29 December 2010 – Go Wild!

December 29th, 2010 § 12 comments §

29 December – TDM Milli Zebra Scarf, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Shirt: Banana Republic
  • Pencil Skirt: BR
  • Scarf: Napali by TDM Designs
  • Belt: American Apparel
  • Stockings (under): Calvin Klein
  • Fishnets: Gucci
  • Boots: vintage Charles David

Hi all! Like E. said, I’ve also been home relaxing and enjoying time with family and friends (and fighting off a string of illnesses as well, unfortunately). I’ve mostly been sporting a variety of jeans and sweaters, and now that New England is covered in over a foot of snow, I’ve only ventured out in serious boots and a down jacket! However, I did manage to get out for an evening Boxing Day party on Sunday (I’m half Canadian, so part of my family celebrates the feast day of St. Stephen as well as Christmas). I knew I wanted to wear this infinity scarf by Napali by TDM Designs looped around my neck because the cashmere is light as a feather and soft as silk. The fun zebra print (which is actually brown) and the golden background are two features I do not usually embrace in my wardrobe, but I’m trying to give both prints and yellow a shot and this outfit worked well for me.

29 December – Scarf as Wrap, originally uploaded by academichic.

Because the infinity scarf is so wide — 22 inches — I also tried this as a shrug of sorts and decided to use my sparkly yellow pin as a clasp. Although much more subtle than the top of my outfit I also chose a purple belt and fishnets to layer over stockings to bring in some complementary colors and liven things up. The boots were a must due to weather as well as warmth. That’s all for now. Check back later this week for a potential New Years Eve outfit!

29 December – Scarf as Wrap back, originally uploaded by academichic.

(Full Disclosure: I arranged this outfit while still on campus during my end of term photo shoot, hence the wooded background!)

Category: Academichic Product Review, Color Combinations, Layers Upon Layers, Night Without Grading, Skirting the Issue
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On the Move

December 28th, 2010 § 16 comments §

On the Move, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Scarf: gift from SIL, Chinatown
  • Cardigan: Old Navy
  • Tank: Old Navy
  • Belt: thrifted
  • Skirt: Banana Republic Factory
  • Tights: Hue
  • Shoes: Mia from DSW

On baby e.:

  • Cardigan: Anthropologie, gift from a sweet friend
  • Pants: Target
  • Shoes: Target

End Notes:

All of the chics are still off enjoying time with family, but I thought I’d check in briefly to let you all know that I’ve enjoyed looking at your outfit suggestions created from my limited packing list and they’ve helped to keep me clothed in non-boring outfits since we’ve been in Houston! Thanks!

My days have been filled with cooking (and eating) delicious food, playing “telephone pictionary,” laughing and telling stories, and watching baby e. learn how to slide backwards down carpeted stairs. We’ll be back in the swing of things soon. In the meantime, I hope that many of you have been able to spend equally delightful time with those you love.

Category: Color Combinations, Sabbatical, Skirting the Issue
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E.’s Houston to Hawaii, 2010-2011

December 23rd, 2010 § 10 comments §

I leave today for a multi-leg holiday trip. First, it’s off to Houston and weather in the upper 50′s to visit the in-laws for a week. Then, we’re jetting off to Honolulu where baby e. and I will get to spend twelve glorious days recuperating from this past whirlwind of a semester.

My husband has a fervent hatred for airline baggage check fees and an endearingly firm belief in my ability to pack for a trip of such length in just two carry-ons between the three of us. (There are a couple of key points to make about feasibility here. First, these are warm(er) climates, so there’s less bulk to pack. Second, we’ll definitely be doing laundry. Like, every six days. And third, we bought many of our Christmas gifts online and had them shipped to their respective residences.)

In any case, we’ll be traveling, per usual, with our trusted Tom Bihn Aeronauts. Some time next week I’ll have a post showing how I fit everything into this nifty bag. But for now I’ll show you what I’m taking and….drumroll….solicit your help in coming up with 20 outfits, no repeats, for two climates and a range of different events.

Ta da.

Get your own Mini Editor from Polyvore

Okay, so the above has some imaginative license taken with it. These are not all necessarily THE items I’ve packed, so much as items that approximate my actual garments. For example, my black skirt is a homemade deal, not $185. And the taupe jersey dress is actually this one with the macrame neck detail. But you get the idea, right?

I’d love to see your ideas for how I can remix over the next twenty days or so. You’ll have to have a Polyvore account (or log in through Facebook) to save your outfit. Once you hit “publish,” your creation will be saved in the mini-editor’s gallery as well as on your own Polyvore account.

Give me some ideas for:

  • Christmas Eve service in Houston
  • Anniversary date night in downtown Houston
  • Traditional Japanese New Year’s meal in Honolulu
  • Lunch with high school friends in Honolulu
  • Whatever else you feel like!

Category: Style Workshop, Taking Notes

23 December 2010

December 23rd, 2010 § 5 comments §

23 December 2010 – "Bobi" Scarf, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Sweater: Banana Republic
  • Sweater Vest: BR
  • Scarf: Napali by TDM Designs
  • Jeans: J Brand via DSW
  • Boots: vintage Charles David

Just a few quick pics and words before I too head off for holidays with family and friends. Unlike E., who has to very thoughtfully plan and pack for extended travel, my packing mostly consists of throwing things into a bag, dragging out my laundry basket, and getting my cat into his carrier before driving off to various New England towns. I asked my father if I was too old (27) to be bringing home my laundry. He assured me that until I have my own machine actually in my apartment or house it was still ok in his book. Phew! Anyway, this outfit was not planned for anything other than driving for several hours. A light cashmere vest layered over a light sweater and a scarf gave me several options for temperature control (as well as created a analogous pair of green shades).

23 December 2010 – "Bobi" Scarf closeup, originally uploaded by academichic.

This scarf is made of bamboo fiber and is offered by Napali by TDM Designs (another name that you might recognize from reviews and giveaways we’ve done in the past). This style is called “Bobi” and is a square, which threw me for a while, but it’s still big enough to do most of the slouchy knots that I prefer. They do also make it in a longer version. I’ll be doing a more thorough review of another scarf of theirs next week.

23 December 2010 – Jeans!, originally uploaded by academichic.

You can’t really tell from these pictures but I’m wearing jeans… new jeans! Like A. I’ve looked for good “skinny” jeans for a while now and had all but given up hope when I came across these J Brand “cigarette” style jeans at a recent Filene’s Basement spree. The cigarette style means that they are basically straight leg from the knee, thus avoiding jegging status while being fitted through the hip and thigh. And they are perfect for tucking into boots, something I had been wanting to try for a while. These exact jeans had been on my radar ever since I read a spread in a fashion magazine this summer where every woman who was interviewed for a piece on “now styles” mentioned her J Brand jeans. I’d never heard of them. Needless to say months later, I happily found them for about $150 less than what they retail for, which made paying $12 to get them professionally hemmed seem like not a big deal. I love when that happens! What I love even more is spending time with my family and friends, which is what I’m off to do now (but not before kicking up some of this fresh powdery snow)!

23 December 2010 – Snow day, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Beltless, Layers Upon Layers, Pants Please, Research Casual, Weekend Wear
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22 December 2010 – Flower Child

December 22nd, 2010 § 12 comments §

22 December 2010 – Flower Child, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Cardigan: Pretty Good, Marshalls
  • Tunic: Tucker for Target
  • Earrings: Target
  • Belt: thrifted
  • Jeans: Gap, swapped with A.
  • Wedges: thrifted

End Notes:

I promised a reader that I would remix this Tucker for Target tunic one more time before I left for the holidays. This is for you, Jessie!

I think I might still have some residual 30 for 30 in my system, since all of these items are pieces I’ve worn in the not too recent past. But, I love how the tunic’s print and the wide leg jeans both have a boho retro vibe, and how belting and blousing the tunic and cardigan give a new length and shape to everything.

My to-do list for our imminent departure to Houston and then Honolulu is still pretty hefty, but check back soon for a fun twist on a packing post. (Which, honestly, hinges on whether or not I can fit husband N., baby e., and myself into two carry-on bags again…)

Category: Office Hours, Pants Please, Proportionally, Reaching New Heights, Research Casual
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What I Really Wore

December 20th, 2010 § 17 comments §

In Which I Resemble a Christmas Ornament, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Sweater: Forever 21
  • Earrings: gift from Philippines
  • Belt: Target
  • Skirt: refashioned from a Wet Seal dress
  • Tights: costume store
  • Wedges: MIA via DSW

End Notes:

I actually did go to a party with professors this weekend! But after already photographing some holiday party looks, the shine had worn off a bit, leaving me looking through my closet for an outfit that assimilated my favorite parts of all three theoretical looks.

This resulting outfit brings together a full skirt, a bright tight, and a fun shoe into one festive package. I probably should have added more accessories besides little earrings, but since I knew I would be spending part of the night chasing baby e. around, I decided to take a more minimal approach and let my tights bring the bulk of the holiday cheer.

Lest you think me so brave for wearing these tights to a department party, let me assure you that I had to give myself a pep talk before hand: “Self, you have met every department expectation this year. Tonight you show them that you are your own woman.”

I don’t know if that’s exactly the message that got across. I received a lot of, “Oh, how festive!” comments, and as I was leaving the party one professor told me that I looked like a Christmas ornament in my “wonderful skirt and amazing shoes and those red socks.” I’m just going to take that as: you look like you’re celebrating.

And I was.

In Which I Resemble a Christmas Ornament, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Night Without Grading, Proportionally, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue
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20 December 2010 – It’s in the Bag!

December 19th, 2010 § 9 comments §

Crystalyn Kae Bag side, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Bag: Crystalyn Kae
  • Shirt: Splendid via Filene’s Basement
  • Sweater: Zen Cashmere via Filene’s Basement
  • Belt: Anthropologie
  • Skinny Pants: Banana Republic
  • Shoes: BR
  • Necklace: made by me!

Winter break is finally here. With the students all home and most of the faculty departing as well, I’m taking the opportunity to snap a few photographs outside before I duck out too. I have to admit that this outfit was actually worn last week, but not photographed due to end of term craziness, so I’ve re-staged it. I built this look around my new Crystalyn Kaematinee messenger” bag. You probably recognize the name because both A. and S. have reviewed other styles of bags by her. The one I picked to review is black tweed slashed with a pale green, blue, brown, and grey printed fabric, and I’ve been using it as a purse for about two weeks.

Crystalyn Kae Bag, originally uploaded by academichic.

I wanted to pull the blues and greens out so I decided on this turquoise top. Thanks to the plummeting temps I decided that a grey-brown cardigan would be a necessity and also play nicely with the color palette of the bag. Finally, black pants and grey felt heels completed the outfit. But I wasn’t satisfied with just one blue-green piece, and I wanted more of the blues to pop out. Also, the sweater is pretty cropped and I thought it looked funny on me since my trousers weren’t as high waisted as they might have been. I solved this dilemma by wearing my stretchy blue and brown belt a little above the waistband of my trousers, and thus visually extended the top. I also added a turquoise beaded torsade that I’d made this summer, which is one of my favorite pieces of jewelry.

But back to the bag. It happens to be the perfect size for me as a purse and easily fits my phone, camera, iPod (yes, I carry all three of those things separately because I do not yet have an iPhone!), keys, a moleskin notebook, pens, and a small paperback… and today my favorite on–the-go game Bananagrams!

Bananagrams!, originally uploaded by academichic.

The inside pockets help keep those things organized and the top closes with a single magnetic snap. I also like that the strap is adjustable so I can wear it long as an across-the-chest messenger bag or shorter as a shoulder bag. I think this Crystalyn Kae bag is going to come into some heavy rotation during winter break, so you’ll no doubt see it again! We often have readers ask about what bags we carry, but I wanted to turn that question back to you all. What types of bags do you like the most right now? Have you found one that fits all your schoolbooks and looks stylish too? What about on days off or smaller bags? (yes, I’m mid-slip in this photo, hence the awkward pose!)

Crystalyn Kae Bag front, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Academichic Product Review, It's in the Bag, Pants Please, Proportionally, Reaching New Heights, Teaching Outfits
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Academichic Style Workshop: Holiday Party Dressing

December 17th, 2010 § 22 comments §

It’s that time of year again when holiday parties abound and seasonal social events give us the opportunity to break out the sparkles, satin, and sequins. However, tailoring an outfit to the appropriate formality of the gathering can be challenging. E., A., and L. decided to put together some outfits that could work for the holiday parties we’ll be attending (or at least imagining attending!).

Cocktails with Colleagues:

Cocktails with Colleagues, originally uploaded by academichic.

On E.:

  • Sweater: Banana Republic
  • Skirt: made from Wet Seal dress
  • Belt: thrifted
  • Tights: Target
  • Booties: Steve Madden via DSW
  • Scarf: vintage store in Chattanooga

On L.:

  • Dress (as tunic): Sweetees
  • Pants: Anne Taylor
  • Belt: Betsey Johnson via Filene’s Basement
  • Shoes: Steve Madden via DSW

On A.:

  • Ruffle Tank: J Crew
  • Blazer: Express
  • Jeans: Banana Republic
  • Pumps: Seychelles
  • Brooch: Vintage Threads, etsy

Meeting up with friends is a more common event, but the holiday season is a great reason for jazzing up an outfit more than you might normally. As you can see, each of us is wearing a little more sparkle than usual. E. pairs her full black skirt and sweater with more dramatic lace tights and booties and tops it off with a golden scarf. L. takes her black ponte pants up a notch by wearing this grey and silver sequined dress as a tunic of sorts and a patent leather belt and heels complete the look. A. plays with textures and wears a rich velvet blazer over a ruffled shirt and denim jeans. Teal shoes add a little pop of color, and she uses a sparkly brooch to keep the blazer in place.

Party with Professors:

Party with Professors, originally uploaded by academichic.

On E.:

  • Blazer: Forever 21
  • Blouse: Forever 21
  • Skirt: Gap
  • Tights: Target
  • Booties: Steve Madden

On L.:

  • Shirt: Banana Republic Outlet
  • Dress: Banana Republic
  • Belt: Betsey Johnson
  • Stockings: Calvin Klein via Filene’s Basement
  • Shoes: Steve Madden

On A.:

  • Shirt: Anne Taylor
  • Belt: F21
  • Skirt: Banana Republic
  • Tights: Target
  • Pumps: Steven Madden Girl

End Notes:
Cocktail parties with professors or bosses can be especially hard to navigate since the level of formality is ambiguous and outfits tend to be a little more conservative while also festive. Short skirts and low tops should probably be shelved in this situation, but style and fun need not be! E. uses a shirt with cascading ruffles and textured tights to accent her more structured black jacket and full crinkly navy skirt. A. too mixes black with navy pairing a more casual blue embellished T and tights with her black satin-banded skirt and shiny patent belt. L. breaks all the “rules” of redheaded style by wearing a bright red bubble dress. What you might not realize is that this dress is strapless, but belting a tailored black shirt over it makes this look more understated (and less prone to wardrobe malfunctions!).

Dinner with Donors:

Dinner with Donors, originally uploaded by academichic.

On A.:

  • Dress: J. Crew (customized by E.)
  • Belt: sister’s closet
  • Tights: BR Factory Store
  • Pumps: Madden Girl via DSW
  • Necklace: borrowed from E.

On L.:

  • Dress: vintage (thrifted)
  • Belt: Betsey Johnson
  • Stockings: Calvin Klein
  • Shoes: Steve Madden
  • Necklace: gift

On E.:

  • Dress: Banana Republic
  • Belt: borrowed from A.
  • Tights: Target
  • Booties: Steve Madden

End Notes:
While we don’t often have reason to dress up to this extent, it is still fun to imagine going to a holiday fete at a museum or dinner at the chancellor’s house. A. “winterizes” the beautiful (and customized!) dress she wore to her autumn wedding party by adding grey tights, a black belt with sparkly buckle, and black patent shoes. A statement necklace of several strands of grey beads draws attention to the lovely neckline of the dress as well. E. also plays with a dramatic neckline in this one-shouldered satiny magenta dress. Geometric textured tights, booties, and a simple belt add more structured elements to the delicate and diaphanous material of the dress. L. embraces the 2010 trends of jewel tones and lace in this vintage sapphire colored dress layered with shimmering lace. A wide patent belt creates a defined waist, and a simple necklace accentuates the scooped neckline while highlighting her collarbone.

As always, we don’t pretend to be experts on this! What will you be wearing to your holiday parties this year?

Category: Dresses for Evening, Night Without Grading, Style Workshop
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16 December 2010 – Oh Hi There

December 16th, 2010 § 12 comments §

16 December 2010 – Oh Hi There, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Cardigan: Pretty Good, via Marshalls
  • Tank: Target, embellished by me
  • Belt: thrifted
  • Jeans: Gap, clothes swap from A.
  • Shoes: Lower East Side, very old

End Notes:

This casual outfit is really a blast from the past. First off, the shoes. I didn’t take a close up picture of them because, dear readers, they are pretty ugly. I bought them 10 years ago during my first mainland winter as an undergrad. I knew I needed closed toe, brown shoes with tread. I had absolutely no aesthetic for choosing closed toe shoes, and so, I picked this kind of platform-ish, boxy, moccasin type pair. Weirdly, what they lack in aesthetics they make up for in three-times-a-year practicality when it’s icy out and I need good tread, want my feet to be higher off of the ground, and am tired of wearing jeans tucked into boots.

Secondly, it’s the return of the wide leg jean. Yippee! I snagged these from A. during our last clothing swap, and I am remembering all the reasons that I loved wide leg jeans. I love the long, unbroken legline, the hint of a retro vibe, and the way they look when you move in them.

To balance out the boxy shoe and the wide legged pant, I went with a more body-conscious top half, wrapped in the middle with a double belt. I’m feeling like it’s time for me to bring the wide leg jean back into rotation. I just might go on a skinny pants strike for a few days to test things out.

Category: Pants Please, Proportionally, Research Casual
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16 December 2010

December 16th, 2010 § 9 comments §

16 December 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Wrap Sweater – Thrifted
  • Skirt – Banana Republic
  • Ruffle Blouse – Gap
  • Tights – Gap
  • Wool Pumps – Urban Outfitters
  • Earrings – F21


The day I wore this (before the ground was covered with ice and snow) I spent way too long in front of the mirror testing out the many suggestions you all had for how to wear this cardigan wrap thingy.  I just couldn’t make any of the interesting pinning, belting, or tucking options work and felt a bit messy with it hanging open, so when I realized I was running quite late for my office hours I simply tied the long pieces in front of body.  I was actually fairly happy with the result – it’s less bulky and a perhaps a bit more effortless (only in appearance that is) than the belted version and a bit tidier than wearing it open. Overall a polished look of ease and comfort – my favorite!

16 December 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.
Speaking of polished ease and comfort, many of you have asked about my Urban Outfitter’s wool pumps.  Yes! They are comfortable!  Seriously, I love these shoes!  The heel is high enough to add a bit of polish (and drama) to an ensemble but because it is tapered, it’s super comfy.  Next, I want the suede version – I just can’t decide what color I wan’t.  Thoughts?  A.
**Sadly, UO is not paying me or offering me free shoes to tell you all how much I love their pumps.

16 December 2010, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Beltless, Office Hours, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue
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