31 October 2009 – Happy Halloween!

October 31st, 2009 § 14 comments §

Halloween Flashback!, originally uploaded by academichic.


Costumes are a mix of items from our own closets and things we found on ebay and amazom.com.


Happy Halloween!! I love Halloween, it’s one of my favorite holidays in America. And what’s not to love? Costumes, candy, costume parties, more candy… the perfect event. Since I came to Halloween late in life (when we moved to Canada from Europe), the magic of it still hasn’t worn off for me. So I am decidedly disappointed to miss out on the fun this year while here in Germany. Although Halloween has started infiltrating German culture as well, it’s not quite the same production one has in the States and I will not be dressing up tonight.

So I thought I’d instead relive my Halloween of last year by sharing with you one of my favorite costumes I’ve had in my years of Halloween mischievousness: T. and I were inspired by my grandfather who is a beekeeper and dressed up as a beekeeper and his swarm of bees. The night was abuzz with excitement and Indie beehaved herself excellently as a baby bee. (And yes, we are the kind of people who dress up their pets for Halloween).

How are you dressing up this year or what has been your favorite costume you’ve ever had? Do share so that I can indulge in Halloween dreamery from afar! And eat lots of candy tonight! S.

Halloween Flashback!, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Night Without Grading, Visiting Lecturer, Weekend Wear
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30 October 2009 – Slouchy

October 30th, 2009 § 22 comments §

30 October 2009 – Slouchy, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Slouchy gray sweater – Ann Taylor, gift from mother-in-law
  • White nursing cami – Target
  • Black cropped skinnies – Old Navy
  • Gray suede wedges – Gap Outlet

End Notes:

I have a soft spot in my heart for Project Runway. Watching the show prompted me to dabble in sewing again and think more creatively about the potential of garments I buy off the rack. Plus, it’s hard to not love Tim Gunn. Let’s be honest.

Inspiration (Althea's look from Project Runway)

This season — more so than in the past — I’ve found myself looking to translate outfits from the show into my daily wardrobe. When this look by designer Althea walked down the runway last night I thought, “I can do that!”

So I did.

My always-fabulous mother-in-law had recently gifted me this gray cardigan from Ann Taylor Loft. I have to admit, when I first put it on, tied with the accompanying grosgrain ribbon, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the dolman sleeves and the garments apparent inability to remain closed. But after seeing that Project Runway look, I decided to embrace the volume.

A key change — and this is perhaps more circumstantial rather than purposeful — is where the sweater’s volume hits on the body. In Althea’s look, the wide sleeves swing at the model’s hips, giving an almost diamond shaped silhouette. To me, a more flattering location for luxurious slouch would be higher up on my frame. And since the dolman sleeves on my cardigan already have their fullness under the arms, I just pushed the sleeves up. The result is that my cardigan appears to have a lot more volume than it actually does, and voila: a pared down version of a Project Runway winner.

30 October 2009 – Slouchy, originally uploaded by academichic.

30 October 2009 – Slouchy, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Beltless, Office Hours, Pants Please, Proportionally, Reaching New Heights, Teaching Outfits

29 October 2009

October 30th, 2009 § 15 comments §

29 October 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.
  • Olive Sweater – H & M
  • Brown Cord Skirt – Old Navy
  • Scarf – Birthday gift from S.
  • Belt – New York & Co
  • Tights – Gap
  • Shoes – Kenneth Cole Reaction, via DSW


First of all, thank you for all of your jean support!  I will give jean shopping another go and report back soon.

S. sent me this beautiful scarf from Germany for my birthday and I am in love.  It’s my colors and my pattern!  As soon as I pulled it out, I started planning outfits around it.  I have been wanting to try the belted scarf look again and thought that might be a good way to really showcase this new addition.  The scarf is the perfect length and thickness for this look (that is, not too long and not too thick).  Because the colors of the rest of my outfit were pretty simple, almost monochromatic, I decided I could play with pattern and texture.  I chose this wide, tweed belt to hold the scarf in place and my tweed-esque tights.

belted scarf, originally uploaded by academichic.

Yesterday was another long rainy day here, but as much as I love my boots, I wanted to wear other shoes for once this week!   Peep-toes were probably not the best choice, but my feet did manage to stay dry all day.  I was slow to come around to the peep-toe, but have learned to love them.  And then, I was hesitant about the peep-toe with tights – not any more!  If it means I can keep wearing my favorite shoes, I’m in!

What about you?  Will you try the belted scarf or the peep-toes and tights?


peep toes and tights, originally uploaded by academichic.
peep toes and tights, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Color Combinations, Layers Upon Layers, Mixing Patterns, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue, Teaching Outfits
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29 October 2009 – Asymmetrical

October 30th, 2009 § 10 comments §

29 October 2009 – Asymmetrical , originally uploaded by academichic.

All remixed (except tights purchased at the grocery store):

  • Black asymmetrical cardi – Banana Republic
  • Teal tank – BR Outlet
  • Jean skirt – Urban Outfitters
  • Tights – Edeka
  • Black boots – Banana Republic
  • Necklace – thrifted
  • Onyx earrings – TJMaxx


I’ve mentioned my love for asymmetrically cut garments before and today I’ll say it again: there is just something about an uneven hemline that gets me all excited. I think I like that it looks a bit spunky and unexpected, as if saying, look at me, I’m not quite the stuffy academic you thought I was, I’m wearing an uneven cut cardigan! How’s that for risqué?

Ok, so maybe’s it’s not that riqué, but it is somewhat unconventional. And it usually allows for the garment to be styled in a plethora of ways. Just check out the Moth Possibilities Sweater and all the ways we three Chics have worn it, the Wonder Wrap, and today’s example. I have worn it simple and belted or with the longer ends tied together. Yesterday, I tied the shorter ends together while letting the longer uneven ones hang down.

Cardi detail, originally uploaded by academichic.

What do you think of asymmetrical cuts? Do you share my passion for their unconventionality or are you rather weary of all that ambiguous fabric and questionable design plan? S.

29 October 2009 – Asymmetrical , originally uploaded by academichic.
Earrings, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Beltless, Our Best Flatware, Proportionally, Research Casual, Skirting the Issue
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28 October 2009 – Fall Safari

October 28th, 2009 § 11 comments §

28 October 2009 – Fall Safari, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Khaki jacket: F21
  • Magenta nursing tank: Old Navy
  • Orange scarf: gift from sister-in-law H.
  • Jersey pencil skirt: Target
  • Riding boots: Banana Republic

End Notes:

When I found out I was pregnant I tried to squeeze as much wear out of my favorite pencil skirts before my baby bump made them impossible. And when I packed said skirts away, I threw myself a brief, miniature pity party, wondering if pencil skirts would ever figure again in my post-partum, mommyhood phase of style. And then, just a few days ago, while sifting through a clearance rack at my local Target, I found this brown Merona skirt. A semi-structured, straight jersey skirt? Shut up. Oh, and what’s that? It has a wide, flat elastic band to keep jiggly tummy bits in place? And I can even sit on the floor in it? And it’s $8? Yes, please.

Okay, so it does have one flaw: front patch pockets. But I’m letting that slide for now as I triumphantly add one more garment that is baby-lifestyle and E-style approved. I’m excited to play with this skirt and, yes, it might very well give my current mom uniform a run for its money.

And without completely giving away baby e.’s and my upcoming Halloween attire, I will admit that today’s outfit came together while rummaging through my closet and drawers, trying to craft a costume for this coming Saturday. Speaking of, if you haven’t already done so, check out Jessica Schroeder’s great set of from-your-own closet Halloween costumes (granted, you have to have as fabulous a closet as she does, but they’re fantastic inspiration!).

28 October 2009 – Fall Safari, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Skirting the Issue

28 October 2009 – Cuffed + Boots

October 28th, 2009 § 24 comments §

28 October 2009 – Cuffed + Boots, originally uploaded by academichic.


All remixed:

A couple of weeks ago, I volunteered at the Munich marathon handing out water at one of the water stops. One of the other volunteers showed up wearing boots and cuffed jeans and I thought it looked terrific on her. Then this past weekend, I came across this image in Jolie magazine and that did it. I had to try this look for myself.

Inspiration, originally uploaded by academichic.

This is definitely a new one for me. I’m no stranger to cuffed or cropped pants, but have always reserved them for a summer look with sandals (or a summery shoe). What do you think of the cuffed pant over boots? Have you ever given this a go?

Picture 3

Another look I’m seeing frequently on campus here is the twill shorts over opaque tights with boots or booties…and I really really like it. I wish I had a pair of twill shorts or a pair of booties and then I’d rock it. Were I back home, I’d head to the nearest thrift store and try to find something of the likes, but here, I’ll just settle for admiring it from afar. That’s easier on the budget.

How about you? Same question as above applies. S.

28 October 2009 – Cuffed + Boots, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Beltless, Pants Please, Reaching New Heights, Research Casual
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27 October 2009 – HELP!

October 27th, 2009 § 64 comments §

27 October 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.
All remixed…
  • Pink Sweater – Banana Republic
  • Denim Pencil Skirt – Gap
  • White Tank – Banana Republic
  • Boots – Banana Republic, via ebay
  • Necklace – The Limited
  • Earrings – Gift
  • Bracelet – Gift from S.


I don’t usually wear pink but I do love pink and brown together, particularly this kin-of dusty rose.  I also like the combination of turquoise and pink — it gives this otherwise very basic ensemble a little something extra.

What I really want to talk about though, is JEANS!  I need your help dear readers!  Today I attempted to go jean shopping.  I have a couple pairs of skinny jeans that I like, but what I really want is a pair of versatile everyday jeans that can be worn with flats and a tee.  I love the way Gap “Real Straight” jeans looked on the leg-less mannequin but they looked more like skinny jeans on me (even on the model they are a bit too skinny for what I am looking for).  After trying on many pairs at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic, the closest I found were a pair form the Men’s side of Gap — Limited Edition Skinny Jeans (which I can’t find on line).  Surprisingly, the rise fit fine (unlike most jeans sold for men), the color was perfect, and the fit through the hips, thighs, and lower legs was all perfect.  The problem – they were too big in the waist.

So, any suggestions? I have hips and thighs but a rather small waist so I need something with a higher rise.  I am willing to spend a little money but can’t fathom paying $1oo or more on a pair of jeans.

27 October 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Color Combinations, Our Best Flatware, Proportionally, Research Casual, Skirting the Issue
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25 October 2009 – Salzburg

October 27th, 2009 § 21 comments §

25 October 2009 – Salzburg, originally uploaded by academichic.

All remixed:

(Technical Side Note: I will now only link back to how I’ve ‘remixed’ items since being abroad so that you (and I) can better get a sense of how I’m trying to stay creative with a more limited capsule wardrobe.)


Ahh…Salzburg. My favorite city in the world. This past Sunday I spent the day revisiting my most favorite place on earth (I spent two years studying there as an undergraduate and first year MA student) and remembering why I loved it so much. I think my NaNoWriMo novel is going to be set in Salzburg so that I can vicariously live through my protagonist and walk those streets daily.

Salzburg, originally uploaded by academichic.

Since there was going to be a lot of walking, I stuck to flat boots and comfortable jeans. I always love a good white button down and find it the easiest thing to throw on when inspiration for anything more exciting fails. A cardi and scarf finish the look and I’m all set. The same pink pashmina scarf that was my opera cover-up shrug on Saturday night, served me well as a cozy neck scarf for Sunday’s day trip. And, not to be left out, Taygee wore her own pink neck scarf. With matching pink scarves we roamed the pastel colored streets of my favorite city ever. Perfection. S.

25 October 2009 – Salzburg, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Lab Friendly, Layers Upon Layers, Office Hours, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Research Casual, Sabbatical, Weekend Wear
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24 October 2009 – Night at the Opera

October 25th, 2009 § 13 comments §

24 October 2009 – Night at the Opera, originally uploaded by academichic.


On S1 (above):

  • Black dress – Target, remixed
  • Silk tie belt – from another (thrifted) dress, remixed
  • Vintage brooch – was my grandmother’s
  • Pink pashmina – H&M, remixed
  • Gray wedges – Report, remixed
  • Pink clutch, Ann Taylor, remixed

On S2 (below):

  • Ivory shimmery top – recent H&M purchase
  • Black pencil skirt – recent H&M purchase
  • Ribbon weave pumps – bought in Romania years ago


Saturday night found S2 and I enjoying a wonderful production of Janacek’s Janufa at the Munich Opera House. The night ended with enthusiastic Bravas and Bravos from the audience and we, too, shared that enthusiasm despite having seats that allowed us to see no more than 65% of the stage at all times… ahh, the nosebleed section of the Opera.

Since I’m abroad this year and have a limited wardrobe, I wore my one black dress that I packed and will likely wear for all formal events to come. By styling it differently each time, I hope to avoid having you (and me) groan, this outfit again?! as I pull it out over and over. This time I added a pink and tan obi belt, which comes from this silk dress I wore on my last opera visit, and a pink pashmina. I also took a cue from A., who’s done this brilliantly a few times lately, and added a sparkly brooch to my belt for added drama and dazzle.

Vintage Brooch, originally uploaded by academichic.

Ideally, I would have worn these shoes with the above outfit, but had I packed those, last night would have likely been their main starring role on this trip. Instead, I brought my trusty gray wedges, which can be dressed up enough to go with a Little Black Dress but are also a smarter every-day, get-lots-of-mileage-out-of-me shoe choice.

24 October 2009 – Night at the Opera, originally uploaded by academichic.

Meanwhile, S2 looked stunning this this ivory shimmery cowl neck top and black pencil skirt combo. But I think her shoes truly did steal the show here: cream peep-toes with a dark brown ribbon weave, lovely! A great example of how a patterned shoe can add the perfect finishing touch to a basic outfit.

Ribbon weave shoes, originally uploaded by academichic.

I think it’s also worth noting that we went to the Opera wearing outfits comprised almost entirely of Target, H&M, and thrifted pieces. And we didn’t look that bad, right? I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend as well, whatever Saturday night found you doing. S.

Munich Opera House, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Dresses for Evening, It's in the Bag, Night Without Grading, Reaching New Heights, Sabbatical, Skirting the Issue, Visiting Lecturer, Weekend Wear
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23 October 2009

October 23rd, 2009 § 24 comments §

23 October 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.
  • Ruffle Cami – Gap
  • Pinstripe Skirt – J Crew
  • Blue Cardigan – BR Outlet, birthday gift from mom
  • Belt – Target, altered by me
  • Sweater Tights – Banana Republic
  • Shoes – Off Broadway
Pencil skirt, cardigan, and heels have become my go-to professional uniform.  Today’s outfit is  basically a recreation of a look I wore several months ago to mark the end of the intense course I taught this summer.  Here I have made it weather appropriate by adding the grey sweater tights and a bit more colorful with the mix of bright blue and maroon.
Layers, originally uploaded by academichic.

This afternoon I will be moderating a discussion after offering m thoughts on a campus-wide lecture given by a prominent activist. I figure, this time, it’s ok if I am one of the most dressed up people there.

I have to say, before our recent “roundtable” discussion about interview-appropriate wear, I would have worn something pretty similar to this for an interview. Now, I think I would definitely loose the sweater tights and belt, but I think I would still wear the rest. Does it need a suit jacket or a button down to be interview-appropriate?


Shoes and tights, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Color Combinations, Conference Wear, Layers Upon Layers, Mixing Patterns, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue
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