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February 28th, 2010 § 10 comments §

When you’re tired of your winter wardrobe and struggle to find inspiration through the last cold weeks before spring…what do you do? All three of us at Academichic, nerds that we are, do some of our best creative thinking under pressure. So, to help us make it through March we’re planning four Fashion 101′s in quick succession with topics chosen from your suggestions.

Week One: Cardigans

Week Two: Tights

Week Three: Belts (Hey! No eye rolling!)

Week Four: Jackets and Blazers

If you have specific questions or issues that you’d like to see addressed, feel free to leave us a comment or send us an e-mail. We’re excited to push ourselves to experiment with old standards and articulate rules of thumb that we’ve found useful. The fun starts Monday. Stay tuned…

Category: Fashion 101

28 February 2010

February 28th, 2010 § 11 comments §

28 February 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Scarf – courtesy of echo
  • Brown tank – Old Navy
  • Cardi – J.Jill
  • Brown cords – Ann Taylor Loft
  • Boots – Dillards
  • Yellow bag – vintage, garage sale find


For a last nod to our scarf month, I’m excited to showcase my new Echo scarf that I received courtesy of Echo Design. A. and E. already showed off their beautiful new Echo scarves, wearing them as a belt and as an Ascot tie respectively. I tied mine in the European knot and wore it loosely as a pop of silvery-blue with this brown and chartreuse outfit. I love how light and breezy it is and how the slight crinkled effect and unfinished edges gives it a casual and worn-in look.

Echo scarf, originally uploaded by academichic.

Echo Design generously sent us a last scarf for a reader giveaway, which we will offer in a last scarf month giveaway post this coming week, so stay tuned for that! We also have new themes coming for the month of March, more Fashion 101s, and more DIY posts, so check back tomorrow to find out what’s to come in the new month. Meanwhile, I hope you’re enjoying the weekend and having a great Sunday. S.

28 February 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Academichic Product Review, Beltless, Color Combinations, It's in the Bag, Office Hours, Pants Please, Research Casual, Teaching Outfits, Weekend Wear
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Guest Post at Already Pretty

February 26th, 2010 § 9 comments §

Pen and Paper, originally uploaded by Kristian D..

We were recently asked to contribute to a discussion over on Sally McGraw’s wonderful site Already Pretty. Sally regularly receives questions regarding style and appearance in academia and she sent some of those reader enquiries our way. We were honored to be asked to add our two cents, and in true academic form, we met for a virtual ’roundtable’ to mull over the topics in question. If you’d like to engage in the discussion, please see our interview here, and please add you comments and thoughts on the matter. We welcome this continued discussion on identity, performance, gender, and academia.

Category: Theoretical, Visiting Lecturer

Scarf Giveaway #4: Infinity Scarf

February 26th, 2010 § 298 comments §

As sad as E. is to say goodbye, we’re thrilled to offer this infinity scarf from Kangaroo Knits for our fourth scarf month giveaway. The long, circular scarf is black acrylic yarn and has silver gray crocheted edges. It is double knitted, making it reversible, and it is approximately 8” wide and the circumference is approximately 88”.

To enter, leave us a comment telling us what’s your favorite way to wrap and wear the scarf (see examples here). For another chance to win, leave a separate comment with a suggestion for what color (or color combination) scarf you’d like to see Kangaroo Knits offer next. This giveaway is open until Sunday, Midnight Central time, after which we will randomly select a winner.

Category: Academichic Product Review, Grants

25 February 2010 – Daily Drag Show?

February 25th, 2010 § 33 comments §

25 February 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.
  • Scarf – Echo
  • Sweater – J Crew
  • Denim Pencil Skirt- BR Outlet
  • Belt – New York & Co
  • Boots- Banana Republic, via ebay
Today I am wearing this beautiful paisley scarf in shades of green and blue sent to me from Echo.  I loved how S. has  been wearing scarves over turtlenecks and how my scarf looked yesterday around the popped collar of my button down.  I don’t own many turtlenecks so tried it out with a shawl neck color sweater and am rather satisfied with the effect.  This scarf is a large square in a light thin material.   Echo has how many beautiful colors, patterns, and shapes and I’m excited to have a shape I don’t usually wear.  Like E. the other day,  I folded my scarf into a triangle and wrapped the small points behind my neck and then tied them in the front underneath the larger point of the triangle.  I am really liking this style and I already have many ideas of how I will wear this once the weather finally warms up a bit!
Square Scarf from Echo, originally uploaded by academichic.
Ok, now for part two of my digression.  I wrote yesterday about dressing to express identity and the possibility of changing styles to express a different identity to different people.  All of your comments are so interesting!

As promised I want to talk a little bit about drag.  I have done quite a bit of thinking about drag because in my studies I continually wrestle with Judith Butler and because I am writing my dissertation on a male artist who often poses as a woman in his photographs. I also love a good drag show for entertainment and believe that drag has significant political potential.  This political and radical potential was confirmed for me this  past weekend – I saw some amazing activist performers.

I also heard an interesting suggestion about daily drag.  I have long believed that to some degree we often all dress in drag – this is because I believe that gender is a construction and that clothing works to construct and perpetuate gender identity.  However my thoughts on this were pushed further by a speaker at the conference who argued that we have two options when getting dressed: we either dress in drag or in a uniform.  If we don’t think about the message our clothing is sending that we are wearing a uniform, if we are conscious of it then it’s drag.  According to her definition, drag is a conscious dressing that sends a message about gender identity and makes people laugh, cry, or think.  If we take this definition then S. E. and I are dressing in drag everyday (at least everyday we post here) since we are certainly very conscious of what we are wearing and the messages it might convey.   I’m still working though these ideas but what do you think about this uniform vs. drag thing?

Ok, so why do I find this a powerful idea?  Sal asked yesterday if anyone made any comments or asked any questions about my attire.
I was very comfortable and confident in my appearance and I  felt totally accepted (I think this feeling had a lot to do with my own confidence) but I did have a few students ask me questions about how I dressed.  One student asked if I felt like I “passed,” if people assumed I was straight because of how I dressed.  I think our default is usually that someone is straight so while perhaps my clothing could reveal my sexuality, I would still “pass” on the phone, on paper, etc.  I explained to my students that I am confident in my clothing and that helps me feel confident about my identity, my relationship, and my scholarship.

I think the idea of dressing in drag appeals to me because I am aware that my clothing is a choice and that it sends a message and I like that my daily performance challenges people’s notions about what it means to be a lesbian and what it means to be feminine.  Our words and actions have to work in conjunction with our clothing and when you take my whole package into account there are some great seeming contradictions at work: I love pencil skirts and I am a lesbian, I wear heals and run marathons, I like pink and hot sauce and dark beer, I wear ruffly dresses and work boots and gloves.  I agree with most of you who said you pick what you wear based on the situation (pencil skirts for teaching, jeans for the bar, trendier items for campus, conservative wear for an interview, etc) but I have found that my overall sense of style doesn’t change as much as it once did (in an attempt to fit in with different groups of people).  Yet, it is empowering to remember that if it is all drag, a dramatic costume change is always an option!


25 February 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Office Hours, Our Best Flatware, Skirting the Issue, Theoretical
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25 February 2010 – (No) Sense of Self

February 25th, 2010 § 10 comments §

25 February 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.



Yesterday I had a meeting on campus that called for a semi-formal ensemble. It was one of those meetings where you can’t show up in jeans but is still casual enough that a suit would look like overkill. My attempt at semi-formal business ensemble resulted in this pairing of a burgundy sweater with a green cord tulip skirt, gray tights, and burgundy pumps. And, as a last nod to scarf month, I opted for a gold shawl wrapped à la Orchid Grey around my neck.

While a button down or trouser pants might be the more conventional approach to business-casual, I find this skirt and 3/4 sleeve sweater version to be more representative of me and my style as a whole. And since I wanted to feel at ease and confident, I chose something that would let me feel comfortable to the extent that I would not think about my clothes and just focus on my words. And this outfit did just that.

Shoes, originally uploaded by academichic.

Which is a nice lead into A’s question that she posted yesterday: How do we dress differently for different contexts or audiences? In her words: “How do different crowds of people, and your desire to connect with them, influence your style?” I noticed that without even trying, I automatically reached for a more conservative and professional outfit the moment I found myself back on campus and among professors and undergrads, in a subconscious yet undeniable attempt to align myself with the former group over the latter. While abroad and away from campus, I have been experimenting with cut-off shorts, wearing plenty of jeans, and often living in my hoodie. My living situation abroad has me staying with people a few years younger than myself and I find that I’m increasingly dressing as to “fit in” with this younger and trendier crowd. I like how that’s given me the freedom to experiment with new looks and styles and I kept thinking that I would want to bring that style back home with me, but now I’m wondering how well that translation of trends to my more professional persona on campus will work. While I aim to dress according to a personal sense of style and aesthetic, this oscillation between two cultures and lifestyles has shown me just how context-driven and malleable my performance of self is. S.

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Conference Wear, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue, Teaching Outfits, Theoretical
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25 February 2010

February 25th, 2010 § 17 comments §

25 February 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Jacket: Banana Republic Factory
  • Top: thrifted
  • Scarf as belt: courtesy of Echo Design
  • Pants: Old Navy
  • Pumps: Madden Girl, DSW

End Notes:

If our scarf month has made anything clear to me, it’s that I my collection was missing a good, patterned silk scarf. I say “was,” because the good folks at Echo Design graciously sent us some scarves to play with, including this long, narrow estate scrolls scarf. At first glance it may seem like a surprising choice for me, but I love the stylized, swirling vines and I think the red and tan color combination will actually prove surprisingly versatile.

Especially for renewed attempts at pattern mixing.

25 February 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

I actually really love how these patterns look together — the geometric diamonds with the more organic scrolls — and the color combination is classic as well. I’m excited to try this scarf out in other iterations, including as a “blouse” under a blazer or cardigan.

Finally, I’ve loved readings everyone’s comments on A.’s post about dressing for different audiences and identity groups. As you can probably tell from my post about dressing to announce a cultural affinity back in January and Sally’s guest post on style and the social self, this is a big, recurring question that we all return to frequently. And yet, there’s always more to say!

25 February 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Color Combinations, Mixing Patterns, Office Hours, Pants Please, Reaching New Heights, Teaching Outfits

24 February 2010

February 24th, 2010 § 29 comments §

24 February 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.
  • Pink Button Down – J Crew
  • Scarf – Old Navy
  • Navy Skirt – J Crew
  • Tights- BR Outlet
  • Shoes – Anthropologie, via ebay
In our last few days of scarf month I am taking on E.’s challenge to me to do a little pattern mixing, so I have paired this bold hot pink and paisley scarf with my bright pink pinstriped button down.  I like the result of a business silhouette with such bold and daring colors and patters.   I felt professional enough to teach and attend a job-search-committee meeting but I also think I brought a little extra life to both of these activities!
pink pattern on pink pattern!, originally uploaded by academichic.
Now for a digression: This past weekend I took a group of students to an LGBT college leadership conference.  I learned quite a bit and was reminded about many things I had learned long ago and have been excited to talk all about it with E. S. and lots of other people. But, here I want to reflect on how the whole conference experience, particularly the key note speakers and discussions with my students pushed me to think about clothing and self presentation.
While preparing to pack for the weekend I was struggling with what would be appropriate.  E. asked me if I thought I would dress differently for such a specific crowd – LGBT college students.   I think at some point in my life, I likely wold have chosen less “feminine” items and thought more about how I could easily convey lesbian through my appearance. I am now much more comfortable in both my sexuality and my physical appearance than I was back as an undergraduate, so that was not the issue (more on this later). Instead, I was caught up on the word “conference.”
These days conference conjures up some pretty specific attire, but this was not an academic conference and I was not a presenter, yet I did want to be distinguishable as an advisor (not an undergraduate student) and was aware that I might make some professional connections.   I ended up choosing jeans with my wrap cardigan and skinny cords with a button down and was very happy with my choices all weekend.

Since this is getting so  long already, I’ll save my next installment, in which I will suggest we are all dressing in drag, for tomorrow!  In the mean time, I would love to hear for you.  How much do you change your style depending on audience and situation?  I’m not talking about the difference between pencil skirt for the office and jeans for the bar – but rather how do different crowds of people, and your desire to connect with them, influence your style?  A.

24 February 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Mixing Patterns, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue, Teaching Outfits, Theoretical
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24 February 2010 – Notes from Home

February 24th, 2010 § 28 comments §

24 February 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.



I’m back in the Midwest! Hence the radio silence from my end of things lately. I spent Monday traveling back home for a two-week stay with my husband, pets, and friends. It’s so wonderful to be home and to be enjoying the familiar things that I haven’t had access to since last September when I left for Europe. While I didn’t spend too much time missing my closet while abroad, I can’t lie, it is nice to have all of these clothes and accessories at my disposal again. I feel like I’ve just gone on a huge shopping spree – I have so much stuff here. It’s almost sinful, really.

Yesterday, T. and I celebrated our five year (dating) anniversary by going out for dinner at my favorite restaurant in town. It was a casual affair, so I didn’t feel the need to dress up too much. Instead, I was excited to pull out a ‘new’ scarf from my abandoned stash at home and to build an outfit around that. This pretty bohemian piece, comprised of mostly purples and pinks, provided the inspiration for this color scheme.

Purples and Pinks, originally uploaded by academichic.

I chose this fuchsia cord skirt and the purple top to echo the colors in the scarf. To avoid looking like Rainbow Brite, I added several neutrals to help tone down the color scheme of this outfit. Grays, tans, and browns mute the bold fuchsia and purple pairing and provide a softer end effect than black or navy might have. As for the scarf tying technique applied here – I just looped the scarf twice around the turtle neck collar of the sweater, tied the ends together, and tucked the knot under the first loop to hide it.

Now I could write more, but I have an overly excited and impatient dog pawing at my leg and trying to lick the computer screen in order to get my attention, so I think this is my cue to sign off. Happy Hump Day (and Braid Wednesday), everyone! S.

24 February 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Layers Upon Layers, Office Hours, Our Best Flatware, Skirting the Issue
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23 February 2010 – To Infinity

February 23rd, 2010 § 12 comments §

23 February 2010 – To Infinity, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Infinity scarf: courtesy of Kangaroo Knits
  • Cardigan: Target
  • Jeans: thrifted, skinnied by me
  • Boots: Banana Republic

End Notes:

I wore essentially this same outfit back in December. It’s a collection of neutral basics that form the perfect backdrop for a focal point scarf. Last time I used two colored scarves to add some brightness, but today I stayed monochrome and used this thick infinity scarf, sent to us by the gracious Margie of Kangaroo Knits, to add such volume and texture.

23 February 2010 – To Infinity, originally uploaded by academichic.

This reversible scarf — black with a silvery gray edges — has a wonderfully substantial feel and it is dangerously addictive as a plaything. There are an astonishing number of ways to wrap and tie the scarf, and I waffled between a lush cowl or a more tightly wrapped collar.

23 February 2010 – To Infinity, originally uploaded by academichic.

Either way, it’s a fantastic, multifunctional accessory and cozy to boot and I wish I could keep it permanently. Yes, it’s true. This infinity scarf will be up for grabs as our final Friday giveaway of scarf month so be sure to check back to enter.

(Of course, if you can’t wait til then, Margie has some gorgeous colored versions available as well! Saffron! Turquoise! Salmon! Gah!)

Category: Academichic Product Review, Beltless, Color Combinations, Layers Upon Layers, Pants Please, Research Casual
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