30 November 2010 – Three Firsts

November 30th, 2010 § 13 comments §

Three Firsts, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Shirt Dress: American Apparel
  • Blue Dress (under): Even via Off 5th
  • Belt: Anthropologie
  • Scarf: gift
  • Shoes: Steve Madden via DSW

So many firsts in this post! First time remixing/layering dresses, first time tucking my scarf into my belt, and first picture in my classroom. Even though I’m not participating in Kendi’s 30 for 30 (as A. and E. are) this time around, I have been inspired by all the layering and remixing that my co-bloggers are doing. I’ve never tried the layering a dress over something longer, but I own a few cotton dresses that have shrunk and become short enough that I’m reluctant to wear them to school, and I thought they might work for just this experiment. I tried to ease myself into this by keeping to block colors and neutrals.

Three Firsts, originally uploaded by academichic.

The scarf-tucked-into-the-belt look is one that A sports frequently and I’ve attempted it before, but never with any success. The key for me was finding a scarf that was thin enough that it didn’t feel like it was adding a lot of bulk to my front.

Belted Scarf, originally uploaded by academichic.

Finally, as I’m sure you’ve noticed I took my pictures today in my classroom. A few of you commented last time I posted that you wished that I could take pictures in natural light, and believe me I wish for that too! I’m really torn about this right now – Like E., A., and S. have all discussed, I’ve kept my style blogging quiet. My family and close friends know, but it’s not general information that I give out. Especially since I’m just starting a new job with many time consuming commitments, I didn’t want people to think that blogging was taking up time that I should be grading or prepping or giving extra-help – and it doesn’t, generally. However, I also believe that when working in a boarding school (or really in any walk of life), one must make time for personal commitments and have outlets beyond the campus. For me at this moment style blogging is a respite from all school related stresses. I guess my reluctance also comes down to the fact that we’re not just talking about colleagues knowing about Academichic – there are students involved too, and I’m very apprehensive about them finding out and questioning my professionalism. Anyway, all this was to say I also wish I could take pictures in natural light, on the beautiful campus that surrounds me, in front of the fall foliage and ancient brick walls that form my new home. However, I’m not ready for my pupils to know about my leisure activity, and so I’ll be taking photos inside for a while longer. For other bloggers out there, do you have similar struggles about revealing your site to others?

Category: Dresses for Day, Layers Upon Layers, Teaching Outfits
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A Little Catch-Up

November 29th, 2010 § 13 comments §

Slouchy Day, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Dolman sleeve cardigan: Ann Taylor, gift from MIL
  • Scarf: China Town NYC, gift from SIL
  • Sweater: Forever 21
  • Belt: thrifted
  • Skinnies: Ann Taylor
  • Boots: Steve Madden, via eBay

End Notes:

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Those are not the Steve Madden boots with which I started out this 30 for 30. They are still Steve Madden boots and they were still scored on eBay, but when my mother-in-law was here over Thanksgiving she kidnapped my older, tan pair and took them to a cobbler for some much needed TLC. Re-soling and leather conditioning is not bound by the 30 for 30, apparently.

As for the outfit itself: it’s warm and snuggly and just right for staying cozy as the temperatures drop.

Fall Wedding, originally uploaded by academichic.

Sources (Part II):

  • Sweater dress: Ann Taylor
  • Necklace: Target
  • Tights: Banana Republic Factory
  • Booties: Steve Madden Ollie

End Notes (Part II):

This past weekend I also had the joy of witnessing the wedding of one of my dear friends. It was a late afternoon, fairly casual wedding with lots of unorthodox touches that reflected the vibrant, carefree personality of the bride. I tried to walk the line of dressy and casual with a sweater dress glammed up a bit with jewelry, booties, and the rich color pairing of aubergine and navy.

I felt a little bit like I was cheating social mores by wearing something as comfortable and cozy as a sweater dress to a “fancy” event like a wedding. I’m curious how our culture has developed this tendency to equate comfortable clothes with casualness and uncomfortable garments with more formal occasions. Why is that? How did that happen? Any fashion historians want to offer an explanation? And who wants to help me make a deliciously warm and comfortable fleece pencil skirt?

Category: Color Combinations, Dresses for Evening, Reaching New Heights, Research Casual
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A’s Thanksgiving Day Options (12 & 13)

November 29th, 2010 § 11 comments §

A’s Thanksgiving Day Option 1., originally uploaded by academichic.

A.’s Thanksgiving Outfit Option 2, originally uploaded by academichic.


Option 1 (#12):

  • Top – BR Factory (dress worn as top)
  • Skirt – Gap
  • Belt – Old Navy
  • Navy Tights – Target
  • Shoes – Steve Madden Girl, via DSW

Option 2 (#13):

  • Skirt – BR Factory Store (Dress worn as skirt)
  • Sweater – Banana Republic
  • Belt – New York & Co.
  • Navy Tights – Target
  • Olive Pumps – Urban Outfitters
  • Earrings – Gift
  • Chocolate Pumpkin Pie – Made by me!


Packing for a few days at my parents house was so easy with the limited 30 for 30 wardrobe.  I decided this was the perfect time to plan on remixing several elements throughout my stay.  I’ll share more pictures from the weekend tomorrow.

I knew I wanted to wear this leaf print dress on Thanksgiving and I knew I wanted to wear it as something other than a dress! I had these two options in mind but no time to try them on, so I threw all the elements into my Tom Bihn and figured I would make the final outfit decision with the help of a few sisters.

Option 1 photographed better (not sure about those sweater lumps in option 2) but the crepe and satin skirt and crinkle patent shoes felt a little too dressy for the casual (and eventful as always) Thanksgiving celebrations with my family.

I loved the mix of colors in option 2 and the homey feel of the long skirt and warm cardigan – a perfect option for baking pies, chopping veggies, and cleaning up endless messes. The dress-turned-longer-skirt was also more conducive to sitting on the floor playing games and curling up on the couch with a full tummy.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with good food and loved ones!  A.

Category: Color Combinations, Layers Upon Layers, Night Without Grading, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue
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Four Times the Fun

November 28th, 2010 § 12 comments §

Sisters!, originally uploaded by academichic.


On P.:
Sweater: Banana Republic
Skirt: Banana Republic Factory
Tights: Hue
Booties: Target

On H.:
Sweater dress: Target
Leggings: Gap
Boots: Nine West Outlet

On L.:
Cardigan: Loft
Dress: H&M
Leggings: Walmart
Flats: H&M

On E.:
Mustard top: Forever 21
Dress: Target
Tights: Target
Oxfords: Civico10 via DSW

End Notes:

I’ll have a triple post tomorrow catching you up on what I wore from my 30 for 30 adventure over Thanksgiving weekend, but tonight I couldn’t resist posting these pictures of my beautiful sisters-in-law that we took today right before they left town.

You remember my sisters (in-law), right? I so enjoyed having them (and the rest of my in-laws) visit over the past few days. They’re a lively, creative family and we always have so much fun together. Even more impressive is the fact that my sister-in-law P. is back for a couple of months’ break from living overseas with not-that-much luggage in tow. In her world, a 30 for 30 in clothes is a piece of cake. She’s doing something like a 30 for 120!

And look! They’re a quick study when it comes to jumping shots.

Must be all those years of ballet.

I love you all, sweet sisters. Thanks for a great half week together!

Prancing, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Color Combinations, Dresses for Day, Visiting Lecturer
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24 November 2010 – Barefoot in the Kitchen

November 24th, 2010 § 8 comments §

24 November 2010 – Barefoot in the Kitchen, originally uploaded by academichic.


End Notes:

I’m a little surprised that I’m already halfway through this 30 for 30 experience. I’m trying not to fuss over whether or not I’m being creative “enough” or even “fully” utilizing all of my chosen items. Instead, I’m reveling in the creative possibilities of making do with less in ways that suit my changing daily demands and the volatile Midwest weather. Case in point, today my sisters-in-law and I spent most of the day in the kitchen, hiding from the wet, cold weather outside and baking pies for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving meal. I know it’s only been a few days since I last wore this maxi, but I’m afraid I’m getting a little addicted to its swishy, snuggly coziness for casual fall days.

Anyway, today I’m barefoot in my kitchen, and inordinately proud of this beautiful pear almond tart we made! An early Happy Thanksgiving wish, to our American readers. I hope you are able to be surrounded tomorrow by those you are most thankful for.

Category: Dresses for Day, Sabbatical, Skirting the Issue
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23 November 2010 – Happy Birthday, S.!

November 23rd, 2010 § 10 comments §

23 November 2010 – Frenchie, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Striped top: BCBG thrifted
  • Necklace: Target
  • Skirt: Gap
  • Tights: Hue
  • Booties: Steve Madden Ollie
  • Trench: Old Navy, inherited from SIL
  • Fingerless gloves: Target

End Notes:

Stripes, satiny blue pleats, and maroon tights? This might not be the outfit I would pick from my closet as a whole to celebrate S.’s birthday, but since I’m pulling from my 30 for 30 selections, I think it does a good job of paying homage in spirit. It’s quirky but chic, a whimsical variation on classic pieces.

For my final twist: a trench coat, but done in dark denim.

So although I may look like I’m aspiring to Parisian velocouture chic, I’d prefer to think of it as an homage to my favorite cycling Romanian! Happy birthday, S.! Your thoughtfulness, passion, and drive are so inspiring to me. I’m so proud of all that you’ve accomplished in the past year and so excited for all of the fantastic things awaiting you in the year to come!

Category: Teaching Outfits
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23 November 2010

November 23rd, 2010 § 9 comments §

23 November 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Sweater – BR Factory Store
  • Skirt – Gap
  • Blouse – Gap
  • Belt – New York & Co
  • Flannel Pumps – Urban Outfitters
  • Earrings – gift from A2


First, Happy Birthday S!!  Due to the 30 for 30 limitations, pre-travels laundry and packing, and a day of house-cleaning and grading, I couldn’t manage an S-inspired outfit for today.  But, I still wanted to send some birthday wishes, through the blogosphere, to one of my dearest friends! Love to you S. on your special day!

Argyle Love, originally uploaded by academichic.

I wore this outfit yesterday, when we had another unexpected bout of warm weather.  Once again I was glad to have this lighter skirt on my list.  I put this argyle sweater into the mix knowing that I wanted to do a little pattern mixing.  Notice I’ve got three patterns going here!

pattern mixing, originally uploaded by academichic.

Today is much colder and it looks like it will be cold for the rest of the week.  A2 and I leave tomorrow to spend Thanksgiving with my family so today I am packing for four days.  Only being able to chose from my limited closet has made the packing go pretty quickly.  I’ll post my travel duds, T-day ensemble, and other weekend wear after the holiday.  Until then, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


23 November 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Mixing Patterns, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue
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23 November 2010 – Heavy Metal

November 23rd, 2010 § 11 comments §

Green and Gold, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Shirt: Banana Republic
  • Camisole: BR Outlet
  • Skirt: BR
  • Belt: J. Crew
  • Fishnets: Ralph Lauren
  • Shoes: Tahari via Endless.com

This outfit was a haptic fantasy for me. The soft silk crepe of the shirt and the lacy camisole, the slightly itchy wool of the skirt, my new favorite fishnet stockings and finally, and my heavy metal and leather belt presented a smörgåsbord of textures both visually and sensually. I’ve had this shirt for about a million years (real time, since the late 90s) and I think I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve worn it. But, it’s silk, and nice, and “grown up,” and blousy, so it keeps coming with me from apartment to apartment, through jobs and grad school and jobs. Finally pairing it with a pencil skirt might have saved it from the Goodwill pile for good.

Green and Gold profile, originally uploaded by academichic.

I love the structured skirt with the flowy blouse and the belt added a little more hard-core edge to really push this outfit over the top for me. The combination of olive green and metal also tapped into the military trend from this fall. The belt was an impulse purchase at J. Crew. It was on sale for $10 and I figured that I’ve been wanting a gold-colored belt, so why not try this one? I love how the metal of the belt picked up the more subtle metal chain across the shoes too. I wrapped the leather ends around in back and then double knotted them at the front so that the metal and the leather were both visible at first glance.

Textures, originally uploaded by academichic.

I was especially proud of this outfit because I managed to pull it together on the last day of classes before Thanksgiving break. Like I’ve admitted to you all several times, dressing up helps me get my head in the game rather than the opposite, which I think is what others might initially think when they see a person who cares about appearance. Style doesn’t take me away from my “life of the mind” it actually brings me closer to it, and strangely, it challenges me to consider many of the cultural, artistic and intellectual fields I’ve studied. I wish I could put that on a billboard above my head as I walk around school. Oh well, one day at a time.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Category: Skirting the Issue, Teaching Outfits
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22 November 2010

November 22nd, 2010 § 10 comments §

22 November 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Sweater – Target
  • Scarf – Nordstrom
  • Tank – Ann Taylor Loft
  • Belt – Old Navy
  • Skinny Cords – Gap Outlet
  • Boots – Banana Republic, via ebay


I was worried that with the limited color palette of my 30 for 30 list, I might miss other fun color parings.  But then I remembered my scarf and belt collections!

Grey and brown are of course a favorite color combo and I’m glad this set of pictures finally captured the true chocolate brown of my skinny cords.

And, the pop of purple certainly would have sufficed.  But, the mix of deep purple, midnight blue, and teal layered over the brown and grey just takes this otherwise simple weekend outfit to the next level.

22 November 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Color Combinations, Layers Upon Layers, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Weekend Wear
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22 November 2010 – Occam’s Razor

November 22nd, 2010 § 6 comments §

Blown sideways, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Plaid shirt: thrifted
  • Navy tank: Target
  • Belt: Gap Outlet
  • Bracelet: gift from A.
  • Skirt: Target
  • Wedges: thrifted

End Notes:

While I might not think that Occam’s razor is the ultimate guiding principle for science, theology, or philosophy, I have to say that this law of economy definitely has its merits when it comes to getting dressed. Of all the variants, Leonardo da Vinci’s pithy restatement — “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” — translates best to figuring out how to wear this thrifted plaid shirt.

Indeed, the simplest solution — with a gray pencil skirt, belt, and wedges — seems to have been my best so far. Per the suggestions of many, I rolled up the sleeves and threw on a cuff bracelet for some extra oomph and subtle pattern mixing. The only thing I couldn’t quite decide was if I liked it better with the shirt tucked in our let out.

In the end I left it untucked. The more casual vibe was more appropriate for today’s activities, and I already had enough to worry about with this unseasonably warm, windy weather wreaking havoc in my hair!

Category: Mixing Patterns, Office Hours, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue
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