Outerwear Week

January 31st, 2011 § 6 comments §


  • Coat: DKNY via Bluefly
  • Gloves: Coach (gift)
  • Scarf: Missoni via Filene’s Basement
  • Bag: Crystalyn Kae
  • Skinny Jeans: Banana Republic
  • Boots: vintage Charles David
  • (Below)
  • Shirt: J. Crew (thrifted)
  • Camisole: Gap Outlet
  • Belt: J. Crew
  • Necklace: South Moon Under

We all know how quickly a cute outfit is ruined by having to put on a coat and that many a gorgeous shoe is retired in favor of boots for a long walk through the snow. We also all know how the first stages of frostbite feel when venturing out without a coat or gloves or hat and are sadly familiar with the slushy feeling of melting snow inside our cutest shoes. Is there any way to stay stylish and warm? We have received a number of emails over the last two years asking just that, and so we thought a whole week of coats, jackets, wraps, and assorted winter wear would be timely and help to answer some of these questions.

To kick things off I thought I’d share my #1 go-to coat of the moment. I had been looking for a dressier knee length coat for a while, but I wasn’t satisfied with the plain button up styles and blocky shapes I had encountered. My mom actually bought this for me online at Bluefly, and it has turned out very well. I was a little apprehensive about the ruffle at first, but now that I’ve been wearing this coat all winter I love the details. To me the ruffle embellishment makes this coat more fun and the ruffle collar also holds my scarf nice and close around my neck to keep out the cold. The cut and length are flattering for a petite frame; Although, I did have to have the sleeves shortened.

Check out the Caterina coat by Via Spiga and the Cheryl style coat by Tahari for two more knee length coats with some personality.

To play off of the ruffled collar I decided to wear another ruffled shirt. I picked this up over the weekend at a consignment shop (along with a few other things I’m sure you’ll be seeing soon), and immediately knew I wanted to pair it with my turquoise camisole for a layered look. The belt was just for fun and to make my legs look longer by making my waist appear higher. These jeans are also relatively new. They were on sale at BR for $13 and happened to be in my size. After so many months of looking for skinny jeans I seem to have scored three really great pairs in the last month! With wool socks and these leather boots my feet and legs stayed warm and dry as I was doing my Sunday errands yesterday.

Stay tuned for more outerwear posts this week!


Category: It's in the Bag, Layers Upon Layers, Pants Please, Proportionally, Weekend Wear
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31 January 2011

January 31st, 2011 § 15 comments §

31 January 2011


  • Fuchsia top – thrifted
  • Dress – Gap, thrifted
  • Blue necklace – thrifted
  • Wooden bangle – thrifted
  • Tights – TJMaxx
  • Boots – Dillards


This entire outfit, save boots, tights, and undergarments, came from the local thrift store. It probably grand totaled at less than $10 for everything: dress, top, necklace, and bracelet. I can’t help it, I just love a good bargain. It makes me love an outfit like this even more.

Both the top (which is an empire waist turtleneck…hm, interesting) and the dress (also conveniently empire-waisted) were my attempts to add to my maternity wardrobe with items that could easily transition back into a post-baby wardrobe. I hadn’t planned on wearing these two together until I saw them accidentally hanging next to each other in my closet, making a loud but beautifully daring color statement. Add to this my newly acquired turquoise necklace and I’m right on track with my style resolution of embracing bolder prints, bolder color combinations, and bolder accessories.

Turquoise and FuchsiaFuchsia and Maroon

After this combination came together, it reminded me a bit of the Diane von Furstenberg pre-Fall 2011 collection, which has been making its rounds on the interwebs. I don’t own enough turquoises and teals to recreate some of these looks but I do love how those cool tones play against the warmer tans, reds, and oranges. My version is a little more maroon and fuchsia with only a dash of turquoise thrown in, but still a valiant attempt at a punchy color mix, right?

{image source}

What are some of your favorite color combinations right now? ~S.

14 week bump

{My week 14 bump, as these pictures were taken last Friday}

Category: Color Combinations, Dresses for Day, Layers Upon Layers, Maternity Style, Reaching New Heights, Teaching Outfits
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And the winner is…

January 31st, 2011 § 3 comments §

Thank you to all who entered our Shabby Apple “Ingrid” dress giveaway on Friday! We’re thrilled to announce our winner…

Comment # 343, left by reader Stephanie of Stephanie Doran Photography! Congratulations, Stephanie! Please send us an email with your address so that we can get that out to you soon!

And remember that if you didn’t win but would still love to purchase one of Shabby Apple’s gorgeous women’s dresses, you can benefit from our reader discount code -academichicdiscount - anytime between now and March 31, 2011!

Category: Academichic Product Review

Weekend Workshop: Maternity Style Muses

January 29th, 2011 § 17 comments §

I don’t know about you (fellow pregnant readers), but I haven’t picked up a single pregnancy magazine since finding out I was pregnant. I’ve flipped through a couple in the waiting room of my doctor’s office but I haven’t found them very helpful in rethinking how to approach my wardrobe. Instead, my inspiration has come from other ‘real’ people documenting their maternity style on blogs or on Flickr.

In the spirit of sharing resources, here are some of the pregnancy muses I’ve come to love and admire… a group of stylish and fabulous ladies making maternity look incredible. While they all have unique and varied styles, the one common factor is obvious: they all make pregnancy look fun, creative, and beautiful. They’re not hiding their changing bodies but rather embracing them and showing them off. Take a look for yourself…

Obviously the first thing I did, once I knew I was expecting, was to go back and dig through our ‘Maternity Style‘ archives to revisit how E. managed her pregnancy. At the time, I was so in awe of her style and elegance as E. always managed to look so chic and put together. I love how E. used accessories to spruce up a lot of basics, how she creatively layered, and how she used belting – below and above the bump – to create new shapes and silhouettes.

Next up is the lovely blogger behind Chai Love You, who I discovered on Flickr. Already the proud momma of one, this sassy blogger is balancing motherhood, a bourgeoning career in hair design, and pregnancy. I love her use of bold colors and fun patterns and her outfits that are stylish and fun yet could easily transition to playtime with a toddler. You can find all of her maternity style posts here.

Megan Hunt is the voice and creator behind the Princess Lasertron blog and company. She makes beautiful felt and vintage button bridal bouquets and accessories and used that same creative energy when putting together colorful and whimsical outfits throughout her pregnancy. (And don’t you just love those heart embellished pumps?) You can dig through her “Outfit” archives to find her maternity style posts, which are definitely worth the search!

I found Jess, of The Doe or the Deer, in Flickr’s Pregnancy Style group and was instantly intrigued by her by her use of color and bold pattern with a dash of rough (leather jackets, cowboy boots) thrown in. And she expertly layered dresses over jeans or leggings, which is a great way to transition too-short dresses into maternity tunics in those last months.

The Swedish Clara is someone I’ve followed for a while now over on Underbaraclara, a swedish blog of which I don’t understand a word! But I keep returning for her beautiful photography and amazing home decor. (I’m also fascinated by her ever-changing hair style and color). Clara’s pregnancy look is characterized by that Swedish mix of minimalism yet high elegance. She’s now got me sold on the high-waisted black maternity mini!

And there’s the lovely Jen of Jenloveskev, who rocked some gorgeous outfits throughout her entire pregnancy. One of my favorites was the yellow floral Megan Nielson dress that would look gorgeous cinched with a wide leather belt post-maternity too, no? You can also check out Jen’s Teacher Style Files for her non-maternity style.

How about you? Where did you find maternity style inspiration?

I’m curating a maternity style bibliography that will feature these and a few other bloggers, so I’d love any suggestions of other stylish mamas for me to include in that. Stay tuned for the Maternity Style Bibliography during the next Weekend Workshop! ~S.

Category: Maternity Style, Resources


January 29th, 2011 § 11 comments §

Patterns and colors


  • Cardigan – Anthropologie, gift
  • Green tank – BR Outlet
  • Tiered blouse – BR, hand-me-down
  • Grey skinnies – ON Maternity
  • Boots – Banana Republic
  • Necklaces – thrifted


The fun thing about fashion is that it’s dynamic. It’s always changing. I think that personal style should be the same way – free to change, develop, contradict itself, and surprise. Sometimes change comes on its own, unprompted and unmediated. Other times, it happens in a deliberate and self-imposed manner. Lately, I’ve decided to self-impose some style challenges that appeal to me right now – work more pattern mixing into my outfits and make more frequent use of bold, bright jewelry to ‘spice’ up my looks.

{images: Anthropologie}

Whenever I need a visual aid in either of those matters, I turn to the Anthropologie catalogues, which execute both pattern mixing and bold statement pieces beautifully. I wish I could afford more of their pieces, especially their beautiful jewelry, but since they’re a bit out of my price range, I try to find similar items at my local thrift stores. These two necklaces were recent thrift store finds in my attempt to bring more bold statement pieces (in terms of jewelry) into my wardrobe.

At first I thought I’d wear either one or the other necklace with this top and cardigan. I held up one to my neck and then the other and compared the results. Then I realized that I could layer both and truly embrace my new style resolution. What do you think?

Happy weekend, everyone! And stay tuned for the first Weekend Workshop later today! ~ S.


Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Lab Friendly, Layers Upon Layers, Maternity Style, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please
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We Prefer To Call It Appropriation

January 28th, 2011 § 19 comments §

We Prefer To Call It Appropriation, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Cardigan: Old Navy
  • Dress: BCBG Outlet
  • Belt: thrifted
  • Tights: Target
  • Booties: Steve Madden Ollie Booties, via DSW
  • Necklace necklace: Tickette, birthday gift from husband

End Notes:

If you’re thinking to yourself, “Self, this outfit looks verrrrry familiar,” then your eyes are not deceiving you. Even though none of the individual items are identica, I lifted it pretty unabashedly from recent outfit of Jess from What I Wore.

Now, let me tell you a little story about copying and contemporary art. In 1979, the artist Sherrie Levine got a copy of an exhibition catalogue by well-known documentary photographer Walker Evans. Evans’ photographs, which was accompanied by James Agee’s text in the book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, profoundly shaped notions of the rural poor in the 1930s and continue to resonate today as iconic images of American hardiness. Levine took photographs of Evans’s photographs, and then displayed the resulting images — without further manipulation — as her own, titling the series “After Walker Evans.” Levine’s work is now considered a quintessential example of postmodernist photography because of her use of appropriation as a means of dismantling modernist notions of originality and authorship.

Basically, I just wanted to let you know that the contemporary art historian in me would prefer to call this outfit not a “copy” of Jess’s, but instead “After Jessica Quirk.”


(Though I need to work on that quintessential hip pop pose she has.)

I usually relegate this dress to my spring and summer wardrobe, but I love how it takes on a whole different character with the rich purple cardigan and black tights. I’m actually wearing two pairs here, my lace tights over a pair of black opaque ones. It’s a subtle textural component that doesn’t translate well to photographs (especially ones hastily snapped in the cold!), but I liked the little bit of extra interest.

To bring the black of the tights and booties further up in the outfit without going all matchy matchy on the belt, I wore my black and gold Necklace necklace from Tickette, which I’m pretty sure makes any outfit a little bit cooler. I love this as a fresh winter look to help get me out of the January wardrobe doldrums.

I would love to see outfits that any of you have “appropriated” in fairly literal fashion from other bloggers or catalogues! Send links or images our way, either in the comments or to chic [at] academichic [dot] com!

Necklace Necklace, originally uploaded by academichic.

We Prefer To Call It Appropriation, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Color Combinations, Dresses for Day, Reaching New Heights, Teaching Outfits, Theoretical
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Shabby Apple “Ingrid” Dress Giveaway!

January 28th, 2011 § 579 comments §

Friday Study Breaks have returned to Academichic!

Today, we’re happy to be giving away the “Ingrid” dress from Shabby Apple, an online boutique of vintage-inspired women’s dresses. The Ingrid combines creamy ruffles up top with a sleek black sheath on the bottom, perfect for flattering an hourglass figure but without the muss and fuss of worrying over keeping your blouse tucked in! And wouldn’t it look fantastic with some red pumps?

To enter to win this dress, check out Shabby Apple’s selection of women’s dresses and then leave a comment letting us know which one of their dresses is your favorite. For a second chance to win, “like” Shabby Apple on Facebook — and get access to special promotions and discounts — and leave a separate comment telling us that you did so.

The contest is open until Midnight US Central Time on Sunday, January 30, 2011. We will randomly choose a winner to announce on Monday.

Even if you don’t win, you can still take advantage of a special Academichic discount! Just enter academichicdiscount at check out. (This code expires March 31, 2011.)

Category: Academichic Product Review

27 January 2011

January 27th, 2011 § 7 comments §

27 January 2011, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Navy Sweater – Gap
  • Grey Skirt – Banana Republic
  • Purple Tights – BR Factory Store
  • Scarf – Old Navy, gift
  • Olive Pumps – Urban Outfitters


Today was one of those days when I pulled half my wardrobe out before deciding on this rather simple outfit (yes, it is still strewn across my bed and floor).  I knew I wanted to take advantage of our small heat wave (high of 40 degrees today) and wear heels instead of boots.  Once I had picked my shoes  I decided to pull a bold scarf and then build a simple outfit around that.  I ended up wearing my purple tights only because I couldn’t find my navy ones, but I think I like the bold mix of fuschia, olive, and purple grounded with navy and grey.

27 January 2011, originally uploaded by academichic.

27 January 2011, originally uploaded by academichic.

I think this last-minute and rather fortuitous color combination worked much better than Tuesday’s outfit, which was though out the night before…

Pop of Colbalt Blue, originally uploaded by academichic.
  • Cardigan – Banana Republic Factory Store
  • Scarf – Gap, gift
  • Skirt – J Crew
  • Boots – Steve Madden Intyce, via ebay
I like the top half mix of argyle with over-sized plaid all in the same tones (putty, grey, and cream) and I also like how that ties in with my boots.  I’m just not convinced the colbalt blue was the right choice. I was reminded, however, how much I love this skirt, so you can expect to see it again soon.


Pop of Colbalt Blue, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Color Combinations, Mixing Patterns, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue, Teaching Outfits
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Reader Question: Tights with Interview Attire

January 27th, 2011 § 18 comments §

We recently received this reader question…

I have an on-campus interview (yay!) at a liberal arts college in a very cold climate. I just purchased a navy blue suit from J Crew: fitted blazer + pencil skirt. I’m going to pair this with a brightly colored shell of some sort and gray patent leather shoes. The problem is what to do with my legs. If I double up on tights, I think I’ll be sufficiently warm for brief jaunts outside. But what color tights would work best? Is black okay? Any suggestions you have you would welcome!

First of, congratulation on your campus interview! And we love the items you’ve chosen for this occasion: this navy J.Crew skirt (and matching blazer) and these grey patent leather Naot shoes. To winterize your legs, we agree that doubling up and layering tights might be a good idea. Now, as to what color tights to wear on the outside, here are a few suggestions:

Although we love how that navy skirt and grey patent leather shoes would look with a boldly hued pair of tights like this…

… we agree that the above combination might be best saved for a teaching day on campus. For that more formal interview attire, we would suggest opting for a more ‘conservative’ and ‘traditional’ color such as a navy or grey…

A pair of black tights may be too harsh with the lighter color shoe, while a grey or navy pair should blend more seamlessly with your skirt or footwear choice. Choosing a pair of tights in a neutral that picks up on the existing color scheme of your outfit should makes the tights fit right in with your look wihout drawing too much attention. And don’t forget to check how the pair of tights underneath affects the color of your top layer! This might be obvious but is worth stating in case your mind is on other interview related matters right now.

Lastly, we also think that a pair of open weave pattern tights layered over an opaque black pair of tights could create a subtle yet rich and interesting effect. It wouldn’t be too discernable from far away but would lend your outfit that extra bit of personality and individuality from up close.

What do you think, dear readers and fellow academics? What color tights would you recommend to for that polished and professional interview look? What have you worn for academic interviews in the past? Thank you as always for your contributions in the comments section! ~ Chics

Category: Interview Attire, Q&A, Uncategorized
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27 January 2011 – Marooned

January 27th, 2011 § 18 comments §


  • Sweater Dress: Banana Republic Factory
  • Belt: Anthropologie
  • Tights: Italy
  • Shoes: BR
  • Blazer: Anne Taylor Loft
  • Scarf: thrifted
  • Bracelet: Accessorize

I’ve been on the hunt lately for dresses because life is so much easier when I can just match tights, belt, shoes and dress rather than several layers of separates. Basically, it’s the end of January and I’m feeling lazy! I scored this sweater dress (very similar to E.’s great burgundy dress) at the BR factory outlet recently and was trilled that it was on sale. I was a little worried that it was a tad short for teaching, but like E. said with her new yellow skirt, I decided that with tights it was fine. Even as a petite woman I’ve been finding it really hard lately to find dresses or skirts (that aren’t pencil skirts) that come to an inch or two above my knee rather than three or four inches above my knee. Is anyone else having that problem? I thought I’d treat maroon as a neutral and pair it with navy blue and brown (a combination with which E. has also dabbled). I added the blazer because it’s still freezing out.

This scarf is something that I thrifted when I was 5. Yes, you read that correctly. I remember going to the church fair with my grandmother and picking this one out specifically because of the gold details and the brilliant blue and orange. I guess it was only a matter of time before a few of my friends asked me to join their style blog (wink wink). The combination of the diamond patterned tights and the more scrolling floral motif of the scarf also counts towards my new quest to mix patterns!

It has languished in my dress-up box since I was about 10, but I recently was digging through the attic at home and salvaged a few items (including this costume jewelry pin) from my treasure trove. What items do you still have in your wardrobe from when you were a kid?


Category: Color Combinations, Dresses for Day, Mixing Patterns, Reaching New Heights, Teaching Outfits
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