6 April 2011 – Defense Mechanisms

April 6th, 2011 § 23 comments §

Defense Mechanisms, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Cardigan: Banana Republic Factory
  • Top: H&M
  • Sweater skirt: Anthropologie, via eBay
  • Tights: Gap
  • Booties: Steve Madden

End Notes:

I wore this last week Friday when I gave back-to-back presentations of my work to my department: a dry run of a conference paper and a defense of my dissertation proposal to our faculty.

I usually tend to dress a little more on the subdued side when I have academic dates with destiny. I was admittedly a teensy bit of a yawn style-wise for my comprehensive exam defense, for example. But on Friday, feeling really good about what I was going to present and feeling really good about my dissertation prospectus, I decided that I might as well defend myself in something a little more exciting.

Like pattern mixing! (This skirt just begs for pattern mixing.) And bold color! I chose coral as my “pop” against graphic black and white since I thought that it “springified” the look more than a classic red might.

Pop and Pattern, originally uploaded by academichic.

And to top it all off, I cheerfully rode my bike to campus as well…because nothing says “I am a woman confident in my balance, my mind, and my outfit choices” like riding a bike in a skirt to an academic appointment. (Plus, it always helps to work off a little bit of nervous energy before these things.)

All that to say: it went well. And while I can’t say that I’ll choose something like this for all future moments of academic defense, this time around it helped to remind me that I can be bold, and it put me in the mindset of participating in a conversation rather than facing an interrogation. Not bad for a minimal color palette and some stripes and leaves.

Defense Mechanisms, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Maternity Style, Mixing Patterns, Reaching New Heights, Teaching Outfits
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25 March 2011 – Dear Winter, I’m Ignoring You

March 25th, 2011 § 9 comments §

25 March 2011 – Dear Winter, I’m Ignoring You, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Tunic: Tucker for Target
  • Belt: Gap Outlet
  • Skirt: Anthropologie
  • Leggings: Gap
  • Wellies: Banana Republic

End Notes:

This wasn’t quite how I envisioned this outfit going. I was thinking bare legs and cognac boots, maybe tights and sandals if things went just right. But, alas, I woke up to snow this morning and so it was thick leggings and two-tone wellies in deference to winter’s lingering hold.

And this is how I feel about that:

For whatever reason, in the mirror I wasn’t getting so much of an angled, shirt tail hem with the tunic, and I’m not sure if I like it that much over the full but stiff-ish skirt below. But, I of course love the color pairing, and I can definitely imagine revising this outfit with the skirt over the tunic. That will have to wait, however, until I have a little less going on in front.

(Contrary to what yesterday’s photos suggest, the belly is still here.)

There’s something about patterned garments that make me feel emboldened to take more style risks over all, whether in proportions or color pairings or pattern mixing. So while I might not be in love with this remix overall, I have to admit that I’m proud of myself for wearing this tunic in three significantly different ways this week. And, to reader Sara, I believe that you’ll see this with my floaty white skirt in the near future…

25 March 2011 - Dear Winter, I'm Ignoring You 23 March 2011 - For Play 23 March 2011 - For Work

P.S. Did you see Tania and Kelsey offer up even more remixes a couple of days ago?

Category: Color Combinations, Maternity Style, Our Best Flatware, Skirting the Issue
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9 February 2011

February 9th, 2011 § 12 comments §

9 February 2011, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Sweater: The Limited
  • Cardigan: Gap
  • Necklace: consignment shop
  • Belt: Old Navy
  • Skirt: Anthropologie
  • Tights: Target
  • Boots: Steve Madden Intyce, via eBay

End Notes:

I’ve never been a real jewelry die-hard, but my jewelry-wearing definitely took a nose dive once baby e. was big enough to be a grabber. Now that he’s a bit older, I’ve still been avoiding big earrings (my previous go-to choice for statement jewelry) and turned instead to sturdy-ish necklaces. It’s not that I expect my necklaces to be “baby proof”…just that I don’t want to be excessively worried about them breaking should they get yanked or tweaked a bit.

With this in mind, substantial, multi-chain necklaces have been my most recent discovery. It’s funny that this has happened, too, since for a long time I thought that I couldn’t wear gold-toned jewelry (probably related to my also-erroneous belief that Asians couldn’t wear yellow). Nevertheless, I now own two variations on this theme, and I think that I use them in two ways:

To mix registers of formality:

There’s really no good reason for someone wearing corduroy and flat boots or ponte pants and a knit top to be wearing a big ol’ gold necklace. But, I think these kinds of juxtapositions — big jewelry used unexpectedly — add visual interest to outfits and inject a little bit of fabulous, dahling into an everyday outfit.

To do some of the work of a belt:

The shape of these longer necklaces can create a nice long visual line down my middle, creating the illusion of narrowing even though I might be wearing a boxy cardigan or a flat swath of sweater dress. See? I don’t always need a belt :)

Also, I got a new haircut yesterday, and that always makes me happy:

9 February 2011, originally uploaded by academichic.

Necklace and Sweaters, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Layers Upon Layers, Our Best Flatware, Skirting the Issue, Teaching Outfits
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All the Pretty Little Horses and a Trenchcoat

February 2nd, 2011 § 17 comments §

All the Pretty Little Horses, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Denim trench: Old Navy, hand me down from SIL
  • Scarf: Chinatown
  • Glovens: Target
  • Striped top: BCBG, thrifted
  • Belt: from a Loft dress
  • Skirt: Anthropologie Field Skirt
  • Leggings: Target
  • Socks: Smartwool
  • Shoes: BC Footwear Atmosphere Wedge

End Notes:

Like A., I took advantage of the warmer weather over the weekend to snap these pictures of my “light” outwear. Simply put, I adore this denim trenchcoat (even if it’s bunching my skirt in this picture…oops). It’s a funny old thing. And not cool, vintage old. Just my sister-in-law had it freshman year of college and I adopted it after graduation old.

But it’s a timeless shape in an unusual fabric, and what with denim and chambray making a comeback over the past few seasons, I’ve loved having this as one of my outerwear staples. Additional bonuses include:

  • The longer length means it provides some extra modesty when biking in skirts that get hiked up.
  • It can accomodate a couple of layers underneath, but then nips everything in at the waist with the belt.
  • The dark denim is a classic wash, but it still gives this familiar silhouette some statement appeal.

BC Footwear Atmosphere Wedge, originally uploaded by academichic.

Though not technically “outerwear,” I have to also give accolades to my new cold weather “mom” shoes. What are these things? They’re part Wallabee, part wedge, nice and supportive but still with a little funk. I can wear them to run errands in wide leg jeans with baby e. or on Sunday walks to the park with a skirt. Brilliant.

P.S. Here’s my first remix of my new favorite skirt. Remember its debut?

Category: Color Combinations, Layers Upon Layers, Office Hours, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue
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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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Golden Girl

January 26th, 2011 § 24 comments §

Golden Girl, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Scarf: Chinatown, gift from SIL
  • Top: Banana Republic Factory
  • Skirt: Anthropologie, gift from sweet friend!
  • Navy tights: Banana Republic Factory
  • Boots: Steve Madden Iriss, via eBay

End Notes:

Guess what I got from Christmas as a joint gift from a sweet friend and my mother-in-law? Yup, the Field Skirt from Anthropologie…in gold! Many of you suggested this skirt when I was dreaming of winter-weight full skirts in December, and I have to say, you were right. This skirt is a great color, it has pockets, and it’s very easy to wear. It’s a little shorter than I usually wear my full skirts, but I think with the tights and boots it all works together and is still classroom appropriate.

I gravitated back to one of my favorite color combinations here: mustard with navy, green, and touches of cognac leather. I love how the patterning in the scarf seems even richer against the navy and gold. It’s a delicious palette for a chilly day and a little splash of color in the midst of all this snow!

I still have lots of ideas for wearing this skirt, so you’ll surely be seeing some remixing in the near future!

Category: Color Combinations, Skirting the Issue, Teaching Outfits
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Houston to Honolulu

January 8th, 2011 § 3 comments §

Houston, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Top: JCrew
  • Cardigan: Forever21
  • Jeans: Old Navy
  • Flats: Target

End Notes:

I have really been enjoying my extended vacation over winter break. After a really, really full academic year that included quite a few significant milestones — finishing coursework, finishing my last language requirement, passing my comprehensive exams, submitting my Title, Scope, and Procedure form — I have allowed myself to take a true break and just breathe a little.

In Houston, this breezier state of mind manifested itself in belt-free outfits: longer shirts and a draped open cardigan. In Honolulu, it’s frequently taken the form of full, swishy skirts and warm, yummy colors.

While I am ready and motivated to begin working on my dissertation again, I can’t say that that I’m ready to jump back into below-freezing Midwest temperatures and all the many layers it requires. I’ll be hanging loose for a few more days…


  • Cardigan: Target
  • Top: Anthropologie
  • Belt: Gap Outlet
  • Skirt: Banana Republic Factory
  • Sandals: Jeffrey Campbell

Category: Pants Please, Sabbatical, Skirting the Issue
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28 May 2009 – Plaid Tunic Two Ways

May 28th, 2009 § 6 comments §

Belly Laugh, originally uploaded by academichic.

All remixed except the plaid.

28 May 2009, originally uploaded by academichic.

  • Plaid Tunic – Anthropologie, on loan from weardrobe closet
  • Denim Pencil Skirt – Gap, remixed
  • Black Belt – Gap
  • Sandals – Old Navy
End Notes:
We were so excited when the kind folks over at Weardrobe invited us to raid their closet. All three of us had fun playing with the Possibilities cardigan from Anthropologie, and both A. and I enjoyed styling this light plaid tunic, also from Anthopologie.
A. wore this last week, actually, but she’s been so busy teaching and preparing for her summer class that she didn’t have a chance to post her outfit. Although this look does have a belt — one of A.’s favorite accessories — it’s actually a new and different proportion for her: a longer tunic over a pencil denim skirt with a belt just above her hips. I loved it! Casual chic perfected.
When it was my turn, I was pleasantly surprised that the tunic not only fit over my baby belly, but hugged it almost perfectly. I even like how the plaid goes all wackadoodle over the bumpage. To add a little more length and coverage, I layered the blue plaid over a purple tunic, and I used my favorite red wedges for an fun finish.
I would have never guessed that this tunic would work so well for both A. and I. The fit is completely different, but they both work and we both put our own little twist on the overall look. I need to start raiding more closets as I close in on the end of this pregnancy!

Category: Maternity Style, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Proportionally, Reaching New Heights, Research Casual, Skirting the Issue
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