30 May 2009

May 30th, 2009 § 14 comments §

30 May 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Necklace – World Market, remixed 
  • Top – Limited, thrifted 
  • Shorts – Gap, remixed 
  • Wedge sandals – Target


After two weeks of flatwear and while facing another week of sensible walking shoes while on vacation, I knew I had to pull out a pair of heels or wedges today! But I also knew that I had to be on my feet for quite a while today, running errands and preparing for my departure tomorrow, so a comfortable shoe it had to be. These Target gladiator wedges are so comfortable, you forgot you’re not wearing flats. And they give me that extra bit of height (and confidence) boost that flats don’t always provide. 

Although I love the feel of these shoes and really liked them with these walking shorts, it’s taken me a while to come around to the gladiator style and I’m not really sure how to fit these into my wardrobe. I feel like there’s a lot of sandal on my foot with all those straps and I’m not sure how to wear these without feeling like they’re competing with the rest of my outfit for attention. 

For today, I kept it simple with clean lines and dark colors and let the sandals take the limelight. But how can I get more mileage out of these? Do you own a pair of gladiator sandals and, if so, how do you wear them? With florals and bold prints? With flowey fabrics or structured cuts? Please inspire me! S.

30 May 2009 – Heels, finally!, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Beltless, Reaching New Heights, The Short of It, Weekend Wear
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(Un)Packing Methodologies: Rolling vs. Bundle

May 30th, 2009 § 31 comments §



Tomorrow I am heading out to San Francisco! My fiance T. is going for a week long workshop and I am happily tagging along. Since I’m there for the pleasure of it, my itinerary includes the following: much walking and sightseeing, visits to the museums, thrift and book store perusals, a couple of nights out for drinks with friends in the area, and a night at the San Francisco Opera!

In order to account for all the different activities on my schedule and the volatile weather in San Francisco, I will pack for several temperatures and events. This gives me the perfect opportunity to explore the bundle vs. rolling method when it comes to compact packing and good use of suitcase space before I apply it to a much larger packing job in September. 

Click to see the  Great Rolling vs. Bundle Face-Off ….

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Category: Sabbatical, Taking Notes
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29 May 2009

May 29th, 2009 § 7 comments §

29 May 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Jacket – F21, “borrowed” from E.
  • Tank – Express
  • Scarf – BR, remixed
  • Skinny Jeans – Gap Outlet, remixed many a times!
  • Sandals – Steve Madden, remixed


Surprise E., I have your jacket!

E. left her jacket at my house the other day, so this morning I decided to give it a go.  There has been quite a bit of clothing swapping going on between us all these past two weeks and I love it!  I have four sisters and even though we all have different body types and different styles, there always managed to  be some items that could be borrowed (or begged or stolen as the case often was).

I remember early in my friendship with E. suggesting that she wear some item of clothing I knew she owned.  She was surprised, and a I think rather pleased, that I knew her closet off the top of my head.  These days, it is so easy to mentally plan an outfit for either S. or E.!  In fact, S. just emailed us both last night asking for packing help for her trip to San Francisco.  I quickly replied that weather in the 60s sounds absolutely wonderful to me!   My previous home states have enjoyed many more weeks of this kind of weather and I greatly miss it in my current location.  I love to pair cardigans or blazers with shorts or skirts and sandals.  And, I adore scarves!

I decided this morning that it was still cool enough when I left the house, and would be cold enough in the classroom, that I could let one of my favorite scarfs out for at least part of the day.

This look is stepping outside my comfort zone in a couple of ways.  This winter I learned to embrace the skinny jean, but only when paired with something long and bulky on top and boots on the bottom.   As the weather has warmed, I’ve hesitantly pulled the skinnies back out, but again only to pair it with something long and loose on top, so this close-fitting tank top with the oh-so-close-fitting jeans is new for me.  Secondly, I was, for a long time, adamantly against wearing heals with jeans.  When I discovered trouser jeans however, heels were the only way to go!  Now, I’m even coming around on heels with cropped jeans!

29 May 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Beltless, Layers Upon Layers, Pants Please, Reaching New Heights
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29 May 2009

May 29th, 2009 § 6 comments §

29 May 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.
  • Green lace detail top – F21 
  • Black cami – H&M, remixed often
  • White pants – Banana Republic, remixed 
  • Black sandals – Target, remixed often!


Only two days until I’m San Francisco and I can’t wait! Thank you, all, for your wonderful tips and suggestions, I can’t wait to check out all your recommended sights! I’m feeling pretty vacation-y already since we’re enjoying a gorgeous day and I’m spending part of the afternoon sipping iced coffee in E. and A.’s company at a coffee shop. Gorgeous weather, outdoor cafes, and leisurely days put me in the mood for clothes that just scream summer and vacation to me – like these white pants.

But since we’re trying to brainstorm lab appropriate wear this week, my initial thought was to suppress that instinct and go for jeans instead. Then I had another thought and I’m wondering if all of you who work in a lab have explored this – white pants seem pretty counter intuitive to a lab setting but aren’t lab coats white for a reason? They’re white because you can easily bleach out any stains, right? So just indulge me here for a moment – could you wear white pants in the lab and actually benefit from their bleachability? (yes, I know that’s not really a word). Have any of you thought of that or would this be a definite lab no-no?

And of course, if this were in a lab setting, I’d swap the sandals for these or these flats upon arrival at work. S. 

Back detail, originally uploaded by academichic.

29 May 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Beltless, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Sabbatical
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29 May 2009 – Plaid Shirt Three Ways

May 29th, 2009 § 8 comments §


Plaid Shirt, originally uploaded by academichic.

All remixed but borrowed shirt:

May 2009 – Plaid button down, originally uploaded by academichic.

All remixed but borrowed shirt:


We have been so lucky to get so many wonderful items on loan from the weardrobe closet. The concept behind the closet is that you get to see how other stylish people wear the same item in many different ways, and you help “inspire fashion creativity”. We here at academichic love the idea behind this since we’re always looking to each other and other style bloggers for inspiration. 

We all tried our hand at the versatile Possibilities sweater from Anthropologie, and yesterday, E. and A. both showed how they rocked the same plaid tunic in different ways. A. and I also experimented with this cute plaid button down from Urban Outfitters, which I wore under my khaki shirtdress and she paired with her cuffed skinnies and purple cardi. We both used boldly colored shoes to emphasize the bright and beautiful shades of purple and pink in the shirt pattern, while using the neutral of the khaki and jeans to add balance to the outfits.


It looks like we weren’t the only ones who thought that this brightly colored top deserved an equally bright and fun shoe to go with it. Fellow style blogger Jess of What I Wore styled this same shirt a couple of weeks ago, and we just love the fun gold sandals she paired with it:

may 16 outfit 2, originally uploaded by Midwest Jess.

One shirt, so many options!  It’s easy to fall into a habit of wearing the one item in your closet in the same way with the same color combination over and over, so this style experiment has been a great reminder that even something as basic as a button down can go a long way in creativity and versatility. Thanks, Jess, for providing a third and fabulous example of how this item can be worn! S.

Category: Beltless, Dresses for Day, Our Best Flatware, Reaching New Heights, Research Casual, The Short of It, Weekend Wear
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One Year Capsule Wardrobe: Annotated Edition

May 28th, 2009 § 7 comments §

I recently posted my packing spread for a research year abroad. This resulted in some great comments and questions from all of you, which prompted me to examine my packing methodology some more. And as some of you noted, the post did not only explore how to pack for an extended stay abroad, but also investigates the makings of a capsule wardrobe. 

One thoughtful reader left the following comment:

I wonder if you could talk some more about the process by which you chose your year-abroad wardrobe. I think it might illuminate a lot about the process of building a wardrobe in general. [...] I’d love to hear more about how you figured out what your basics are, how many of each type of garment you would need, how you arrived at a balance between neutrals and colors. 

The following is a more in-depth consideration of how and why I chose the items I did for my year long wardrobe capsule…

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Category: Q&A, Sabbatical, Taking Notes
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28 May 2009 – Plaid Tunic Two Ways

May 28th, 2009 § 6 comments §

Belly Laugh, originally uploaded by academichic.

All remixed except the plaid.

28 May 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.

  • Plaid Tunic – Anthropologie, on loan from weardrobe closet
  • Denim Pencil Skirt – Gap, remixed
  • Black Belt – Gap
  • Sandals – Old Navy
End Notes:
We were so excited when the kind folks over at Weardrobe invited us to raid their closet. All three of us had fun playing with the Possibilities cardigan from Anthropologie, and both A. and I enjoyed styling this light plaid tunic, also from Anthopologie.
A. wore this last week, actually, but she’s been so busy teaching and preparing for her summer class that she didn’t have a chance to post her outfit. Although this look does have a belt — one of A.’s favorite accessories — it’s actually a new and different proportion for her: a longer tunic over a pencil denim skirt with a belt just above her hips. I loved it! Casual chic perfected.
When it was my turn, I was pleasantly surprised that the tunic not only fit over my baby belly, but hugged it almost perfectly. I even like how the plaid goes all wackadoodle over the bumpage. To add a little more length and coverage, I layered the blue plaid over a purple tunic, and I used my favorite red wedges for an fun finish.
I would have never guessed that this tunic would work so well for both A. and I. The fit is completely different, but they both work and we both put our own little twist on the overall look. I need to start raiding more closets as I close in on the end of this pregnancy!

Category: Maternity Style, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Proportionally, Reaching New Heights, Research Casual, Skirting the Issue
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28 May 2009 – Possibilities, Take 3

May 28th, 2009 § 6 comments §

28 May 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.
  • Cream “Possibilities” Sweater – Anthropologie, on loan from Weardrobe
  • Capris – BR Outlet
  • Brown Tee – H &M, remixed
  • Lace Cami – BR
  • Shell Necklace – handmade gift
  • Brown Kitten Heels – Nine West
I think this ensemble is appropriate for at least some labs.  When capris were first re-introduced (around 2000 or so), I  was slow to join the trend.  Most cropped pants fail to balance out by hips/thigh/butt region as they often taper towards the bottom.  As I have become more comfortable with these curves and as more shapes have become available, I’ve come around on the style a bit.  I bought these pants for $10 while teaching last summer and running out of classroom-appropriate, weather-appropriate options.  They make for a nice neutral that is dressy and comfortable.

I’m trying out the sweater styled by both E. and S. earlier this week.  Like my fellow Chics, I was intrigued by this sweater and excited to give it a go.  I had my concerns from the beginning about such a loosey-goosey piece and am still not as convinced by it as either E. or S. but had fun playing around with it nonetheless.  There is a lot of stepping in and out of fabric hoops, wrapping, twisting, draping, and fidgeting involved in finding a style that works!

This is a lot of cream and tan for me (given my light complexion) but I like how the rich browns break it up a bit and gives the look some depth.

Stay tuned for more items on loan from Weardrobe styled by the Chics!

Category: Beltless, Lab Friendly, Layers Upon Layers, Pants Please, Proportionally, Teaching Outfits, The Short of It
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28 May 2009 – Maxi Skirt

May 28th, 2009 § 11 comments §


28 May 2009 – Maxi Skirt, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Black top – thrifted, remixed 
  • White tank – J.Crew 
  • Turquoise maxi skirt – American Eagle 
  • Above: Black sandals – Target, remixed a ton
  • Below: Flats – Old Navy, remixed a ton
  • Necklace – World Market, remixed 
  • Bracelets – gifts


Yesterday’s discussion on the Maxi Skirt prompted me to pull out the one maxi skirt in my closet. Like many of you, I have my doubts about the figure flattering capabilities of a long flowey skirt, but this jersey one won me over with its softness and lovely color. Additionally, this maxi skirt works for me because it has a straight cut and creates a nice long lean line:


28 May 2009 – Maxi Skirt, originally uploaded by academichic.

Similarly to what many of you said in your comments, I always wear this maxi skirt with form-fitting tops, to counteract the loose and hippie-ish look of the skirt. I noticed that I also tend to wear it with black tops, which I think is another subconscious effort to mitigate the hippie-ness of the maxi look with a more somber color, resulting in what I hope to be more of a boho chic look. 


Necklace detail, originally uploaded by academichic.

So I do have room for the maxi skirt in my closet, although I think I reached my quota with one maxi skirt. And I love how soft and comfortable it is and could see wearing this to the lab as an alternative to jeans. But here’s where I see a problem -you would have to wear closed-toe shoes with it in a lab setting. I love the boho look of this skirt with sandals, but once you add closed-toe flats to a ankle length skirt, all I can think of is Little House on the Prairie. 

Of all my closed-toe flats, these are the only pair I could (with much hesitation!) see myself wearing with this skirt, although I really don’t think I’d ever willingly make this combination:


28 May 2009 – Reluctant shoe change, originally uploaded by academichic.

So what do you all think? Would this look still work with a closed-toe shoe? If so, what kind of closed-toe shoe would you pair it with? Or should the Maxi Skirt be reserved for sandals and open toed footwear only? S. 

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Lab Friendly, Our Best Flatware, Proportionally, Research Casual, Skirting the Issue
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Preliminary Bibliography: Flat Shoes

May 28th, 2009 § 3 comments §

Between last week and this week’s challenges we’ve been thinking a lot about flat shoes. While I, E., remain a devotee of the wedge heel and have gotten a couple of pairs this year, I realized that I haven’t actually added a new flat to my shoe closet in quite some time.

In academia, before you launch into a big project it’s important to be able to articulate the “state of the field.” What research has already been done on your topic of choice? Can you trace some kind of trajectory or development of scholarship? Do you even know what’s out there? So it’s no surprise that when I set out to make a shoe purchase I begin by assessing the state of the field. There are a couple of go-to discount retailers that I immediately visit, but on this round of shoe research I added a new source: Mod Cloth.

I’ve been browsing Mod Cloth semi-regularly for a few months now, but for some reason I had never looked at their shoes. While many of them don’t quite fit my style, I feel like there was something (affordable!) for almost everyone.

Spectrum Flats. I think this little striped red and orange flat is adorable. It’s retro but not costumey, and I can imagine them adding a fun twist to otherwise simple separates. The little toe point is a surprising twist to an otherwise athletic shoe stripe aesthetic.


Lemon Spritzer Flats. This shoe wouldn’t work for our lab colleagues, of course, but I have been looking for a yellow shoe and this peep-toe is just so tempting! It’s so sunshiney and the geometric cut-outs are so sweet. I’m not sure about the patent finish, though. That seems like an awful lot of brightness.

Ballet School Flats. Finally, this shoe just made me smile. I could never pull this off, yet I think that I would really, really like a person who wore them:

So the next step in research is fieldwork. Has anyone bought shoes from Mod Cloth before? Have you found them to be cute in person and comfortable for walking? Do share.

-  E.

Category: Our Best Flatware, Q&A, Resources, Skirting the Issue
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