Variations on a Theme

I second A-Dubs’ jubilation on the end of term.  I submitted my last set of grades for the term yesterday — though now the trick is to rein in my sense that I’m on vacation, until I actually leave on Tuesday — so things are pretty awesome here.  Classes ended last week  so this week has meant a bunch of end of term meetings as I transition out of professional wear, into sweatpants.  I chose — inadvertently — to wear variations on a “grey & black stripes with blue accents” theme.

Blazer: Target; Chambray & black t-shirt: Old Navy; Ponte jeggings: Gap; Boots: Corso Como

Blazer: Target; Chambray & black t-shirt: Old Navy; Ponte jeggings: Gap; Boots: Corso Como

So I wore this today to work at a coffee shop and then to meet other assistant professors from my department for lunch to discuss mentorship.  Also, I’m wearing jeggings.  I know.  I’m surprised too.  But, ohmigod, are they the most comfortable things ever.  I love them.  I’m never wearing anything else (this may be an untruth).


Also, this blazer continues to be a workhorse.  I’m honestly a little surprised by how much wear I get out of a striped blazer.  Perhaps the fact that it is ludicrously flattering helps somewhat.  I mean, seriously.

Sweater & pencil skirt: Target; Scarf: World Market; Tights: Hue; Boots: Corso Como

Sweater & pencil skirt: Target; Scarf: World Market; Tights: Hue; Boots: Corso Como

This, I wore to give an exam earlier this week.  I figured it was one last chance to dress up for my students.  The exam was at 8 in the morning so I couldn’t wear what I wanted (my pajamas, back in bed), so I might as well dress up.  Also, the mini-FR is super into smelling my skirt here for unknown reasons.


I suspect this is it from me until the new year so I hope everyone enjoys the next few weeks!

End-of-term – Hoo-ahhh!

Has it really been almost a month since last we posted, StyleNation? Yeesh!

As usual, November was insanely busy at IPF North. In addition to the teaching, applying for things, attending meetings every second hour, and pretending to maintain a research program, I also jetted off to the emerald isle for a conference. For reasons I’ll discuss some other time, I’ll not be filing a conference report.

I have, however, worn some things to the above-noted on-campus activities. Also, perhaps because of my growing excitement about the research leave I begin as soon as this last batch of grades is submitted, I’ve not been following the November rules. Instead I’ve been fiddling around with boots and blue things.

1. Blue and boots

Worn for a day comprised of a long morning meeting, 75 minutes of teaching, then nearly 2 hours of guest lecture and discussion elsewhere on campus. These boots are meant to replace the brown riding boots that have begun to make my feet crazy-achy.


Mexx navy and floral faux silk dress: new to blog (via Mexx); Fuchsia cotton t: mall anchor store; Hue Navy tights: remixed (via The Bay); Brown leather back-lace boots: new to blog (via Browns Shoes)


2. Blue dots, etc

Worn for another meeting and teaching day. I’m still practicing with this skirt and seem to have skewed toward the crazy in this iteration. Whatevs. It’ll happen at some point. But I’m taking suggestions. . .


Dalia Collection navy and neon faux silk blouse: new to blog (via Winners); “Silver” bead necklace: remixed; Zara navy and blue dot midi pencil skirt: remixed; Hue indigo tights: remixed (via The Bay); Fly London navy and pewter flatforms: remixed

What’s up with you, StyleNation?

What rules are you breaking?

Halloween, Take Two

What’s this, a second post in one week?  Craziness.  As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve got a bit of a backlog of outfits to share with you.  But today’s post was catalyzed by a gauntlet, thrown down by Anne.  To recap the story so far, my students thought I was wearing a costume on Halloween, when I was, in fact, just wearing my regular clothes.  Anne, theorizing that I was in costume as her, decided to recreate the outfit, dressing as me, dressing as her.  So, today, to add yet another level of something like meta-ness, I dressed as Anne, dressing as me, dressing as her.

Sweater: Joe; Buffalo plaid button down: Old Navy; Pencil skirt: Target; Grey tights: Hue; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Watch: Kenneth Cole

Sweater: Joe; Buffalo plaid button down: Old Navy; Pencil skirt: Target; Grey tights: Hue; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Watch: Kenneth Cole

Boom.  Your move, Anne.  Your move.  I also didn’t fully go headless in the picture below in order to reveal the red lipstick (which I normally wear) but which is also part of my Anne costume.  Note that the mini-FR even graced this post with his presence, as homage to the ridiculously photogenic dogs of Anne Really Blogs.  Also, this is the most emphatically Team Color outfit I’ve worn in a while.  It was occasionally distracting.


And since, I’m posting anyhow, here are a few more recent outfits.

Striped shirt: Joe; Pencil skirt: Target; Watch & suede booties: Kenneth Cole

Striped shirt: Joe; Pencil skirt: Target; Watch & suede booties: Kenneth Cole

Yeah, I have no idea what I’m doing in this picture.  But it shows the outfit better than the other shots I have.  Clearly, I’m a posing genius.  Anyhow, this outfit was designed around these shoes.  Which are awesome, and much more comfortable than they look/ I would have assumed.


All clothing items: Target; Shoes: Jessica Simpson

All clothing items: Target; Shoes: Jessica Simpson

And this might be the most flattering outfit I’ve ever worn on this blog.  As I mentioned when I last wore this peplum top, I really like the look of it with a pencil skirt, but found the sleeveless pairing of it with the fitted skirt to be a little much for the classroom.  I was playing around with outfit planning, as you do, and decided to throw this t shirt on underneath, and, all of sudden, it became classroom workable.  I’m going to try it out with a cardigan as well, but this was an excellent work around.


Any exciting plans for the weekend?

Casual Wear

Nothing like a busy week or two to provide blog fodder, right?  I have three, that’s right THREE (and it’s actually three plus one variation), outfits for you today — and a bunch still waiting to be blogged.  With Halloween, a friend’s birthday, another friend’s band playing, and the usual social shenanigans, I’ve got a number of bloggable casual outfits for y’all.

To start things off, here’s what I wore to teach on Halloween and, later, out for drinks & cupcakes to celebrate a friend’s birthday.  Note that I’m emphatically not a costume person — as both A-Dubs and D-Med who have spent many a Halloween with me know — but that my students thought I was in costume anyhow.  I’ll take guesses as to what you think they thought I was (I don’t know what they thought though as I was too busy spluttering out that I wasn’t in costume).

Button-up Shirt: Old Navy; Tank & Pencil Skirt: Target; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Lucite Necklace: Anthropologie

Button-up Shirt: Old Navy; Tank & Pencil Skirt: Target; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Lucite Necklace: Anthropologie

Anyhow, a good time was had by all.  Apart from our usual server, who we did our best to get fired by being so hilarious that we kept distracting him from his other tables.


This next outfit is from the next evening out.  You’ll note that over the next series of photos  temperatures were dropping as my legs require more and more covering up.

Dress: Gap; Denim jacket: Old Navy; Tights: Hue; Boots: Corso Como

Dress: Gap; Denim jacket: Old Navy; Tights: Hue; Boots: Corso Como

I don’t have much to say about this — apart from the fact that I love that it is FINALLY tights weather here (a love that I’m sure won’t be shared by many of you who have had this weather for a while already and have far more of it to look forward to than I do).  Also, the jean jacket fits better than that first picture makes it seem.


Lastly, here is the outfit I wore the third night out for the performance of a band that two of my friends are in.  And on this night even tights wouldn’t cut it as leg covers.

Blazer & virtually unseen black ponte shell: Target; Jeans: Old Navy; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Scarf: some store in Berlin

Blazer & virtually unseen black ponte shell: Target; Jeans: Old Navy; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Scarf: some store in Berlin

I wore this same outfit with some alterations earlier in the work for a day split between a coffee shop, working, and campus, attending meetings.  Variations of this outfit are turning into a bit of a uniform for non-teaching campus days.

Pretty much the same as above but with Me Too flats.

Pretty much the same as above but with Me Too flats.

Are you a stick-in-the-mud about Halloween like me?  Or did you dress up?



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)


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)


2. Black and Gold and Booties


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


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?

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?

Pencil Skirts, Northern Division

Having woken early to the dulcet tones of a dog puking, I’ve found a whole extra hour with which to blog. How’ve you been, StyleNation? Things here at IPF North have been verging on frantic at least in part because this is now my fourth year at my job and I’m no longer contractually protected from service work at the faculty and university levels. This means I’ve a whole new set of meetings to map onto existing research, teaching, and department-level meetings.

I’ve also discovered that prepping adequately for every meeting (i.e. thoroughly reading ALL attachments emailed prior) cuts into necessary sleep and having-at-least-a-little-life time. I am, therefore, developing a survival strategy. Unless I’m prepping for someone else’s tenure review, I’ll be skimming what appear to be the most important documents in the 10-15 minutes prior to the meeting/s in which they’re to be discussed. I just don’t see any other way to survive the landslide of text-based documents this fall.

In outfit-related news, I’ve been trying to try. This is me saying good-bye to bare legs. The crisp autumn season is now firmly upon this city; but we had one last push of sun and warm breeziness last week:

1. Needs bigger shoes

I’m trying to channel me some E-Jo. Her flats seem to balance her ensembles better than these tiny gold ones. I’ll keep trying!


Black flowered tunic/blouse: ?? (I removed the scratchy tag, remixed); Black sleeveless T: H&M (remixed a LOT); Rose gold leather belt: Smart Set (new to blog); Cream satin-finish cotton pencil skirt: Jacob (remixed); Gold faux-snakeskin embellished flats: David Dixon (remixed)


2. Blacks and blues

This was my first attempt at styling this skirt. I’ve got bigger plans for it, but this is a reasonable warm-up.


Sheer black silk button-up blouse: Equipment (via Winners, new to blog); Black sleeveless T: as above: Silver medallion necklace: The Bay; Navy and blue polka dot midi pencil skirt: Zara: Black suede flats: Browns

How’s fall treating you, StyleNation?

Also, for those of you with meeting-rich professional lives, how do you do it?


Well, after a series of posts that nicely fell into little mini-themes, I’ve lost some momentum in that direction.  Unless, “things I’ve bought recently” counts as a theme.  Which I suppose it sort of does.  Anyhow, this is/ has been a relatively busy week, full of meetings and such things.  Like conference acceptances that mean delightful upcoming travel destinations.  And the birth of adorably teensy nieces. Also my birthday.

Dress: Old Navy; Navy Tights: Hue; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Beloved silver pendant: H&M

Dress: Old Navy; Navy Tights: Hue; Boots: Jessica Simpson; Beloved silver pendant: H&M

I wore this sucker yesterday for my birthday.  It’s a lovely sweatshirt material so it’s like wearing pajamas.  The tights and boots were slightly overkill for the weather here; we’re tentatively making steps towards fall so it’s somewhat chilly in the morning when I leave my house (50F/ 10C) but then gets quite a bit hotter by the time I leave work (80F/ 27F).  This makes it a giant pain to dress for the weather and since I love fall clothes, I’m unapologetically just declaring it time to wear boots.


Also, this dress requires tights when I teach as there’s quite a bit of side leg on display without them.  I wore this out after work for drinks with the local key players at the fancy steakhouse.  I took the tights off then because, at that point, I was awfully warm.  And figured that the martinis with goat cheese stuffed olives I planned on consuming wouldn’t help matters.

Blazer: Target; Navy shirt & jeans: Old navy; Black flats: Me Too

Blazer: Target; Navy shirt & jeans: Old navy; Black flats: Me Too

This I wore on Monday for a day that begun with some writing in a coffee shop and then transitioned into the first of the week’s meetings.  The jeans, like the previous dress, are both new.  After a bunch of months where it’s been way too hot to contemplate sheathing my legs in fabric tubes, I’ve been wearing these pretty constantly since snagging them last week.


How are the rest of you enjoying the beginning of October?

Mid-Term: Stripes

Ohmigod, how is it only Tuesday?  In a bout of wishful thinking, I kept referring to today as Thursday in both classes, because, man, this has been a full week already.  Fortunately, I have a glorious writing day tomorrow so hopefully things will return to an even keel — or at least I’ll have a clue about what the day of the week is.  Maybe.  In the meantime, I’m listening to the new albums by Chvrches and Haim on repeat and having mini-dance breaks in my office to get me through.

Dress: Target; Necklace: The Bay; Sandals: Aerosoles

Dress: Target; Necklace: The Bay; Sandals: Aerosoles

Well, this dress went on sale.  So I bought it in the navy & maroon color.  And I think I like it even more than the black & tan: note to self, wear that dress on St. Patrick’s Day.


I tried it out with my style soul mate Anne’s suggestion of a chambray tied over top, which looked awesome and is definitely something I’ll be doing when it cools down here.

Dress: Gap; Necklace: Anthropologie; Boots: Corso Como

Dress: Gap; Necklace: Anthropologie; Boots: Corso Como

I wore this today in an attempt to make “dress for the weather you want, not the weather you have” a thing.  So far I have been unsuccessful, but I will persevere.  When I got up this morning, I just couldn’t face down an October without sleeves.  Plus, even though it’s gotten (very slightly) cooler here, my office A/C is still stuck on Antarctic so I was freezing in there both yesterday and today.


Here’s a detail shot, as well, of the boots which were a late spring purchase last year and, thus, got limited wear and never received a proper close up.


How are your Octobers shaping up?  It’s the month of my birthday so it’s clearly a really important month.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?