Spring Uniform and a Pattern Mix

April 7th, 2011 § 15 comments §

  • Scarf – Nepali by TDM
  • T-Shirt – Gap
  • Jeans – Ann Taylor (Skinny Leg, Curvy fit)
  • Flats – Banana Republic
When I don’t need to be on campus, this is my go-to spring uniform: my Ann Taylor skinny jeans, a tee-shirt, a big light-weight scarf, and flats or boots.  Since the haircut, the uniform has involved much larger earrings. The elements of this “uniform” are all interchangeable (ie grey tee or cardigan for white tee, or red flats for green flats, and any of my numerous scarves) except the jeans.  Once in a while I will opt for my Ann Taylor ponte pants, but more often than not I grab these jeans.  They are the “curvy fit” skinny (or slim? can’t remember and they don’t say) jeans.  I bought them two sizes down from my regular jean size.
Note: I am about to rave about these jeans but I did not receive them for free nor will I be receiving anything in return for this informal review.
These jeans are soooo comfortable!  They have a good amount of stretch that they don’t loose after several wears.  Most importantly, they have a very high rise.  This makes them perfect for sitting on the ground at the park, rolling around on the floor with toddlers, and just about any other activity in which you would prefer for your butt crack to never show!  This high rise means they are not the most flattering on me – they emphasize my hips more than I would like.  The stretchy denim is also a little less professional or dressy than other jeans I own.  But, as I’ve said before, I don’t believe one pair of jeans needs to suit all occasions.  That being said, I’ll be damned if I don’t wear them for almost every jean occasion!
  • Cardigan – BR Factory Store
  • Blouse – BR Factory Store
  • Denim Pencil Skirt – BR Factory Store
  • Red-Orange Belt – BR Factory Store
  • Boots – Steven Maden Intyce
  • Earrings – gift
For a day on campus, I, as you know, typically look a bit more like this. I’ve done this exact pattern mix once before (almost the same outfit) so I won’t say too much.  Four observations: I still love the way all the soft neutrals play together; I’m not sure if I love the addition of the red-orange belt; I am addicted to the Banana Republic Factory Store; my hair can get quite curly!

Category: Mixing Patterns, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Research Casual, Skirting the Issue, Teaching Outfits, Weekend Wear
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6 April 2011 – The Pregnant Body in the Classroom

April 6th, 2011 § 23 comments §

6 April 2011


Paisley top – dollar clearance at consignment store
Red-orange cardi – Zara many years ago
Skinnies – ON Maternity
Loafers – Michael Kors, thrifted
Earrings – made by me
Bike – 1970s Peugeot Mixte


It feels like Spring is finally coming to my corner of the Midwest and it’s been great in terms of wearing lighter layers and – finally – shoes that aren’t boots! It’s so nice to just pull on a pair of jeans, a top, and a cardi and hop on my bike to ride to campus. The last time I wore this paisley top, I pulled off some bold pattern mixing with a striped cardigan. This time, I worked off the specs of red in the design and added a bright red-orange cardigan.


It’s funny to look at these pictures and think that I do not look very pregnant at all. While in other pictures, my belly looks huge. I’m now 24 weeks pregnant, over half way there. The last time I brought up the discussion of pregnancy in academia, a very lively discussion ensued, which you can find here. In that last post, I mostly talked about the reactions of colleagues and ‘superiors’, while today, I’d like to just briefly talk about my students’ reaction to my growing belly.

I noted last time that I thought my students were wonderful. They’ve asked lots of questions and showed much interest in talks before class. But once class starts, I haven’t noticed any difference in the level of concentration and ability to stay on topic. I’ve heard academics talk about how the pregnant body can be a source of distraction in the classroom, but I’m not sure how this would play out. I’ve really enjoyed my students’ thoughtful questions and comments and I’ve been happy to share little details about the baby with them. But once class begins, we’re business as usual. And I’m definitely very visibly pregnant ‘in real life’ now, no matter how deceiving these photos look.

Just like last time, I invite you to share your observations, experiences, and comments on this topic. Have you been the inhabitant of a pregnant body in the classroom? What were your experiences with this? S.

Earrings made by me Thrifted Loafers

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Lab Friendly, Maternity Style, Office Hours, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Pregnancy in Academia, Research Casual, Vélocouture
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16 March 2011 – Spring Break Uniform

March 16th, 2011 § 8 comments §

Spring Break Uniform


Scarf – Banana Republic, same one as styled by A. here
Trench coat – my grandmother’s from the 70s
Top – Anthropologie, hand me down
Skinnies – Old Navy Maternity
Loafers – Michael Kors, thrifted
Earrings – gift from A.

Bike – 1969 Raleigh Sports


It’s Spring Break! And the weather is actually playing nice and making me believe that Spring is coming. Most of our snow has melted and I was actually able to get away with loafers and no socks! While my mornings so far have been happily spent in sweats and pj’s while I sit at home writing my dissertation, I have been getting dressed for brief sojourns out of the house in the afternoons. And this has been my go-to look for break: comfortable jeans, some kind of top, a lightweight Spring scarf, loafers or flats, and my favorite spring jacket – my grandmother’s trench coat.

As a nod to Braid Wednesday, I’m also wearing my hair in two braids wrapped around my head. I usually cross the braids over at the nape of my neck and then bring the ends upwards, pinning them with bobby pins on top of my head…

Spring Break Uniform

And if Spring isn’t ready to arrive in ‘real life’, it’s certainly arrived in my wardrobe and in my house. I’m finding myself drawn to floral prints and Spring-inspired accessories (like these tiny bird earrings I’m wearing) even more than usual. T. and I are getting our garden ready and our little seedlings are growing like crazy by the windowsill indoors. We can’t wait to transplant them outside and start our first garden and I can’t wait for bare legs and bike rides without a coat and for summer dresses that will be especially indulgent to my growing midsection.

What are you looking forward to this Spring? S.

Floral Spring Scarf

Category: Beltless, Lab Friendly, Maternity Style, Mixing Patterns, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Research Casual, Sabbatical, Vélocouture, Weekend Wear
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10 March 2011 – Where’s Waldo or, Geek Chic

March 10th, 2011 § 13 comments §

10 March 2011 – Where’s Waldo or, Geek Chic, originally uploaded by academichic.


  • Blazer: C&C
  • Literal necklace: Tickette, gift from husband
  • Tank: Target
  • Jeggings (!): Target
  • Shoes: BC Footwear, via DSW

End Notes:

Due to baby sitter illness, little e. and I got to spend an unexpected day together, and I thought I’d finally show you what’s been my defacto weekend/casual day uniform for the past few weeks.

I loved every single outfit that Tania of What Would a Nerd Wear made using her striped red shirt during this last round of 30 for 30, so when I saw this tank at Target I grabbed it, knowing that I already had a great source of inspiration for remixing it. Previously, red stripes would have made me feel a little too “Where’s Waldo”-ish, but I’m currently fancying a little bit of a geek chic aesthetic and they fit in perfectly here with cuffed jeans, sensible shoes, and a literal necklace. All I really need is a pair of black rimmed glasses, right?

Hipster E

Thanks, digital technology.

I actually don’t wear glasses at all, and in undergrad I went through a brief stage where I fretted that people weren’t taking me seriously as a “smart girl” because I had good eyesight. Thankfully, I got over that, and now I’m sure ocular degeneration will occur on its own in good time anyway. That said, I’m also fairly sure that my husband — who is a bonafide geek — will read this and reprimand me for terming it “geek chic” since I clearly fall squarely in the nerd realm. And no, little e. doesn’t even stand a chance.

But at least he still laughs when his mom dances.

10 March 2011 - Where's Waldo or, Geek Chic
10 March 2011 - Where's Waldo or, Geek Chic

Category: Beltless, Maternity Style, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Research Casual
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28 February 2011 – Work With What You’ve Got, Take II

February 28th, 2011 § 12 comments §

28 February 2011


Button down – ON, thrifted
Cardigan – thrifted
Belt – thrifted
Tank top – BE Maternity, via Target
Skinnies – ON Maternity
Boots – Banana Republic
Elephant pendant – had since childhood
Bag – Vintage Sears bag, $1 garage sale find


Does this outfit look familiar? Well, if it doesn’t, let me just remind you of where you might have seen it last. I loved how E. took one of the looks she created with the items from Banana Republic’s Spring line and recreated it with garments from her own wardrobe. It got me wondering whether I could do the same. I figured that this look should be pretty easy to recreate seeing as how it’s composed of mostly pretty basic wardrobe pieces. So my plan was to go in my closet and look for…

A dark button down or tunic, dark skinny jeans, a brown leather belt, dark flats or dark boots, and a bright yellow bag. This last item wasn’t going to be a challenge for me since I already own the perfect bright yellow vintage bag, but if you were looking to recreate this look, I’d say that any bright color bag should do. The idea is to bring in that pop of color with an unexpected tote or purse.

As you can tell from the snow on the ground and from the fact that it’s snowing in these pictures, it’s nowhere near Spring where I live, so I opted for black boots over the dark flats and I also picked up a black cardigan for that extra warmth. And here is my version with items from my closet and slightly more winterized than the BR Spring line iteration…

28 February 2011

What do you think? I think it worked out perfectly for a casual Saturday outfit and I’m excited to retry this look come Spring without the cardigan, the sleeves rolled up, and a lightweight pair of flats.

On a related note – I’m wearing my newly thrifted belt, which I am just loving, and am offering you this item as a clue to what this week’s theme is going to be… Yup, you guessed it! It was only a matter of time before we did a Belts Week here at academichic, right? Hope you enjoy the rest of the posts to come on this topic! S.

28 February 2011

Category: It's in the Bag, Layers Upon Layers, Maternity Style, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Research Casual, Weekend Wear
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S: Color Me Coral

February 25th, 2011 § 7 comments §

S: Color Me Coral

So here is the last of my Banana Republic outfits – a casual yet fun look that I’d wear for drinks out with friends (were I not pregnant and able to drink…). This outfit started with those denim leggings I already raved about and an eye on this ruffle trimmed jacket. I knew I wanted a bright pop of color inbetween so I picked up this punchy coral top. I kept everything but the coral silk top in muted greens and blues and just let the coral do the talking. (This, by the way, is the same silk top that E. styled in navy here).

Layers detail

Although this outfit is pretty simple, I love all the details that make it special – the ruffle trim on the jacket, the lace trim on my cami, the darker silk trim on the coral top, and of course, the snakeskin clutch and awesome green leather platform wedges.

There is a lot of coral in Banana Republic’s Spring line and I for one love it. I bought the beautiful coral and navy scarf that A. styled in this outfit and have already worn it a bunch this week. I would have bought more from their Spring line if my body weren’t in a stage of (pregnancy) transition. As it is, it was fun to make outfits work for me in a non-maternity store despite my growing midsection. It’s how I’ve been approaching getting dressed with the things in my own closet – trying to make the most of non-maternity items by thinking creatively – and this experiment with a non-maternity capsule wardrobe at Banana Republic just served to remind me that I can do a lot with the things I already own at home from my pre-pregnancy days.

Here is where you can find the silk top, the jacket, the denim leggings, the t-strap wedges, and the clutch I wore.

S: Color Me Coral

Category: Beltless, Color Combinations, Layers Upon Layers, Maternity Style, Night Without Grading, Pants Please, Reaching New Heights
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L: Day to Night

February 24th, 2011 § 4 comments §

Flower Belt Take Two, originally uploaded by academichic.

The final two looks I prepared from the BR spring line fall neatly into the categories of “Teaching Outfit” and “Night without Grading” meaning, one of these I’d wear in my classroom and the other I’d wear when meeting my friends S., E., and A. out for drinks! The first look incorporates my two (new) favorite items: the stretchy flower belt and these little olive suede studded flats (neither of which is available online but this belt and these flats are similar, and these flats have the same flower as the belt on them, are equally adorable, and come in more colors in the store). The cropped jacket with a small ruffle and wider leg trousers dressed things up and the “Market Tote” was buttery soft and definitely could hold a day’s worth of books. I had first tried out the belting over a jacket look last week with a wide woven belt and blue blazer and I’m definitely a convert. I’d seen A., E., and S. do this before, but hadn’t tried it out myself until now.

Dinner Out?, originally uploaded by academichic.

This look, however, was fun, sleek, and definitely going-out-worthy. Had I not just recently stumbled into a few pairs of skinny jeans that I really like, I would have snapped these dark wash skinnies right up. The slight sparkle of the sweater (jacket?) and the skinny spike of these platform heels seemed evening appropriate and the soft silk edge of the tank and the cardigan played nicely off this bling-tastic necklace.

Sparkly!, originally uploaded by academichic.

So that’s it for my spring time inspirations from BR. A big thanks to the great sales people who allowed me to take photos in their store and helped me out! I know there has been some fruitful debate going on about this week of academichic playing dress-up with the BR spring line, and I hope that our readers have enjoyed seeing how we took new styles and brought our own aesthetic to some spring trends. Now we can rifle through our own closets with fresh eyes!

Category: Academichic Product Review, It's in the Bag, Night Without Grading, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Reaching New Heights, Teaching Outfits
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S: Pop of Sunshine

February 24th, 2011 § 28 comments §

S: Pop of Sunshine

Before I say something about the outfit, I just wanted to note that I’ve loved the discussion on the background of Banana Republic’s name and the cultural nostalgia imbued in the company’s campaign. Thanks to my co-blogger E, I’ve learned a few new things myself this week. And thanks to those of you who chimed in with comments and further suggested readings on the topic!

In addition to questions regarding our collaboration with a large retailer this week, we’ve received several comments and emails expressing surprise at our decision to take on sponsorship. As sponsorship seems to function in different ways on different blogs, it might help if we clarify what it is that we’re looking to do so that those concerned about the future of academichic may find their questions answered. Readers who have expressed apprehension at the possibility of us changing our styles to reflect a company or sponsoring retailer may rest assured that this is not what we are looking to do. We’re simply looking for sponsorship in the form of a small ad (as seen with the sample on our sidebar) that would allow us to incure a bit of monthly income to offset some of the costs of this blog…our Pro Flickr account, the shipping on the almost weekly giveaways we host, and some of our camera equipment and accessories.

» Read the rest of this entry «

Category: It's in the Bag, Maternity Style, Office Hours, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Research Casual, Weekend Wear
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1 February 2011 – Outerwear

February 1st, 2011 § 16 comments §

1 February 2011 – Outerwear, originally uploaded by academichic.
  • Wool Coat – Banana Republic
  • Scarf – gift from Mother-in-Law
  • Jeans – c/o Lucky Bran Jeans
  • Striped Top – Gap
  • Boots – Steve Madden Intyce
When I took these pictures just the other day, we were experiencing a bit of a heat wave.  It was sunny with highs in the 40s.  Most of the snow was melting and everyone was outside enjoying the calm before the blizzard.  We were hit with the crazy weather sweeping through most of the country last night, so I will no-doubt be featuring more heavy duty outwear later this week.
Now, despite the warm weather, this IS one of my winter jackets and it is fairly warm.  It’s made of a thick wool and fully lined.  I get quite a bit of wear out of this jacket from late October through the end of March as it does a pretty good job of keeping me warm as long as the temperatures are not to severe and because it works well as a professional, but not to dressy, option.

1 February 2011 – Outerwear, originally uploaded by academichic.

For my trip to a coffee shop on this sunny winter day, I paired it with jeans a thick cotton top, and my wedge boots for a polished casual look (ps I’m still loving my Lucky jeans).  I added this beautiful cornflower blue scarf made by and gifted to be by my mother in law.  I love the color, length, and width of this scarf and am beyond impressed with how perfect the pattern is!  I see this one quickly becoming a favorite of the bunch.

Scarf from Mother-in-Law, originally uploaded by academichic.
I love jackets and coats almost as much as I love scarves.  I have far fewer of them because of the cost and space limitations, but I do own my fair share.  I am particularly enamored with jackets for that in-between weather of Fall and Spring, but have my fair share of winter coats too.  I’ll show my heavier winter coats on Thursday and you can check out just a couple of my other coats/jackets in our new flickr set on outerwear.  I think I will try to make an effort to photograph more outerwear and more bags.

Banana Republic Teal Tote, originally uploaded by academichic.

This teal leather tote was a Christmas gift from my mom and I have been carrying it everyday that I don’t need to go to school or lug my computer to a coffee shop.  It’s the perfect size, I love its slouchy profile, and of course I think teal goes with everything!  I’m also a lover of bags (I have more bags than shoes) but tend to use one purse and one school bag for weeks at a time and then switch it up, so I that might make for less interesting documentation.   How do you rotate your coats and bags?  Do you have one coat/jacket for each season?  Do you match your purse/bag to your outfit?  Tell us about your outerwear collections!

1 February 2011 – Outerwear, originally uploaded by academichic.

Category: Academichic Product Review, Color Combinations, It's in the Bag, Pants Please, Research Casual, Weekend Wear
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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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