt: Joe; Pencil skirt: Target; Watch & suede booties: Kenneth Cole

Striped shirt: Joe; Pencil skirt: Target; Watch & suede booties: Kenneth Cole

Yeah, I have no idea what I’m doing in this picture.  But it shows the outfit better than the other shots I have.  Clearly, I’m a posing genius.  Anyhow, this outfit was designed around these shoes.  Which are awesome, and much more comfortable than they look/ I would have assumed.


All clothing items: Target; Shoes: Jessica Simpson

All clothing items: Target; Shoes: Jessica Simpson

And this might be the most flattering outfit I’ve ever worn on this blog.  As I mentioned when I last wore this peplum top, I really like the look of it with a pencil skirt, but found the sleeveless pairing of it with the fitted skirt to be a little much for the classroom.  I was playing around with outfit planning, as you do, and decided to throw this t shirt on underneath, and, all of sudden, it became classroom workable.  I’m going to try it out with a cardigan as well, but this was an excellent work around.


Any exciting plans for the weekend?

Repeats and Whimsy

Well, here we are in the cruel heart of the term: stacks of assignments to grade, reading that you’ve gotten behind on, meeting after meeting after meeting, panicked realizations about term writing goals that seemed so plausible in September and which now require significantly more concentrated attention.  So there’s nothing like a five hour, nose to the grindstone stint in a coffee shop to start to realign things — while simultaneously realizing that getting on top of things is a wonderful dream that will never be attained, and thus needs to be ignored.  Though this follows a weekend where I was supposed to be grading, and ignored the stacks of papers in favor of baking a bourbon pumpkin cheesecake for a belated celebration of Canadian Thanksgiving, so I suppose I can’t complain too much.

Here are outfits representing my two contrasting sartorial strategies for responding to the October rush:

Dress and Cardigan: Target; Boots: Jessica Simpson

Dress and Cardigan: Target; Boots: Jessica Simpson

 Strategy #1: Repeat, with very slight variation, previous outfits.  This I wore to a major faculty meeting where we wrapped up the curriculum changes we’ve been working on for the past two years (and with which I’ve been very actively involved).  This meeting needed an outfit that I could count on to be both comfortable and professional and this sucker fit the bill nicely.


This dress and its twin are proving to be total wardrobe workhorses in a term where I’ve been wearing a lot of dresses.  You can’t beat a dress for easy early morning dressing when all you really want is to stay in bed for another half hour.  At least.

Fox sweater!: Old Navy; Pencil skirt: Target; Concrete wedges: Jessica Simpson

Fox sweater!: Old Navy; Pencil skirt: Target; Concrete wedges: Jessica Simpson

Strategy #2: So if strategy #1 was about minimizing stress by using the familiar as armour, this guy was about perking myself up at the end of a long week.  And, holy crap, did my students love this.  One of things I’ve really noticed about my classes this semester is how much more informal and casual I am with them.  And this leads to me wearing awesome things like this fox sweater, which has previously been consigned to casual wear.  I did have a fevered text exchange with the youngest sister about whether this was TOO whimsical but the pencil skirt and heels keeps it on the right side of the line for me.


How are your Octobers going?

Pencil Skirts, Northern Division

Having woken early to the dulcet tones of a dog puking, I’ve found a whole extra hour with which to blog. How’ve you been, StyleNation? Things here at IPF North have been verging on frantic at least in part because this is now my fourth year at my job and I’m no longer contractually protected from service work at the faculty and university levels. This means I’ve a whole new set of meetings to map onto existing research, teaching, and department-level meetings.

I’ve also discovered that prepping adequately for every meeting (i.e. thoroughly reading ALL attachments emailed prior) cuts into necessary sleep and having-at-least-a-little-life time. I am, therefore, developing a survival strategy. Unless I’m prepping for someone else’s tenure review, I’ll be skimming what appear to be the most important documents in the 10-15 minutes prior to the meeting/s in which they’re to be discussed. I just don’t see any other way to survive the landslide of text-based documents this fall.

In outfit-related news, I’ve been trying to try. This is me saying good-bye to bare legs. The crisp autumn season is now firmly upon this city; but we had one last push of sun and warm breeziness last week:

1. Needs bigger shoes

I’m trying to channel me some E-Jo. Her flats seem to balance her ensembles better than these tiny gold ones. I’ll keep trying!


Black flowered tunic/blouse: ?? (I removed the scratchy tag, remixed); Black sleeveless T: H&M (remixed a LOT); Rose gold leather belt: Smart Set (new to blog); Cream satin-finish cotton pencil skirt: Jacob (remixed); Gold faux-snakeskin embellished flats: David Dixon (remixed)


2. Blacks and blues

This was my first attempt at styling this skirt. I’ve got bigger plans for it, but this is a reasonable warm-up.


Sheer black silk button-up blouse: Equipment (via Winners, new to blog); Black sleeveless T: as above: Silver medallion necklace: The Bay; Navy and blue polka dot midi pencil skirt: Zara: Black suede flats: Browns

How’s fall treating you, StyleNation?

Also, for those of you with meeting-rich professional lives, how do you do it?

First Weeks: Pencil Skirts

Hard to believe, but at the end of this week, the term is already a third of the way over.  Which is both terrifying and exciting.  It’s been a weirdly calm term so far — which I have hereby jinxed — since I had the Project that will not End accepted in the week before classes start so I’m feeling a good deal less urgency about such things, and I’m totally loving my students this term.  As in, I totally want to force my Modernist students from this term to be my 20th century Novel students next term.  Either way, after a really busy — and often super stressful in highly unpleasant ways — spring term and summer, I’m pleased with things right now.


Chambray & White t shirt: Old Navy; Mustard pencil skirt: Lane Bryant; Concrete wedges: Jessica Simpsons

Colorful pencil skirts + chambray = true sartorial love.  This outfit desperately needs a necklace, or some sort of accessory, but, man, do I also sort of love it as is.  This skirt is a showstopper and, while it really needs to be tailored,  I’ve worn it twice already this term.


In fact, on its second wearing, it even prompted comments from the usually jaded women who work in the campus coffee depot closest to my office.  I was there for an important cookie break with my writing group.  Which we do on teaching days where we don’t write together, because, if we didn’t hang out on these days, we’d only see each other 4-5 times a week.  We’re a delightfully co-dependent little group.


Black faux wrap top: Joe; Black t-shirt & blue pencil skirt: Target; Beloved silver pendant: H&M; Watch: gifted (but it’s Kenneth Cole); Sandals: Born Concept.

The faux-wrap aspect of this shirt is super hard to photograph.  Also, the peplum on this shirt is an example of a peplum shirt that works for me, paired with a pencil skirt, in the classroom.


Here’s a shot to highlight the cork wedges of these shoes — which are weirdly one of my most comfortable pairs of shoes.  Also, I suspect that these are totally too casual for classroom wear for many of you.  However, they totally work in the departmental culture here — trust me, this outfit is more formal than what most of my colleagues wear, plus many of my female colleagues wear heeled sandals like this, right now while it’s still as hot as the surface of the sun.  Would I wear these to a conference, to meet with a college wide department, or other professional setting?  Nope.  But, in the classroom right now, totally fine, as far as I’m concerned.

Anybody else got awesomely co-dependent work rituals?



First Two Weeks: Separates

Here are the final two outfits from my first two weeks of classes.  One of the difficult things about dressing for the beginning of the fall term here at IPF South is that we are still very much in the grip of summer — read: temperatures in the 90s/ high 30s.  This will typically last into October.  This means that some of the typical strategies for conveying authority in the classroom in the first few weeks become difficult.  Namely, I find that sleeves can only lead to heat stroke.  It’s tricky, then, to craft outfits that still convey the professionalism you might want, alongside things that are appropriate to the temperature.  It DOES help that my students are experiencing the same temperatures, and so they’re dressing proportionally more casually as well (though I do teach on a campus where students where university branded t-shirts & athletic shorts all year so they’re always super casual).

Top: Target; Skirt: Eddie Bauer; Sandals: Aerosoles; Necklace: RW & Co.

Top: Target; Skirt: Eddie Bauer; Sandals: Aerosoles; Necklace: RW & Co.

I wore this on the first day of classes.  This is the skirt that I’ve had for ages but, between this outfit and the one in the linked outfit, I’ve decided to cut it loose and it’s currently in my to-donate pile.  I’m taking A-Dubs’ advice and looking for one that is neither too long nor so swingy.


Also, while I love the bursts of cognac in the shoes and necklace, the coral top and black skirt are reading a bit Hallowe’en to me here.  But enough of what didn’t work well.  It was a comfortable outfit for the first day — and I’d forgotten about these shoes (which photograph horribly) which are great stomping around the classroom heels.

Top: Target; Skirt: Gap; Bronze Wedges: Etienne Aignier

Top: Target; Skirt: Gap; Bronze Wedges: Etienne Aignier

Here’s another great pair of class-stomping shoes that I haven’t worn in ages.  This semester both my classes are in the same building as my office, so it makes it much easier to teach in heels as I don’t need to traipse across campus with its ridiculously uneven pavement.  So you’ll notice far more of my heels being trotted out over the next couple of weeks.


I had a different outfit in mind with this top — I wanted to pair it with a pencil skirt — but it turned out to be a little too much for the classroom.  I’m slightly at a loss about what to pair it with now; I liked this pairing, but the proportions aren’t ideal.  It will work nicely with jeans on the weekend or non-teaching days, but I’m not sure beyond dress pants what to pair it with for the classroom.  That said, once it cools down enough to add a cardigan, I think the pencil skirt version of this outfit will work as it will seem less like I’m wearing a makeshift cocktail dress to class.

Anybody got some other suggestions for styling shirts with a peplum?


End-of-term, or Things That Make One’s Heart Beat Faster

Sweet End-of-term, how we’ve longed for you. How anxiously we’ve anticipated your exhausting-yet-somehow-still-invigorating conclusiveness.

That’s right fellow sufferers – where “sufferers” means “academics at certain universities and colleges in the northern parts of North America – relief is nigh! Here at IPF, Northern Division, a smidge of marking, two in-class exams, and the evaluation of two Honours theses stand between me and the time I so desperately need to research and write my paper for next week’s conference. Once again, End-of-term brings The Watch That Ends the Night before The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

In short, End-of-term constitutes the tippy-top of my Shōnagon-inspired list, Things That Make One’s Heart Beat Faster. (Stick around to help me finish that list, StyleNation!)

1. Also, this happened

Not as memorable as I’d hoped, but little is. It’s End-of-term.


Swingy sweater: BCBG Maxazria (new to blog); Tie-front blouse: Mexx (remixed); Pointe knit skirt: Calvin Klein (via Winners, new to blog); Tights: Hue; Boots: Fly London (remixed)

And here, just because I have it, is another poorly lit photo of the ensemble I thought was all that and a bag of chips:


Silver brooch-as-tie-pin: was my grandmother’s; Necklace: gifted from A-Dubs Hubs

I was trying to be cool(ish) to host yet another set of guest speakers who research awesome things. One of your blogs taught me this tie-pin-like thing. I’m so sorry I’ve forgotten which one – You Look Fab, maybe?; but thanks, whoever you are.

To conclude,

Things That Make One’s Heart Beat Faster

5. Insultingly obvious plagiarism in student work

4. My upcoming ENTIRE YEAR off from teaching Intro (sweet goddess, I need it)

3. My pending summit with Janey Em and Kelly in one of Canada’s coolest villes bilingues (wooHOO!)

2. Anticipation of pending responses to two of the past year’s 4 grant applications

1. End-of-term! END-OF-TERM!!! Thanks the goddess, it’s End-of-term!!


What makes your heart beat faster, StyleNation? Share the love. 

New Boots, in Action

As the title suggests, what draws these outfits together is their shared display of my new, tax refund boots.  I intend to plan my upcoming conference wear around these boots so get prepared to see a lot more of them.  But given that we’re moving far too quickly out of spring and into summer down here in IPF South (I know, I know), the days of wearing boots and tights are disappearing so I’ve got to get them in while I can.

Fortunately, the term is also fast disappearing (is that a segue, or what?).  Tomorrow is exactly a month until the end of the term so while that also means that things are kicking into high gear, there is relief in sight.  The long weekend doesn’t hurt either as it gives me an extra, desperately needed writing day at the coffee shop where I seem to spend half my life.

Cardigan: Old Navy; Dress: Target; Tights: Hue; Boots: Corso Como; Pendant: H&M

Cardigan: Old Navy; Dress: Target; Tights: Hue; Boots: Corso Como; Pendant: H&M

The cardigan is behaving a little wonkily here. But this is an outfit that I’ve worn a version of before–though the boots & topper have changed out here.  It’s weird, this is a dress that I hadn’t worn in ages, but all of a sudden I’m wearing it a ton.  That said, I don’t love it without a blazer or a cardigan as the sleeves aren’t tailored enough for my taste.

Chambray button up: Old Navy; Pencil Skirt: Lane Bryant; Tights: Hue; Boots: Corso Como; Lucite necklace: Anthropologie; Watch: Kenneth Cole (gifted)

Chambray button up: Old Navy; Pencil Skirt: Lane Bryant; Tights: Hue; Boots: Corso Como; Lucite necklace: Anthropologie; Watch: Kenneth Cole (gifted)

This outfit is so full of win, I’m posting two, near identical pictures.  It includes so many things that I love: chambray, bright pencil skirts, and this amazing necklace.  You can also see a little better in these pictures that the boots are a deep chocolate brown, rather than black.  You can also see how desperately I need to vacuum.  Sigh.


Anyone else transformed old items into closet workhorses recently?

Looking Back, Despite Springing Forward

I’ve got, here, a couple of outfits for you Style Nation that are now nearly a month old.  Last time I posted, the thrill of the new chambray dress made those dress pictures jump the queue, leaving today’s outfits in the dust.  Today, I present a study  in colorful pencil skirts.  Also a preview of new boots.

Sweater: Joe; Pencil skirt: Target; Tights: Hue; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Necklace: RW&Co.

Sweater: Joe; Pencil skirt: Target; Tights: Hue; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Necklace: RW&Co.

I bought this sweater in a fit of “Joe shopping madness” (TM, obviously) when in the Great White North for the holidays.  What sold me on it was the picture of a model wearing it with a grey pencil skirt.  Yet, once I got this sucker home and paired it with my own grey pencil skirt, it didn’t quite work (I may need to re-evaluate as that sounds crazy).  But, with this blue skirt, total winner.  Also, I may have blinded my students with my colorful brightness that day.

Striped top: Joe; Pencil skirt: Lane Bryant; Necklace, boots, tights: As above

Striped top: Joe; Pencil skirt: Lane Bryant; Necklace, boots, tights: As above

I bought this skirt in the fall, while I wasn’t teaching so it hasn’t gotten a ton of wear yet but I’m doing my best to make up for lost time now.  I was describing it to my sister after I bought it, and she expressed incredulity that I didn’t already possess a pencil skirt in mustard yellow.  So, clearly, I’m doing good work establishing my “brand.”

Boots: Corso Como

Boots: Corso Como

So this isn’t the world’s clearest picture, but it gives a sneak peek of my new, tax-refund funded boots.  I love them.  They’re a bit snug still in the top inch or so, but the leather is like buttah so things are going to get awesome soon.

Did you all survive the time change (those of you who have it)?  Anyone else changed only those clocks that do it automatically?