Office Pyjamas: November Survival Edition

Greetings, StyleNation, from the Great White North. Congratulations to all for making it to the middle of November.

Office PJs are going to be key to my survival to the end of this term because if I stay home in my actual pyjamas, I’ll just go back to bed. I’m really feeling the weight of this term’s teaching load. Also, as previously noted, it is once again time to delineate clear professional boundaries: slacker students are about to re-emerge to submit crappy or plagiarized work, blame women and racial minority professors for their (the students’) failures, and generally get up in my business as they panic about bringing a term’s worth of terrible grades home at winter break.

Autumn Office PJs #1

I’ll be sneaking into my office today in something like this (worn for another non-teaching day in October):

Zipper-front dress: D.E.P.T. (new to blog); Cami: H&M (old); Necklace: gifted; Leggings: ??, I cut out the giant scratchy tag (via Cosco, in a 2-pack. Must quit that place); Boots: Ben Sherman (remixed)

Yes, I am taking a call during this photo. I am very busy and (self)important.


Autumn Office PJs #2

Recently, I taught in this. After reviewing the photos, I think probably it should be relegated to the pyjama category. Some mornings, one cannot face either pants or tights; leggings thus become the only real option, even if items that cover one’s butt are limited by one’s failure to do laundry on even a semi-regular basis.

Mullet dress/tunic-thingy: ?? (that tag was scratchy, too; new to blog from end-of-summer sales); Black T-shirt: Kenneth Cole (remixed); “Gold” kitteh brooch: thrifted (bought for D-Med, but kept because ended up seeming to cheap to gift. Also, D-Med said people should stop buying her cat things just because she likes cats.); Stack of sparkly bracelets: The Bay; Leggings & boots: as above

Return of the Wonder Woman pose! (Remember when we used to do that all the time? Remember when we had a WW pose conference? I miss when we all did that.)

What strategies will you be employing to survive November, StyleNation? 


*The following are my (A-Dubs’s) opinions. I speak only for myself, not for my fellow bloggers.*

StyleNation, what are we going to do if the Romney/Ryan ticket prevails today? I can’t even begin to articulate how horrifying that prospect is, especially in the contexts of ongoing legislative assaults on women, Indigenous peoples, the environment, all future generations, the civil service, the poor, and immigrants by Canada’s neo-conservative (and thinly veiled right-wing Christian) regime.

In trying times, we need heroes. Perhaps even heroes like these ones, whose influence is felt only in the most individual domestic contexts, can offer much-needed moments of brightness in the long political night:

1. Get us out from under, Wonder Woman!

Fuzzy Roommate. His headband has a red star on it that’s not quite visible here or anywhere anymore because his puppy chewed it.

2. Another Dark Knight Rises:

The Fuzzy Roommate’s Puppy. Strategic fuzz placement, no?

A visage that inspires confidence.

With hope for a non-Romney-lead American future,

A-Dubs, out.

Rage and Safe Spaces in Fall

A Tale of Rage, satisfaction denied  (scroll down for outfit shots)
Once a year, my institution organizes an academic recruitment evening to which high school students are invited. Faculties and the programs and departments therein are required to set up and staff booths on this night, and then hand out pamphlets and other paraphernalia to encourage prospective students to declare us as their major when they get here next year. Usually, those of us who staff booths – and we know I have to do it every year, right? My program is teensy, so all full-time faculty are needed to staff our booth for the night – end up talking as much to parents as to teens.

Bear with me, people. I promise I’m going somewhere with this.

As you can perhaps imagine, in this age of job-training degrees and widespread post-feminism, Women’s and Gender Studies seems like a tough sell [*insert apology for consumerist language*]. But I’ve developed a spiel that includes, among other things, a list of jobs our graduates have gone on to do (lawyer, medical doctor, social worker, youth worker, international relations internship, university professor, etc., etc.).

I’d just finished the part where I talk about understanding and addressing the root causes of violence against marginalized and racialized groups, including First Nations people (women in particular), migrant workers (especially women, again), and gay, lesbian, transgendered, transsexual, and bisexual people. I began my brief outline of the research specialties of our faculty, which include examinations of issues directly related to same-sex desire, particularly lesbian people. At this point, the Semi-Interested Mom (SIM) to whom I was speaking interjected and we had the following ridiculous exchange:

SIM: Is that a big part of your classes?

A-Dubs (confused, suspicious): Is what a big part of our classes?

SIM: You know – that. How much of course time is taken up with that.

A-Dubs (thinking how I’m going to make her say “it”): Are you referring to issues related to same-sex desire and lesbian people?

SIM (besting me at this game): Yes. That. How much class time?

A-Dubs (smugly): An average amount. We try to talk about sexual desire in many contexts in order, for example, to understand and address cultural forces that prevent people (especially women) from leading full and satisfying lives.

(awkward pause; SIM gives me a dubious look; I try to think what to say next)

A-Dubs: So, it sounds like you’re alluding to the stereotype of feminists as man-hating, humourless separationist lesbians who set out to colonize unsuspecting young women, brainwash them, and thus transform them into man-hating, humourless lesbians who’ll revile and judge their parents, especially their mothers, for the rest of their lives. Is that it? 

SIM (without irony): Yes, exactly!

A-Dubs: Huh. (pregnant pause)

That’s not at all what we do. We’re NOT here to make your daughter into a lesbian. But we ARE here to support her, and we work to protect her and others from real or symbolic violence resulting from hers or others’ expressions of real sexual desires. For example, we work to understand and prevent the homophobic bullying that has caused so many child and teen suicides lately – like that one we heard about on our city news last week.

(I rattle on about anti-violence and valuing people, thinking I’m totally convincing her that Women’s and Gender Studies is awesome. She nods periodically, then interjects, again.)

SIM (big exhale, as though relieved): Well, that’s OK, then. I’m glad I asked because, you know, it could go either way.

A-Dubs (incredulous): You mean some departments would try to make your daughter a lesbian? That way?

SIM (knowingly, vaguely): Yes. It can go either way.

A-Dubs: No. It really can’t, and it doesn’t.

We went back and forth a little more in an unfunny “She said/She said” kind of way. Ultimately, she walked away, MAYBE convinced that the version of WGS at my institution is PERHAPS an exception to the rule she “knows.”

And I felt enraged, once again, at this evidence of the kind of dull, conservative, heterosexist and homophobic thinking that kills people’s kids, kids like the ones I see in my classes all the time. Kids like the one who recently wrote (in an assignment) that her WGS course is the only space in which she ever feels safe.

What kind of a ghoulish culture seeks to avoid and/or eliminate even these moments of safety, especially for its most marginalized members?

Teaching Outfits, worn while trying to establish, as much as I possibly can, safe classrooms:

Rose-printed black polyester tunic: Winners (new to blog)
Black puffed-sleeve cotton cardigan: Kensie (via The Bay, new to blog, but sooo old)
Studded black and brown leather belt: Mexx (remixed)
Black poly-rayon dress capris: NYC (via The Bay, new to blog, but also old)
Brown/black textured knee-highs: Hue (via Winners)
Black patent leather shoes: Clarks Artisan (via Shoe Heaven, remixed)
One-armed shoe-highlighting pose: stupidly difficult to achieve, even in this awkward iteration
Wonder Woman Pose: a timeless classic, especially here at IPF

#2. Velvet, tree bark, and fallen leaves look awesome together, n’est-ce pas?

Plum cotton velvet jacket: gifted from A-Dubs-Hubs ages ago (new to blog)
Black cotton T: H&M
Printed black cotton pleated skirt: Roxy (remixed)
Riding Boots: Aldo (remixed)
Ineffective boot-highlighting pose: just for you, StyleNation (and for the love of boots)
Have you any suggestions, StyleNation, 
for things I could have said to Semi-Interested Mom? 

The Fool on the Hill

I went to a conference a few weeks ago that was on a beautiful university campus located on the side of a mountain.
Well, a hill, but a very steep hill. With a swiftly-flowing river at the bottom of it.
I wore this:
Black Shirt: J. Crew
Black Checked Skirt: All Saints
Camel Shoes: Stuart Weitzman

Photo Bomber: Vampire Cat








Paper Topic: collection of fifteenth-century East Anglian female saints’ lives (Sort of makes you wish you knew me IRL, doesn’t it?)

I blame the conference organisers for not mentioning that a pencil skirt and heels, while wholly appropriate for disseminating research in a public forum, is not appropriate wear for the mountainous terrain of the campus.  I nearly broke a lot of parts of myself going uphill in this Killer Outfit.  And then again, going downhill toward the swiftly-flowing river.

What do you do when your outfit might actually kill you?  

One Dress Two Ways

I post today in support of E-Jo’s upcoming hard core 30 for 30 remixing. Even though I’m not participating in the challenge (this much planning stresses me out), I’m excited to see what she – and many of you – come up with this month. And I’m remixing this dress today in solidarity.

But first, a Brief Professorial Interlude: (scroll down for outfit post)
Like E-Jo, I also have only ten teaching days left in this term. That’s right, StyleNation, we’re entering the final countdown to at least two weeks of uninterrupted work on The Project That Will Not End. Sweet buckets of awesomeness!*

I usually feel the need to bring it, sartorially, in these final weeks as students are bleary-eyed and worn out from too much studying or too much partying (or both). It becomes necessary, therefore, to work a little harder – especially in my large Intro. course – to keep eyes open and focused on the front of the room.

But some students are panicking because they’re failing, and they’re looking for someone (else) to blame for their having slacked off all term. Which is a long way of saying that now is perhaps not the time for sartorial whimsy for woman-identified professors. Deep-seated cultural chauvinism (misogyny, even) hidden under politeness and political correctness at other times of the year seems to surface during these weeks. In other words, women beware.** My only protection against these kinds of threats – you know, aside from feminist anti-violence policy, research, and education – is to retain what professional presence I can in the classroom instead of relaxing into a more casual instructor-persona as I come to know many of the students in my classes.

Outfit post Resumes Here:
After today’s relatively whimsical ensembles, I will be working to strike a balance between bringing it interest-wise, and dialling it back in terms of whimsical details. But first, this is me taking Rad and D-Med’s long-ago-offered advice and wearing knee socks under boots:

Poly-blend microfibre dress: Cleo (thrifted)
Cardigan: Nygard (remixed)
Tank dress: Le Chateau
Necklace: mall anchor store (If this were high school, I’d be going steady with a LOT of people. That’s what a ring on a necklace means, right?)
Boots: Miss Mooz (remixed)
Socks:do we care? They’re black.

~ Trying a more boot-focussed pose. Huh. ‘Harder than it looks. Maybe I hate the magazine ads with scantilly-clad models wearing boots and sprawling on the floor with their feet in the air a little less. .  .

I thrifted this dress in August for $7 with its original tags in place. This is an important detail because these kinds of unnatural fibres tend over time to absorb and retain sweat smells; I prefer to smell only myself in my clothes. Also, the chain link pattern is awesome and will be fun to use as a backdrop for giant necklaces.

Warning: the next ensemble’s a wee bit wonky. Even my colleague who never wants to talk fashion noted that this was a “crazy outfit.” I blame Paula Reed’s Style Clinic for this bit of weirdness. This book told me to match my shoes to my tights, not my dress, to elongate my legs. I’m not sure this is what the guide had in mind:

Dress: as above
Cami: H&M (I’ll be eliminating the high-necked cami in future dress stylings. ‘Seems like overkill now that I see the photos)
Black ribbon & faux-silver necklace: mall anchor store
Cardigan: Kische (via Winners)
Tights: Hue
Faux-snakeskin wedges: Aerosoles

~ Sideways combination Wonder Woman & Not-at-all-ridiculous Back Stretch pose

Obligatory shoe close-up (extracted from another outfit):

What bits of style advice haven’t worked for you, StyleNation?

Also, how do you survive the final weeks of term?

* Other academics will know this already, but for our more well-adjusted readers I will note this enthusiasm is not ironic. Breaks between teaching assignments are not for making merry; they are for madly researching, writing, and planning future research and writing time/s.

** Research from a variety of sources suggests that deep-rooted cultural racism also surfaces during times of anxiety. So visible minorities, and persons who speak with an “other” accent are also subject to more intense scrutiny and pressure during such periods.

You’re a Wonder, Wonder Woman!

Today’s post is brought to you by A-Dubs, who, in a brilliant attempt to model her professorial style for you StyleNation, hit upon the iconic pose The Wonder Woman. Thereafter Dorky took it up, then E-Jo. Then, StyleNation, we asked you to show us how it’s done and you responded in superhero fashion by submitting poses for our first ever

Wonder Woman Pose Conference

In retrospect, it might have been wiser NOT to make the deadline for submissions August 31–i.e. right before classes start–because trying to juggle the first weeks of classes, department meetings, planning our outfits AND organising your amazing response to our CFP required superhuman skillz. And we are not superheroes, we only stand like one.

So these photos hearken back to that sweet time a few short weeks ago when our clothes were lighter, our footwear sandallier, and the days longer and sunnier. Drink it in, StyleNation and re-live summer fashion via your Bad A$$ take on a lady hero who can make a liar tell the truth, stop a bullet cold and turn a hawk into a dove (does anyone know what that last one means?).

Bring it on, StyleNation!

Panel #1: The Classic
1a. Andie of What Andie Wears kicks off this gorgeous panel in a completely covetable royal blue shirtdress in front of some seriously luscious scenery:

Dress: Worthington (via JC Penny)

Pinstripe jacket: Attention (via Kmart)
Green stone necklace: New York & Company
Earrings: Arizona (via JCPenny)
Belt: Thrifted
Kitten heel peep-toes: Lower East Side (via Payless)
Read more about Andie’s wondrous style adventures here.

1b. Next up, Away From the Keyboard, of the blog of the same name, keeps things in the jewel-tone family with a rich, deep rose toughened up even more with a touch of BA denim:

AFtK assures us that “Real Women Wear Pink.” Obviously, she’s right.

1c. Cynthia at Be Fabulous Daily is being Wonder Woman fabulous daily with superhero layering and some fierce cuffs:

Dress: vendor at last year’s SF Mecca Immersion
Skirt: Boden
Cardigan: mall
Shoes: Camper Twins

1d. And now, a slightly modified, yet elegant twist on the classic pose. In her own hilarious words, the Queen of Thrifted Couture herself, Jentine of My Edit is “squaring [her] shoulders like nobody’s business and [has] a rather aloof/snotty look on [her] face” in this awesome submission:
T-shirt: Target
Skirt (looped through belt): thrifted

(Apparently, the original plan for this submission may or may not have included – and I quote, again – someone‘s “favourite unitard.” But someone was “a little unhappy” with the photos. We have to wonder if this means there’s a unitard section of someone‘s closet 😉

1e. And down in Beantown, Kelly, IPF‘s new guest lecturer, brings it with the hardcore double bracelets:

1f. Next, looking remarkably like Linda Carter’s equally wondrous younger sister, Liz of Scholar Style Guide shows us how to do it:
In related (and adorable) news, Liz recalls punching the bottoms out of disposable cups so she could use the cups as Wonder Woman bracelets. Clearly, the creative child was destined for this woman’s current greatness.

1g. And speaking of DIY costuming, here’s Interrobangs Anonymous‘s Millie-daily-style to show us how to photoshop an awesome WW tiara to wear with a fabulous gauzy tunic. Millie calls this DIY “hilariously awful,” but we beg to differ:
Read more of Millie’s adventures in said gauzy tunic and awesome crisscross wedges here.

1h. This is Bev of Style Underdog, rockin’ The Wonder Woman IPF-styles (that is, headless):
Dress: Target
Socks: Target
Boots: Nine West

Panel #2: The Classic with Hip-Tilt
2a. Andie of What Andie Wears kicks it off again and gives us another sassy angle on her awesome jewel-toned dress:

2b. Anne of The Cohabiting Closet fame gives us a little before and after in polka dots. Anne Before as a wee, young innocent and Anne After as the BA grown-up version of the adorbs petite fille:
Cardigan: Target
Tank: H&M
Skirt: The Limited
Belt: New York & Co
Shoes: Hot Kiss
Earrings: Macy’s
Come hither stare: gifted
(We think it might be fun to learn a little more about that “gifted” stare, don’t you?)

2c. Bargain hunter Jamie of Thrifty Threads notes, “some of my best finds are included in this outfit.” We love the colour and styling here!
Trousers: The Limited
Blouse: Anthropologie (gifted from another blogger)
Camisole: Nordstrom
Heels: Franco Sarto (via DSW clearance)
Floral leather belt: Cole Haan (75% off)

And as a wonder-treat, Jamie gave us a close-up of her spectacular cuffs:
Metal lattice cuff: $5 at a boutique in Jamie’s neighbourhood
Beaded rosette cuff: purchased for $7 during a long layover in the Salt Lake City airport

p.s. Go to Jamie’s blog immediately. Do it NOW.
She has used shoes to spell out “LOVE” in her banner.

2d. La Historiadora de la Moda of Fashionable Academics and her partner-in-crime fighting, The Dissertating Yogini, are bringing The Wonder Woman in their matching Wonder Woman tees, plus a pair of red Fluevogs that Wonder Woman wishes she had:

Panel #3: Bullets and Bracelets
Only two brave women dared assume this pose. As Queen Hippolyta would say, only a true Amazon can attempt such a feat. Feast your Amazon-starved eyes on these women as they power things up:

3a. Kelly in Beantown is first up. Welcome to the gun show. Bring it, KB!

*Note the excellent use of modesty cut-offs by this style powerhouse under that to-die-for navy sundress.*

3b. Already Pretty‘s equally powerful Sal makes this difficult pose look like a cinch. Also, who knew seafoam could look so BA?:

Seafoam jersey dress: Athleta
Necklace: thegarbagegoose
Silver cuffs: a shop in Madison, WI
Earrings: courtesy Misty Dawn Designs
Boots: Diesel Go-go

We declare a tie, ladies.
Load the guns for another round!

Panel #4: Crossed Wrists & Ka-Pow
4a. Here’s a close-up of Sal’s exquisite silver cuffs. And her superhero smile.

2b. The glamazons Rad in Brooklyn and Anne of The Cohabitating Closet are ready to stop a war with love, and smoke from Cuban cigars:

2c. Here’s Cynthia again, with her fierce cuffs:

4d. Despite sustaining an injury in her fight for justice, Sara from Orchids in Buttonholes dons her cape to keep the world of fashion safe. Ka-Pow indeed!

Superhero Cape: Alexander McQueen
Tee: Shopbop
Skirt: J. Crew
Shoe: Christian Louboutin
Hairband: J. Crew
Belt: 12th Street by Cynthia Vincent
Flask Necklace: vintage
Cuff: Giles & Brother
Ring: vintage


Sheila of Ephemera brought it big time with a wondrous array of fearsome poses and fearless style.
We want you on our crime-fighting team, Sheila!

Here are just a few of our faves:

You’re a Wonder, Wonder Women!

Help me, internet, you’re my only hope!

My office? Is clean and organised, and I did not just stuff all of my random papers willy-nilly into the filing cabinets for the illusion of organised. Everything has a place and there is a place for everything. And I shredded everything else.
My syllabi? Are almost done. Let’s not talk about those.
My first day outfit? Arghh! Can’t. Make up my mind. Two tops, two bottoms, both interchangeable but I think if I can decide on the top part then the bottom will fall into place (that is not a sex joke). Eyes front, class, I need your help.
It’s down to two blouses.
Bachelorette Number 1:

Silk Navy Polka-Dotted Blouse: Splendid
Bracelets: gifts, one from KellyBean
Cami: might need one

Bachelorette Number 1 sports the perfect sleeve length, a prim bow and deep-V combo that saves it from stern and sexy, and an excellent random polka dot pattern that looks as though someone went crazy with a bingo dabber. I really love this blouse and I think it represents the way I think of dressing when I think of dressing professionally.
I will say, however, that given the price of this blouse (even at 50% off), I am surprised and disappointed by the quality. I’ve replaced two buttons already, one of the buttonholes isn’t even finished and loose threads are unravelling everywhere. Splendid? I think not. But it’s sooo pretty.
And Bachelorette Number 2:
Cotton Grey Plaid Blouse: All Saints
Bangle: gift from A-Dubs
Pose: Wonder Woman (OMG, you guys are awesome!)
Bachelorette Number 2 is more casual but has a flair for the dramatic with a fitted silhouette and a flirty relationship with sleevelessness. This was also pricey (and also on sale), but it is better put together. It’s fully lined, quite carefully tailored and its buttons are not going anywhere. Saintly. And kind of BA.
So which is it internet? Bachelorette Number 1 or Bachelorette Number 2?
I have mates for both and obviously both blouses will get a lot of wear during the term, but who makes the cut for the first day?
I start teaching on Wednesday when all will be revealed. I bet you can’t wait. I can’t wait to see how my syllabi turn out …

It is Stupid Here

It’s been a strange, sticky, frustrating week here at IPF, Northern Division. The project I’m trying to get off my desk hates me and will not let me finish it. Thunder storms the last three nights have kept Fuzzy Roommate freaking out into the wee hours, but the humidity has yet to break. And teaching prep keeps getting in the way of the project-that-will-not-end. And let’s not forget about yet another mix-up with my pay (Why? Why always too low?!). In short and to sum up: it is stupid here.

Sartorially, I’m having issues with photos. “Issues” is code for “I’m positive these outfits are way better than pictures suggest.” This means that instead of changing clothes, there’s been a lot of craning, twisting, and adding of accessories to capture what I’m certain is really going on.
For example, the house-hunting ensemble (note: wear SLIP-ON SHOES next time):

Bag employed to fix (disguise) waist bunching. It’s too hot for a belt.
Red cotton embellished tank: Mexx
Cotton poppy skirt: Mac & Jac
Cotton & Leather bag: Esprit (You don’t want a close-up, do you? It’s a very basic bag.)
Nude platform wedges: Nine West (remixed)
Next up: the balancing series, brought to you by my inane efforts to offer a semi-rear view of the skinny pants without turning all the way around. A full-on rear view seems gauche in skinny pants (but not in an acid wash jean skirt, apparently). This series is also brought to you by my refusal to take more than 4 outfit shots in one go.

~toppling forward
Embroidered cotton top: Bianca Nygard (via The Bay)
Cotton skinny pants: Mexx (remixed)
Bracelets: The Bay
Sequin espadrille wedges: Roman Tenza (bought with D-Med while visiting IPF, Eastern Division)
Screw it. This pose shall hence forth be known as
the “totally-intentional” (and thus not-at-all ridiculous)
Back Stretch ~
This weekend, I’m working on the project-that-will-not-end.
What up with you? And what are you wearing to do it?
(Also, don’t forget our upcoming surprise – or the WW Conference.)

Get us out from under, Wonder Woman!

Wonder Woman!

Wonder Woman!

All the world is waiting for you
And the power you possess.
In your satin tights,
Fighting for your rights
And the old red white and blue!

Wonder Woman!
Wonder Woman!

Now the world is ready for you,
And the wonders you can do.
Make a hawk a dove.
Stop a war with love.
Make a liar tell the truth!

Wonder Woman!
Get us out from under,
Wonder Woman!

All our hopes are pinned upon you
And the magic that you do.
Stop a bullet cold.
Make the axis fold.
Change their minds and change the world!

Wonder Woman!
You’re a wonder, Wonder Woman!

This is just a reminder–with song lyrics–that we are still accepting photos of you in your best Wonder Woman pose. We have already received several submissions and will continue to do so until August 31 at which point A-Dubs and I will use our powers of technical wizardry to share your awesomeness with Blognation.

All the world is waiting for you.
AND, as if stopping a war with love were not enough, A-Dubs and I have another exciting announcement to make. Stay tuned …

Casual Monday: Acid Wash Jean Skirt

**Reminder: please enter our upcoming Wonder Woman Pose Conference.**
Show us your powers. Do it soon! (or by midnight on August 31st)
In other news, today’s outfit is brought to you by Sal and Sheila. Specifically, I was inspired by the long lines of Sal’s draped cardigans with platform sandals (woman has the most beautiful shoes), and by Sheila’s B.A. acid wash denim skirt. Sadly, I have neither Sheila’s wicked snakeskin pumps, nor Sal’s hot monster wedges, so I’m remixing my buttery-awesome nude platforms:

Linen/cotton cardigan: Mexx
Ruched cotton top: Le Chateau
Acid wash jean skirt: Azzure (purchased in fit of nostalgia 5 years ago – clearly, I am sartorially prescient)
Silver link necklace: sad sale at Suzy Shier
Nude platform wedges: Nine West (remixed)
Even though it seems appropriate, professionally, that I’m covering my bare arms and back, it’s a teensy bit sad that such coverage also hides this:

It wasn’t just nostalgia that led me to this skirt. It also has magical buttock-enhancing powers. I would have been a fool to pass it up. (But perhaps that makes me a fool, now, for covering up. Even though I do not come to campus to show off my rear view.)
Have you got any pieces that have exceptional body-enhancing powers?
What’ve you got, and what is it/they make even more awesome?