Picking Up Steam

What’s this?  A second post from me in as many weeks?  Bizarre.  As the title of the post suggests, the term and its various responsibilities are really rolling now (to switch my metaphors).  I’m three weeks in now, a spot that, I find, to be kind of the sweet spot of the term.  Everyone is still (relatively) enthusiastic.  Grading either hasn’t started yet or has just begun so it’s not fully soul-crushing.  You start to get into the groove (metaphor #3) of lecture prep.  Your body starts to get back onto a schedule so 6:30 am doesn’t seem quite as awful as it did.  Plus its lighter now in the morning — though my ridiculous dog still refuses to get up when I do.

That said, it’s 7:30 pm on a Monday night and I’m in a coffee shop working.  With plans to return first thing tomorrow morning.

Dress: Gap; Pendant: H&M; Tights: Hue; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Watch: Kenneth Cole

Dress: Gap; Pendant: H&M; Tights: Hue; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Watch: Kenneth Cole

I bought this dress for a steal in the Gap’s holiday sales when visiting the Northern Tundra.  Apart from the skirt being a bit fuller than I typically go for, it’s everything I mights want in a dress.  Stripes.  Comfy cotton.  Flattering, waist defining diagonal stripes.  In the future I plan to try it out with a belt.  The pendant is one I’ve had for ages, purchased for $6 in the H&M in University town with A.Dubs & D.Med. Sadly, its “silver” finish is starting to wear so I’ve got to keep my eye out for some sort of workable replacement.


Blazer & dress: Target; Belt (seen below): NY & Co.; Tights and boots as above


This is the grey twin to the plaid blazer from last week’s post.  I love it as well.  I don’t have much to say about this outfit apart from the fact that I was stopped by two colleagues today who wanted to tell me they liked it.  So, I’ll chalk this up in the win column.


Anyone else feeling a moment of early February optimism before the reality sets in?


Back to School

Hi All!  I’m nearly two weeks into the term and, after a term off of teaching, I am ex. haust. ed.  With the start of term business and the return to department service, the last two weeks have been super busy.  This will all settle itself down shortly, no doubt, but getting back into the swing of things has me crashing with Portlandia marathons when I get home.

One thing that’s unexpectedly taken some adjustment is getting back into the professorial sartorial game.  After eight months of dressing super casually, I’ve found that my sense of appropriate dressing needs some recalibration.  Or, at the very least, demands a ludicrous amount of thought each morning.  Something I super appreciate at 6 am.

Blazer: Target; Navy scoop-neck: Old Navy; Grey pencil skirt: Lane Bryant; Black tights: Hue; Boots: Jessica Simpson

Blazer: Target; Navy scoop-neck: Old Navy; Grey pencil skirt: Lane Bryant; Black tights: Hue; Boots: Jessica Simpson

This was my first day of classes outfit.  In retrospect, I would have worn a necklace.  Though, actually, since these photos are a re-creation 10 days after the fact, I may well have done so and just forgotten.


This blazer is my new favorite thing though.  Well, along with its solid grey twin.  They fit super well and look far more expensive than they were.  So, score.

Cardi: Joe; Dress & tank: Target; Boots & tights: as above

Cardi: Joe; Dress & tank: Target; Boots & tights: as above

Again, clearly I need to re-learn how to accessorize.  Anyhow, I had planned to wear purple tights to introduce some color to the outfit but my purple tights are control tops and since I had a 9 hour day ahead of me, that seemed like a recipe for a stress headache.  So these Hue workhouses were called up from the minors.

How are you managing the doldrums that is the end of January?

February Madness

Happy Galentine’s Day everyone!  (My apologies to our non-U.S. readers but the Internet failed to provide me a non-Hulu clip from Parks & Rec).  I’m spending it writing at home, and hanging out with my dog and his bestie, a lovely and submissive golden retriever (submission is the only thing my dog is interested in in a best friend).

So even though A-Dubs was lamenting the double-edged knife that is February last week, I have to admit that, so far, February is behaving nicely.  It’s finally no longer stiflingly humid here; I heard some good news from a journal; I have a sixth of the students I normally have so the grading is remarkably lovely so far; inspired by M.’s and Raquelita’s super impressive writing pilgrimage, I’ve gotten a bunch of stuff done (though sadly not actually brand-new words: one of the weird things about being in the post-dissertation, pre-second project portion of an academic career is how little actual writing you get to do).  Here’s hoping that this streak can last…

In the meantime, I’ve worn clothes.

Dress: Lane Bryant; Cardigan: Old Navy; Tights: Hue; Belt: NY & Co.; Black flats: Me Too

This is the dress I wore to my sister’s engagement party over a year ago.  I’ve had trouble styling it since then as it was so linked to a fancier occasion that it seemed impossible to imagine it in my very casual life.  However, in a recent closet purge, I determined that I either had to wear it or get rid of it.  Apparently, I respond well to style self-ultimatums.  I’m pleased I’ve reclaimed it for teaching days as it is awesome.  Also, in this picture, it looks like the mini-FR is looking up my skirt.  What a naughty, smooth little guy!

Cardigan: Gap; Blouse: Old Navy; Pants: NY & Co.; Bracelets: World Market (pink) & gifted from my mom (silver)

Not too much to say about this outfit.  As I recall, though, this was one of the super humid days so the many artificial fibers in both the blouse & pants were distinctly ill-advised.  I did wear one of the awesome pairs of shoes I bought with A-Dubs when she was here.

Nude open toes: Me Too

While I regret the lack of pedicure, I’m pretty pleased with these shoes.  They’ve got a slight wedge so they’re very comfortable.  Plus patent nude shoes!  I love ’em.

Got any exciting Valentine’s plans?  More importantly, how about Galentine’s?  Also, how awesome is Leslie Knope?

Stripes, Tights, and a Gratuitous Dog Picture

Wow, November & December is a swirling vortex, isn’t it?  I’m almost on the other side of it now — I’ve submitted grades for one class and will be done with the other on Thursday or so — so things seem suddenly, wonderfully manageable.  This is the first December in nearly 10 years where I haven’t jetted out the door as soon as exams were written so the rest of the month will be calmer in a very new way for me — for which I’m excited.

Striped cardigan: Gap Outlet
Tank (unseen): Target
Khaki skirt: Gap
Navy tights: Hue
Gold flats: Nine West

I wore this today to work in a coffee shop, and make a brief appearance on campus for the department’s winter lunch (can I just say that a winter lunch without alcohol is a somewhat poor substitute for the traditional holiday party?  Though this did feature a delicious 7 layer dip in the shape of the state I live in).  As I was getting dressed, I decided on the navy tights first and then wished that I had a navy, breton striped top to wear, forgetting about this sweater’s very existence.  Now, this hardly matches the Platonic ideal of the navy breton striped shirt that exists in my mind, but it worked as a substitute in a pinch.

Scarf: Gifted from a friend of my mom

This scarf, which I hardly ever wear (it’s slightly too upholstery-y for me), worked perfectly — tying together the blues, greens and golds.  Matching while pattern mixing FTW.

A gratuitous mini-FR shot, since he’s totally over the outfit photo shoots.  I’m biased, but, seriously, can you imagine a cuter face??
How is everyone feeling about the middle of December?  Academics, you surviving?  Non-academics, are sick of academic bloggers complaining about December yet?

Also, great blog alert: Celebrity Gossip, Academic Style.  Lots of fun and really thoughtful articles here about celebrity and gossip (like about why everyone loves Michael Fassbender, and Claire Dane’s return to television).

Monday, Monday

Man, does it ever feel like November here (apart from the fact that I still can’t completely turn off the air-conditioning): I spent the weekend grading, it’s gray and blustery today, and I just want to stay in my pjs all day.  While I work out some way to dress today that’s basically pajamas but still teaching acceptable, here’s a couple of things I was wearing last week.

Black faux-wrap shirt: Joe
Black tank: Target
Jeggings: Old Navy
Gold flats: Nine West
Feather print scarf: France

Here’s an outfit built around the scarf I bought in France (detail shot below).  It’s silk and gorgeous, and subtly the colors of the tricolore.  The rest of the outfit didn’t photography well here but it’s really beside the point: it’s merely a background for feathery goodness.

Dress: Old Navy
Cardigan: Gap
Gold flats: Nine West
Purple tights: Target
Scarf: Germany

I love this dress.  It’s the perfect piece for showing off things like scarfs or bright blue cardigans.  This is also my first foray into the colorful tights arena.  I love a dark purple so this seemed well within my comfort zone.  

Inspired by M. of An Epic Battle in High Heels, I went for a long overdue head suit alteration.  I didn’t get a shot of it when doing these outfit pictures, but one’s coming…  My hair’s the longest it’s been in years so I find that haircuts appear less significant but there’s something to be said for the psychological effect of having a tidied up head–even if just externally!  

E-Jo Copycat

A month ago, E-Jo, superhero of jewel-tone colour mixing that she is, put together this gorgeous ensemble.

As I have some similar pieces, I tried a copycat. I think I like her version better. Her brown skirt and tights seem to fit with the teal and honeysuckle more naturally than all my black does, don’t you think?

Jacket: Rubber Ducky (thrifted, remixed)
Necklace: mall anchor store
Shell: Alfani (remixed
Skirt: RW&Co
Tights: Hue
Shoes: Clarks Artisan (remixed)

Here’s a close-up of the tights – can you see the coral-ish tone of the stripe?  (I am a genius with the camera.)

Forgive my brevity today. As previously noted, it’s end-of-term and I am bagged. 

Weekend conference attendees, will you be reporting in, soon? 
How’d it go? Who’d you see? What’d you wear?

Champagne Tastes: Wolford Marlene Tights

You already know how much I love tights, but these are a cut above:

One of my colleagues actually owns a pair of these and so I have seen them in person and they are absolutely divine.

And I don’t even like nude tights. I don’t even like to say “nude tights.”  It sounds unseemly.  (You see what I did there, right?)

How I would wear them: Definitely with a simple black pencil skirt that perfectly skims my knee at its prettiest and narrowest point.  Definitely after some kind of calf-defining calisthenics.
And definitely with a pair of Christian Louboutin Helmut pumps.

That I also do not own.

Reasons to hesitate:  If I laddered them–and, let’s face it, of course I (or the Vampire Cat) would ladder them–I would be distraught to the point of distraction and I would never be able to get any work done.  Can you imagine if I didn’t get tenure because I laddered my stockings?  That would be unseemly.  (You definitely saw what I did there, right?)

But here’s my question about Wolford tights:  are they worth the price of admission?  I have plenty of pairs of inky black, non-sheer, non-shiny, practically indestructible cotton tights (Life brand from Shoppers D) that cost less than $10 a pair.  They aren’t Wolford Matte Opaque 80 but they still achieve that Edie Sedgwick je ne sais quoi at a fraction of the cost.  What is the siren call of Wolford?

Of course, the Marlene tights are a whimsical work of art and maybe that’s enough to make you want to stop your ears. You know, those of you who don’t live with a psychotic cat.
Do you have a pair of Wolford tights?  Are they worth it? 

N.B. Wolford has not compensated me in any way for this post because, really, my legs are not those legs.  And Christian Louboutin doesn’t even know I have feet.

30 for 30: The Home Stretch

Almost there, Style Nation. I’ve got 4 remixes left after today. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to branching out of these 30 pieces. That said, I’ve also been surprised by how little I’ve been dying to wear my other stuff. I’ll have my final thoughts on this whole experience later on but they can probably be summed up by saying that it’s given me a helpful sense of sartorial focus.
That said, this week’s sprint to the finish line got side-tracked by grading and an oncoming cold. I had big plans to wear real clothes yesterday but I just never got there.
Here’s the other recent outfits:
Sweater: Gap
Striped shirt: Joe
Cargos and slippers: Old Navy

May I present to you a Christmas ham shaped like the mini-FR? He wanted to be in the picture and then, as we waited for the flash, a squirrel had the temerity to scamper across my porch. All of a sudden, blogging seemed like the stupidest thing ever. This is my desperate attempt to hang on to him. Also, you get to see my slippers. Exciting, no? I took this picture later in the day and I forgot to put shoes back on.

Sweater and skirt (it’s the reverse of the blue one): Gap
Undershirt: Target
Tights: Hue — you can’t see it, but they’ve got a chevron pattern.
Shoes: Aerosoles
Necklace: Anthro, super sale. Seriously. I paid $10. It’s original price was $60, which I would NEVER have paid.

I wore this for my last day of teaching. The necklace is pretty glorious. Made even more so by the deal I got on it. I’m heading into Austin this weekend to do some Christmas shopping and I’m hoping to score some similar deals. But back to my last day of classes, not much to say other than that both my students and I were fried. I’ve made a couple of serious, but relatively minor, mistakes recently that made me particularly happy to see the end of the term — with the home that I can get my crap together for next term.

Dress as skirt: Old Navy
Shirt: Gap
Navy tights: Hue
Gold flats: Nine West

This is today’s outfit. And while it looks relatively dressy, it was/ is actually super comfortable. God bless you, cotton jersey. One thing that I’m continually surprised by is how comfortable these tights are. I only took them off when I got home so that the mini-FR wouldn’t snag them. Otherwise, I totally would have kept them on. This, to me, is astonishing.

How are you guys handling the onslaught of the cold weather? It’s even cold here (and, by cold, I mean the 50s/10s — though it was in the 80s/20s just days ago).

I’m heading back to do some more grading, but am going to give myself a dancing movie marathon after dinner to keep my spirits up. On the ticket? Center Stage and Dirty Dancing. Other suggestions?

Not Red and Black

D-Med got me thinking about tights, and I’m trying not to wear so much red and black. To quote a Style Nation citizen’s recent post*, “that’s all I’ve got.”

Except that I don’t like these boots anymore. But I had to talk about commodity fetishism in this morning’s lecture. The boots are integral to this discussion. Ok. Now, that’s all.

Wool dress: Calvin Klein (via Melanie Lyne)
Silk giant-rose-print scarf: no clue (I hate tags on scarves, so like a dummy, I cut it off & threw it away)
Swirl-pattern tights: Hue (via Winners)
Boots: Feet First

This is about as short as I can comfortably go, skirt-wise, in the classroom. And I ALWAYS wear this dress with black tights. It’s too short to wear with coloured tights for teaching, right?

What up, Style Nation? 

Americanos, when are you offline for the holiday, if at all? 

More importantly, when can we expect you back?

* I’m sorry that I can’t find your name, but if you comment below, I’ll edit to credit

Legs Eleven

The other day, A-Dubs debuted some excellent superhero blue tights with matching wedges, but queried the quirk of her sartorial choice.  I often match my shoes to my tights and I wonder what makes it work and, more importantly, what makes it wonky.

Tights are a staple of my F/W wardrobe.  That means now.  I know that the rest of StyleNation is experiencing unseasonably bare leg weather, but here at IPF, Eastern Division it has been raining for over a week and now that the sun has mercifully returned, it is cold.  Puffy coat weather cold.  So I swaddle my gams and bring it.

This is what I wore the very same day that A-Dubs posted about her blue legs:

Skirt: All Saints
Purple Argyle Tights: Marks & Spencer
Purple Flats: Frye
Ladypose: Kicky

My mother always told me not to wear black tights with black shoes.  I don’t know why because this very advice led to an unfortunate incident in my early twenties when I wore a black velvet dress, white lace tights, and black patent leather heels to an important awards ceremony.

I can’t believe I just told you that.  I’m totally losing my credibility as a Style Icon.



Skirt: All Saints  Black Chevron Tights: Marks & Spencer  Black Illusion Shoes: United Nude.

This outfit is a lower-half staple.  The skirt is supposed to be bunched up like that but inevitably some kind soul informs me that I am experiencing static cling.
Why doesn’t anyone realise that I am a Style Icon?
Skirt: Closet (from Joy)
Brown Wooly Tights: Warm Legwear
Brown Shoes: Zinda

Here are some other ways I wear tights:

Skirt: All Saints
Grey Tights: can’t remember but I wore them for my campus visit two years ago so now they are my Lucky Tights
Blue Suede Shoes: vintage

One pair of tights, two ways:
Skirt: Comrags
Lacy Black Tights: Marks & Spencer
Leopard Print Flats: Topshop
Wellies: Hunter

The picture on the left is what I meant to wear.  The picture on the right is what I did wear when I forgot to pack my shoes.  Nothing says professional like wearing wellies to teach in.  Especially if they are wet and punctuate your lecture with aptly-timed squelches.  
Style. Icon.
Here are some ways I wish I could wear tights but have not done so outside of this photo shoot:

Skirt: Joe Fresh (grocery store)
Multi-Coloured Stripy Wooly Tights: bought them in Madrid
Red Booties: Fly London

Too Willy Wonka?
Yes, too Willy Wonka.

Skirt: Joe Fresh
Grey Wooly Tights: Warm Legwear
Peep-toe Sandals: Swedish Has-Beens

I’m still not comfortable wearing peep-toes in the classroom.  Even if I go all Prada 2006, it’s just not how I roll.  But I sort of like this.


I love tights.  I love how cozy they are.  I love how they can add sass or class to any outfit.

And I especially love not having to shave my legs because I am wearing tights.
What about you, StyleNation?  Do you love tights?  
Do I love tights too much?  More importantly,  you think I’m a Style Icon, right?