28 April 2009

April 28th, 2009 § 18 comments


28 April 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Green button down – J. Crew, remixed
  • Brown print jersey dress – Banana Republic, remixed here and here
  • Yellow belt – J.Crew, remixed
  • Yellow Shoes – Gianni Bini, remixed here and here
  • Yellow earrings – made by me


As E. mentioned, this week we’ll be on campus much less as the semester winds down and we’re working from home much more. I agree with E. that looking put together translates to feeling put together and, consequently, to being more productive. So I, too, will make an effort to keep getting dressed as I work from home and get ready to take my last comprehensive exam in three weeks. And A’s challenges will help ensure that happens! She challenged me to wear green today, a color I don’t wear very frequently, so I combined her style challenge and this very cute outfit worn by Dolofe on Wardrobe Remix to create today’s look.


28 April 2009 , originally uploaded by academichic.

But here’s the thing: This week marks the beginning of a new academic phase for me. The semester is over and I will now be working on my own and from home for the next year and a half! I will not be teaching again until Fall 2010 and I am going abroad this fall, so I will not be on a campus for quite a while.

To be honest, I am a bit scared of what that means for my appearance and attire and I am so glad that I have this blog (and your readership!) pushing me to keep looking presentable. I very much admire Andrea, who works from home and still manages to look fabulous all the time.

Bracing myself for this somewhat unique approaching situation, I have been asking myself these questions a lot and will pose them to you as well: Would you keep dressing the way you do if you worked from home? Is your style impermeable or completely dictated by your lifestyle? To what extent does seeing friends, colleagues, and familiar figures influence how you dress? What motivates you to present your ‘ideal’ self when you don’t know whether anyone acquainted with you will see it?

Maybe I’ll just have to ask A. and E. to keep sending me style challenges from afar!  S. 


Yellow shoes, originally uploaded by academichic.

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§ 18 Responses to 28 April 2009"

  1. milly says:

    I like this….love the color combo
    oh and you have curly hair…nice

  2. Sal says:

    What a GREAT way to re-fashion a wrap dress, S. Such a smartie, you are.

    I have grand plans to be self-employed someday, and every intention of installing myself in an OFFICE when I do. Many of my friends have art/design studios in a renovated warehouse nearby, and the rent’s cheap. I just know that if I worked from home I’d be a cathair-encrusted sweatsuit-wearer in no time. And my lovely wardrobe would LANGUISH!

    I think forcing your A and E to give you a steady stream of challenges is a great idea. They needn’t be anything complex … just jumping-off points.

    Have you told us yet where “abroad” will be?

  3. Patricia says:

    Hi, I read your blog for a while, but I was reluctant to comment. But your question was really interesting to me, I’m also a PhD candidate currently working from home :-) so I’m really looking forward for the answers to your questions.

  4. Sarah says:

    I love this outfit! Green is one of my favorite colors to wear, but I never thought of pairing it with bright yellow like that.

    I have a tendency to dress down on weekends when I’m just bumming around the house – when else can I wear all my undergrad t-shirts? After a few days of that, though, I always feel like I need to dress up or at least cute-up so I feel more motivated and energetic.
    Maybe I get that from wearing school uniforms for 8 years. I even took the SAT in an Oxford shirt so I would feel more studious.

  5. Andrea says:

    Aw, thank you! It took me a while to get into the swing of things when working from home, but I found my routines settled down after a couple of months.

    Just wanted to say that I mentioned Academichic in an interview I did for Creative Every Day, since you guys have such a great grasp of colour! Here’s the link:


    And I love the yellow belt, and have complete hair envy.

    A xx

  6. K says:

    Hello! Let me just preface my response by saying that I love your [collective] site and check it daily.
    I can somewhat relate to your situation, as I am two weeks away from an M.A. in Education. During my first year of grad school, I confess that I still dressed much as I did as an undergrad: jeans, hoodies, yoga pants.
    I now (after 15 weeks of student teaching) find, like E., that my productivity soars when I dress as though I expect something of myself. I think challenging yourself to dress with care and structure is a great idea; it will keep your confidence high and your mind focused during your experience … which will be so unstructured, probably, in comparison to campus life.
    I must admit, though, that I dress for both myself and others … and by others, I am referring only to those I know in a professional context: professors, colleagues, and even my students. I am young and young-looking and often use clothing to create a visual barrier between myself and those whom I teach.

    Best of luck, sorry for the lengthy response, and keep the great outfits coming!

    la petite figue

  7. lauren. says:

    sadly, last year when i wasn’t working i found i tended to sit around the house in sweats and only got “dressed” to go to the market, meet my now husband for lunch, and go on interviews. once i got back home i returned back into sweats. it was nice for the laundry, but admittedly pretty bad on my self esteem. thus, i can definitely see if i was in the situation again i would try to dress up somewhat, at least go from sweat pants to jeans and a top.

    congratulations on entering a new phase! i look forward to seeing how you dress for it (especially once you’re abroad!).

  8. S. says:

    Everyone – thanks for your great feedback!

    Based on your comments and my thoughts on this already, I think I will have to establish a routine where I still leave the house and go to a library or coffee shop to work every day and get dressed for the occasion. Otherwise, I fear Sal’s image of the cat-haired and sweatpants-ed writer will be my fate! Lauren, I completely understand!

    Sal – I don’t know if I already mentioned this, but the “abroad” will be Munich, Germany.

  9. Joni says:

    I think the idea of still dressing well is good. However, I just defended my dissertation 3 weeks ago and I have to confess that during my dissertation writing when I was very rarely on campus, I did not dress up at all and I don’t think it hurt my productivity. I wrote my dissertation in about 9 months and did my entire Ph.D. in 4 years. Now that said, my presentable wardrobe really got small and I am very happy to start caring about my appearance again. I think it is a temptation for academic types (or at least for me) to be in our heads so much that we forget we have bodies. Good luck–I hope you can manage to stay stylish. I enjoy reading your blog.

  10. Megan says:

    What a great question, and something I have been thinking about a lot recently! In high school, I had a uniform, so there weren’t really any options there. Where I went to undergrad, we had a ‘dress tradition’ in which professional attire was expected for class and most any other function. Professional was interpreted by us as ‘southern preppy’ and while the guys were in ties 24/7, us ladies could get away with a flow-y hippie skirt just as easily as we could with dress pants and a button down. So, when I went to grad school (for geology) I was a fish out of water! I majorly dressed things down because I got sick of everyone always asking me “why are you so dressed up”. I’m still dressing like this now that I have a real job since I spend a lot of time out in the field in the rain, but I’m starting to re-embrace dressing creatively and with style on the weekends and I’m just loving it. Actually, it’s really starting to kill me a little inside every morning when I have to put on my Carhartt’s to go to work! Anyways, this long ramble was just to say that my wardrobe is totally and completely dictated by my lifestyle, so watch yourself because it’s a slippery slope and you are too stylish to fall down it!

    Oh, and in regards to working from home, it never worked for me during the semesters in which I was finishing my thesis. I absolutely had to force myself to get dressed and go into the office or I would end up sitting in my bed watching TV on the internet all day!

  11. Clare says:

    First, I love your outfit! The green with touches of bright yellow throughout look great.

    Second, oh my gosh, if I worked from home I would be a mess! I’m definitely one of those “don’t even bother to change out of my jammies” kinds of people. But I ALWAYS feel better about the day, and am ALWAYS more productive with my time if I force myself to make the effort and get dressed. Even if I’m just sitting on the couch reading or working at the desk, if I’m dressed like I would if I were going out (to campus, coffeeshop, etc.) I always feel more collected and focused.

  12. Madeline says:

    What a great color play, and I have total belt envy.

    What an interesting question. I have found that I tend to cute it up a bit more than most I know on weekends and evenings. I like feeling dressed. I spend my summers with my husband doing commercial fishing in Alaska. This has created an interesting situation for me as someone who loves pretty clothes, because raingear does nothing for the figure. When we are on land I spend my time mending their fishing nets (covered with mud and leftover fish). So, my options are limited sometimes. And in Alaska I feel overdressed if I even wear jewelry, so, I have duel wardrobes. One for my life at home (professional and otherwise) and jeans and flipflops for our time AK. (Atleast we are only there for 6 weeks, I start to ache to get dressed up after 2).

    Love the blog!

  13. Sarah says:

    I am not a grad student, but I swtiched careers about two years ago. My old job required me to wear suits (or at least suit jackets with pants, I liked to mix and match), blouses and heels. When I left that job, I had approximately 20 jackets, 5 suits, and 10 pair of dress pants. Not to mention tons of kitten heels, button-down blouses, and girl layering pieces. At home or with friends, I could not be bothered. Maybe for a fancy night out, but I when I was off work, I wanted hoodies, t-shirts and flats – maximum comfort.

    In my new career (which I LOVE), I work in HR but my workplace is extremely casual, and I can wear jeans every day. Believe me, I DO wear jeans every day. I still love feminine tops with ruffles, fun prints, and interesting frills; and I still love cute shoes, but they are all flats now. I haven’t worn a suit jacket since I left my old job. And dress slacks? Not a chance in hell.

    The strange thing is, even though I think I am super casual, a lot of my co-workers compliment my style. So many people just wear sneakers that cute flats are considered dressy! And a lot of people wear sweatshirts and t-shirts, so a blouse with a little ruffle or rhinestone buttons is a step up.

    I have to say, though, I cannot stomach going back to heels. I wear them maybe once a year. My pinkie toes are permenantly deformed from all the pumps I wore, and they are stricly for special occasions now. I like to take my sexy heeled shoes out of their boxes and visit for a while, perhaps fantasize about getting back together some day, but as soon as I put them on, I just want to take them off.

  14. I LOVE the wrap dress on a button down. I’ll try this idea.

    I agree with you on getting dressed even when you’re at home. I work mostly from home on my dissertation these days. I found out that if I spent that half an hour to get ready like I’ll leave the house in the morning, I have a quicker start to the day and get more done.

  15. S. says:

    Thanks for such great comments, all of you! It’s just good to hear others who work from home or have worked from home at some point tackling this same issue.

    Joni – I posed this because I do feel that left to my own devices I would disappear inside my head and work in sweats and pjs all day…but I guess if it gets the dissertation done in 9 months, that’s not all bad.

    Madeline- your Alaskan summers sound fascinating! What a crazy double life, I think it sounds awesome and worth the temporary fashion sacrifice! :)

  16. Another Sarah says:

    Hi there! I realize I’m a day late, but I’m one of those people who DO work from home and I was super busy yesterday.
    I get dressed every single morning, unless I’m ill. Today, I am wearing brown walking shorts and my red and brown patterned tank. No shoes. No make-up. Hair up in a bun, glasses firmly perched upon my nose. This is probably a more casual day for me. I tend to throw on sundresses quite a bit. I very rarely wear jewelry except for my wedding band. I am a medical coder, so a bracelet or watch drives me insane as I type all day, and I don’t like wearing earrings since I have either my headset or my bluetooth on all day.
    Having a set schedule helps immensely. I do not turn on the tv, ever. I listen to the aol radio from my AIM, and set the timer on my cell phone to remind me to pick up my children from school, to take a walk, to start dinner…because once I sit down to work, I’m in lala-land. I’m totally focused and forget everything else around me.

    I really love seeing the posts, as I’ve worked from home for over seven years and have no real reason to dress up anymore. I can’t imagine being that dressed up to sit in my own office, but here’s to hoping I’m the nicest dressed person at my next department meeting!

  17. Diana says:

    I love the green and yellow combination! Yellow shoes are always fabulous in my book.

  18. S. says:

    @Another Sarah – wow, I wish I had your ability to focus! I have to tell myself to work 2 hours and then I get to go for a run as a reward :)

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