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?


I don’t have much to offer you lovely people today as summer continues apace here with its pattern of working and complaining about the heat moving along nicely.  As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve gotten into a nice little work routine where I meet up with friends to work in coffee shops in the afternoon.  Working with other people helpfully shames me into getting far more work done than I do on my own.  Shame, as always, continues to be my greatest and most effective motivator.

Alongside this work routine, I’ve developed a bit of a uniform.  See if you can tell its constituent parts in the following:

Exhibit A:

White t: Old Navy; Brown shorts: Target; Striped scarf: Joe; Black patent Birkenstocks

Exhibit B:

top and shoes: as above; Brown pants & scarf: Old Navy

These shirts are the Old Navy ones that Ally at Wardrobe Oxygen mentioned a couple of months ago and I’m, more or less, obsessed with them.  I think I’ve got six in a pretty regular rotation right now.  I’ve been wearing them A LOT with the cotton pants in the bottom picture — you guys know how much I love an Old Navy cotton casual pant — which I also have in a khaki color.  The pants are good for the freezing coffee shops but light enough that I don’t collapse from heat stroke the minute I go outside.  This makes for comfortable outfits, but not exactly the most visually thrilling ones.  And, if I’m being honest, the outfit is frequently sans scarf.  It’s a thrilling life I lead here.

Anyone else got a style uniform they develop in extreme temperatures?  Or during periods of non-stop work?

Conference Bound!

I leave tomorrow at a ridiculous time for a conference in Vancouver. This is the first conference I’ve done in a while — I’ve been focusing on finishing revisions on my book project so conferencing has seemed like a little bit of a distraction rather than an aid at this point. This makes me slightly nervous about being off my conference game. As A-Dubs’ noted earlier this week, we academics can be a weird lot when we have to socialize in a professional setting. Conferences can be this great space where you get to talk about what you’re most engaged in intellectually and meet great colleagues who share your interests. But they can also feel like a junior high dance where all the cool kids hang out together — and if you don’t have an in, it’s hanging out alone time (also, don’t get me or A-Dubs started on the gender politics of some of these conferences. Gah.).
Cardigan: Gap
White, ruffly shirt: Joe
Pants: NY & Co.
Shoes: Nine West
Brown ring: gifted from my sister
Luckily, for this conference, a current colleague of mine and two of the students from my fall grad course are going. It’s nice to have a small cohort of people you know at these things. And, more importantly, I’m staying with two grad school friends. I’m pretty sure things are going to get awesome.

Also, on a totally unrelated note (and mostly in reference to a conversation I had with A-Dubs), here’s a photo of the dresser I re-painted over Spring Break. It looks more coral, and less orange in person (I also want to replace the knobs but haven’t gotten around to doing so). It used to be a beat-up dark purple and birch.

Dresser: Ikea Robin
Any suggestions for avoiding the conference awkwardness?

30 for 30: Last (Full) Week of Classes!

Oh, end of term, I couldn’t love you more if I tried. Maybe if you didn’t inflict such a heap of grading on me… (Though really I have no one but myself to blame for the schedule) Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving Style Nation — or a lovely fourth weekend of November to our non-American members. Mine was good — filled with relaxing, eating of turkey, buying of TV, having a credit check performed by a current student to purchase said TV, and not getting enough work done. All in all, not a bad weekend.
Since I’ve got roughly a gazillion outfits to post to catch up my 30 for 30 adventures, let’s get to the pictures.
Top: Joe
Skirt: Gap
Tights: Target
Shoes: Aerosoles
Necklace-as-bracelet: Gifted from my Mom (Silpada, though)

Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that I skipped this outfit in my last post. Lest I be anything short of transparent on this blog and in my completion of the 30 for 30 challenge, here’s outfit #10. I quite liked it in person — and in fact was complimented on it by my most style-y colleague. I hate these particular tights with these shoes; they’re not opaque enough so that my toes didn’t really look like they were covered in a way that seemed weird. Fortunately, I stocked up on new Hue tights after this outfit so hopefully this problem is a thing of the past.

Top and skirt: Gap
Tights: Hue
Shoes: Nine West
Necklace: The Bay

I wore this for Thanksgiving at a colleague’s house (I’m wearing some of my new tights — navy, here). After a bit of a heat wave, the temperatures dropped precipitously on Thanksgiving which was perfect for cramming my face with delicious food.

Top: Target
Cargos: Old Navy
Shoes: Chucks

This is what I wore to have the aforementioned awkward-est credit check ever. At least I looked relatively cute. And it was run by a student who’s doing well in my class and, thus, isn’t likely to be vindictive. And at least my salary was disclosed by me to the computer and not to him. But, still, GAH. This is why sort-of small towns suck. And it’s also an important lesson that if I can’t afford to pay for something without a store credit card, I probably shouldn’t buy it. Because it could be embarrassing. Not because it’s financially irresponsible.

Sweater: Gap
Tank: Hanes
Jeans: Old Navy
Shoes: Chucks
Necklace: Gifted from one of my sisters (the middle one, I think)

I think I wore this outfit for about an hour to do some errands on Saturday and then promptly changed into sweats. Just keeping it real here at IPF South.

Top: Joe
Skirt: Gap
Tights: Target

Ubiquitous gold flats: Nine West
Silver cuff: Forever 21 about a million years ago

So, here’s where I started making some substitutions in my 30 items. I traded this skirt for the purple plaid shirt I had in. The plaid shirt is one I want to love but just don’t for anything outside of working at home. This is partly because it doesn’t fit super well in the chestal arena, but mostly, I think this is a trend that just doesn’t work for my style. I’ve imagined lots of outfits for it but every one I put on I switch out of. Clearly, if it ain’t a striped shirt, I’m having none of it. Anyhow, this skirt is the twin to my workhorse khaki green — and is reversible and brown on the other side so it’s super versatile for the final half of these 30 days.

Any tips for making a trend work? Or do you just concede that one person doesn’t need to try everything?

Also, have you entered our giveaway yet? If not, you should probably do that.

Copycat Edition

*NB for A-Dubs: the mini-FR is all up in the grill of today’s post. Clearly, he’s heard your requests for more pictures of smooth dogs.
Inspired by the oh-so-stylish Style Underdog, today is a copycat outfit–or at least the top portion is. After seeing her rock the outfit from the Banana Republic ad and our own A-Dubs’ continued awesomeness with a coral cardigan, I had to get one for myself. So… my shopping ban of 3 weeks or so went out the window. In my search for a coral cardigan, I ended up buying a couple of pieces which will make their appearance soon but today is all about the coral cardigan (at least I got it on a major sale, right?? I’m also justifying the shopping slip-up as a birthday gift to myself. That’s a thing, right?).
The outfit was probably a little warm for today. It started off in the 50s/10s and ended up in the 80s/ high 20s so I couldn’t really win, comfort-wise. The shirt I’ve got on under the cardigan is the twin to a black one, worn previously on the blog, with invisible-to-the-photo ruffles. It’s also pretty sheer and, since I had a committee meeting today with senior department members, sheer probably wasn’t the way to go. So the cardi stayed on all day.
Coral Cardigan: Gap
White ruffled shirt: Joe (essentially remixed)
Khaki green workhorse skirt: Gap (remixed)
Snakeskin flats: Old Navy (remixed)

In other news, I’m going to be MIA for the next week: my dad & his girlfriend are coming to town so I’ll be busy playing host, preparing Canadian Thanksgiving. I’ll be reading your blogs as always but probably not commenting and definitely not posting as trying to explain this whole “style blog” thing might prove frustrating. In the meantime, the mini-FR was demanding to make his presence known in today’s picture-taking endeavors, leading to the following that captures (or would, if you could see my face) our oh-so rational conversations. This is seriously one of my favorite pictures ever:

Whose style did you try and copy (*ahem* cite) today?

Wardrobe Workhorse Week: Neutral Skirt & Colorful Flats

The lovely and fashionable women over at Scholar Style Guide have declared this week Wardrobe Workhorse Week — which I am taking part in. The beginning of term has had me thinking about what clothing items & accessories I can’t live without, which ones I should wearmore/ remix more adventurously, and, finally, what things can be gotten rid of. My items for today are a mix of old and new workhorses.

Neutral Skirt:
This is a skirt I’ve had for ages and haven’t worn for a while (except, of course, when I posted with it a few weeks ago). I was inspired to bring it out by A-Dubs’ styling of a similar skirt — this particular outfit is a direct attempt to imitate A-Dubs. I’m particularly enamored of pairing the khaki green skirt with stripes but I think it also looks great with bright color. This particular use of the skirt uses a fairly muted color palette but I could easily switch that up as the term goes on. The main thing is that I have to talk myself out of wearing it every day which I think confirms its workhorse nature.

Skirt: Gap
Black t-shirt: Target
Striped tank: Old Navy
Purple necklace: gifted from my soon to be brother-in-law (though I suspect my sister might have had something to do with picking it out).

Colorful Flats:
Last year before I bought a car, I walked nearly 2 miles to work everyday. This was stupid. It’s way too hot here to do this and there are literally no sidewalks in the town I live in. Plus, it led to way too many conversations with senior faculty about my carlessness which made me feel like a child rather than a colleague (to be clear, this was not my colleagues’ intention but how I responded to it). Anyhow, I digress. Because the walk was fairly lengthy, I wore sensible walking shoes to and from campus everyday — shoes that I did not want to teach in.
Fortunately, I have amassed a relatively large collection of colorful flat shoes that were easy to transport because they weren’t bulky and which decidedly livened up my teaching wardrobe. Most of them now live in my office. I find these shoes to be comfortable teaching shoes (for the most part — they were all ludicrously cheap and so not always all that great to wear long-term). While I drive to work now and therefore have some more options in teaching footwear, I continue to make a lot of use of my office flats for when I don’t want to wear heels.
Purple Flats: Joe (I wore these flats with the outfit above)
Pink flats: Gap
What items in your closet have you rediscovered recently?

Unrelated to this post: A great blog has just been started up by some Canadian female academics (including a former advisor of mine!) that looks like it will be fantastic and of interest to many of you. You can find it here.