Is there Anybody Out There?

So… it looks like it’s been over a year since we were last in this space.  It’s been a busy year for A-Dubs and I: baby, tenure, etc…  We’ve missed this and you though, but it’s time for a new format.  You can find us now, more regularly, over on Instagram (this is the desktop link for those of you who don’t use the app — you need an account to comment, etc.).  We’ll still pop up here once in a while, but we look forward to seeing you in our new space!

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!

Prego Profesh-ish

StyleNation, February is almost over and I’m betting MANY of you across North America are more than ready for the end of this crappy stormy month.

Outfit #1: Off-campus meeting

In other news, I’m on research leave but still occasionally have to get out of my pyjamas. For instance, I wore this relatively casual ensemble for an off-campus meeting with a research assistant:

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Cotton jersey tunic: Boden (new to blog); White cotton cami: ??; Wool/acrylic stripe drape-front cardigan: (remixed, via Winners); Maternity under-belly dark-wash skinny jeans: Indigo Blue (via Motherhood Maternity – worst store name ever – new to blog); Black leather riding boots: Blondo (via Brown’s, remixed ad nauseum on this blog)

And here, just because I have it, is another view. Can you tell I’m trying to emphasize the baby belly? People keep missing that I’m pregnant. Case in point: upon learning that I am almost 7 months along, a woman I met at a meeting last week said, “Oh, that’s exciting! I thought you were just chunky!

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Outfit 1: Things are exactly as they appear

I wore this for a fantastic but very long day on and off-campus during which I co-hosted multiple events with multiple guest speakers. I needed to be super-comfortable.

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Wool/acrylic beige and silver cable 3/4 sleeve cardigan: H&M (very old but new to blog); Cotton jersey blue and grey stripe ruched maternity dress: Isabella Oliver (via the indie prego store down the street, new to blog – also, it can be worn post-pregnancy because of all the wicked ruching!); “Silver” bead necklace: craft fair (remixed, old); Brown tights: Hue (plus-size, for my prego comfort); Brown leather boots: Browns (remixed)

Here’s another view. Apologies for cutting out the bootage. It was very early, and I was in a HUGE rush:

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Sadly, even with this fantastic dress, things got dire, comfort-wise, by hour 16. Also, tights are the worst if you are (a) pregnant (and thus have ridiculously sensitive skin on the back of your stupid legs), and (b) sitting on hard chairs for much of the day. That said, the dress held its shape all day. Also, its horizontal stripes emphasized the baby belly and minimized the “chunky” talk.

Do you use fashion to help others know/recognize things about you?

How so?

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Days: Dresses

Whew! September is flying  by, thank the gods. It’s always a full-on month-long scramble I can’t wait to be over, despite the piles of marking that arrive with October. Also, one of the courses I’m teaching this term is a 3-hour afternoon one I’ve not taught before. This means eons of prep time and a LOT of dashing around last minute, searching for books, making copies, and throwing tech into bags to haul to class just in case it’s needed.

All of this dashing and scrambling generally means I spend less time than I should planning outfits. Thus, there’ve been some misses of late, sartorially speaking. I offer the following for your consideration/commentary:

1. Dress that Hangs like a Bag

Purchased last year in a funky shop that makes me want to be as cool as it is. The dress/bag itself is made of summer weight wool and lycra, so it’s super-comfortable. I’m forced to admit, however, that it looks like a potato sack. Tits.

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Banana Blue Mauve/gray dress: new to blog; Black cotton T and leggings: ubiquitous on this blog; Beaded silver bracelets: remixed; Fly London Yayas in black: remixed

Here’s another iteration, equally unsuccessful:

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Dress: as above; Mexx long white linen cardigan: remixed; Stella & Dot silver bib necklace: remixed; “Silver” beaded bracelets: remixed; Mexx white camp: remixed; Ecco Silver leather sandals: new to blog

2. Summer-Sale Misfire

This dress is sort of insane; it has a LOT going on. Probably too much. I can see why it was in the sales, but it’s redonk comfortable, and I kind of dig the crazy. Also,  I think I can style it better than this. In short, I am keeping it but recognize that this first iteration leaves a lot to be desired:

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Kenneth Cole insane dress: new to blog (via Kenneth Cole online); Black cotton/lycra cropped cardigan: ?? (I cut out the itchy, itchy tag); Black bamboo capri leggings: Joe Fresh (technically pyjamas, purchase last year before we knew exactly how much Joe Fresh, the brand, sucketh); David Dixon embellished pewter “snakeskin” leather flats: remixed

And here it is from the back. I told you there’s a LOT going on:

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3. This One I Love

It’s got everything on my new work-dress checklist: high neckline? check; Heavy cotton jersey that doesn’t show my underwear line? check; Colour that is kind to my complexion? check. In other news, there’s no big dark wet patch on the right side. The camera put that there. Or maybe it’s a ghost.

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Neon Buddha steel-grey cotton jersey dress: new to blog; Loft cream cotton short-sleeved cropped cardigan: remixed; Necklace: remixed; Naturalizer nude-for-my-skin-tone leather wedge sandals: remixed

I’d love to stay and chat, but I need my hands for eating cake. The A-Dubs-Hubs is working late, so the dogs and I are having a picnic in bed.

Here’s a final question: is the dress I love too casual for work? Is it a going-to-yoga thing?

(I am easily seduced by yoga clothes.)

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

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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)

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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

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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

1. CANADIAN SUMMERS

What’s on your list, StyleNation?

Things that are Distant though Near (also, Office Pyjamas)

Greetings, StyleNation, from this frigid and seemingly-eternally snowy northern city. How’ve you been?

Things here at IPF, Northern Division, have been redonk* busy. Having co-hosted a multi-day, multi-speaker festival in January, I’m now scrambling to write two grant proposals, keep up with teaching, and meet a March 1st deadline in my newly established academic writing group.

* redonk = the ridiculous way of typing/saying ridiculous

Other Stuff, Scroll Down for Outfit Post

In related news, the course on violence-against-women (and feminist analyses/responses to the same) I’m teaching this term has been unexpectedly exhausting, both intellectually and emotionally. More specifically, it has triggered a bunch of personal crap for me. Following last week’s discussion of the worldwide pervasiveness of sexual assault, for example, sleep between midnight and 3am was replaced by a memory loop of the sounds of my former roommate’s rape. Moreover, I am struggling to find and share appropriate support resources for my students, many of whom have written in their assignments – despite my repeated advisories that academic space is not necessarily safe space for such disclosure – about their experiences of intimate partner violence and sexual assault. Once more, from a purely individual perspective, I feel like I am drowning and have had to engage in self-care, despite all pending deadlines.

Outfit #1: Office Pyjamas

Fortunately, Reading Week, the Canadian equivalent of Spring Break (woot!), happens very soon. In honour of such beautiful respite, my Sei Shōnagon-inspired list for today’s post is “Things That are Distant Though Near.”

Things that are Distant though Near: 

5. Reading Week

Sal’s post on accessorizing – specifically scarf-tying – is the partial inspiration for this outfit, designed as Office Pyjamas for a non-teaching day.

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Pj’s: Tall Girl; Robe: made and gifted by Mom; Velour slippers: Joe Fresh

Just kidding. Those are home office pyjamas, the combination I want to wear every day, especially when it’s cold, dark, and snowy. In reality, however, I wore this. Thanks to Sal, these pj’s are supplemented with a sparkly scarf – in honour of the very senior woman with whom I met this afternoon. We had  coffee and discussed tenure and promotion (i.e. my accomplishments to date, and my future in academia):

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Chambray & linen tunic: DKNY (via Winners, remixed); Teal, purple, & silver poly-cotton & rayon scarf: Winners (no tag – I hate tags on scarves); Teal long-sleeve cotton T: Smart Set (remixed); “Silver” link bracelet: local gardening store (weird source, no? They’re also the only place selling Desigual designs in my city.); Brown cords/leggings: Smart Set; Brown leather boots: Rockport (old, re-soled – including addition of “winter tread” – multiple times because they are just that great)

Boot and pantal close-up (for what it’s worth, given my abysmal photography):

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all stuff (all 2 things) as above

Things that are Distant though Near (cont’d):

 

4. Old friendships, especially for those who move between cities

3. SPRING

2. Inverted poses in yoga (for me, at least)

1. The past/future

 

Have you anything to add, StyleNation?

What or who is simultaneously far away

and torturously close to you of late? 

Things Later Regretted

Happy New Year, StyleNation – and Happy New Term to the academics in the group!

As it is now the ides of janvier, we had best get this party re-started, n’est-ce pas?

In recent past, the brilliant E-Jo recommended that I read Ruth Ozeki’s wonderfully terrifying novel My Year of Meats. Among MANY other things, My Year of Meats introduced me to the historical Japanese writer Sei Shōnagon and her hilariously ruthless, poetical lists.

In short, thanks to E-Jo, Ozeki, and Shōnagon, I introduce a new feature here at IPF. Over the next while, I’ll use Shōnagon’s titles to create new lists—and I’ll enlist your help in expanding them, StyleNation!

For reasons that may become obvious shortly, I shall begin as follows:

Things Later Regretted

1. To eat mountains of sweets and drink gallons of nog and mulled wine over one’s holidays.

2. To squeeze one’s increasing girth into one’s beautiful, already-fitted leather skirt for the first day of teaching, and to blow out a seam in the process:

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Scarf: Smartset; Top: Dalia (via Costco, the evil empire with whom I recently broke up); Skirt: Danier Leather (thrifted, new to blog); Tights: Hue (remixed); Shoes: Fly London

(here’s a shoe close-up):

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3. To inform one’s spouse that one of their gifts was gently re-wrapped and re-gifted from the box of last year’s gifts (found recently in the back of his office).

4. To agree to teach yet another new course when one desperately needs more time to apply for grants and publish in order to retain one’s job.

5. To ask one’s favourite undergrad to house-and-dogsit, and to mention that they may help themselves to the wine.

Now it’s your turn, StyleNation.

What might you add to “Things Later Regretted”?

Trying to Try

Cheers, StyleNation, and welcome to the new academic year! Yes, almost everybody in the Northern (academic) hemisphere is back to class now, except for the lucky few – our own E-Jo, for example – who are excused from teaching and will thus spend the term engrossed in their research.

To be clear, gentle readers, for all my griping about prep and marking, I enjoy my time in the classroom. Generally, my students are great, and I LOVE the stuff I teach. But the balance is off lately, and I dream of months of uninterrupted research coupled with some respite from student demands. With almost 200 students this term and very little in the way of assistance with marking, I must (and will) rally. But I’m eligible for leave next year (hurrah!) and am counting down the days!

Professorial rant (scroll down for outfit post)

In the mean time, I have serious concerns about young feminists/feminism. I have this fantasy that this is only happening in my city, but regular (and VERY annoying) exposure (at conferences) to feminist and/or queer cultural studies suggests otherwise. Here’s the problem as I see it: gender-queer practices are the new (so-called) feminism, and the new (so-called) feminism tends to be anti-historical, intensely preoccupied with (Euro-North American) selfhood/identities, alarmingly elitist, and often misogynist. In short, gender-queer politics, at least in the incarnations in which I witness them, are not feminist at all. Instead, there’s an apparent “need” to eliminate the category of “woman” because it is, apparently, reprehensible and ostensibly irrecuperable. In this context, too, gender-queer’s preoccupation with a representative gender-neutral “personhood” seems to over-value a form of (relatively young) slightly re-fashioned masculinity. Gender-queer politics names this refashioned masculinity “androgyny.”

If this is actually a thing now, then, in my not-so-humble opinion, we’ve got a serious – and very tiresome – problem. For my part, I grow INTENSELY WEARY of the refusal, on the part of gender-queer critics, theorists, and students, to interrogate the assumptions underlying their politics.

How does this politics manifest in the undergraduate women’s studies classroom, the nerdier among you might ask? Currently, I am informed on a semi-regular basis, by 17-to-22-year-old persons with carefully-styled “androgynous” hair and clothing, that gender binaries must be disregarded to the point where any research or activism that acknowledges constructed genders is irrelevant.

How many times do we have to learn that socially constructed ideas have real effects, and that “refusing” to engage with a particular ideology does not, in fact, negate its effects in culture? Why can they not hear when a vast and diverse body of feminist cultural critics and theorists points out that even their gender-queer counter-culture defines itself in relation to mainstream gender ideals (i.e. gender-queer NEEDS normative gender constructions in order to understand what it is not)?

Moreover, I am sick and tired of research examining gender-based cultural belief systems that result, for example, in “women’s” starvation and death, or in infant mortality being disregarded and dismissed because those who wrote up the research failed to problematize the constructed categories of “man” and “woman,” or failed to account for a “woman”‘s personal agency when she “chose” to feed her husband and children before herself.

Here endeth my ranting. For now.

Outfit #1: First day of class

No, it’s not exciting, but I wasn’t excited to start teaching, again:

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Cardigan: M.A.K. (gifted from D-Med, remixed); Silk & lycra shell: Le Chateau (new to blog); Black cami: H&M (remixed); Linen trousers: H&M (remixed and redyed); Invisible black flats: MTNY (via Winners, new to blog)

Outfit #2: Teaching Day (today)

It’s chillier today. My classroom this morning was especially cold, so I lectured in this jacket:

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Cotton velvet blazer: RW & Co. (gifted from the A-Dubs-Hubs ages ago); Printed polyester tunic: Smart Set (new this season); Black leather belt: Mexx (remixed); Pleated black maxi skirt: Reitmans (end-of-season sales this summer); Trouser socks: Joe Fresh; Pewter faux-snakeskin flats with hardware: David Wilcox for Town Shoes (love these, bought ’em in gold, too)

Then, it warmed up, so I took off the jacket for my second class in the afternoon:

What’s up with you, StyleNation?

Also, am I being crazy about this gender-queer stuff?

Dressing (Just) Outside the Academy: Business Up Top, A Slightly Less Formal Business Down Below

It is with no small amount of envy that I have been reading recent IPF dispatches about mullet skirts, office pyjamas, and The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.  You see, here at IPF DeskJob, we joke about “summer hours” like they’re a good thing, but what “summer hours” really means is “you will be putting in more of them.  Also, where’s your suit, slacker?”

It is in that spirit, then, that I ask you to receive my version of the mullet skirt: a particularly daring ensemble in which I mix two different types of business attire.

know, right?

Check it out: on the top, you’ve got your standard suit jacket.  But on the bottom?  Wait for it, kids: you’ve got a pencil skirt purchased from AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT STORE.  And on the feet, you’ve got the flats I walked to and from work in, because I forgot about our self-timer photoshoot and left my heels at work.

There is clearly a lot more to be said about my sartorial bravery, but I’ll have to leave that up to you in the comments field since I’m going in early this morning.  Summer hours, dontcha know?

Jacket: Mexx; tank: H&M; pencil skirt: J. Crew (#2 pencil); flats: Bloch; pendant: stall at a faux-hippie market; BlackBerry: The Man

How are summer hours treating you, StyleNation?