A.’s Top Ten

July 29th, 2011 § 36 comments

I had planned on doing an all-time best of post –-my top 10 looks from our three years of blogging.  See, I wanted to point back to the time I wore A2’s jeans and called them “girlfriend” jeans –both because it was one of the first times I took (what felt like) a real risk with my outfit and because I still think I’m pretty clever for my alternative to “boyfriend jeans.”

I wanted to remind you of my J-Crew inspired flower belt and my green dress worn with a tank over it – still two of my all time favorite outfits. I wanted to show off the many ways I wore my orange pencil skirt and maybe review my favorite analogous color combinations.  I wanted to look back at my foray into pattern mixing and my eventual full embrace of it.

I wanted to reminisce about S.’s wedding and then my own.

I wanted to show you first days of school and coffee shop favorites.  But, there was just too much!  I got overwhelmed and like E. and S., I decided I better stick to this last year of blogging instead (but see how I cheated there just a little bit?). For more reminiscing, you can see my top ten from year one and year two.

So, without further ado my top ten form year three:

I started the year with long hair and bright colors in a drab winter.  While I will always be a neutrals girl (especially mixed neutrals), I love looking back and seeing how many bright colors have worked their way into my daily wardrobe.  My timid love of color is thanks to our Fashion 101s on the color wheel and to the inspiration from my far more colorful co-bloggers, particularly the color master, E.

I’ve noticed that many of my favorite looks from this year are just new takes on much loved outfits from years past – funny how it looks so different with the short hair:

Earlier this year, I took a month off from blogging and returned with a new haircut.  It was so wonderful to reveal this physical change to all of you – your compliments and encouragement made me feel like cutting my hair was the best thing I’ve ever done.  While blogging can be hard on the self-esteem, it can also provide an incredible boost – so often your comments have made me feel beautiful and have empowered me to take style risks like cutting my hair and wearing 4-inch platform wedges despite the fact that they make me 6 feet tall.

Once again this year I renewed my love of stripes (particularly the blue and white stripes) and so it’s not surprising to me that half of my top ten outfits prominently feature stripes.  I like that each of my blue and white striped outfits is fairly different.  In one I bore my long pasty white legs in short shorts.  In another I emphasized my broad shoulders and big hips in a classic silhouette. In the last, I wore “a look” I have long appreciated on other people but believed could never look good on me. I think I did take more risks (and more successful risks, at that) this year while remaining true to what makes me feel comfortable – I’m willing to put something on that emphasizes a not-so-conventionally beautiful aspect f my body, or tryout a silhouette that traditional fashion advice would tell me to steer clear of, but I’m also willing to keep wearing the things that are not on trend but make me feel like me.

These last two picks are less about the outfits and more about the things in my life they represent and the discussion the posts generated:

I wore this black jersey dress and knotted cardigan the first time I bike-commuted to school.  Part of taking my break from bloging earlier this year and part of why it’s important for me to leave academichic now is that I’ve made a commitment to take care of myself, and to find balance in my life before I turn 30 (just a couple months away). I’m making more time for things that make me happy while simultaneously starting a big push to the finish line of my degree. Among the many things I have taken more time for is exercise and I started biking.

The purple and black outfit I wore to receive an award for my service and leadership in the LGBT community.  In this post I also wrote about issues of passing and the symbolism of my wedding band.  The posts in which I discussed my queer identity have been some of the most powerful for me.  I was a bit nervous (sadly!) to post about my wedding, but while I did get a few negative reactions, I mostly received an outpouring of love and support.   Similarly, my “coming-out” post will remain one of my favorites, because it stands as a reminder that what I do speaks volumes to others.

So, thanks you! Thank you for all of your thoughtful comments – especially the ones that helped me to love all of my body, the ones that challenged my thinking, and the ones that supported my work with LGBT students.

Thank you for letting me share with you the minutia of my daily life as well as the great milestones.

In the time since we started blogging, I have gotten married, taken and defended my comprehensive exams, written and defended my dissertation proposal, submitted the first chapter of my dissertation, learned to garden, taken up biking and sewing, run two marathons, built a patio, and made many incredible friends.  I’m now just a year away from finishing my degree and hopefully starting a new job, I’m making plans to start a family, and am about to turn 30. I promise to check in occasionally as I hit some of these new milestones – defend my dissertation, graduate, get a job, etc.

Like my co-bloggers have already expressed, I will miss the creative and critical outlet this blog has provided and I will miss the community of smart fashionable women it has introduced me to.

More than anything I will miss my collaboration with you, E. S. and L.  I will miss “seeing” your beautiful faces on a regular basis. Thank you for sharing in such an incredible journey, building this site from a half-cocked idea discussed over coffee years ago into something I will long be proud of.


Blue and White and Blue

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§ 36 Responses to A.’s Top Ten"

  1. ABD says:


    I love all of the chics, but I will miss your posts the most. I always could relate to your posts, your dressing struggles, and your style. It’s funny, but I found myself taking risks as you posted about your fashion challenges and choices. As someone else with curves, I was always inspired by the way you described (and loved!) your body and its relationship with clothing.

    I, too, am approaching 30 and I am currently working on my dissertation. Thanks for taking your time to share your thoughts on life and fashion. It sounds frivolous, but your ideas became part of my daily routine and you challenged me to re-think my relationship with clothing, standards, and my own body.

    Best of luck to you!

  2. Kelly says:

    I’m getting more sad as I see all these goodbye posts.

    How about you all just do an annual update or something? :)

    • Laura says:

      I LOVE this idea. Please please please consider it?

    • Dara says:

      ME too! Please keep us in the loop– I feel like I’m losing a community of good friends! Our maybe you could open up Academichics to all of us to post and it could be a community blog so y’all wouldn’t have to bear the brunt of the work but we could all stay connected and in each other’s lives! Think about it, please?

  3. Marina says:

    As someone who reads daily but rarely comments, I can’t help but do so for the “goodbye” posts. Simply put, I’ll miss you. It’s a weird thing about blogging, how us readers come to feel like we know you bloggers, but in this social media age we probably “know” as much about you as we do half our Facebook friends.

    Best of luck on the family-starting. Oh donor-sperm, how I appreciate/loathe thee. I wish you a short relationship with yours.


  4. Marina says:

    Double commenting to say–the donor sperm comment only applies if you go that route. There are many ways to start a family, all meaningful and beautiful at times, and full of frustration and heart-ache at others. Best of luck with whichever path you find yourself on.


  5. Mia says:

    This made me all teary! I’ve only been a reader for a short time but from the get-go I was a big fan of your style, and it’s been so fun and happy-making to go back through the archives and see all that you’ve achieved and all the supporters you have, and I’m glad to have your pictures in the future for inspiration. Best of luck, not that you need it, and enjoy having a family! I did elder care for the father of a woman and her wife, and they had adopted two biological brothers as their sons; I don’t normally like kids, but they have such a loving home and their moms worked so hard to make sure they would continue to do so. Fare thee well in the world!

  6. Shannah says:

    Anna – I really appreciated reading your posts. Like you, I’m curvy…and a runner…and a strawberry blonde. It was always inspirational to see your color choices, giving me confidence to go outside my comfort zone. Best of luck to you in the future and to your goal of finding a healthy balance!

  7. Laura says:

    Anna–I guessed right! I thought you looked like an Anna all along!

    My favorite outfit of yours, ever, is the green dress-made-skirt with the purple tank and green belt. It’s just gorgeous. And while I like your hair short, I might be going against the majority when I say that I liked it even better when it was longer. It’s such a beautiful color and really shone when it was long. But I’ve got very short hair myself, so I totally understand how freeing it is, how much fun, and how it makes me feel like I have a little more leeway to wear really feminine clothes without feeling too “over the top” or dressed up.

    Congrats on the blog and on nearly finishing your degree, and enjoy all that’s to come!

  8. ismay says:

    Goodbye, Anna, how I wish it wasn’t so. But happy to hear you will check in with occasional milestone posts. I will look forward to that. Always thought you were Anne – so I was close! Of all the chicks, I will miss you the most, as your posts, especially the “theoretical” ones have so resonated with me over the years

    While style-wise I may have most in common with Elissa, with you I shared so many other things. I too am an academic (albeit in the sciences) and a femme, longtime-partnered lesbian who ponders passing and coming out on a perpetual basis since my presentation does not do it automatically. I too run and am tall with similar build and coloring. And I wish so often that I had done a PhD in the arts with a queer studies angle, instead of in biology.

    Thank you, to you and all the other Chics for this wonderful site that balanced style, lifestyle, and academic interests so perfectly and so uniquely. Thank you for your authentic voices and the power of female friendship you modeled for us. There truly is no other site quite like this in the wild wide words of the internets, and I will miss you profoundly.

    Good luck with all your goals and projects!

  9. Erin says:


    I just wanted to thank you (and all the Chics) for all the time and effort you put into Academichic. Your site was the special treat I snuck in at work (high school library) and I looked forward to it everyday. I am really going to miss you all greatly!

    While I loved seeing what everyone had to wear and have taken notes from everyone, your style is the one I related to the most and one I def took the most inspiration from. I will be back to the site often to see old (and hopefully new!) posts when I need help getting dressed in the morning. :)

    Thank you again and good luck on everything you do in life!


  10. Kayla says:

    I am so sad to see you ladies go! I hope the world continues to bring you amazing things! Good luck with finishing your degree! You have been an inspiration with each and every post. Thank you for all of your work in the blogging world!

  11. Dee says:

    I always thought your name would be Anna! Thank you for a lovely post and for sharing so much about your life and your style. Of all the chics, you and I have the most similar body shape, and it’s been inspiring to watch you embrace new and different silhouettes. Thanks! Please come back with updates!

  12. Ana says:

    Anna! I have to say, even though I’ve always been a quieter reader, your posts have always resonated with me the most. I have really appreciated the LGBTQ issues you’ve discussed here, and both the academic and personal perspective you’ve brought to them. And now I’m delighted that we share the (almost) same name. You will be missed!

  13. karinajean says:

    A – I’ve loved reading your blog! and wanted to tell you that you totally inspired me with your hair cut. I printed out photos of your amazing short ‘do and took them to my stylist. I’ve had really long hair for over 5 years now, and seeing your short cut was exactly the push I needed to drop all that “dead weight” and go short. I feel SO MUCH more myself, and I wanted to thank you for the motivation.

  14. I just want to say, since you’re posting your top ten, that I think I admire your sense of style the most out of all the bloggers on here. That’s not to say anything bad about the others, I just think that I can relate to your sense of style most and so I always love and have been inspired by your outfits.

    Thanks for the blog!

  15. Tanya Reader says:

    Anna…that was my guess! Thank you for sharing your life and style with us. Wishing you all the very best.

    P.S. I dreamed of Academichic last night because I’ve been really dreading today. That’s weird, right?

  16. Ruth says:

    So fun to see everybody’s top ten – I loved the “girlfriend jean” look, and the shorts with stripes, and the blue blouse with belted full skirt… and the wedding look was absolutely gorgeous. I also totally love the haircut! I’m so excited to hear you and A are planning to start a family – how neat to see all three original chics through different stages of family life as academics, from E pregnant from the beginning, to S through her pregnancy ending with the blog, to you leaving us with the hint of plans. As an academic embarking on a family life adventure myself, this is very cool to me. I am really going to miss you guys. I’ve so enjoyed the style and the thoughtfulness. Wonderful work.

  17. Laura says:


    This has been a truly wonderful blog: well written, beautiful, with fabulous style and interesting discussions. I am so glad to read that you are ending this blog for happy reasons: to focus on family, career, and self. I am one of the many readers who have benefited from this blog, so thank you! And thanks to A2, and the families of S., Elissa, and Sam, who I’m sure have contributed a lot of behind-the-scenes support! I could go on and on about all the things that make this blog so great, but instead I will just say that this is one blog that I will really, truly miss. This blog is at a whole other level of awesome.

    To all of you: Congratulations on these happy changes, renewed commitments, and grand beginnings! You have all done a wonderful job of writing a blog that shows you to be thoughtful, caring, conscientious and hard-working as well as intelligent and stylish. (The best kind of teachers; your students are lucky to have you!)

    PS- I have always wanted to tell you that you have seriously great hair, and that I love it when you share things about A2. She sounds like a wonderful, wonderful spouse. Especially in your “dress your best” post about your hands. I just about died from the “awwww!” factor.

  18. Julia says:

    Dear Anna,
    What a pleasure it is to know your name! I will miss all of you Chics deeply and am terribly sad to see this blog draw to a close though, as a fellow graduate student, I entirely understand why you’re making that decision.
    I wanted to take a minute to thank you personally though, because I think you sparked one of the most transformational things I’ve done in a long time. During the first (I think?) dress your best series, you posted about your sometimes conflicted relationship with your thighs and wrote about how powerful they can make you feel when you run.
    That post hit me like a ton of bricks.
    You and I are built very similarly, except I was then coming off a period where I hadn’t been taking care of myself properly and was generally feeling pretty down on myself. I’ve never thought of myself as, and truthfully continue not to particularly be, athletic. But that afternoon I got on the internet and got reading about running. By the end of that weekend I was the owner of a new pair of running shoes. And the rest is history.
    I’ve been reading this blog since its inception and have enjoyed every post that I’ve read. But perhaps literally nothing else I’ve come across in a long time impacted me like that post. I know it’s perhaps silly to ascribe such power to a virtual stranger’s blog, but I also know it’s true. That was the message I needed to read.
    I still struggle with my self-image regarding my legs from time to time. I’m not sure it’s a battle I’ll ever entirely have the upper hand in. But when those legs carry me across a finish line… I feel amazing and powerful and did I mention amazing? And honest to goodness, it is entirely due to your honesty about your own body. So thank you for your willingness to be vulnerable with your readers and with the world. It means more to this anonymous stranger than you know.
    With all the best wishes in the world,

  19. Jess says:

    Anna! Such a lovely name. I think you’ve been the most inspiring Chic of all, between your relationship with your body (so similar to mine) and your successes with the LGBT community. I’ll always remember your use of family pearls at your wedding, which was such a beautiful touch (and an idea which I totally plan to hijack for my own wedding). I’ve so loved reading your posts–as a LGBT supporter I’ve really learned so, so much from your posts about your work in the community and I think that you’re truly fantastic. I’ve loved seeing you and A2 together, and the Christmas post with your sister was so awesome (I loved E.’s posts with all her in-laws, too). I wish you nothing but the absolute best, and please do stop in from time to time and let us know how you’re doing. I for one am keeping Academichic bookmarked so I’ll be reminded to take a peek now and then.

    Thank you, again, for everything. It’s been real.

  20. Anna,

    As so many other readers have said, thank you for validating my legs by appreciating and discussing yours! You converted me to pencil skirts, introduced me to the idea of LGBT allies, and provided hours of good reading. I salute you and look forward to hearing about your future!

    Also, short hair suits you beautifully.

    Thank you so, so much for all the hours you spent taking photos, writing and editing posts, and sharing your life with us.

  21. Carrie says:

    Hi Anna,
    I just wanted to say that I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now. I’m finishing up my undergrad degree at a liberal arts school, and have just started looking into graduate programs this summer with the goal of potentially teaching (music) at a collegiate level somewhere in the future. For some reason I had been under the impression that professors had to dress relatively “safely”, and not stand out too much. This always made me pretty sad, especially considering that I’m the person who wrote a poem in middle school about how “when I’m an adult, who knows what I’ll wear – a trench coat with yellow polka dots, maybe!”. 21-year-old me is a little iffy on the polka dots, but she’d wear the yellow trench coat with pride.
    Speaking about pride: I’m queer, and it made me grin when you first mentioned A2 in your posts. Positive, fashionable, academically inclined, and queer role models are AWESOME. So thanks.

  22. Rita says:

    Oh these goodbye posts are so sad…I consider myself a long time reader of the blog and will miss such a significant part of my morning internet routine…Just like a favourite tv show (say, “Friends”) I am left with weekly re-reads of my favourite topics :) Thank you for sharing so much with all of us. Thank you Anna in particular for introducing me to the concept of allie and those awesome pencil skirts. Best of lucks to all your life projects and do drop us a line. I feel there’s so much to be mentioned! :) cheers

  23. Rita says:

    Just an idea, once you girls have time you could (I actually think “should”) write a book on this blog…Think about it ;) I’ll buy it :)

  24. Karen says:

    I’m getting so sad! Your style was one that initially I saw as completely different from mine, but as I read the blog and saw and appreciated more and more of your outfits, I began to be influenced by your style in delightful ways. (And I still want to cut my hair thanks to you!) Thanks for the all of your posts and if you decide to continue blogging in any form, let us know!

  25. Nadine says:

    Lovely post, Anna. (I always picked you for an Anna!) I will miss you and your gorgeous outfits and your gorgeous, gorgeous self. xoxo

  26. Melanie S. says:

    Thank you Anna for helping us all to love and celebrate the unique bodies that we have. Your voice in the blogosphere will be deeply missed. I hope one day our paths cross in academia…and we can have a cup of coffee. Best of luck on your dissertation and new life directions – we’re all rooting for you!

  27. A says:

    Aw, what a lovely name for a lovely online personality and aesthetic! I’m really enjoying how thorough you all are with these wrap-up posts. And I’d like to add one more vote for the annual update posts!

  28. Hannie says:

    Oh how I will miss this blog. While I related to the style of S and L, I enjoyed your thoughtful posts about coming out in academia and gendering through dressing/fashion. I loved your wedding posts.

    I am glad that you are planning updates informing us about major life and career events. I remember the stressful time before handing in my final version of the PhD thesis and look forward to reading about your defense and family plans. In the last 5 years I defended my thesis and my girl and I purchased our first home and started our family. It was a stressful but also wonderful time that we fully enjoyed. I hope you will enjoy all these major life events as well!

    P.S. I always thought your name would be Amanda ;-)

  29. Jenny says:

    Hi Anna, So I’m the very awkward person who ran into you at Ann Taylor on Michigan Ave. this week. Being awkward is something academics do well. :) What I did was stammer a bit, but what I meant to say was that I was sorry that the blog was coming to an end, that I really appreciated it, and that it inspired me to do small things (hack an unfortunate Target dress off into a cute skirt) and bigger things, like work on coming to terms with my post-baby body (the “dress your best” stuff was hard for me… I’m not sure what my best is anymore but I want to figure it out). So what I wanted to say was *thank you* all for writing it and I wish you all the best for your future.

    • admin says:

      Jenny! I’m afraid I was fairly awkward too. I’ve only been recognized on the street a few times and I’m never sure how to handle it exactly :)

      Thanks for your sweet comments about the site!


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