September 22nd, 2010 § §
- Cardigan: NY & Co, gift from mother-in-law
- Tank: Target
- Belt: free from swap
- Skirt: Banana Republic Factory
- Wedges: thrifted
My sweet mother-in-law gifted me this cardigan a couple of months ago. Actually, I think she gave it to me right after I had purchased my cropped cardigan in the same color. Clearly, she was spot-on with her color choice. But while I am certainly a fan of some good embellishment, I wasn’t crazy about the double row of monochrome froufrou that originally edged the cardigan’s neckline.
I hemmed and hawed for a while over whether or not I wanted to take the plunge and actually remove some of the excess frou, but after realizing that this cardigan really might not see the light of day otherwise (and what a waste of a gorgeous color, right?), I sat down with my seam ripper and an episode of Project Runway and edited.
As an academic, I edit all the time. I’ve learned to ruthlessly excise redundant or wandering text in my writing. I’ve trimmed my comprehensive exam bibliography to a doable, rather than ideal, length. I ctrl+x chunks of a freshly written lesson plans when I realize that I can’t cover all of that material in only fifty minutes. And I think that this editing eye served me well in the decision to remove the rosettes (which thankfully were just basted on) and keep what I have come to mentally term “the lei.”
(See the resemblance?)
And now that I’ve tweaked the cardigan to better fit my aesthetic, I’ve been dreaming up a slew of outfits built around this one piece. Do you “edit” garments? Chop off length? Remove a ruffle? Erase some embellishment?
Category: Color Combinations, Office Hours, Skirting the Issue
Tags: cardigan > E. > embellished cardigan > mustard > white skirt
September 20th, 2010 § §
- Sweater – New York & Co
- Tank – BR Outlet
- Belt – BR Outlet
- Denim Skirt – Gap
- Flats – DSW
- Bangle – gift
- Bag – Crystalyn Kae
This is a quick and casual outfit perfect for library days. I wear a variation on this outfit at least once a week. When I don’t have time to think about my clothes and I won’t be in front of students, I immediately go for this supper soft and comfy denim skirt. Then, depending on the weather, I pair it with flats or flip-flops and a tank, tee, or sweater and call it a day. With a few extra minutes, I’ll add maybe a belt, bangle, or a great necklace.
Yesterday’s preparations were extra rushed because I did my long run in the morning (17 miles) and then needed to hurry over to E.’s house to watch baby e. while she attended class. I then headed to a meeting with my advisor, to the library, and then finally back to my home office with books and iced coffee in hand. All in all, not a bad way to spend a Monday!
Category: It's in the Bag, Our Best Flatware, Research Casual, Skirting the Issue
Tags: A. > belted > denim skirt > hair matters
September 20th, 2010 § §
- Dress: Banana Republic
- Belt: Old Navy Outlet
- Shoes: Banana Republic
- Jade Necklace: my design
- Silver Ring: gift
- Jade Bracelet: gift
I purchased this dress last fall for a symposium in which I was a participant. This was my first graduate school foray into greater academe, and I bought this dress with the event in mind. I knew I wanted to look nice and certainly professional, but seeing as how the symposium was being held at a very forward thinking modern art museum, I figured that a suit was not the best way to go. As usual, Banana Republic had just what I needed.
The knee-length skirt, high neck, and cap sleeves of this dress all meant that I wasn’t showing too much skin, but the print kept the look fresh and steered well clear of the “polyester suits of yore” of which there were certainly a few on display.
The high waist also meant that this dress was made for wide belting! The bold black, purple, and cream print needed little embellishment, and I have been wearing this outfit with mostly black shoes and belts ever since. However, in the spirit of a new school year I decided to go way out on a limb and wear grey (can you tell I’m very sarcastic?). I had just bought these shoes with a 35% off coupon for Banana Republic that I had been holding on to for literally months.
These shoes might look familiar as they are indeed the sister shoe to the blue suede shoes I’ve had my eye on (which they apparently don’t sell in stores!). The wool material makes this a cozy fall/winter shoe and the stacked wooden heel is exactly the right height for daywear. I’m in love. I decided to do some neutral mixing with this outfit and in addition to the grey accessories threw in some of my favorite stones.
I adore green and the color of jade can vary widely from deep mossy greens to bright jewel tones. This bracelet was a gift all the way from China and the ring is from Peru thanks to my sister, who is a fabulous traveler and always brings me the best presents! The necklace is a product of another hobby of mine: beading. I find it meditative and creative at the same time, and much of the jewelry I wear is my own. This outfit was certainly the right fit for the symposium I was at last year, and once again has hit the mark this time as a terrific teaching ensemble. How have you transitioned pieces that were purchased with a specific event in mind into your daily wardrobe?
Category: Conference Wear, Dresses for Day, Office Hours, Reaching New Heights, Teaching Outfits
Tags: academia > belted > L. > neutrals > pattern > patterned dress
September 17th, 2010 § §
- Dress: Banana Republic Factory
- Belt: thrifted
- Pumps: Steve Madden
Although I may have recently expressed my preference for the versatility of a little navy dress over a little black dress, I still think there’s something very timeless and chic about a well-fitting black sheath.
For my first day of having my students all to myself (this is where I rub my hands together and cackle, right?) I wanted to keep things sleek and minimal without being severe. I eschewed separates in favor of my trim little black dress. The fit is spot on, the pleated neckline is a subtle but rich detail, and the kind-of cap sleeves give it something of a retro feel.
You had to know that I was going to wear a colorful shoe, right? I’ve realized that I am far less likely to hide behind a podium when teaching if I’m wearing a bright shoe. A bold heel deserves a bold presentation style.
For some reason, I don’t usually think of pairing black with cool analogous colors, but I think the skinny green belt and teal shoes added just the right amount of oomph. I admit, though, that when I glanced myself from the waist up in a mirror prior to leaving for campus I nearly despaired. Did I look to school marmy? Too prim? Too severe? Should I just throw on a string of pearls and be done with it? But then I remembered that I was wearing turquoise shoes and everything was okay.
And…isn’t my alleyway magical? And anti-gravitational?
Category: Color Combinations, Dresses for Day, Reaching New Heights, Teaching Outfits
Tags: blue shoes > E. > LBD > little black dress > sheath dress
September 16th, 2010 § §
- Burnt Orange Shirt – Banana Republic
- Skirt – refashioned from Old Navy dress
- Wedges – Anthropologie, via ebay
- Belt – New York & Co
- Earrings – gift from A2
I actually wore this skirt many times this summer, but just never got a chance to photograph and post it. This knee-length high-waisted skirt started as a halter sundress. I tend to shy away from floral, especially such a large all-over pattern, but really like this black, white, and tan graphic print; however, the dress was a little on the short side for my comfort level and needed to be worn with a halter top for cleavage coverage. I only wore the sundress twice: once for a dinner date and once for a Hawaiian-themed party. After purchasing a blue sundress to chop into a skirt, I was inspired to do the same with this garment and as a result, have gotten quite a bit more wear out of it.
As with earlier this week, today I was trying to stretch some of my summer wardrobe items into fall. We are still getting some rather warm weather here in Academichic Central, so there was no need to add a jacket or cardigan, so instead I paired the tropical print with warm fall colors: burgundy wedges and a rust top. The tweed and leather belt also added a fall flare and I think completed this transitional ensemble.
Category: Color Combinations, Proportionally, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue
Tags: A. > alterations > belted > floral > floral skirt > pattern > transitional
September 15th, 2010 § §
- Shirt: Calvin Klein Outlet
- Skirt: Banana Republic Outlet
- Cardigan: Banana Republic
- Shoes: Madden Girl via DSW
I seem to be stuck on the wonders of white shirts this week, but like I said, you can’t go wrong with a white button down. This one is nicely fitted with ruching at the seams down the front and back, and it flares out at the bottom, which emphasizes the waist without having to belt it to draw attention.
The pencil skirt is one of my few navy pieces and has a subtle striping of black and grey which allows for several color combinations. I was keeping it simple today and opted for my grey shoes (since blue shoes are still woefully absent from my closet… perhaps not for long though!).
Up here in New England it is chilly enough already that a short-sleeved shirt will not suffice to keep out the crisp fall air, and so I pulled this grey cardigan from my closet for some warmth.
Although they are pretty useless, I love the little pockets. This sweater makes me feel cozy without adding bulk. I like the metal ring detailing down the front as well, which gives an otherwise Mr.Rogers-esque sweater a little shine and some edge.
I added this recent gift, a fun Crayola pen, because my favorite Mr. Rogers is definitely the one where they go to the Crayola factory to see how crayons are made! Plus, how funny is it to look like you’re grading papers with a giant crayon? What was your favorite episode? Do you have a “Mr. Rogers sweater” hanging in your closet
Category: Beltless, Office Hours, Skirting the Issue, Teaching Outfits
Tags: button down > cardigan > L.
September 15th, 2010 § §
- Cardigan: Target
- Top: Banana Republic Factory
- Skirt: Ross, ages ago
- Belt: thrifted
- Pearl ring: vintage, great-grandmother’s
- Shoes: AM, via DSW
Even though it’s still quite warm here at Academichic Central, I found my first fall leaf on my backyard patio this morning and it was all the reason I needed to continue my somewhat slavish devotion to mustard as my summer-to-fall transition color. Last week I recounted all the ways that I’ve worn my mustard blouson top, but that shirt is not the only garment of that hue that I own.
///Rabbit trail: I really don’t actually like the term “mustard” for describing the color of an item of clothing. Henceforth I’m switching to “goldenrod.” Can we all be on board with that?///
This little goldenrod cropped cardigan will be getting its fair share of wear too. I’ve layered it over stripes, used it to create a regal complementary color scheme with purple, added mini-brooches for some quirky sparkle, and now used it to soften an otherwise severe gray and black color palette.
I love the applique detail of this top, and it’s making me want to go on a new spree of DIY embellishment projects. This is a dangerous situation since I’m supposed to be reading for my qualifying exams, not bedazzling t-shirts. But oh, Ruffles and Stuff, you are far too inspiring with all your tutorials for ruffled tank tops, cute petal tees, and bouquet tees. I have a few quick and simple refashions in mind, though, intended to transform some existing items in my wardrobe into on-trend pieces for fall, and hopefully those will come into fruition during a study break.
Do you have any DIY projects on deck for fall refashions?
Category: Color Combinations, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue, Teaching Outfits
September 14th, 2010 § §
- Skirt – Gap Outlet (refashioned from dress)
- Navy Blazer – Ann Taylor Outlet
- White Tee – H & M
- Belt – Tie from another dress
- Brooch – Grandmother’s
- Red Flats – Target
- Earrings – gift from A2
I’m more than ready for Fall – for corduroy, for blazers, for scarves and boots, for pumpkin spiced lattes, and cinnamon donuts and apple cider – but, as it turns out, I’m not quite ready for my summer love affair with this color palette to end. I’ve always been drawn to a more nautical aesthetic during the summer months and am no strange to stripes. The addition of these red flats to my wardrobe, however, quickly made the blue + white (especially blue and white stripes) + red combination my summer favorite.
I’m trying to transition this look into fall by adding my navy blazer. It still has a rather summery (or maybe springy) feel to it, but I think it works.
I think this ensemble is all in the details – the blue and white pinstriped tie, fastened in a kind of droopy half bow, which picks up the blue, red, and white lining of the blazer (revealed at the cuffs, and the small silver brooch attached to my lapel.
I’m not sure how much more mileage I will get out of this blue-white-red combination as the weather cools and leaves turn and the corduroy and wool comes out, but I’m sure I’ll try at least one more fall version in the coming weeks. And, I’m sure to get PLENTY of mileage out of this cropped navy blazer!
What about you, are there certain colors or aesthetics you are sad to leave behind as Summer transitions to Fall? What fall colors and fabrics are you more than ready to embrace?
Category: Color Combinations, Office Hours, Our Best Flatware, Skirting the Issue
Tags: A. > belted > blazer > blue > cropped blazer > red shoes > two-thirds color combination
September 12th, 2010 § §
- Button down: Banana Republic Outlet
- Scarf: vintage Hermes
- Belt: ?
- Grey pinstriped slacks: Banana Republic Outlet
- Silver Shoes: Corso Como via Shopstyle.com
This outfit was inspired by a resolution I made to finally wear this beautiful vintage Hermes scarf that my mother had given me for Christmas. My mother often wears gorgeous brightly colored silk scarves tied around her neck and shoulders and folded in half with the point down the back. However, I was in search of some more innovative ways of incorporating this piece. I’m not sure that what I came up with is revolutionary, but it worked for me. I folded it diagonally and gathered it into a narrow strip. I decided to put this inside my collar, sort of like a man’s cravat, and then loosely tie it at the chest.
Keeping it inside my collar served to make the look more sleek, as it seemed too bulky outside. I also like that it is kind of a faux necktie. My fitted shirt is another workhorse of my wardrobe and is the type of staple that I stock up on when I find one that I like. This one was at the BR outlet in a Petite XS (a rare size!) and fits perfectly, so of course, I bought two in white and one in black. You cannot go wrong with a crisp, fitted white button down!
I have had these trousers for a while, but they were too long when I purchased them. In a time saving maneuver I decided to try Singer Instant Hems ‘n Cuff Tape which is an iron-on adhesive that holds fabric together. These only needed to come up one cuff length so there wasn’t too much weight pulling at the tape. I think if I’d needed to take up more, I would have reinforced the hem with some quick stitching. Finally, metallic shoes for everyday.
Category: Lab Friendly, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Research Casual, Teaching Outfits
Tags: blue > blue and grey > button down > grey > L. > metallic shoes > scarf
September 10th, 2010 § §
- Mustard top: F21
- Vest: Target
- Belt: Gap Outlet
- Jeans: Ann Taylor
- Wedges: thrifted
- Necklace: clothes swap
I’m squeezing in one more wardrobe workhorse, ala the ladies at Scholar Style Guide before the week is up: my mustard blouson top.
In my kitchen pantry, I have the recommended staples of all-purpose flour, salt, and sugar. And while I certainly use those things on a regular basis, the real workhorses of my kitchen are punchier ingredients, things like balsamic vinegar, cumin, and ginger. So if the all-purpose flour of my wardrobe is a pair of black trousers, this blouson top is my cumin.
This all makes sense in my head.
I didn’t buy this top thinking that it would become a go-to item in my wardrobe. But between its four-season color and its generous drape, I’ve used it over and over again to add volume and movement under structure and to brighten a color palette. And I’m realizing that I wish that I owned at least one more blouse in this shape, perhaps in a pale blue or a rich purple.
Today’s homage to my mustard top was all about slouchy, easy style: a long, open sweater vest as a topper and skinnies on the bottom for balance. It was a casual outfit perfect for running errands, making a brief appearance, on campus, and encouraging fall weather to come and stay in my part of the Midwest. Well done, wardrobe workhorse, well done.
Category: Color Combinations, Layers Upon Layers, Office Hours, Pants Please, Proportionally, Research Casual, Teaching Moment
Tags: blouson top > E. > skinny jeans > wedges