30 July 2010 – Complements

July 30th, 2010 § 32 comments §

30 July 2010 – Complements, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Top: thrifted
  • Cardi: Target
  • Shorts: Ann Taylor
  • Ring: c/o Lala B Jewelry
  • Sandals: Jeffrey Campbell, via Rue La La

End Notes:

In the last few days I went to New York, sans camera, for a whirlwind two and a half day dissertation research trip. I overlapped with A. for half a day, came home, and am now about to embark on a road trip to somewhere-in-Oklahoma for a family reunion with my in-laws. I will say, though, that take-offs and landings (and the very long lead up to both wherein you are not allowed to have tray tables down or lap tops out) is prime outfit-planning time.

I really struggled with putting together a complementary color scheme though, which is a little unexpected since I have worn them before, even when it’s not part of a challenge week. For some reason, though, I was really having a hard time. I think part of the problem was that I initially wanted to stay away from saturated complementary colors and instead play with complements in softer hues: lavender and yellow or peach and blue or something like that.

But you know what? Let’s be honest, I’m a saturated color kind of girl, and I know that I can wear mustard and royal purple well separately…so why not together? I’ll tell you why. Purple and gold are pretty quintessential school colors. Eep. No one wants to walk around looking like a college mascot. Still, I think the ruffles on the purple top and the play of proportion with a longer top and cropped cardigan, keep things from looking too school spirit-y.

La La B Ring, originally uploaded by academichic.

Jeffrey Campbell Sandals, originally uploaded by academichic.

Plus, school mascots don’t wear chunky rings and cutout wedge sandals, right?

Is there a color combination you now avoid because it brings back memories of school colors? Or rival school colors, I suppose.

30 July 2010 – Complements, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, The Short of It
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30 July 2010

July 30th, 2010 § 11 comments §

30 July 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Dress – BR Outlet
  • Belt – Old Navy
  • White Tank – Banana Republic
  • Grey Flats – BR Outlet


I took this picture at 6:15 am before leaving for NYC so please excuse the tired face.  I am now in NYC having a great time and will post a picture or two from my visit soon.  For my early morning flight I chose a comfy jersey dress in a bright color and grey flats that would easily slip off at security and allow me to walk all over the city one I arrived.

I have to admit, I felt slightly out of place at the Met Library (and in the upscale cappuccino joint nearby) in my bright colors.  I probably would have looked more like a New Yorker in one of my black or grey jersey dresses or better yet my black pencil skirt.  But alas, this is NOT neutrals week!  So, I added my favorite belt to make a 2/3 color combo blue-green + red-violet (+ yellow-orange).

Any New Yorkers out there participating in the color challenge, proudly wearing their bright colors? Bright berry pink even?


Category: Color Combinations, Dresses for Day, Fashion 101, Our Best Flatware, Sabbatical, Wardrobe Challenge
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28 July 2010 – Opposite Day

July 28th, 2010 § 21 comments §

28 July 2010 – Opposite Day, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Top: August Silk via Filene’s Basement
  • Skirt: Banana Republic
  • Belt: Banana Republic Outlet
  • Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti Design via Filene’s Basement
  • Bag: vintage (below)


I have to admit that when I first was told about the color wheel challenge I thought smugly to myself “this will be easy because I already wear lots of bright clothes in fun combinations.” However, the more I looked at my closet and pondered contrasting colors and triads the more I realized that while when it comes to blues, purples, pinks and greens I have options, my wardrobe was severely lacking in reds, oranges, and yellows. I had recently purchased this red belt to add a pop to an outfit, but the orange shirt was completely out of my comfort zone. I decided that any purchase that was an experiment would be capped at $10, and fortunately this shirt was on sale for $9. As a natural redhead, I had grown up avoiding orange and red because of my hair, but recently I have discovered that by staying in the cooler tints of these colors (more towards a sienna or rusty umber rather than “safety orange” and deeper, blue or plum shades of red) I am able to incorporate these without looking like a pumpkin.

28 July 2010 – Opposite Day, originally uploaded by academichic.

I have been looking for fun red shoes for a while, but have yet to find the perfect pair of red flats. My philosophy is – when in doubt, wear metallic shoes because they go with everything. You can probably tell from the scuff marks on these that I wear them often. A tip for wearing flats in the summer, which some of you might already know, is before putting them on put a little baby powder in each shoe and knock it all around the inside. This absorbs some of the summer sweat so your foot doesn’t stick (and your shoes don’t smell). As for my other accessories, this bag was something I found in the attic at home, which is a treasure trove of vintage clothes, shoes, and accessories from my mother and grandmother. All-in-all I feel terrific about this outfit, and I am very excited that orange has made a summer debut in my wardrobe and complements not only my jean pencil skirt, but also my red hair! Do you have any colors that you were always told to avoid? How have you worked them into your outfits? What other out of your comfort zone or experimental pieces have you added to your wardrobe?

28 July 2010 – shoes and bag, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Color Combinations, It's in the Bag, Our Best Flatware, Research Casual
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27 July 2010

July 27th, 2010 § 20 comments §

27 July 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Jersey Wrap – BR Outlet
  • Striped Tank – American Eagle
  • Jeans – Banana Republic
  • Red Flats – Target
  • Dog – Camp


After a wonderful visit with S. and T., an elegant wedding, and a relaxing weekend, A2, Camp, and I had to make the 10 hour drive back to Academichic Central.  I wanted to be comfy in the car but needed something a bit more spiffy then sweats for the pre-car ride brunch with friends.  I chose my cuffed skinny jeans, which have stretched out to a relaxed fit, a tank and this new jersey wrap.  I picked this piece up on super sale at BR Outlet and love it!  It’s so comfortable, is a lovely shade of grey, and has a fun ruffly lapel thing going.  The belted waist doesn’t hurt either.

My pattern of choice has always been stripes and this summer I have been loving this blue and white striped tank.

Blue Stripes, originally uploaded by academichic.

I always find myself drawn to white and blue in the summer and have to stop myself from going overboard with the nautical influence.   I think the classic paring of red and blue makes this simple outfit a bit more sophisticated and   just happens to be a 2/3 color combination.  I have a feeling these red shoes will be getting quite a bit of color-wheel play in the next few weeks!

Red Shoes, originally uploaded by academichic.

What’s your summer pattern or color paring of choice?  Do you too go nautical when the weather warms? Or maybe bohemian, or safari?

27 July 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Color Combinations, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Sabbatical, Weekend Wear
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26 July 2010 – 0.666667

July 26th, 2010 § 10 comments §

26 July 2010 – 0.666667, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Cami – Target
  • Ruffled tank – JCrew
  • Belt: Old Navy
  • Skirt: refashioned from a Gap Outlet clearance dress
  • Wedges: Naturalizers, via DSW

End Notes:

We’re taking a little refresher course on the color wheel as summer winds down, and I’m starting by revisiting the realm of the so-called “two-thirds” color combination.

Did we ever admit to you that we totally made up the term “two-thirds color combination”? It’s not something gleaned from years of art historical study. Instead, it’s a theoretical structure for an observable phenomena, namely, the fact that A., S., and I all gravitated towards color combinations that we had no other means of explaining. I’ve long been a fan of blue and yellow together, for example, and S. has embraced orange and purple for years. We realized that these pairings could be understood as part of a larger color scheme, two-thirds of a “triad.” Think of the three primary colors — red, yellow, and blue — and then pick two of them. Voila. Two-thirds combo. Or think of the three secondary colors — orange, green, and purple — and pick two of those. Again, two-thirds combination.

I think the most valuable point of the two-thirds idea is that your gut color instincts can have quite a lot to say. (But what makes me a nerd is that I have an insatiable desire to contextualize that instinct within some bigger theoretical framework. Give me structure!)

26 July 2010 – 0.666667, originally uploaded by academichic.

More interestingly, I’m foregoing my two favorite two-thirds combinations (blue & yellow and purple & orange) in favor of trying out a less-used alternative: blue and red. There is something so fresh about pale blue with bright red. I think this skirt and shoe combination would have worked well with a white top for an utterly romantic feel, but I do like how the dark gray pushes the look more towards cool quirky chic.

In my self-indulgent daydreaming as I pieced this outfit together, I thought of Zooey Deschanel in one of those cotton commercials. And then I realized that I wasn’t actually thinking about Zooey Deschanel at all, I was thinking of Kendi of Kendi Everyday, who herself recently had a “fabric of our lives” moment and whom I have subconsciously elevated to cute brunette style icon of my mind. Hence, the spinning:

Twirly Times, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Color Combinations, Office Hours, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue
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Refresher Course: Color Wheeling

July 26th, 2010 § 13 comments §

I, E., always find it difficult to dress well during the last month of summer. Maybe it’s the heat or the fact that stores start showcasing snuggly chic sweater dresses in August, but for whatever reason it helps me to have some sort of structure or challenge when pushing through the final month before the fall semester begins.

So, much as we did last summer, we’ll be revisiting our Fashion 101 modules on color combinations, looking for fresh ways to pair outfits and accessories and pushing our color comfort zones. S. is excited to finally have access to a whole closet of options again (rather than her module wardrobe from a year abroad), A. is ready to utilize her growing collection of colored belts, E. can’t wait to play more with her new bright footwear, and L. is eager to kick-start her time at Academichic with some pops of color!

We’ll be starting with “two-thirds” and complementary combinations. (And in case you’re like me and need a little handy cheat sheet, you can download a little 4×6 printable pdf of the color wheel with some examples of the color combinations we’ll be exploring. Yes, I’m sticking mine on my dresser.)

Category: Color Combinations, Fashion 101


July 25th, 2010 § 39 comments §

We’re thrilled to welcome a new voice to Academichic in time for the upcoming academic year! “L.” was in the same department as A. and E., and recently completed her M.A. Now a new teacher in a new climate, she’s getting ready to tackle a particular set of wardrobe challenges while developing a post-grad school style that still incorporates her love of hot pink. We’re delighted to have her on board, so please give her a warm welcome!

2010 Academichic July 21 – 09, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Top: Banana Republic
  • Skirt: Banana Republic Outlet
  • Belt: American Apparel
  • Shoes: Tahari via DSW
  • Necklace: gift


Hello everyone and thank you E., S., and A. for inviting me to be a “post-doc” on Academichic! As E. mentioned I recently completed my M.A. and have departed the mid-west for the cooler climes of New England. Having come from extreme humidity it was refreshing to arrive in my new home and realize that come winter I will be able to layer, experiment with colorful sweaters, and show off my collection of tights. But back to right now…this summer look was inspired by a recent museum visit during which Little Dancer Age Fourteen by Edgar Degas was featured. Her proud stance, tight bodice, and knee-length tutu stood out in a room full of museumgoers in shorts and T’s. I know it is dangerous to dress-like-art (see Yves Saint Laurent’s Mondrian dress from 1965), but I went for it anyway.

I have been wearing this flowy white skirt all summer, but usually with slouchier more bohemian tops and a wide woven belt. However, this is my favorite combination yet, and the fitted top gives me definition that helps to offset the fullness of the skirt. I am happy that my stretchy purple/maroon belt creates an analogous color paring with the lilac tank, and the tiny ruched edge poking out above the belt adds to the ballet feel of this outfit.

originally uploaded by academichic.

I try to stay away from being too “match-y” but I could not resist wearing this amethyst necklace on a gold chain to help tie in my gold wedges. I am a big fan of metallic shoes (as regular readers will see in the future!), and I pare them with casual, formal, day, night, pants, and skirts — anything that needs a little shimmer! I love these wedges because they seem to be the perfect height to make my calves attain that long-lean-I-spend-2-hours-a-day-doing-pilates look (without actually doing the pilates). Also, being 5’3” it helps to boost me up a few inches.

originally uploaded by academichic.

originally uploaded by academichic.

That’s all for this post. I look forward to hearing from you and sharing more wardrobe ideas with you in the months to come!


Category: Color Combinations, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue
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24 July 2010 – Pattern

July 23rd, 2010 § 3 comments §

Pattern , originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Dress – Old Navy
  • Sandals – Target
  • Basket – Electra
  • Bike – Electra Cruiser


On most days while riding my bike I can be seen wearing a dress similar to this one. That is because it’s patterned. And not just any pattern – colorful, busy, floral pattern. According to Velouria, author of one of my favorite bike blogs, a great way to disguise sweat stains on clothing in the summer is to wear a pattern that doesn’t show that change in color (from sweat) as it just mixes in with the rest of the hues and swirls of the fabric. Velouria goes on to suggest that floral prints are optimal for this kind of chameleon game, which couldn’t work better for me since I am definitely a florals kind of girl.

Pattern , originally uploaded by academichic.

So for many of my bike commutes, I have been throwing on a floral dress and taking on the heat. I do usually arrive pretty sweaty and appreciate that this type of outfit hides that much better than many other less suitable options. Although some of you may not ride a bike regularly, it’s likely that many of you are tackling some hot and humid weather this time of year, so I thought this type of ‘dress to disguise your sweat’ tip would still pertain. While certainly less glamorous than tips on belting, color combos, or chic shoes, I figured that this type of advice would still have its place on a site about staying stylish while being practical. Having to get from point A to B sans car, this is good know-how for me to have up my sleeve. This strategy might prove especially effective once I start teaching again and will have to face a class full of students after riding my bike to campus.

For those of you who do bike or are interested in more bike specific discussion, you can find a review of the above pictured bike basket here or my review of my bike cup holder here. Additionally, I’m very excited to feature Tania from What Would a Nerd Wear this coming week on Simply Bike on her essentials for bike commuting in style. And while we’re speaking of exciting upcoming posts, make sure to check back here for some academichic surprises we have in store for you this coming week as well!

Happy weekend, everyone! S.

Shoes, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Dresses for Day, Office Hours, Our Best Flatware, Vélocouture
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23 July 2010 – A & S together

July 23rd, 2010 § 16 comments §

A & S together, originally uploaded by academichic.


On A:

  • Skirt – Gap Outlet sundress cut by A.
  • Tee – Banana Republic
  • Belt – Banana Republic Outlet
  • Flats – Target
  • Earrings – gift from A2
  • Bangles – Camden Markets
  • Bag – Old Navy

On S:

  • Eyelet top – TJMaxx
  • Skirt – J.Crew
  • Flats – Target
  • Bag – old Etienne Aigner hand me down
  • Brown headband – old, can’t remember


A and A2 were heading out of town for a wedding this weekend and their destination just happened to have them passing the town my husband and I call home. So they were able to work in a little mini vacation to visit us as well. It was so wonderful to have them in town for a couple of days; we caught up on stories, had the dogs play and swim together; got to finally see all their wedding pictures; and A. and I got to go on morning runs together like in the good ol’ days…bliss!

A & S together, originally uploaded by academichic.

And, no, while these pictures may suggest otherwise, we did not outfit coordinate for our day of walking around a nearby city and visiting a local sculpture garden. I think we both just knew that it was going to be a hot day and one that would involve much walking, so a simple white top with a full skirt would look chic while staying cool and airy. While my skirt came like that from J.Crew, A. made her skirt by taking a blue sundress that she loved for its skirt shape and color, but not for its top portion, and cut that off to transform the item. She removed the top, tucked in the seam, and belted the whole thing. Genius!

Flats, originally uploaded by academichic.

All that walking also required some comfortable shoes. We both love our Target flats and I especially loved how the red of A.’s shoes really popped against the blue and white outfit. So crisp and striking. And as always, A2 played our gracious and talented photographer, making sure we got some decent blog documentation before we all melted in the heat. On days like that, only one thing helps – keeping those ice coffees aplenty and aflowin’…


A & S together, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Color Combinations, Our Best Flatware, Skirting the Issue, Teaching Outfits
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22 July 2010

July 22nd, 2010 § 20 comments §

22 July 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Top: thrifted
  • Pants: Banana Republic
  • Shoes: Lauren by Ralph Lauren, via Macys

End Notes:

Do you ever have one of those “off” weeks? Not a bad week per se, but just one where you’re stymied in all the small stuff, your words don’t seem to be coming out right, you can’t seem to get on top of the laundry, and all the books you need are checked out of the library? I’ve just realized that when I get into one of these “real world” ruts, my style tends to follow as I gravitate towards tried and true silhouettes and combinations in my wardrobe.

I’m a huge proponent of dressing to make yourself feel powerful and put-together, and so on most days when I need a pick me up I’d be most likely to turn to my ubiquitous navy dress or floaty cream skirt. But today I thought I’d try taking the opposite approach. What if I wore something that’s not on my list of “go-to” items? What if I wore something that I kind of have to psyche myself up for a wee bit? What if I pushed myself past my style comfort zone in order to force myself to be assertive, to be positive, and to take ownership of a so-so week?

22 July 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

Caylin Wedge, Lauren by Ralph Lauren, originally uploaded by academichic.

So, out came these light gray pants that I haven’t totally figured out what to do with, and a boldly colored top in a longer length, and tall shoes. And look! No tucking in and no belt. If that’s not taking away a safety net, I don’t know what is, right? And I have to admit, now I feel all super-hero-y and proud of myself for trying something a little different rather than depending on my standards, as flattering and valuable as they may be.

Do you see a correspondence between an uninspired week and uninspired style? What do you do to get yourself out of a style rut?

22 July 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

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