June 30th, 2009 § §
As much fun as our road trip was, it’s now back to reality and back to work. On our drive home yesterday, I complied my to-do list for the week and today I’m at the library and dutifully tackling it. After a week of much sitting in a car, it felt great to hop on my bike and pedal to campus. And increasingly a believer in the Velocouture movement, I’m seeing that you really can wear what you’d wear regularly and still bike commute. I wanted to wear this summery jersey dress today and my gladiator wedges and I was not to be deterred by my mode of transportation.
I know I’ve said this before, but one of my main concerns about biking was that I would have to change the way I dress and to sacrifice my style in order to do so. Fortunately, there are a growing number of chic cycle blogs like Lets Go Ride a Bike (no, really, check out this post!), Girls and Bicycles, and all of the Sartorialist-style bike blogs I listed in my previous posts here that showed me otherwise! So with laptop (in my back basket) and iced coffee in tow, I was out the door and to the library, where – if you’ll excuse me – I really should get to work now. S.
Category: Dresses for Day, Reaching New Heights, Vélocouture
Tags: bike commute > cycling > floral > gladiator sandals > S. > wedges
June 30th, 2009 § §
- Black flutter sleeve dress: Liz Lange for Target
- Wooden bead necklace: Hawaii
- Wooden hoop earrings: Wet Seal
- Brown suede slippers: Cobia
Thank you all for your kind words yesterday. I had a good doctor’s visit that afternoon and that evening my husband and I finished our final childbirth class. It’s amazing how just checking one more thing off a to-do list (in this case, “learn how to have baby”) can make a big difference in my subconscious mood!
Today just felt like a dress day, and this fluttery sleeve, swingy number caught my eye. The last time I wore it I was in Houston, attending a brunch in honor of my sister-in-law’s graduation. This time around I wanted to keep the same sweet feel to the outfit but I added a little more of a bohemian twist by pairing brown accessories in earthy textures — wood and suede — with the black jersey.
I have to say that wearing the little black dress as a summer day dress is still something that I have to carefully plot. Of course, fabric and cut do a lot to make even a black dress more summery, but accessory choices play a role as well. How do you wear your little black dress in the summer?
Category: Beltless, Dresses for Day, Maternity Style, Our Best Flatware, Proportionally, Research Casual
Tags: E. > LBD > little black dress
June 29th, 2009 § §
Today’s outfit isn’t all that interesting, minus the fact that this shirt has been an amazing grow-as-I-go piece. It started out blousey and now it’s a snug bump hugger.
Perhaps it’s appropriate to pull it out today as I have officially reached the point in the pregnancy where I could give birth any day now…or I could hold out for another four weeks. It’s a strange in-between stage to be in and it lends itself to both working on projects I wasn’t sure if I would get around to and just trying to relax and rest a little more before baby e. shakes up our life in a wonderful way.
I’m realizing just what a concerted effort it will take to feel good about my appearance for the remaining weeks. My face has started to swell, I’m on the verge of needing a haircut, as the baby drops some of my maternity clothes don’t fit in quite the same way…and I think that’s where the psychology of style will have to come into play. So don’t be surprised if you see me wearing my favorite colors over and over again in these next few weeks or if certain key pieces make repeat appearances. As much as being creative with my clothes makes me feel confident, I think that sometimes the old favorites — the pieces that you know work — can be a powerful booster too.
Do you have a particular outfit that is a guaranteed confidence-booster? Or are you more likely to get your style high from putting together something completely new?
While you think about that, excuse me while I go chug another quart of water to help with this bloat!
Category: Beltless, Maternity Style, Our Best Flatware, Research Casual, The Short of It
Tags: Bermuda shorts > E. > maternity shorts > patterned shoes > yellow
June 28th, 2009 § §
28 June 2009 – On Our Way Home
, originally uploaded by academichic
- Patterned scarf – souvenir from MN, remixed
- tank – “MG Girl” tank purchased at previous MG meet
- walking shorts – ON, remixed
- sandals – Target, remixed
We’re on our way home! These days are spent logging as many miles as possible on our journey East. I’m recycling elements from previous outfits you’ve seen on this trip, as one has to do when traveling. So back out come the black see-no-spills-on-them walking shorts, my go-to black sandals, and one of my favorites patterned scarves.
I haven’t posted any outfits over the past few days because show days are spent with everyone wearing MG logo shirts associating owner with car and club location. I, trying to do my part as good future daughter-in-law, sported my fair share of said garments. Although today’s outfit is still of the MG variety, it is my one “chic” MG top and often the envy of many female show attendees. I got this “MG Girl” tank at a show a few years ago, where I got the display model since they were selling out quicker than you can imagine. This just goes to show how male dominated these car meets are perceived to be, that the moment someone offers a female-geared product it just flies off the racks. I’m always surprised by the lack of female-targeted products when there is no shortage of female attendees or drivers at these meets. I guess old stereotypes die hard.
At this particular show, however, I spotted one very stylish woman wearing a cute denim shirt-dress with a red and white MG logo on the back. It was fitted through the waist and then flared out flatteringly to the knees, crating a lovely silhouette. Of course I had to approach her and ask her where she found such a stylish MG dress (of all things!) and was hardly surprised when she revealed that she had made it herself. She had purchased the cute dress and applied iron-on patches to it, making a one-of-a-kind design. Not only did I love this woman’s innovation and style but I was also impressed with the greater implication of such a move: instead of allowing herself to be limited by the male-centric offerings of MG products, she thought creatively and made her own garment, reflecting her sense of style and challenging assumptions about what (gendered) bodies enthusiastically claim a car logo on their apparel.
As I leave you with a gratuitous shot of show day, I ask you: what activities or passions do you have that don’t fit the “feminine” mold society has created for women? S.
Category: Beltless, Our Best Flatware, Sabbatical, The Short of It, Theoretical, Weekend Wear
Tags: Bermuda shorts > floral > MG Girl > road trip apparel > S. > scarf
June 25th, 2009 § §
As E. mentioned, today we had a meeting on campus with an editor. I too have been mostly working form home or coffee shops since finishing teaching, so have enjoyed my share of jersey and denim! It was nice to pull out some more professional pieces this morning.
Like I mentioned yesterday, I am trying out some creative remixing to make my summer wardrobe a little more interesting to myself. This pink top is actually one of the items I borrowed from E.’s pre-pregnancy wardrobe. I figured I better get another use out of it while I still have time. I have a feeling she will be wanting it back soon!
I wasn’t crazy about the way the cut looked on me when I wore it as intended, but love the color and fabric. I put a structured blazer over it to create a waist and contain all the ruffles and, inspired by E., I wore it backwards to show off the little buttons.
Category: Beltless, Office Hours, Pants Please, Reaching New Heights
Tags: A. > blazer > brown > brown and pink > pink > professional
June 25th, 2009 § §
Evening (all remixed):
- Fuschia running shorts – Old Navy
- Blue technical top – St. Louis marathon
- Running Shoes – Brooks
I have a confession to make. I cheated on Nerp today. This morning, T. and another friend and I rented bikes and went on a beautiful 20 mile bike ride from Breckenridge to Frisco (Colorado) and back. We looped around scenic bike paths and trails and enjoyed the most amazing view of snow capped mountains in the distance.
We rode a bit through the city of Frisco and there we came across this adorable sight. You may have heard of Bike to Work Day, which took place this past Tuesday in Colorado. Apparently, this pre-school was having a Bike to Preschool Day today (as one of the teachers informed us) and so the front lot was littered with the cutest and tiniest array of bikes I’ve ever seen. It made my day! S.
Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Our Best Flatware, Sabbatical, Skirting the Issue, Vélocouture
Tags: bike commute > black and red > cycling > kids bikes > S. > scarf
June 25th, 2009 § §
All remixed except for top.
- Sleeveless coral sweater: Gap Maternity
- Gray trousers: Ann Taylor Loft via eBay
- Gold earrings: Hawaii swap meet
- Metallic wedges: Target.com
Today A. and I had a meeting to attend with an editor on campus. While it would have certainly been acceptable to show up in one of my frequent all-jersey outfits, I jumped at the opportunity to pull out these favorite trousers and assemble a more business casual look. When I wore these pants for the first time back at the end of March — when my bump was much smaller! — I repeatedly told my husband, “I feel like a person in real clothes.”
And I felt great today, too, wearing a lightweight, sleeveless sweater in a fantastic color, perfect trousers, and a good metallic wedge. The attitude difference surprised me a little and made me wonder if I should make up “meetings” at least once a week until the baby comes just so I can “dress up.”
Between the incredibly hot, humid weather, my lack of on-campus obligations, my plethora of home-improvement and preparation projects, and this little thing called being eight months pregnant, my summer attire has been consistently far more casual than my usual academic-year looks. I think I associate that business-casual level of dress with being intellectually active and working to assert myself as a young scholar, so I suppose it’s little wonder that I felt just a little more sure of myself today. I know that I can be just as smart while wearing a denim skirt and tank top, but maybe I really believe it when I’m feeling a certain degree of put-togetherness.
I know some people feel like the “real” them is the person in jeans and a t-shirt and the “business” them is something they put on each morning. Thanks to all my scholarly readings on subjectivity I know that the notion of a “real me” can be problematic (thanks, Judith Butler!). But I’m curious how you all relate to different levels of dressing up. Do you feel like a certain register of casualness or professionalism or glamor is the most “you.” Do you know why you feel that way?
Category: Maternity Style, Office Hours, Pants Please
Tags: E. > fashion > maternity pants > pregnancy
June 24th, 2009 § §
24 June 2009 , originally uploaded by academichic.
- Fuschia tee – BR Outlet
- Black walking shorts – Old Navy
- Black sandals – Target
- Orange scarf – thrifted in San Fran
- Sunglasses – H&M
- Purse – Garage sale find
Another day on the road called for another scarf outfit. As A. mentioned, sometimes you can feel like your wardrobe choices are limited and one way to mix up the monotony of a capsule wardrobe is by going for interesting color combos. Yesterday I decided to wear my fuschia tee and to add a bright orange scarf to it – a bold color mix but one I’ve always liked. (This color mix was actually a long standing color contender for my wedding colors). As with the last scarf-on-the-road outfit, I wanted to incorporate the scarf right into the outfit so that I could wear it around my neck while stationary and then quickly have it at hand to wrap around my hair while driving:
I also strategically wore black walking shorts (as chic as a light cotton skirt or white pants may be – not really ideal when most of your meals happen on your lap in a moving vehicle!) and my new garage sale find purse.
Although we were all geared up for a day of driving and sightseeing, yesterday was spent unexpectedly idling around rest stops and parking lots as we dealt with the plethora of car troubles suddenly plaguing our vehicles. The oldest car in our caravan is a 1958 MGA
and so its no surprise that it was having some major engine problems after logging about 1000 miles from its starting point to our stop in Colorado. So we ended up scrapping all our sightseeing plans and accepting a day of grass-sitting and rapair-watching instead. But the one cool thing that I wanted to share with you from my sights yesterday is the very awesome diner on I-70 in Flagler, Colorado.
The interior was wonderful decked out in 50s diner kitsch, neon lights and cow-spotted swivel chairs not withholding. In addition, the food was wonderful! This diner comes with friendly service, delicious food, a bubble gum pink corvette out front, and this ridiculous (my inner feminist was aghast) but wonderfully 50s bathroom sign:
Here are some more shots of this great establishment, definitely worth the stop if you’re ever on I-70 in Eastern Colorado! S.
Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Our Best Flatware, Sabbatical, The Short of It
Tags: capsule wardrobe > I-70 diner > MG cars > road trip > S. > scarf
June 24th, 2009 § §
- Pink Jersey Dress – Limited, remixed
- Brown Top – H & M
- Green Patent Flip-Flops – J Crew, ancient and well-loved
- Shell Necklace – hand-made gift, remixed
- Shell bracelet – Hawaii?
- Earrings – Island souvenir, remixed
With no money to spend on clothing remixing my existing items of clothing has become all the more important. Layering makes this much easier; you can where an item over and over and have it look very different because it is paired with at least 3 other pieces. With a heat index over 100 layering has become a less-than appealing solution! Interesting color combinations are another great way to mix things up. E. continues to demonstrate the wonders of color mixing for summer, but I think I could use some daily inspiration for this. Perhaps it is time for a summer edition of our Fashion 101 on color. What do you think?
I have tried to be more creative with how I wear pieces, wearing dresses as skirts for example. A couple weeks ago, I wore this dress as a skirt, using the empire top as a wide waist band. This has actually become the usual way for me to wear this, so to mix it up, I am wearing it as a dress! Because unlike S., who wears them beautifully, I don’t do empire waists, and because the smocked band at the top was doing very little for my bust line, I have put this draped cowl neck top over it. I like the pink and brown together and the way the wide waist band gives all this jersey some structure and makes this an easy belt-less look.
Category: Beltless, Dresses for Day, Layers Upon Layers, Our Best Flatware, Proportionally
Tags: pink > summer style
June 23rd, 2009 § §
- Gray crop cardi: Target
- Purple tank: H&M
- Denim skirt: ON Maternity
- Patterned wedges: Kenneth Cole Reaction, via DSW
I picked up this fluttery little swing cardigan from the Target clearance rack for $4 last year. I wasn’t sure if I could wear it while preggers since it adds extra volume, but turns out it’s soft and drapey enough that it actually works. As an added bonus, its shorter length helps to break up my endlessly long torso. Winner.
At my “birthing class” last night, we talked about the postpartum period and, interestingly, one of the things we covered specifically was the need for a new mom to take some time out to care for herself and her own appearance. (I cannot, however, say that any of the women in the video were looking particularly stylish. Ah, hospital educator videos.) Back in April, many of you gave me fantastic advice on caring for your own appearance in those early days of mommyhood and I continue to be so grateful for the affirmation and encouragement to get out of pajamas each day and put on “real clothes,” even if those real clothes are very soft, very comfortable ones.
So now I’m asking for names, people. Where can I find a cuddly, light open-front cardi or chic hoodie? Who, in your opinion, makes the softest tanks or camis in the whole world? What are your best recommendations for comfortable but still parents-in-law-visiting appropriate bottoms? Who knows where I can get a button down shirt dress that doesn’t wrinkle? What is an item of clothing you have that you would totally be happy sleeping in — it’s that snuggly soft — but is still a “real” garment?
Category: Beltless, Maternity Style, Proportionally, Reaching New Heights, Research Casual, Skirting the Issue