25 August 2010

August 26th, 2010 § 18 comments

25 August 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Mustard cardigan: Target
  • Ruffle top: Target
  • Belt: thrifted
  • Earrings-turned-brooches: thrifted
  • Ring: c/o Lala B
  • Skirt: Banana Republic Factory
  • Shoes: Lauren by Ralph Lauren, via Macy’s

End Notes:

Yesterday I led a question-and-answer session for new TA’s in the humanities at my university. I actually always find these beginning of the year, transitional summer-to-fall events difficult to dress for. I want to look competent but not stuffy, approachable but purposeful.

Ultimately, I ended up with an outfit comprised of pieces from multiple different “registers” of formality that — I think — still formed a coherent whole. I started out with my denim pencil skirt: a classic shape in a casual fabric. Then, I softened it up with a draping, ruffled top (originally used as a maternity top!). But then I added structure to the drape with a skinny belt that almost disappears in the gray froth and a cropped cardigan. I finished everything off with some “shiny” for polish: a chunky cocktail ring, enamel floral earrings used as mini brooches, and patent taupe wedges.

25 August 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

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

When I write it all out like that it sounds really complicated, but it actually came together very organically. That might be because in a lot of ways this is a reiteration of my monochrome olive outfit a few days ago. (I’m not concerned, though, since I’ve been steeping myself in critiques of the bourgeois notion of originality, ala Rosalind Krauss via Walter Benjamin. Ah, qualifying exams.) And besides, I’d call this a revision rather than an imitation.

Do you have a secret for stylish dressing in this transitional period between summer and fall?

25 August 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

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§ 18 Responses to 25 August 2010"

  1. MONKEYFACE says:

    I think light and airy layers like you’ve got going here are perfect for transitioning seasons. Love your additions to the bolero. For my own TA orientation in a few weeks (I’ll be listening, not leading) I’ll probably wear a slightly more casual version of this fun yet polished outfit!

  2. Pickeju says:

    I usually start pairing more summery tops with blazers when things start to chill like this, but I LOVE the way you dressed up the cropped cardi. I have a green one and fear that it looks too twee. A brooch or even a fabric flower pin would do a great deal to mature it a little, thanks!

    It can be a little hard not to fall into the “hey, I’m wearing yet another dress and cardigan” rut, so blazers swap in a little needed structure.

  3. Leah Randall says:

    I think I’ve said this before, but I absolutely love these shoes!!

  4. cool idea re: the earrings ~ i never thought to turn a pair into some pretty scatter pins.

  5. Jane W. says:

    Your best outfit yet! Love the whole thing.

  6. Iris says:

    I love the earrings as brooches trick, I will have to try that too! Thanks for the inspiration :)

  7. maryeb says:

    I really love this outfit. How did you turn the earrings into brooches? Did you use them as is or change the back somehow?

  8. Ashley J says:

    You are so cute!!!! Love the top!


  9. Lisa J. says:

    I just finished my first teaching day at a university in San Antonio, TX. I’ve been lamenting the “transitional” problem for back-to-school orientation events all week. Thankfully, today brought some reprieve from high temps (it’s no longer 100+ degrees). It’s so hard for me to teach without my security blanket of a cardigan or blazer — so I wear them anyway and just deal with feeling like a sweaty mess.

  10. Fia says:

    This is really beautiful! I love everything about it.

  11. Bettina says:

    I love this! I think it just might inspire me to finally invest in a denim skirt :)

  12. Erin says:

    I love the idea of the old earrings as brooches! Now I must go out and find some to add to my wardrobe!

  13. Michele says:

    I really like this outfit. The yellow cardi makes the entire outfit look put together. Very nice!

  14. Kristen says:

    I really like the yellow cardigan.

  15. [...] wear to my first round of faculty meetings next week. Like E noted, it can be tricky to strike the proper balance between formal and casual in this liminal space between summer and fall, vacation and school, student and faculty. I want to [...]

  16. A.S. says:

    I’m not working yet as I have this last semester for college before I graduate, but I like to dub this time as “prefall.” What I have found that works best is to slowly incorporate fall colors into a summer wardrobe, in a way that doesn’t look tired or contrived. For instance, I steer clear of wearing too dark of browns, but I don’t think I could get away with wearing my bright yellows anymore. Instead, I go more toward subtle hues, such as mustard yellows and lighter browns. For a casual look, I like the way cropped pants look with a light sweater and a summery neutral top.

  17. Clare says:

    I really, REALLY love the silhouette on this. It’s just beautiful.

  18. Cubicle Chic says:

    This is fantastic! I love your use of color and the Target ruffle top is very chic. I wish denim was appropriate where I work!

    - Meredith

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