13 January 2010

January 12th, 2010 § 36 comments

13 January 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Patterned dress – Banana Republic
  • Gray tank – Filene’s Basement
  • (Another tank underneath not shown, but worn for warmth)
  • Woven belt – F21
  • Vest - little boy’s Tracht vest, thrifted in Bavaria
  • Gray sweater tights – drug store
  • Boots – Dillards
  • Necklace – Anthropologie


The idea for this outfit actually came to me while running. Running is perfect for mentally exploring your closet or composing to-do lists. I was running though this very forest and something about this idyllic winter setting made me yearn for wool tights, a comfortable dress, sturdy boots and somewhat of a romantic aesthetic (to be later accessorized by a hot mug of tea and some great reading material).

And since I knew I would be posting this on Braid Wednesday, up in Yulia Tymoshenko braids my hair went:

13 January 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

Now lest you think I walk around snowy forests wearing short sleeved dresses, I only did this for about the five minutes it took me to take these shots. The cold weather has made me efficient! I then bundled back up in my big fluffy coat, added a hat, scarf, and gloves and trudged back to my house. I just discovered this nearby forest while running and the snowy wonderland setting made it just too tempting for my post-run outfit pictures as well. And, because no one in their right mind was out there and off-pathing it, I was spared any curious looks from people passing by and seeing me model for the camera.

I’m really curios – how do you other style bloggers do it? For those of you who take your own pictures (I have a feeling that’s a minority), how do you overcome the embarrassment of setting up your timer, running to the chosen spot, and posing while smiling at your pretend audience? Do you look for a spot where you’re almost guaranteed to be alone or do you brave and ignore the baffled stares from onlookers?

Vest detail, originally uploaded by academichic.

You’d think that after entire year of walking sneakily to secluded but well-lit areas to model my duds for the camera, I’d have it down to a cool and blasé art form, but no, no such thing. Still awkward and self-conscious about it. Maybe I’ll get better at it during Year Two of Academichic.

Don’t forget to check back Friday for our first giveaway of Year Two! S.

13 January 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

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§ 36 Responses to 13 January 2010"

  1. Lina says:

    I love this – the dress, the belt, the vest.. a very inspiring outfit, I have to see if I can do somthing similiar with the contents of my own wardrobe.

    I still haven’t braved venture outside to take my pictures, instead I try to find the best light I can in my apartment. This is also because I feel so self-conscious about it that my friends/family don’t know the name or adress of my blog… ;)

  2. MissWiniW says:

    if I am taking ‘self photos’ it is in front of a mirror – I only use my iPhone! Usually I get my MrMan to take photos of me (and they are usually not up to par and he mocks me the whole time – so rude). And then these photos end up with me being silly and him being a twat (but that’s fun so it’s ok, teehee).

    I think you are brave taking self-photos in public – you go girl!

  3. Kathryn says:

    I’m mortified by the idea idea of being seen by people as I take pictures. I usually take them in my house (with the help of my bf or my little brother) or in my classroom with the door locked and the shades drawn. I ventured outside at school for the first time two days ago. I was quick and sneaky so as not to be caught!

  4. Kim says:

    This is a beautiful setting for pictures! The outfit is very nice too.

    Right now I still take my pictures in my house since I don’t have a tripod. I’ve found one spot outside that I can do too but still not an issue of people seeing me. I can’t imagine ever being brave enough to do it somewhere public!

  5. Sally says:

    I simply adore your hair like that, S! And I’m happy to be one of the lucky gals who has a photographer “on staff.” My self-portraits are horrid.

  6. Kathryn says:

    While driving to work I composed you this little Frost inspired poem:

    Running by Woods on a Snowy Morning//

    Whose woods these are I do not know/
    but when I saw them draped in snow/
    I knew that this would be the spot/
    to document my fashion show.//

    A passerby would think it strange/
    to watch me standing on this stage/
    posing for adoring fans/
    who wait completely out of range.//

    My camera won’t betray my fear/
    That somebody will catch me here/
    taking pictures of myself/
    and freezing off my rear.//

    The snow is lovely- not too deep/
    For I have promises to keep/
    and outfits to post before I sleep/
    and outfits to post before I sleep.//

  7. Erika says:

    Kathryn, your poem is very funny and clever; thanks for sharing!
    S, I really like how you’ve been using the vest. Nice outfit.

  8. Kristen says:

    I love the hair! Can you do a tutorial for those who can braid but usually mess up trying to wrap it around? :)

  9. EmilyKennedy says:

    In the research I did on OOTD bloggers, one of the most fascinating findings was how people approach this question of self-photography in public places. It’s really fascinating.

    Also: great outfit!

  10. Ugh – I’m so self-conscious about photos. I take mine inside and hate how they come out. I really need to get over it and lug my tripod and camera outside to get better shots!

  11. jesse.anne.o says:

    I seriously love that vest.

    I (obviously) take inside photos – I just don’t have the drive to go outside to do it. Also, I live in Brooklyn so I’d have to take a 10 minute walk to get somewhere where there weren’t a bunch of people walking around on the sidewalks. The vision of taking outfit photos while 5 kids play basketball on the sidewalk 3′ away from me near an empty lot is pretty funny.

  12. Julia says:

    Love the outfit S!!! Somehow fits in with your woodsy winterland landscape. I love the poem by the commentor Kathryn above – so cute!! And how do you do your braids S – they look gorgeous, wish I could get mine to look like that.
    I don’t have a style blog, but if I did, I am sure I would never stop being self-conscious about taking pics of myself!!

  13. k says:

    i echo the request for a braid tutorial!

  14. Katie says:

    Our blog is new (less than a month old!) so I’m still trying to master posing – let alone taking the photos. Since I’m all by my lonesome, I have to do the self portraits. They’ve almost all be indoors, but I ventured out to my balcony today and during my “session” several people walked by. I carried on, bolstered by the knowledge that since they don’t know me and I don’t know them, I’m okay being the wacky girl in apartment L.

    p.s. you were on the list of pose inspiration for our new venture (and such a lovely one, at that): http://interrobangsanon.wordpress.com/2009/12/29/say-cheese/

  15. Katie says:

    Don’t be afraid of taking your own picture in public. No one should care, and if they do, they’re the one with the problem. Oh, and look at the camera, shy lady!

  16. A-C says:

    I’m one of those that does it by myself (The Fiance makes fun of me). I have my camera pretty much always on its tripod. I also avoid crazy stares by only taking pictures in and around my house. I’m thinking of venturing further away from the house to go take pictures. I live right on a golf course that would serve as a great background for my pics. Even though I’ve been taking pictures of myself this way for a while, I still feel kind of stupid. I’m smiling at a camera on a tripod trying to think of something funny so that I don’t look stupid. Its easier when I have the puppy with me, but still, I feel pretty ridiculous. But such is life.

  17. Linda says:

    Happy anniversary to Academichic!

    I just discovered you all in the fall and this is my first reply to any post. I love lots of your outfits (all three of you!) and they are helping me to think about dressing for academia in a slightly more adventurous way. So, best wishes for Year Two!!

  18. mariel says:

    i’ve taken self-timed outside photos before, sometimes in incredibly public places (i.e. the fountain outside of the plaza hotel). the awkwardness doesn’t go away, but it’s new york so most people don’t ask. weirder things happen on a daily basis. if they do ask, i’ll just say what jessica of what i wore says –”it’s an art project!”

  19. you’re preaching to the choir!! i have my beau take pictures a lot of the time, but often it’s faster and easier to do it myself in a spot i am used to (no hassling with the light, angle, colors, etc.). and my main goal is privacy–i definitely feel awkward and silly when people walk by.
    it’s a tough job, no?

  20. marguerite says:

    As I said on flickr, every element of this outfit is fabulous. As for taking pictures outside, I haven’t ventured to try. Its really too cold for that here, and I don’t have a camera stand, which would help. My camera stand in my bedroom is setting my camera atop a stool that I place in just the right spot on my bed…Fancy, I know.

  21. Amanda says:

    I’m so glad you posted about your outerwear….I was cold just looking at you in short sleeves! you look very cute today, I love those boots with the tights and dress.

  22. admin says:

    Kathryn – Awesome, awesome poem!! Thank you!!

    Regarding the braid tutorial – stay tuned for something! (not quite sure what yet).

    As for the outdoor pictures – being in Munich (a fairly large city) pretty much guarantees that at least 5 people will see me take my outdoor photos even in the secluded areas I seek out. I try to go with the attitude of: stranger things happen all the time.

    I also don’t have a tripod, my dog chewed up my little portable one, so all my pictures are taken while balancing my camera on some convenient make-shift stand. On my wish list: a mini tripod or a photographer. S.


  23. Candis says:

    Your hair is gorgeous, lady! I prefer to take photos outside simply because the lighting is usually excellent. I try to avoid passersby. Rarely do people ask me what I’m doing and most of the time people will wait till they see that I’m done taking a photo before they walk by quietly. Hey! We live in a world where most people take self-portraits every Friday and Saturday night anyway!!

  24. Kristen says:

    I like your outfit and your hair looks adorable like that.

  25. Kyla says:

    I love the dress with vest and boots. It looks so perfect in those beautiful woods!

  26. I don’t do fashion shots(I am going for a stealthy blog presence). But, I am far too cold sensitive to go our in the snow without a coat. I admire your commitment to your blog that you are wiling to freeze for fashion.;-)

  27. Carey says:

    What a treat to find this blog! I am a mom and busy graduate student who really needs some style help. I’m a marriage and family therapy student and will begin seeing clients in just a few short months. I’m thrilled to have these wardrobe ideas instead of boring suits…ick. You girls have fanTAStic style – - thanks!!!

  28. stealthnerd says:

    Super cute!! Love the dress!

  29. Dottie says:

    Beautiful snowy pictures. For us bloggers stuck in wintry weather, eventually we have to take off the parkas for pictures. Otherwise, everything would get pretty boring (and today, Michelan Woman! again).

    I’m not really a style blogger, but I am totally awkward about taking my own picture or even posing while my husband takes pictures of me. My mother instilled such modesty in me, I won’t even put on lipstick in front of the mirror in the ladies’ room, instead crouching in the stall trying not to drop the tube in the toilet. So taking my own pic outdoors has taken some time to get used to. I still wait until no one’s around before snapping. A benefit of freezing winter weather is that very few people are out and about :)

    Finally, I am hugely impressed by that braid. I don’t think my hair’s long enough yet, but I’m working on it :)

  30. Dottie says:

    Speaking of tripods and such – I bought one only this week and still don’t lug it around all the time. Last week I was setting up my camera on top of a dumpster as usual when a jogger stopped by and asked if I’d like him to take my picture. I could only say yes, but I was so embarrassed that my face was beet red and the photo therefore unsuitable for public consumption. Can’t a girl take her picture using a dumpster without a polite gentleman bothering her? ;)

  31. I know what you mean about feeling self-conscious. I take my pictures by setting my camera on the railing of my back porch. I always look to make sure no one is in the parking lot below, and I never pose for pictures when my roommate is home! Once she caught me out there and I felt very sheepish explaining what I was doing.
    You are brave to bare your arms in that weather, but all your snow shots are fantastic!

  32. I absolutely identify with photo-shyness, and especially in self-portraits. I dream of a friend who loves taking innumerable photos and regularly gets a good one…

  33. admin says:

    Ahh, what a tough life we lead ;)

    Dottie – I didn’t even realize that it’s ‘improper’ to apply lipstick in a public place mirror until it was recently brought to a friend’s attention…oh my! I clearly need some more lessons ins propriety.

    La Belette – I need that bumper sticker: “I freeze for fashion” ! I think it should be the new fashion blogger’s motto. :)


  34. gina says:

    Love the outfit!

    I take my pictures outside using my tripod or gorilla pod. Occasionally people’s heads turn to watch or they offer to help, but for the most part people completely ignore me.

    It probably helps that I do a lot of my photos in the Chicago Loop, and there are always tourists around with cameras taking pictures of buildings and each other. I’m a little more unusual taking pics of myself, but still not that out of the ordinary.

    I was really self-conscious about it at first, but I faked not caring and just reminded myself that I have a perfectly legitimate reason for what I’m doing. After a week or so, I really didn’t care. I try to avoid large crowds for ease of picture-taking, but I don’t mind people watching me do my photographs.

    I try to avoid places where I’m particularly likely to run into colleagues, but many of them already know about my blog so even that wouldn’t be too awkward.

  35. Anette says:

    What a lovely outfit – I love the dress. And winterly scene is beatiful too.

  36. [...] skirt(s), E.’s cropped navy blazer, L.’s gray and black skinny pants, and S.’s patterned wrap [...]

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