21 August 2009 – Sundance

August 21st, 2009 § 21 comments §

21 August 2009 – Sundance, originally uploaded by academichic.


All remixed except espadrilles.

  • Yellow cardi: Ann Taylor Outlet
  • Cream skirt: BR Outlet
  • White nursing cami: Target
  • Cream espadrilles: Old Navy

End Notes:

I’ve loved the monochromatic looks that S. and A. have sported this week, and today’s outfit falls somewhere in between S.’s soft, sophisticated neutral looks and A.’s bright layers of color. It took a while for me to accept the idea of wearing white and cream at the same time, but on this second go-round I can say that I definitely love the subtly of the combination. It might be my new black-brown fashion-don’t-become-fashion-yes!

I love the conversation that A. started yesterday about dress, expectations, and academia. When I was speaking at my alma mater earlier this week, I was reminded of a comment we received a few months ago from a reader who remarked that her status as a mom and academic made her even more careful to appear put-together and stylish on campus to counter any possible criticism that mommyhood was impinging on her brain cells. I certainly felt that self-pressure over the weekend!

I find the self-fulfilling prophecy of self-fashioning to be fascinating. I’ll be the first to admit that dressing well makes me feel better and thus makes me perform better. But every once in a while I remind myself that subversive dressing means that you can’t always “pass.” Is there a certain point when self-disclosure becomes necessary? It gets increasingly convoluted as one considers the layers of expectation, identity, and performance that we experience and enact. By dressing in a certain way, I may challenge what a feminist looks like or what a mom looks like, but on some level the subversion only works if I at some point let people know that I am a feminist, a mother, a half-Japanese woman, etc. The who and how of that disclosure, however, is what allows my style to be an act of self-empowerment rather than just an act.

Keep your thoughts coming. We have loved reading your comments!

21 August 2009 – Sundance, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Reaching New Heights, Research Casual, Skirting the Issue, Theoretical
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20 August 2009

August 21st, 2009 § 42 comments §

20 August 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.


All remixed


Why I wore what I wore:

Being rather pleased with yesterday’s outcome, I decided to try another monochromatic non-neutral with a neutral base – purple, purple, purple!  The necklace is one of the earrings S. gave me for being her “best woman” worn as a pendant.  This is a remixed trick that lets me wear my favorite jewelry more often.

Purple Purple Purple, originally uploaded by academichic.

What I thought about as I wore it:

Last night I caught up with my childhood best friend, which was wonderful! She had heard through the family  grapevine that I had a blog and had checked it out.  While she was very complimentary, I have to admit my first instinct was to be embarrassed and that initial feeling has had me thinking all night and all day.  My family knows about the blog, increasingly more friends know about it, and because it’s on the world wide web, more people with random connections to my non-blog life are discovering us.  Yet, no one from my academic life (outside of S. and E. of course) know about the blog.  Why? Because fashion and style are considered frivolous.  We are suppose to be concerned with much more important things and I guess I assume professors and even colleagues would consider this a silly waste of time. Threadbared recently wrote a thoughtful and stimulating post on this very topic in which they also address the gendered and sexist aspects of academia’s fraught relationship with fashion.

I think as a feminist, my love of fashion might be further seen as contradictory.  We begin to address this in our State of the Field and it is a topic the three of us continue to discuss amongst ourselves, but I would love to open this issue up to our always insightful readers.

My active involvement in the LGBT political and academic communities adds an extra layer of tension to self-styling.  I find there are expectations for how I should physically present myself and often incorrect assumptions are made based on my appearance.

On our post on male academic style reader H. left a thought provoking comment about the gendered concerns of wearing an engagement ring in academia.   What does our clothing and jewelry say to our colleagues and superiors about our commitment to our work, our politics, etc.  While I don’t have an engagement ring, I would like to say that in regards to all of the above, I have tried to make it my policy that I will wear what makes me feel most comfortable and confidant, yet I have to admit I do often find myself wondering what my clothing says about me and hoping that the message I set out with is the one conveyed.

Do you feel pressure to look a certain way because of your job, your political leanings, your commitments to family or a particular community?

Do you find that colleagues or strangers make unfair or incorrect assumptions about you based on your style?

20 August 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Color Combinations, Our Best Flatware, Research Casual, Skirting the Issue, Theoretical
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20 August 2009 – Humanity Draped

August 20th, 2009 § 10 comments §

20 August 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.


All remixed except for brooch used as button:


The last time we experimented with monochromatic color schemes, I played around with outfits comprised almost entirely of greens, blues, and pinks. This time around, I’m more drawn to grays, whites, and browns. I blame it on the lack of layers in the summer. It’s easier to construct an outfit comprised almost entirely of one color when you can add depth and visual interest with layers and overlaps. Although it is somewhat chilly this morning and I can gleefully pull out my chocolate brown shrug.  To keep it closed and snug, I’m using a hand-painted wooden brooch as a make-shift button.
On a fashion side note, I’m currently reading a fascinating work on nineteenth century fashion by Philippe Perrot (Fashioning the Bourgeoisie. A History of Clothing in the Nineteenth Century) and in it, he classifies the ancient world as “humanity sewn” and “humanity draped”. Just picture a starched suit vs. a loose toga or sari. Perrot analyses clothing as semiotic signs and culturally charged symbols and draws fascinating conclusions by studying garments as seemingly unimportant as undergarments and tie slips.
Putting a bit of a playful spin on this, I was wondering which category I’d fall under: sewn or draped? Our profession is filled with ‘humanity sewn’ but I fancy myself as a bit of a ‘draper’. This cardigan is the perfect example of a loose and flowey garment that I still find to be professional and work-appropriate. In my personal life, I chose a very drapey, Grecian-inspired wedding gown. For my fall wish-list, I’d love some more of these draped creations, like the Anthropologie Possibilities sweater or cozy pashminas to wrap around my shoulders. What about you? Sewn or draped? S.

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Layers Upon Layers, Office Hours, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue, Teaching Outfits, Theoretical
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19 August 2009 – Monochromatic Teal

August 19th, 2009 § 9 comments §

19 August 2009 – Monochromatic Teal, originally uploaded by academichic.
All endlessly remixed
  • Teal Tee – F21
  • Light Teal Tank – Gap
  • Denim Pencil Skirt – Gap
  • Brown Wedges – Kenneth Cole Reaction, via DSW


While I am no stranger to monochromatic neutrals, I find putting a monochromatic non-neutral-color outfit together rather challenging.  Part of this is that I just don’t have the clothes in my closet for a head to toe of any non-neutral color because I don’t have much in the way of colorful bottoms  (I used my one brightly colored skirt to create a monochromatic blue ensemble in the winter).  The other issue is that one of my new favorite tricks is to add color with my shoes but I hate matching my shoes to my outfit (unless they are a neutral).

However, even when I gave into a neutral bottom half and focused on the top, I still found this a difficult look to put together.  I decided to pick one of my favorite colors because it gave me numerous pieces to choose from.  Once I had decided on teal I just stared pulling everything teal out and found that this tank was pretty close to just being a lighter shade than the tee.

The real stretch for me came with the accessories.  My instinct was to either add a pop of another color or to break the teal up with a neutral.  I never would have thought of putting these turquoise beads with this top but I am actually really pleased with the result.

Teal on Teal, originally uploaded by academichic.
Jewelry Detail, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Layers Upon Layers, Office Hours, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue
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19 August 2009 – Superhero Split

August 19th, 2009 § 14 comments §

19 August 2009 – Superhero Split, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Red-orange cardi: BR outlet
  • Red-violet nursing tank: Old Navy
  • Gray bermudas: thrifted, chopped
  • Patterned flats — well, well loved: Old Navy

End Notes:

If I was a superhero, I think my costume would use a split complementary color scheme. As I was reminded when I looked at my outfits from February, split complements can be one of the boldest color mixes out there, certainly suitable for superhero garb.

And while I am physically exhausted today, I still feel worthy of split complementary superhero-ness because — drum roll — I just returned from a successful three day road trip to and speaking engagement at my alma mater with baby e. in tow. Folks, if I wasn’t so sleepy I would go run a crazy victory lap, yipping, “I have a baby and my brain still works and I just managed to do a fairly normal job of balancing a networking event with being a mom and I even road tripped to make it happen and now I speak in run-on sentences because I am that proud of myself!”

So I’m celebrating this renewed confidence in my ability to make this whole Mama, PhD way of life work with a mix of red-orange, red-violet, and green. It’s one of those mixes that only work if you believe that it does, and today I’m believing. I’ll be ready to take on the world shortly, once I squeeze in another nap.

19 August 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Our Best Flatware, Teaching Outfits, The Short of It
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19 August 2009 – Soft and Simple

August 19th, 2009 § 6 comments §

19 August 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.



Today’s outfit is a monochrome one for this week’s color review. After looking once more at all the beautiful color combinations we received from our readers for our Color Symposium, it felt pretty bland to go for a mostly-white outfit today. But once I saw it all come together, I was struck yet again with how lovely monochrome outfits comprised of neutrals are.  Something about a mostly white ensemble appears especially simple yet elegant. So I’m becoming more and more a believer in neutrals and monochromatic outfits made of neutrals – something to add to my back-to-school shopping list. I’m longing for rich fall browns, sophisticated grays, and pretty ivories and off-whites. So while A. is testing out my usual take on color, I’m finding myself increasingly drawn to her signature looks of neutrals. S.

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Layers Upon Layers, Office Hours, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Proportionally, Research Casual
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Color Review Symposium Part I

August 19th, 2009 § 10 comments §

We have been experimenting with our Fashion 101 modules on Color around here and have been very fortunate to have some of you partake in these challenges as well. We love being inspired by our readers and  have loved receiving your submissions to our CFP. Here is a selection of the wonderful outfits created by you, putting our color theory into practice:


While here at Academichic Central we are struggling to beat the heat with cool neutrals, our lone all-neutrals submission came from a far away reader in a winter climate.  We love how Missy P made her winter white really pop by pairing it with layers of rich brown form head to toe.

Neutrals with a Pop:

We are all jealous of Missy P’s beautiful coat collection, particularly this striking red wool coat which provides the perfect pop in a mix of cozy neutrals. What a great way to add some color to a dreary winter day!


In Dawn’s own words: “I decided to mix navy, black & cream with red, and felt fabulous breaking one of the central commandments of style!”  We adore this  fabulous example of why some rules are just meant to be broken!

Titi wears clothes took this neutrals ensemble and gave it two pops of color, and an analogous one at that! We love the little peak of yellow under the gray as well as how the green bag stands out against this sophisticated dark color palette.

Two-Thirds of a Triad:


This beautiful predominately neutral look – made extra special with the addition of two pops of color – is a perfect example of the two thirds rule- Esstea explains: “I love how just those two little bursts of color played off each other and made the neutral charcoals and blacks look zippier.”  We couldn’t agree more!


We also love this take on the two-thirds rule: Pairing the brightest pink in her closet (red) with her darkest navy denim (blue), Esstea creates yet another stunning color combo. Very chic!


Water Girl put together a two thirds of red-blue-yellow triad, writing:  ”I love blue and red together, but always struggle with making sure I don’t look like a 4th of July firecracker”. Well no problem here! This belted jacket and pretty skirt combo are nothing if not chic and put-together!


Krissie’s take on the blue-yellow-red triad combined blue and yellow in this elegant professional look. Taking her cue from A’s DIY flower and ribbon belt, she finished off this ensemble with her own version in rich brown hues.

Complimentary Colors:


Orange and blue, complimentary colors often sported by both S. and E., seemed to be by far the most popular complimentary color submission. Here Krissie is employing the little trick of letting a pattern do the color mixing work for you with this beautiful abstract print skirt.


Redcactusflower was inspired by E.’s recent orange and blue outfit to wear a color combination she wouldn’t normally try. We love the sleek look of this ensemble with the structured tan skirt and the unexpected burst of orange from this gorgeous bauble necklace.

Clare’s casual version of a blue and orange complimentary look is bold and summery. We love the slight variation on the ‘true’ colors with her choice of red-orange and blue-green and we’re also mighty impressed by how not even an arm cast can dim her sense of style! Rock on, Clare!

Titi wears clothes also sent us a complimentary color submission, one that is often more difficult to pull off given its very ‘Christmassy’ associations. There’s no danger of that with this outfit, which beautifully pairs a blue-green shirt dress with a maroon hobo bag. Excellent casual elegance!

Jessica took a different approach to the same red-green complimentary color combination by pairing a pink top with a mint green floral skirt. The delicate beaded necklace of pinks, browns, and greens brings this entire outfit seamlessly together.


Thank you, all, for your wonderful submissions! We’ve really enjoyed being inspired by you and hope that our readers will find equal enjoyment in perusing these beautiful pictures and stunning color combinations.

Category: Calls for Papers, Color Combinations
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18 August 2009 – Ode to S.

August 18th, 2009 § 8 comments §

18 August 2009 – Ode to S., originally uploaded by academichic.
All remixed except belt


I  think split complimentaries is one of the hardest color schemes to pull off and I managed to make it more challenging by trying to wear it on a day when I needed to be office appropriate for a series of meetings.

The complimentary colors I am working with are yellow-green and red-violet but I have split the red-violet into pink (red) and purple(violet).  This is a whole lot of color for me – and bright color at that!

I am considering this color combination a little ode to S. on her two-week wedding anniversary.  I think she is the ultimate queen of bright colors, which she manages to mix in ways I would never think of but always look stunning on her.  Pink and purple are also S.’s  wedding colors and these fabulous pink shoes are the shoes I purchased for to wear for her wedding.

I think I plan to wear these shoes a lot and know that I will always think of S.’s special day when I do.  I think it is only appropriate that I premiere them as part of my regular wardrobe on a Tuesday!

Happy 2 week anniversary S. and T.! -A.

Pink Shoes!, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Color Combinations, Office Hours, Pants Please, Reaching New Heights
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18 August 2009 – Split Complementaries

August 18th, 2009 § 9 comments §

18 August 2009 – Split Complementaries, originally uploaded by academichic.
All remixed:


I started this week’s color review with a more easily crafted monochromatic look yesterday, but decided to go for the challenge and attempt a split complimentary color combo today. Split complimentary color mixes take a bit of thought (at least for me they do) but tend to be well worth the time spent staring at your closet interior. The result seems to be bold yet soft, if that’s possible. It’s bold because the complimentary colors play off each other and make the other color look intense. But at the same time, using the adjacent colors to a true compliment softens the effect and creates a nice, harmonious color mix. In this case, the two complimentaries at play are red and green. But instead of wearing true green with red, I am wearing the two colors adjacent to it on the color wheel: blue-green and yellow-green with my pop of true red:

When we last reviewed these color pairings, I successfully pulled off one split complimentary outfit that has been one of my favorite color mixes to this day: yellow-orange and red-orange with a pop of true blue. Maybe as the week progresses, I can pull off one more… S.

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Layers Upon Layers, Our Best Flatware, Research Casual, Skirting the Issue, Weekend Wear
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S. Gets Married: The Collected Works

August 18th, 2009 § 25 comments §

Discover, originally uploaded by academichic.

The Background Story:

Initially, T. and I had a bigger wedding planned for next year. We felt that it was expected of us by family and by friends who’d invited us to their weddings to reciprocate with a similar event. With both of us being knee-deep in PhD work and my getting ready to spend a research year abroad, the bigger wedding in the works was growing into a on-going financial and time-sucking burden. But we both felt that it was what we had to do.

The moment we both admitted to each other (and ourselves!) that we were willing to risk disappointing others to make ourselves happy with this, we knew we wanted to cancel the bigger event in the works and just elope.

» Read the rest of this entry «

Category: Independent Study (DIY), Night Without Grading, Taking Notes, Vélocouture
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