A.’s Top Ten

July 29th, 2011 § 42 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.

Anna

Blue and White and Blue

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L.’s Farewell Top 10

July 28th, 2011 § 37 comments §

I have been blogging with academichic for just over one year (my anniversary was on July 25th), and of the chics you all have definitely seen and heard the least from me. So here is a little bit of my story – and I warn you, this is a pretty rambly way of reviewing my Top 10 from the last 6 months and saying goodbye). As I’ve said many times before, I was always impressed and inspired seeing what A. and E. wore to school, and after they told me about the blog I quickly read every previous post and chuckled to myself as I saw outfits that I’d actually seen them wearing and had thought at the time were something I’d like to try. I felt like a weird stalker when I’d mention something that they’d worn ages ago, but since reading blogs myself I’ve come to realize that is what happens – you begin to form attachments to people and feel like you know them (or at least the entire contents of their closets!). I was so excited and SO flattered when E., A., and S. proposed that I join the site last summer, and honestly felt like I was some “super fan” who had won a contest to be the next chic. I secretly congratulated myself on reaching their echelon of style. I felt like I’d arrived. Things like pattern mixing, layering, and working new trends in to my personal style (like my oxfords) are all things I learned from reading this blog myself.

During 2010 my body also went through some serious changes due to health reasons and because of my running. I went from a steady weight of 135lbs and size 6 to 120lbs and size 2. I’m a petite 5’3″ so I was still in a normal range, but the new slim body shape meant that my clothes were literally falling off me. I hinted at this in a Dress Your Best post, but why is it that I still feel bad telling you that I lost weight? We often find it much easier to talk about gaining weight, whether in pregnancy or otherwise, but it’s not as openly spoken of when it’s the other way. I’d feel like a jerk if I said to my friend, “my clothes are ALL too big”, but that was exactly the predicament I was in – and it was just as frustrating as when you gain a few pounds and suddenly things don’t fit you as well. I had always dressed nicely, but I’d never so totally and deliberately overhauled my wardrobe. Necessity coupled with a new interest in style meant that I was ready to shed some old clothes and get some new duds (like my fireworks skirt). I admit that I did purchase a lot of new items for myself – and obviously feel guilty admitting my personal consumption. I always shopped the sale and clearance racks (that’s how I scored my first piece of “mustard” colored clothing in honor of E.), but I certainly SHOPPED. I am fortunate in that I had the money to spend as I pleased, and I have since this binge definitely slowed down my purchasing and turned more and more to thrifted items, clothing swaps, and consignment stores (like my grey dress). For the staples though, especially fitted items – pencil skirts, sheath dresses, a cropped blazer, black dress slacks – I bought new.

Many of you are bloggers yourselves or have asked us questions about blogging. I had no idea what I was getting myself in to! I didn’t start reading any blogs until A. confessed to me about academichic, and even then I didn’t start regularly reading anyone’s blog until last fall. (Aside: That’s another thing people have asked us to discuss. What blogs to do we read? I can tell you that the ones I have bookmarked are What Would A Nerd Wear, The Other Emily, Narrowly Tailored, Already Pretty, Hello, Monkeyface!, and Between Laundry Days. There are many more sites that I’ve read casually and that do a very good job, but those are my regulars and the people I feel weirdly like I know even though I’ve never spoken a word to them.) I thought how easy it would be to take pictures because I’d be dressing up 6-days a week for my new job teaching in a boarding school. Wrong. Turns out taking pictures without anyone seeing you when you live at the place where you work is nearly impossible unless you wake up extremely early. So that’s what I did. I’m not a style blogger who also has an interest in photography, so my pictures have never been top quality. Nor have I ever really bothered doing much with my hair or putting on makeup, and blogging didn’t really change that much – although a little lip gloss, mascara, and powder can do wonders on camera. People have asked if our style will change once we’re not blogging anymore, and I can honestly say I don’t think I’ll dress up quite to the degree that I did this year. I love looking good and dressing well, but for those mornings when I’m running late I’m going to spend more time drinking my coffee and less time throwing outfits on the floor of my bedroom. I always felt a little guilty, like I was cheating, on the days when I’d just toss on black pants and a top or a simple dress (like my grey cashmere, plaid shirt dress or black wrap dress) – but those days are what happens in real life and sometimes less is more.

I’m going to be really open with you – after the outcry over my post in which I wrote that girls at my school were “parading their bodies around for all to see” I learned that I really needed to watch what I wrote. I am very conscious in my “real” life not to say offensive things, to talk to others when they do, and to be sensitive to those around me. However, I didn’t think through the ramifications of that phrase and the judgements that it implied, and it was an eye opening experience to hear from so many people – truthfully, I was once-bitten-twice-shy for the rest of my blogging life. I stuck mostly to posting about how my outfits came together, what elements I liked, what didn’t work, and how I felt wearing each look. And I’m not gonna lie, I have a chip on my shoulder about my limited range of contributions and appreciate the complex topics about which S., E., and A. write so eloquently – and here’s where I start to tear up! – You all have been more influential in my life than you can possibly know, and being a part of this project with you has been an honor and a joy. And to YOU all, I thank you for calling me out, challenging me, and teaching in all your different comments as well as praising, commiserating, and making suggestions. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and for asking questions. Thank you for posing ideas and informing us of your own style triumphs. Knowing that there are so many bright people on the other end reading this blog has made me a much more thoughtful person, both in real life and online.

Eye on the Prize

I think it’s funny that like E. one of my favorite posts has nothing to do with outfit and everything to do with how I present myself (if that makes any sense). I’m talking about my Dress Your Best post on my legs – and the running outfit I shared with you all. Even with all the hours spent dressing up, I still feel more like ‘myself’, more confident, and more attractive when I’m in my sweaty work-out clothes. While I’ll never be wearing those to class, I have in the process of changing my style and writing this blog discovered a whole lot of clothes that make me feel equally confident, strong, and most of all, happy.

L. (because there was already an S.!)

Farewell

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And the Winner Is…

July 26th, 2011 § 1 comment §

Comment # 63 – Kat

Congratulations Kat! Send us your contact information and we’ll get the necklace out to you as soon as possible!

And if you didn’t win, head over to Meenoo’s shop and take advantage of the special reader discount code (enter ACADEMICCHIC at checkout) for 10% off through the end of the week!

You can also check out Minou Bazaar on Facebook, where you can find special promotions, updates, and discount codes. Facebook fans also receive 10% off their first purchase (enter FACEBOOKFAN at checkout).

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S’s Top Ten for Year Three

July 25th, 2011 § 12 comments §

As our project here comes to an end and I’m prompted to reflect of the past three years (in outfits), I feel overwhelmed and at a loss for words. Maybe because the past three years have been so eventful. When we started academichic, I was not yet married and resided in a large Midwestern city. As the blog went on, so did my life: I got married, moved to the small college town where my husband was pursuing his PhD, moved again to Germany for a research year abroad, returned home and began my first faculty job, and most recently, became pregnant with our first child. So yes, it’s a bit daunting and overwhelming to think back to the beginning of this project and to try summing it up in a few succinct paragraphs. It’s equally tough for me to pull together a ‘top ten’ list spanning over such a broad time period that has seen me make so many geographical, personal, and physical changes.

So I decided to hone in on this past (not quite full) year. You can see my Year One Top Ten here and my Year Two Top Ten list here and I will just let those speak for the periods they represent. In terms of this past year of blogging, I have compiled my ten favorite outfits and some thoughts on why these stand out.

The first four pictures at the top where taken early on in my pregnancy and at the beginning of my second semester of teaching as faculty (and not grad. student). They are representative of my style when I feel comfortable and confident: bold colors, bright patterns, pattern mixing (see pic.3),  and a mix of romantic meets casual (polka dots and ruffled collars with jeans tucked into boots and plenty of button downs).

The next two images show the two oufits that were the most ‘subdued’ in terms of color in my ‘favorites’ pile, and even here, the bright orange dress with the colorful paisley design is barely being mitigated by the softer tan cardigan. What can I say? I love color and bright clothing. Although the top one of these two ‘softer’ outfits is decidedly tamer in hues than my usual fare, I loved it for it’s bohemian touch and it’s eclectic layering of lace, pearls, and eyelet. It also reminds me of the fun day that I got to spend with my co-bloggers and good friends, ‘playing dress-up’ at Banana Republic, sharing a fitting room and laughing over misguided attempts at an outfit, and feeling like teenagers at the mall again.

While this blog was in large part inspired by our desire to question fashion, gender assumptions, and modern notions of beauty, it also never ceased to be a project that brought the four of us together and reminded us how wonderful it is to share joys as simple as playing ‘dress up’ with your friends on a Spring afternoon. Academichic has always been something I’ve taken very seriously (especially when writing about matters such as coming out as an ally, navigating pregnancy in academia, dressing for a new faculty position, the importance we accredit to visible gendering, and what happens when something is perceived as ‘gender bending‘ in our culture). But it’s also been something that has brought me great joy and satisfaction on days when an outfit post was just an outfit post, when I could just pop over to the site and instantly ‘see’ my friends, and when it provided us with the perfect excuse and reason to go on a shopping spree together.

So for those days when an outfit post was just an outfit post, here is a style I really loved playing with over the dreary winter months: colorful and brightly patterned tights. Maybe because winter seemed to drag on forever and there was a general lack of color in my surroundings, I reached for outfit options that invoked that cheer and brightness I so love about Spring and Summer. And while not everyone’s cup of tea, I loved my thick damask printed tights and my collection of red, purple, layered and fishnetted, and even floral legwear (as captured on my commutes to work).

Lastly, summer came and with that my increased need for comfort and ease when getting dressed. As I finished teaching and entered my third trimester, my style took somewhat of a nose-dive. I stopped posting as much as many days were simply spent in sweats and my husband’s t-shirts, but I also had no qualms with embracing that much needed break in my routine. I needed to be able to relax and tend to my dissertation chapter, my garden, my yoga practice, and playtime with my dog. As much as we write about body image intersecting with style and fashion, we maybe don’t stress enough the importance of just feeling good in your skin no matter what you have on. It’s true that clothing communicates and that a grubby t-shirt and a pair of leggings doesn’t exactly convey the most inspiring of messages, but for certain times and contexts that’s ok.

On days I did dress up for meetings out of the house or visit with friends, I stuck to my usual go-to of dresses, bold hues, and not-too-subtle pattern. I’ve also embraced my inner hippie and have been wearing long skirts and flowey (shapeless?) dresses for more often than I care to admit. But it’s all been very satisfying and I’ve enjoyed having less expectations in terms of getting dressed during my last months of pregnancy. So here I am now, ready to give birth any day now and facing new style as well as life challenges ahead; that dreaded 4th trimester as your body once more changes and morphs post-baby, the unknown of life as a new mother, the undefinability of a year dedicated to finishing my dissertation writing while on teaching sabbatical, and the pure pleasure of embracing the leap into so many unknowns.

(On a side note: I’ve spent the last few days restlessly expecting to go into labor and ‘nesting’ away on Pinterest as a form of distraction. And I’ve noticed that the style pinboard I’m creating for my post-baby dressing inspiration is going in a whole different direction than what my style has been like in the past (or even as shown in this Top Ten post). I find myself drawn to much more muted tones, earthy colors, a hippie/boho/hipster aesthetic, and not that much floral anymore. Hmmm? The start of truly a new era for me? For those of you curious of how my post-baby style will evolve, you can always follow my style board on Pinterest or check in on my cycle chic set on Flickr).

And lastly, I just have to say once more that I will miss the thoughtful comments and interractions with you, our readers, greatly and I thank you for all your comments and input over the past three years. Thank you for being wonderful companions on this journey and for making this project such a rewarding one through your comments and input.

S. (and if you miss me terribly, come say hello at Simply Bike sometime).

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Friday Giveaway: Necklace from Minou Bazaar

July 22nd, 2011 § 199 comments §

This giveaway is brought to you by the lovely Meenoo of Minou Bazaar.  Just a little reminder about Minour Bazaar: Meenoo creates beautiful handcrafted jewelry that mixes vintage and new elements while drawing inspiration from the colors and patterns seen in Indian bazaars. If you’re looking for beautifully unique pieces with an exotic flair, Minou Bazaar might have the perfect thing!

Meenoo explains a bit about this Aasman Minakari Necklace:

This adorable and dainty necklace is the color of the sky (aasman).  This is a vintage traditional Minakari-style pendant in a light sky blue color.  Minakari is the ancient art of enameling metal with bright colors, introduced to India by the Mughals.

Check out Meenoo’s more detailed description of this vintage pendant and while you are there browse the rest of her beautiful Indian-inspired pieces.  If you see something else you love, take advantage of the special %10 discount for Academichic readers – just enter the code ACADEMICCHIC at check-out.

For your chance to win this necklace, visit Meenoo’s Etsy shop and leave us a comment telling us what your favorite item is in the store. For a second chance to win, leave a separate comment telling us how you’d wear this necklace. Entries open until Midnight Monday, July 25th, Central Time!

A winner will be randomly chosen and annoucend on Tuesday, July 26th.

 

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Up Next For the Chics

July 19th, 2011 § 185 comments §

OMGshoes

All four of us at Academichic have some pretty big life changes up ahead.

  • A. is about to begin a dissertation fellowship and is aiming to wrap up her degree in the next year.
  • E. is about to become a mom of two. But before that happens she’s also teaching a summer class and moving her family into a new home.
  • L. is embarking on her second year of teaching high school English with much more confidence in both her pedagogical abilities as well as her personal style.
  • S. is about to welcome her daughter into the world any day now, and then she, too, is aiming to complete her degree over the next academic year.

That’s what we see ahead for ourselves in the coming months. What we don’t see, though, is the perpetuation of Academichic. After much thought and a little bit of angst, we’ve decided that this project has run its course for us and we’ll be closing up shop at the end of July. We’ll have a much longer, reflective post at that time, but for now we wanted to let you know where we’re heading. We want to leave this site here as a useful archive for everyone who has ever googled “feminism and fashion” or “what to wear to an academic conference” (which is really how this whole project started). To that end, we’ll be launching a series of wrap-up posts, pointing to our favorite past outfits, most enduring resources, most useful DIY projects, and most compelling theoretical posts.

But before we part ways, what do you want to know? Is there still some burning unanswered question you want answered? Let us know. We can’t promise we’ll get to all of them, but we’ll give it a shot.

Finally, thank you. We’ll express our gratitude to you, our readers, in a more extended format later, but for now know that we have treasured your questions, insights, debates, and feedback. We really do think that we have the most thoughtful and thought-provoking commenters out there.

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And the Winner Is…

July 11th, 2011 § 2 comments §

Thanks to everyone for participating in our Tom Bihn Tri-Star giveaway. Our winning comment number was #671:

Congratulations, Chaja! She wrote:

Chaja, please e-mail us your mailing information so that you can get your hands on your forest green Tom Bihn Tri-Star as soon as possible!

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And the Winner Is…

June 13th, 2011 § 0 comments §

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

Genevine (comment #255)

Congratulations Genevine!  We will be putting you in touch with Shabby Apple so you can get your beautiful new dress ASAP!

Remember, if you didn’t win but would love a Shabby Apple dress for yourself, you can still use the special discount code for Academichic readers.  Simple enter academichic10off at checkout.


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12 May 2011 – Dress Pants

May 12th, 2011 § 4 comments §

12 May 2011 - Dress Pants

Sources:

  • Dress: French Connection
  • Shirt (under): Splendid via Nordstrom Rack
  • Sweater: Banana Republic
  • Pants: Anne Taylor Loft
  • Shoes: Ciao Bella via DSW

Endnotes:
I realize that this is extremely similar to the first way I styled this dress when I debuted it in London (it was a birthday gift from my fabulous sister). However, the addition of skinny black ponte pants underneath made the shorter hemline feel safer, and the shirt under and sweater over provided needed warmth.

12 May 2011 - Dress Pants cropped

The inspiration to tie the built-in belt from the dress on the outside of the cardigan is something that my co-bloggers have been perfecting for years. E. takes the ties on a solid color jersey dress to hold down a top layer consisting of an unbuttoned patterned shirt dress; S. takes a removable sash from a jersey dress to wrap around her outer layer; and A. uses the ties on a wrap dress to integrate her cardigan into her look. You can also use ties from blouses to hold down cardigans. If you want more ideas, check out A’s tutorial on how to use built in ties over cardigans.

12 May 2011 - Dress Pants back 12 May 2011 - Dress Pants

Category: Dresses for Day, Layers Upon Layers, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Teaching Outfits, Uncategorized
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14 April 2011 – Two Months Back

April 14th, 2011 § 5 comments §

Great Scot!

Sources:

  • Long Sleeved T: Splendid via Nordstrom Rack
  • Camisole: Banana Republic Outlet
  • Sweater: BR
  • Scarf: gift
  • Pin: grandmother’s
  • Corduroys: DKNY via Filene’s Basement
  • Socks: gift
  • Oxfords: Crown Vintage via DSW

Endnotes:
Robert Frost had it right when he said in the poem “Two Tramps in Mud Time”:

The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You’re one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you’re two months back in the middle of March.

Yesterday was chilly and rainy and grey. In the words of Tina Fey: blerg. I hope this is the last time I’ll be wearing cords this spring but you never know. I started this outfit with my socks. Yes, knee high, wool socks with sheep on them that my dad gave me many moons ago after he visited the Hebrides (which are islands off of the Scottish coast, in case you’re not up on your geography). Of course, since I started with the socks I decided that they needed to be displayed and so I cuffed my trousers.

Sheep

This combination of sea green, grey, blue, and tan is one of my favorites and I’ve gotten a lot of wear out of this scarf (also from Scotland) over the winter. My chunky, cabled, cotton sweater was just warm enough, and this time I decided to tack the built in ties to the inside using safety pins and instead use a silver pin to hold the sweater together.

Holding it together

I’m pleased with the result and was cozy and warm for the whole dreary day. And best of all, I got to wear my Oxfords again! Yippy!

L.

Great Scot!

Category: Beltless, Lab Friendly, Layers Upon Layers, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Research Casual, Teaching Outfits, Uncategorized
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