30 May 2010 – Weekender

May 30th, 2010 § 12 comments §

30 May 2010 – Weekender, originally uploaded by academichic.

Sources:

  • Hat: Banana Republic Factory
  • Dress: Banana Republic Factory
  • T-straps: Target.com

End Notes:

Ah, this is the kind of summer dressing that I find so, so easy. A dress, shoes, and now a big floppy hat. There is something so wonderful about just being able to throw on a dress — with a built-in accessory like this embellished neckline! — and just call it a day.

Dress detail, originally uploaded by academichic.

I definitely went through an anti-dress stage in junior high and high school, followed by a I-can’t-find-dresses-that-fit-me stage in undergrad. But over the past few years dresses — especially jersey dresses — have come to be an essential part of my wardrobe. And it’s funny how my favorite dresses don’t necessarily share a similar aesthetic. Their unifying characteristic is simply that they function beautifully as a single piece outfit.

And isn’t that what makes them perfect for holiday weekends with the family?

30 May 2010 – Weekender, originally uploaded by academichic.

P.S. Baby e. insisted on being in this final picture. He recognizes cameras and will strike a pose whenever someone pulls one out. Future style blogger for sure.

Category: Dresses for Day, Reaching New Heights, Sabbatical
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30 May 2010 – Prague On Two Wheels

May 30th, 2010 § 10 comments §

30 May 2010 – Prague, originally uploaded by academichic.

Sources:

  • Black tunic – thrifted
    Gray ruffle sleeve tank – Filene’s basement
    Scarf – H&M
    Skinnies – thrifted
    Flats – Palladium
    Sunglasses – Shop in Romania
    Bag – Old Etienne Aigner

Endnotes:

T. and I were fortunate enough to enjoy two glorious days in Prague on our way from Munich to Romania. Neither one of us had been there before and I’m confident in saying that this won’t have been our last trip to this amazing city. Sorry, Salzburg, I think I’ve found a new favorite.

I was feeling pretty inspired by how much fun we’d had on our ‘bike date’ in Munich, that I wanted to try the same in Prague. But given that we didn’t know the city, didn’t speak the language, and didn’t feel too comfortable navigating the town on bikes with maps in hand, we decided to do the next best thing to riding around on our own – book a guided city tour on bikes! I think all the social riding talk going on at Let’s Go Ride a Bike has had me looking for ways to ride with a group or with T. much more than usual. There is just something so enjoyable about grabbing bikes, a few friends, and spending the days outdoors. (You can read about my other LGRAB Summer Games participation posts here, while E.’s entry is to be found here.)

Prague Bike Tour, originally uploaded by academichic.

T. was more than enthusiastic about my suggestion and so we spent our first day in Prague exploring the city on two wheels with a knowledgeable guide. We booked our tour with City Bike. I would highly recommend them to others; our tour guide was well informed, patient (while we stopped and took many pictures), funny, and excited about sharing his city with us. The bikes were in good shape, the group size kept to no more than ten (we had seven in ours), and we were rewarded with a free local beer (or water) at the end of the ride.
We were also told that the average walking tour in Prague covers about a 2 km stretch throughout the old city, while the standard 2.5 hour bike tour covers 12 km of the city. We were able to see far more of the city this way, covering points of attraction further out and at further distances from each other than one would be able to do on foot. And as I already mentioned, our guide was more than gracious with allowing us plenty of photo stops along the route…


As for our outfits, I wore my stretchy skinnies because they’re great for bikes even without chain guards (they’re such a snug fit). I added a comfortable cotton tunic top and a loose scarf (more sun and tan-line protection around the neck line), my trusty flats, and sunglasses. My Etienne Aigner bag can easily be thrown over my back messenger-style, which was a wise choice seeing as how my bike didn’t have a basket. T. wore jeans, sunglasses, and this awesome ‘bike evolution’ shirt I found on Etsy a little while back.

Prague Bike Tour, originally uploaded by academichic.

After our two-plus hour bike tour, T. and I dismounted our bikes beaming from ear to ear. We had such a great time getting our bearings this way and were so glad that we had decided to splurge on a guided bike tour of the city.

Prague Bike Tour, originally uploaded by academichic.
Prague Bike Tour, originally uploaded by academichic.

Thanks, Trisha and Dottie, for really pushing me to think of creative ways to work social cycling into my day, I’m not sure that I would have considered this outing if it hadn’t been for my reading of the Summer Games on your site. And now I’m definitely on a roll…I’m thinking of working a bike tour of a Romanian city into our schedule here. Stay tuned and ride on! S.

30 May 2010 – Prague, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Beltless, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Sabbatical, Vélocouture, Visiting Lecturer, Weekend Wear
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28 May 2010

May 28th, 2010 § 6 comments §

28 May 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

Sources:

  • Knit blazer: C&C
  • Striped tank: Target
  • Skinnies: Ann Taylor
  • Oxfords: Civico10 from DSW

End Notes:

Whew. As A. mentioned yesterday, I started a summer course this week: an intensive French translation class. I’m still getting the hang of this new schedule and trying to figure out when snapping a picture can fit into my daily rhythm. But, between biking to and from campus every day this week and translating an excerpt of an article on a Jean Luc-Godard film, I’m feeling pretty good about my productivity levels.

I enjoy the fact that in the spring and summer my range of style references seems to expand as I apparently vacillate between full, billowy skirts and more “geek chic” looks, like this one. The skinnies and tank were easy to bike in, but once I arrived at my classroom I could throw on this knit blazer to stave off the dreaded summer air conditioning freeze-out and feel a little more put-together.

Is your style repertoire influenced by the seasons? I’m not talking about only wearing wool in winter, but do you perhaps find yourself to be a Katherine Hepburn trouser lady in the winter and a devoted dress lady in the summer? A spring hippie? An autumn prep?

I love the idea of having a personal style that allows for (and maybe even encourages?) these kinds of excursions into other style milieu. I think it starts to tap into some of the power that clothes have on both personal and social levels (however intertwined those two may be). So I shouldn’t feel schizophrenic for wearing vintage Hawaiian print one day, a retro-style dress the next or trying to edge-ify khaki, but instead embrace it as part of the creative potential (both aesthetic and generative) of getting dressed.

28 May 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Beltless, Office Hours, Pants Please, Proportionally, Reaching New Heights
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28 May 2010

May 28th, 2010 § 9 comments §

28 May 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

Sources:

  • Eyelet top – thrifted, sleeves altered by me
    Gray tank – Hanes
    Jeans – Old Navy Flirt jean
    Flats – Palladium
    Bracelet – Chinatown, San Fran
    “L” Pendant – Anthropologie
    Heart pendant – gift from husband

Endnotes:

As A. already mentioned, we’ve all been pretty busy lately. I’ve been out of commission since my husband arrived in Europe and we’ve been spending time traveling, leading us to Romania, where we are now. I did take some outfit (and cycling) pictures along the way, which I will start posting whenever I have some down time.

These pictures were snapped on our last day in Munich, while we were still pup-sitting and enjoying the city on a rare sun filled day. We spent the day walking around a ton (again) and so I naturally wore comfortable flats (again) with jeans and a loose eyelet top.

Eyelet detail, originally uploaded by academichic.
Shoes, originally uploaded by academichic.

You may remember this top from when I first wore it back in January and asked for your opinion regarding the sleeves. I had just thrifted it and wasn’t too sure about the somewhat mariachi-like volume of the eyelet sleeves and asked whether I should leave them or cleave them. The votes came in pretty divided but I decided that the most important thing about style is to feel good and confident in one’s skin (and one’s clothes, by extension) and since I just wasn’t feeling the sleeves as they were, they had to be altered…

The beauty of thrifted items – I generally don’t spend too much money on them and so I’m more willing to take risks altering things that don’t seem quite right. For 4 Euros, I was willing to gamble the outcome of my chop job. I simply cut the bottom portion of the sleeves off, cutting along seam that was hidden beneath a layer of eyelet draping over it from the top section. Overall, the new version isn’t as dramatic and eye-catching as the original, but it’s much more me and more likely to be worn now. I can see this eyelet top being a reoccurring summer staple as the weather warms up and I’m looking for low maintenance but cute summer tops to pair with skirts or jeans. S.

28 May 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Sabbatical
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27 May 2010

May 27th, 2010 § 6 comments §

27 May 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.
Sources:
  • White Tee – Banana Republic
  • Skirt – American Eagle
  • Belt – Gap
  • Sandals – Charlotte Russe
  • Wood Bangle – Gift from S.
Endnotes:
On behalf of E. and S. I have to apologize for our collective absence from the site this week!  S. is traveling with husband T. and E. has started a summer class.  My only excuse is that I have been writing, running, cooking, baking, house repairing, and gardening and don’t look nearly as adorable when I garden as E. does.   Today I am finally leaving the house to go somewhere other than the park with the puppy or to Home Depot.
All the running and gardening has resulted in a nice tan, so I’m wearing white to show it off.  Don’t worry, I wear SPF 30 everyday, but I don’t mind a bit of color.
27 May 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.
I’m trying something a bit different with my belt today.  I tried belting this skirt high and tucking my tee in, but the proportions were all off, so I’m wearing my belt slung low and loose and love the slouchy relaxed feel.
I’m off to a dissertation reading group meeting, but want to direct you all to a great post written by Sal today about feminism and fashion. I couldn’t agree more and don’t think I could say it any better, so won’t try – go check it out!
27 May 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Our Best Flatware, Proportionally, Research Casual, Skirting the Issue
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25 May 2010 – Le Chapeau

May 25th, 2010 § 38 comments §

25 May 2010 – Le Chapeau, originally uploaded by academichic.

Sources:

  • Hat: Banana Republic Factory
  • Eyelet top: F21
  • Belt: vintage, from mom
  • Shorts: Banana Republic Factory
  • T-strap wedges: Target.com

End Notes:

The sun has been shining bright and hot in Academichic central over the past few days, which means it’s been the perfect weather for debuting the latest addition to my summer wardrobe: this floppy paper straw hat. I was so drawn to this hat when I saw it in the store and I tried it on initially as a kind of joke. But then, I just fell in love with its swooping lines, wide brim, and overall playfulness and A. — ever my faithful shopping partner — encouraged me to step out of my style comfort bubble and go ahead and purchase it.

I’m imagining wearing this to picnics in the park, walks with baby e., and an outdoor dinner with my husband, along with less idyllic pursuits such as weeding my backyard. Still, it currently takes me a little pep talk to go outside with such a dominant, eye-catching head-topper, so today, I kept the rest of my outfit clean and classic: a white eyelet top, high waisted navy shorts, and tan accessories.



25 May 2010 – Le Chapeau, originally uploaded by academichic.

Of course, the hat’s primary purpose is to protect me from the sun, something that I’ve grown more conscious about over the last few years. Now that I have soft baby e. skin to care for too, I’m especially aware of the dermal benefits of hat-wearing.

But I need your help! This is the first “real” hat (aka, not a baseball cap or knit cap) that I’ve owned, and I need tips on to care for it to ensure that a long, sun-blocking life. Certainly there is an abundance of information via Google, but I’m interested to hear your tried and true methods for storage, cleaning, or protection.

Will you be wearing a sun hat this summer?

25 May 2010 – Le Chapeau, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Reaching New Heights, Research Casual, The Short of It
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24 May 2010

May 24th, 2010 § 18 comments §

24 May 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

Sources:

  • Dress – Banana Republic Outlet
  • Teal Tank – Banana Republic Outlet
  • Sandals – Charlotte Russe
  • Earrings – Gift from E.

Endnotes:

This entire outfit probably cost me less than $30 – mostly thanks to Banana Republic Outlet.  E., baby e., and I hit the outlets last week during a sale and armed with extra coupons.  We both made out with some great finds.  I picked up several jersey dresses as I walked through BR but once I made it to the dressing room, most where either too tight, too short, or too shapeless. I’m not convinced this is the most flattering dress on me but it sure is comfortable!  And, for about 9$ I figured I was willing to play around with it.  I love the color – a bit outside my usual color comfort zone – and think it will allow for some fun color combinations.  Today I added teal but am thinking the berry might work well with dark purple or grey, and maybe even maroon for a very close analogous pairing.

Berry and Teal, originally uploaded by academichic.

I’m also thinking a nice wide belt could change the shape up a bit and probably make it a more flattering fit.  Or, maybe I’ll try layering it under a full skirt, making it into a wrap top.  For 9$ I think it was a pretty good buy with quite a bit of potential.  Any other suggestions for color combinations or silhouette alterations?

24 May 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Color Combinations, Dresses for Day, Our Best Flatware, Proportionally
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23 May 2010 – Paper bagging it

May 24th, 2010 § 25 comments §

22 May 2010 – Paper bagging it, originally uploaded by academichic.

Sources:

  • Navy tank: Target
  • Earrings: Wet Seal
  • Belt: Gap Outlet
  • Ring: c/o La La B
  • Skirt: refashioned from a Target sack dress
  • Wedges: Naturalizers, via DSW

End Notes:

Last week was my “week off” for the summer. Nothing to turn in. No meetings to attend. No need to go on campus except to return my piles of library books. Baby e. and I had a fun week of gardening, visiting the art museum and zoo, and shopping. I also had time to do a couple of garment re-fashions that I’ve been wanting to finish for a while.

This paper bag waist skirt was one of my projects. I saw this gray dress on the Target clearance rack a month or two ago for $4. That’s right, $4. Two of my sisters-in-law actually own this dress in other colors, and it looks terribly cute on them, so I figured that I would snatch up this gray version and try it on once I got home.

Target dress before, originally uploaded by academichic.

Once I did try it on, I realized it was all wrong on me. Too short. Not that flattering of a color near my face. Too bunchy when belted. But rather than returning it, I thought I’d try to take advantage of the parts of the dress I did like — the pockets and the hem detail — and refashion it into an elastic waist skirt.

So I did.

Paper bag waist, originally uploaded by academichic.

(And will you forgive me the wrinkles, since we took these photos after returning home from a picnic?)

It was a fairly simple refashion. I cut across the dress just under the armholes, pulled out the zipper, and sewed the back seam closed. I turned over the raw edge 1/4″ then folded it over 2″ to create the wide top hem for the “paper bag” effect. Since I didn’t have enough length to create a casing for the elastic below the 2″ top hem, I sewed a wide ribbon in a coordinating color onto the skirt, just below the 2″ seam and left an opening through which I could thread my elastic. (You can’t see the casing in these pictures since I’m wearing a belt.) I took some pictures of the process, but I don’t think they serve that well as a tutorial since the directions are so specific to the particular garment I began with.

But what I will suggest is that if you are interested in the idea of refashioning clothes — taking an existing garment and changing it into something special or entirely different — then you must check out the Wardrobe Refashion blog. Basically, Wardrobe Refashion is a community of folks who have pledged (for different lengths of time) to not buy any new clothes in favor of thrifting or creating their own garments. (See the rules here.) The result? An aggregation of lots and lots of folks posting their creative re-imaginings of garments from their closets and fabric from their stashes. Although not all posts have related tutorials, the sheer volume of creativity and vision evidenced by these crafty folks is enough to get me seeing the potential of existing garments to become something entirely different.

I really love this idea of seeing something new in something old, of capitalizing on the good points and good craftsmanship of an existing garment to create something new-to-you. I’m not capable of a fancy waistband with zipper, for example, so I turned a pair of jeans into a skirt. I’m not confident enough to sew an entire knit dress, but I sure can turn a belt into a pair of wider straps. And I may not have the steady hand to create even hem details or to make inset pockets, but I can chop up a shift dress and turn it into a high-waisted skirt. For me, re-fashioning is a prime creative outlet, enabling me to create something from not-quite-raw material.

La La B Ring, originally uploaded by academichic.

22 May 2010 – Paper bagging it, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Academichic Product Review, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue, Weekend Wear
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23 May 2010 – Bike Date

May 23rd, 2010 § 25 comments §

23 May 2010 – Bike Date, originally uploaded by academichic.

If you haven’t already heard of the Let’s Go Ride a Bike Summer Games, then you should definitely head over to Dottie and Trisha’s site to check them out. They’re a perfect incentive for picking up that bike you’ve been keeping in storage this winter and dusting it off for some fun rides around the neighborhood. Added bonus – there are prizes involved for those participating.

For my second entry to the LGRAB Summer Games event called “Social Cycling”, I took Trisha’s and Dottie’s advice and scheduled a bike date with my husband. What a perfect way to explore Munich together on his visit here. And since Trisha and Dottie said to dress up, here is what we wore (not exactly
‘dressy’ clothes, but just the regular street clothes we would have worn walking around town.) No special gear required…

.

On her:

  • Sunglasses – loan from friend
  • Yellow top – Sam & Max
  • Skinnies – S. Oliver
  • Flats – Palladium
  • Scarf – souvenir from Duluth, MN
  • Bag – old Etienne Aigner, hand me down

On him:

  • Graphic tee – J.Crew
  • Backpack – Jansport
  • Jeans – Nautica
  • Shoes – Aldo
  • Sunglasses – souvenir from Costa Rica

T. and I are both enthusiastic cyclists although our styles are very different. While T. loves to go fast, I like to ride slow. For T., it’s all about getting from point A to B as quickly as possible, while I like to take my time and look around. T. loves to feel the rush of flying downhill on his bike, I tend to keep the brakes on and meander downhill at a much more hesitant pace. T.’s machine of choice is a fast and sleek road bike, I prefer a big lumbering cruiser. But despite our superficial differences in biking, we both agree on one thing: riding our bikes is fun.

23 May 2010 – Bike Date, originally uploaded by academichic.
23 May 2010 – Bike Date, originally uploaded by academichic.

When it comes to engaging in this activity together, we both make compromises and find that the result is awesome; I feel the thrill of going a little faster, T. slows down and enjoys the ride-as-process, and we both take pleasure in spending the day together doing something we both love.

» Read the rest of this entry «

Category: Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Vélocouture, Visiting Lecturer, Weekend Wear
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22 May 2010 – Tegernsee, Germany

May 22nd, 2010 § 12 comments §

22 May 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

Sources:

  • Top – on loan from friend L.
  • Dog – on loan from friend L.
  • Gray tank – Hanes
  • Jeans – S. Oliver
  • Flats – Palladium
  • Necklace – World Market

Endnotes:

Yesterday, T. and I took a little day trip to Tegernsee, Germany, a little spa town just outside of Munich. It felt like we walked into a Grimm’s fairy tale crossed with a Cuckoo clock factory at the foot hills of some idyllic mountain town. To see as much of it as possible, we did a lot of walking.

Detail, originally uploaded by academichic.

While I feel that my sojourn in Germany this year has influenced my taste and style in numerous ways, one really tangible change has been my approach to footwear. If it isn’t comfortable and if I can’t walk miles in it, then you may just keep it, thank you very much. Living car-less and walking everywhere has made me really appreciate my flat and comfortable footwear and I wish I had brought more of that along with me here. I’m not saying that I won’t be seduced into buying a cute heel in the future, but I’m definitely gravitating more towards stylish and attractive flats these days. My favorite brand as of late is Camper, which offers so many stylish yet comfortable walking shoes, but unfortunately at mostly outside of my price range. But still, a girl can dream…

What I particularly love about Campers is their matching yet non-identical design on one pair of shoes. The left and right shoe ‘go’ together but are not mirror images of each other…

It was a good thing I wore my comfortable Palladium flats for our day trip to Tegernsee because we did discover a little foot path and trail leading to a gorgeous look-out point after about a fifteen minute hike. The view from that hill and all the picturesque details throughout the town made Tegernsee a real gem.

Tegernsee, Germany, originally uploaded by academichic.
Tegernsee, Germany, originally uploaded by academichic.
Tegernsee, Germany, originally uploaded by academichic.

And after all that walking, we of course ended our day with mandatory beers and Bretzen at the local brewery. And it also happened to be my husband’s birthday yesterday  - all in all, a perfect day. Happy Birthday, T! You’re the best, honey, and I look forward to spending a lifetime of birthdays with you still! S.

Category: Beltless, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Sabbatical
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