Once More with Feeling

Happy End-of-term academics, and welcome, StyleNation, to the sweet buttery month of May, the lovely era that follows regularly upon The Watch That Ends the Night!

I really, really hope this is my last preggo post. As of tomorrow morning, I’ll be 41 weeks pregnant. That is more than enough, I think.

My maternity leave began May 1st, but I’m just going to work until the baby’s born – 3 papers done, 1 more to go! Also, my research team will keep working while I’m on leave, and I’ve got to supervise them until my research partner gets back from the other side of the world this June. In short, things are busy but this is good; I need the distraction from my extreme pregnancy-related discomfort.

And so, while it’s increasingly difficult to fit into professional(ish) clothing, I persevere.

#1. Worn for Student-run Event on Campus a Few Weeks Ago

Ha! This isn’t even a maternity dress; it’s a cheap super-stretchy jersey midi dress from H&M. I suspect its clinginess would render it inappropriate on its own in profesh settings when I’m no longer pregnant. But I like super-fitted preggo stylez. They highlight the bump without making me look more gigantic than I am.

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Black jersey midi dress: H&M (new to blog); Leather and rhinestone rose cuff: mall anchor store in Florida (new to blog); Black plus-sized tights: Hue (via The Bay); Boots: Khrio (remixed)

In other news, my fellow model here is Foxy T, a friend of the Fuzzy Roommate and the Fuzzy Roommate’s Dog. She stayed with us for March and April while her people are away doing research.

#2. Worn for Off-campus Supervisory Meeting with Grad Students (Last Week)

The floral item here is technically a dress; on a long-body like me, and at this stage of my life, it’s most definitely a tunic. Foxy T kindly supervised the photo-taking, again. I miss her attentiveness and willingness to participate as she deems necessary. The FR and his dog are no longer into blogging with me.

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Black floral maternity dress/tunic: New Look (new to blog); Black rayon knit twist-front sweater: Simons (new to blog, purchased with janey_em in Montreal in February; Black pleather and pointe knit maternity leggings: (remixed); Boots: Khrio (remixed)

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Silver Tiffany necklace: remixed; Bootage: (remixed)

What’s up with you, StyleNation?

Please send me contraction-centred thoughts this week!

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? 

Things that can be seen comfortably

Hi All! Who’s ready for end-of-term? Much as I’m enjoying my two courses this term, I cannot wait for this term to be over. Because then I’ll be on research leave for 6 months and can wear mostly real pyjamas – not office pyjamas – for much of the winter.

To pass the time until then, I offer two ensembles that can be seen comfortably. Mostly because of these new patent leather booties. With the platform, they’re barely high heels at all. This is good as I am trying to retire from wearing uncomfortable shoes. I’ve completely lost patience with footwear that hurts my feet, knees, hips, and back; and I’m no longer willing to tolerate shoes in which I can do little more than mince or tiptoe around.

1. Belting a Cardigan Like we Did Back in the Day (i.e. 2008)

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Navy floral-printed draped cardigan: Melanie Lyne (remixed); Satine cotton cami: Jockey (via The Bay); Silver leather skinny belt: Smart Set; Black cotton twill pencil skirt (lined): Melanie Lyne; Tights: Hue; Black patent leather booties: Rockport (new to blog)

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2. Black and Gold and Booties

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Cream rayon knit t-neck: BCBG Maxazria; Black and gold dress: BCBG Maxazria (remixed); Leggings: Smart Set (remixed); Booties: as above

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And finally, let’s finish today’s Sei Shōnagon-inspired list:

Things That Can be Seen Comfortably

1. These booties.

2. The first snow of the season (already happened here, fyi – probably you’re jealous)

3. Cherry blossoms anywhere (seriously: online, in visual media, in person – they’re always exquisite)

4. Puppies and kittens

5. Mannequins shaped like real women

What will you add to the list, StyleNation?

What visual things are comfortable for you to see?

End-of-term Countdown

It’s that time, again.

(Welcome back to work, U.S. members. How was your holiday?)

This time of year, as final papers and projects roll in, and my panic regarding the utter lack of time for my own research reaches a fever pitch once again, I begin to feel a little like this:

Tiniest Treadmill User Ever

As previously noted, now is the time for serious ensembles. While I have occasionally snuck into my office on non-teaching days wearing things like this:

Purple cashmere cardigan: Ricki’s (gifted from A-Dubs-Hubs); Blouse: Joe Fresh (new to blog via the grocery store); Cami: Smart Set (old); Cheetah necklace: Stella and Dot (remixed); Skinny trousers: Mexx (remixed); Lined cognac leather boots: Rieker (via Shoe Heaven, remixed)

Teaching days are all about authority colours and power clothes – well, power clothes for a Women’s and Gender Studies professor, at least:

Sleeveless printed wrap blouse: Mexx (new to blog); Cami: ?? (cut out the tag, via Winners); Necklace: Gifted; Charcoal cardigan: Smart Set (new to blog); Navy wool-mix trousers: Melanie Lyne (new to blog); Studded leather flats: Fugitive de Francesco Rossi (remixed)

Who’s got even better Final Countdown videos?

Will you share the titles?

(We’ll credit you when we use them!)

Everything is Black and Gold

Yegads, StyleNation! Has it really been more than a month since we met? How’ve you been?

Things here are getting back into their usual October groove following the submission of a grant application that ate up most of August, all of September, and the first two weeks of October. It sort of feels as though said application left a gaping hole in my life that I’ve only just begun to fill, again. To make matters worse, there was some new-friend-related drama at pretty much the EXACT time that my grant-related anxiety had reached a fever pitch. In short, F&*K, that was awful. Also, I would NEVER have made it through if my research partner were not an intuitive and supportive friend as well as a ridiculously accomplished and prolific scholar.

In more directly blog-related news, I present the following combinations of black and gold for your consideration. The first I wore to a wedding of the A-Dubs-Hubs’s colleague, the second to teach last week.

#1. Wedding Guest Wear

For the late-afternoon wedding, I began with the following. The gold flats happened because (a) I wanted to make a shoe purchase count twice, and these can be worn for teaching, and (b) I have plantar fasciitis that makes high heel wearing too painful to contemplate:

Gold chandelier earrings: Le Chateau (remixed); Dress: BCBG Maxazria (remixed, purchased with janey_em during January 2011’s epic visit); Gold cuffs: Cousin’s shop and I forget (remixed); Invisible black silk clutch: was my maternal grandmother’s (loved her style, miss her a LOT); Gold faux-snakeskin embellished leather flats: David Dixon (via Town Shoes)

The wedding reception featured a series of increasingly ridiculous moments that lead me to self-medicate with wine in order to survive without imploding in rage. (This may have resulted in some drunken texting of E-Jo and janey_em from a bathroom stall. Probably I should not bring a phone to such events.) Over the course of the evening, a certain amount of outfit deconstruction occurred. This was the result:

This version of the ensemble facilitated the dancing which kept me from having to talk to the relative strangers whose every statement seemed either to offend and enrage or really, really bore me. (You know, because I’m incredibly evolved and self-important.)

#2. A-Dubs, if You Get Out of Bed, You Can Wear the Owl Belt

As the subtitle for this ensemble indicates, this was a reward I used to entice myself from under the covers the day after we submitted the grant application. Only the thought of a giant owl belt made of pleather and brass-like metal got me away from my beloved, under-used water pillow that morning.

Top: Vero Moda (new); Brass and pleather Owl belt: thrifted last summer (new to blog); Long patterned skirt: thrifted ages ago (remixed); Black leather “combat” boots: Ben Sherman (for men, new to blog, purchased on sale last spring); Photo-bomber: The Fuzzy Roommate’s Puppy (wearing her fall/winter blue paisley collar – isn’t she huge now?!)

Here’s a close-up of the owl:

Does anyone remember a Hallowe’en song called “Black and Gold”?: “Everything is black and gold, black and gold tonight! Yellow pumpkin, yellow moon, yellow candle light.” I’m pretty sure I sang something like this in Grade Two music class.

Also, what up, StyleNation?

A Short Post

It’s hot and I’ve not got air-conditioning, but there’s also no drought or drought-famine here (yet), so I am thankful.*

In significantly less life-or-death-related news, how do we feel about shorts for work or play? Last summer I found these linen-cotten-lycra blend shorts and have developed a deep and abiding love for them. I’ve been wearing them to campus and out at night around the city.

As Sal over at Already Pretty is discussing today, others are wearing (much) shorter things with (much) higher heels. I did short-shorts in the nineties, however, and have no patience (or buttocks) to take on, again, all the little irritations that accompany such sartorial choices.

1. On-campus, Student Meeting (a casual one)

Lucite necklace: thrifted; Cardigan: Mexx (old, but new to blog); Billowy silk-look tunic: Winners (I cut out the scratchy tag); Shorts: Winners (new to blog); White-girl nude sandals: Naturalizer (purchased with D-Med on the way to Rinty the Crusher’s wedding); Puppy: the FR’s Dog, almost all grown up; Super-natural-looking pose: an attempt at shoe-highlighting. I am a natural both in front and behind the camera.

Next time, I’ll probably tack the cardigan over the straps of the top. Otherwise, I was pretty happy with the get-up as it maximized air flow. Also, I used the necklace to fill in the chestal expanse (FYI: the necklace isn’t lit from within and I am not pinching a small white thing between my thumb and pointer finger on my left hand. These are funky photo tricks. Yegads, I’m good with a camera.)

I wouldn’t wear this top for teaching because any bending for pages, etc., at the front of the class could bare a little cleavage.

2. Casual Evening Art Show and Out for Dinner

This is not a teaching top either. I used to think it was, but I’ve come to believe it’s a bad idea to take things this low in front of undergrads or older male professors.

Cotton blazer: Tribal (via Winners, remixed); Ruffle-front top: Zokai (via a shop in Steeltown, remixed); Shorts & Sandals: as above; Brown woven leather clutch: a little shop in Steeltown

Yeah, I know. This is kind of low key for evening. I tried to jazz it up with bright lipstick that matched my pedicure, but really, it needs a necklace, at least. Maybe also a little less cotton and some funner shoes. In my defence, I was zonked that day and couldn’t make myself care more than this.

What are your thoughts on shorts for work and play, StyleNation?

How much chestal expanse is too much for work?

* Let’s all be sure to give what we can for famine victims here and abroad. Let’s also continue lobbying government to make environmental responsibility a priority.

This Year vs. Last Year

Tangential Musings (scroll down for outfits):

This time last year I was on the verge of leaving academia. After three years on the ridiculously gruelling academic job market, after multiple campus visits each of which required weeks of preparation, after months spent imagining myself taking up a variety of positions for which I’d interviewed only to be told “We liked all three candidates, but the one we chose was just a better fit for the department,” or “Could you wait another month while we negotiate with our first choice, just in case we need to default to you?” (they NEVER defaulted to me), or “The Committee went another way” (I later learned that last one was code in two separate instances for “we lost our funding and will therefore not be hiring anyone”), I was done. I’d decided that if I didn’t get this last job, I could NOT spend another year waiting for others to decide the shape and direction of my life. I was also dangerously disillusioned with academia and daydreaming of starting all over again with something entirely different.

This time last year I was waiting for one last hiring committee to reach a verdict. Time moved slowly as it always does in the academy, and I cried almost every day. Then my former supervisor phoned to say she’d been contacted for a reference and soon after, my fate was decided. Academia and I were going to stay together.

This year’s recovery from the autumn and winter teaching terms is not as dramatic as last year’s. I felt the need to remind myself of this simple, but important fact. Thanks, StyleNation, for tuning in.

I also feel the need to offer the following to those of you who are still looking for academic jobs. Here is what I learned from this always challenging, sometimes invigorating, often frustrating, and occasionally heartbreaking experience:

1. Know yourself well enough to anticipate how you will deal with both success and failure in any given search. Prepare accordingly.

For example, I discovered that I need to work to believe that Plan A, the actual getting of the job, could really happen. But I always need a Plan B, Plan C, and even sometimes a Plan D in place so that I know how to deal if I don’t get the job. For me, success is easy to deal with but sometimes difficult to imagine. Failure is easier to imagine and to deal with if I can map out ways to make myself believe failure in one venue is an opportunity in another.

2. Apply for every job for which your credentials make you a real candidate. Put most of your energy into these applications. Then apply for ALL other jobs that might be a bit of a stretch for you. Who knows? Once you stretch, you might find it was exceptionally worthwhile to do so.

For example, I stretched and now work in a department that seems to fit me and my work much better than I would initially have imagined possible. In fact, I can no longer imagine myself doing the work I first thought I wanted to do.

3. Decide how long you can stand to be on the job market, waiting for others to decide your fate. Add at least one more year, if your budget, brain, and body can afford it. Then think about the next item:

4. Remember that life exists outside of academia and that you might be happy out there. You might even be HAPPIER out there. And despite the specialization inherent to your degree, your PhD has also given you many transferable skills.

5. Choose and prepare your interview attire early in the job market season. It sucks to shop for clothes when you should be prepping your research talk and practicing answers to questions.

Outfit post begins here: 

I’m all typed out, so I’ll just note that this is what I wore for my last two days of contact with students this term. (E-Jo & are are doing an unintentional black-and-cream pattern theme week)

Cardigan: Kische (remixed)
Blouse: ?? (remixed)
Not-quite-discernable bracelet: gifted
Pleather pants: Tahari (remixed)
Boots: Fluevog (remixed from same post as pants)

Bare legs for the first time in 2011. Also, this is the last almost-picture of my too-light-for-this-time-of-year hair colour. This issue has now been remedied and I will report on same later:

Cardigan: Nygard (very old, remixed)
Necklace: crazy costume jewellery shop in Florida
Dress: Cleo (remixed)
Boots: Rieker (remixed)
Socks: who cares?
Is this spring better or worse than last spring for you? 
What were you doing last year at this time? (And what were you wearing, then?)

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.)

The Difference a Week Makes

TGIF, Style Nation. This week has felt like an eon so it’s nice to see it’s tail end. Today actually ended the week on a high note. My classes went really well today and I had some good post-class conversations with my students that were interesting, not the usual demands for extensions. There’s something about a good class that is really invigorating — though, of course, a bad class is equivalently enervating–and this helped mitigate the disappointment of hearing some bad news about an article I had out.
One thing that made my day is that I got a number of compliments on today’s outfit.
Dress and silver beads: LOFT Outlet
Black shirt: Target
Black tights: Hue
Blue shoes: Joe


I was pretty happy with this — and, given how warm it’s getting here, this is probably one of the last days I can wear this dress to teach as it feels a little short without tights.


This is a sharp change in the weather from last week when I wore this:


Sweater: Gap
Pants: NY & Co.
Striped shirt: Joe
Shoes: Chucks
Necklace: as above
Then, I desperately needed layers as it was super windy. Today, the tights were pretty warm. I finding a little difficult to dress with these sharp fluctuations in weather. Since it’s still February, I automatically head to my drawer with long sleeved tops and sweaters but once I get outside I’m often overdressed. Or I go for the short-sleeved tops which work midday but once the sun goes down, it’s pretty chilly. Now, these are obviously minor problems in all sorts of ways (and my apologies go to those of you who are still in winter’s grip) but I still find that it creates a kind of antagonism between my clothes and myself.
How do you prepare yourself for dressing in-between seasons? Any fun weekend plans?

Day Late and a Dollar Short

Day Late: Like Anne, I’m wearing my blazer a day after the designated blazer day. It seemed sort of ridiculous to wear a blazer on a non-teaching day when I was working at home. So today it is. One thing I found tricky today with this blazer is what to do in terms of outerwear. It’s gotten cold here again (legitimately cold, not the general, wimpy “cold” we typically get here) and the blazer really didn’t cut it as an inner/ outerwear combo. The thing is, I really hate wearing a coat over top of a blazer. If A-Dub’s legs get claustrophobic with jeans tucked into boots, my arms feel the same way about being encased in both a blazer and a seasonally appropriate coat. So, like a teenager, I spurned warmth for fashion. Fortunately, I’ve been outside for maybe 5 minutes.
Dollar Short:

Blazer: Addition Elle (remixed)
Striped top: Old Navy
Pants: NY & Co. (remixed)
Shoes: Chucks

This was an outfit I liked more in theory than in execution. I think I could have used a necklace or something and I would have preferred to wear my originally scheduled shoes, rather than this late, weather mandated substitute.

Black, faux-wrap top: Joe
Black under layer: Target
Grey pin-striped pants: Target
Purple and silver scarf: gifted, my sister brought this beautiful silk scarf back for me from Italy
Black & white bangle: gifted, the same sister got this for me in Morocco (detail shot below)
Apologies for the poor photo — I was looking for new photo locations. This was not a winner.

I also felt like this outfit looked better in my mind than in execution. It’s fine but that’s about it. Stupid February.

Anyone else finding it impossible to dress for February? Shouldn’t this be month that’s automatically cancelled for those of us in the northern hemisphere?