Thursday, February 25, 2010


Ok, this rain is bumming me out. I had to scrap the outfits I had planned two days in a row for more rain-proof (i.e. galoshes-friendly) wear, and last minute scrambling always makes me fall back on basics. I think for next week I am going to finally get my act together and plan ahead of time, using the weather forecast!

My galoshes-friendly outfit yesterday was completely soaked by the time I got home, so no pictures, but I can tell you that it involved two pairs of tights and today I just could not bear the idea of more tights. So, jeans it was.

Since I had to bring a pair of flats with me to school, I decided to go for a bit of a skinny-jeans-and-tunic hipster-ish vibe.

On the plus side, I felt like the awesome Clare from Between Laundry Days would wear this outfit (at least, on a more casual day).

On the not-so-plus side, I ran into the head of the department in the hallway and felt really, really underdressed (eek!). I think I'll save this combination for weekends from now on.

Back on the plus side: check out the pattern-mixing!

Plaid tunic: TJMaxx
Black long-sleeved tee: j. crew outlet
Skinnies: Banana Republic
Shoes: Payless
Socks: mom's from the 70's!
Necklace: street vendor in New Zealand
Earrings: boutique in CA

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

that skirt + silly cat

After feeling a little schlumpy yesterday, I was craving something more posh. So I pulled out my only short skirt which was so nicely received the last time I wore it. To keep it professional I added a button down and a sweater vest.

Erm. I think the next time I am going for professional I will tuck in my shirt. The flapping shirt ends seemed all young and hip this morning, but by the end of the day...downtown to wrinkle town.

I also busted out two new pairs of tights, a gray opaque pair and a lacy black pair. Sadly, lacy tights are pretty useless as far as warmth is concerned. But hey, check me out, I'm pattern-mixing!

Herringbone and lace. Aw yeah.

I hopped outside for a few minutes to take some natural light pics just in case the indoor ones didn't turn out, and my nutty cat followed me. He was not any more excited about the freezing rain than I was. I got in exactly one picture before he wanted back in:

Oh, kitties. He's all, "Woman, the door. My ass is cold."

Button-down: American Eagle
Sweater vest: TJMaxx
Skirt: Old Navy
Tights: Famous Footwear
Shoes: TJMaxx
Earrings: ancient

Monday, February 22, 2010

blades of glory

Inspired by the Olympics, I pulled my ice skates out of the back of the closet and went to the rink on campus this morning. I skated for years when I was growing up, and it was glorious to use those muscles again, to feel that glide and the freedom of zooming around the ice.

I needed an outfit that I could tutor in that also wouldn't suffer too much from being stuffed into a skate bag for a couple hours. Sounds like a long cardigan and scarf to me.

Also, I continue to be in love with these boots. Yes, they are somewhat impractical for the warm temps and resulting mud, since they are extremely flat and suede. I do not care. They make me feel cool.

Black cardigan: kersh essentials via Costco
Tank tops: ancient
Jeans: Banana Republic
Boots: Steve Madden, ebay'd by mom
Scarf: gifted, H & M
Earrings: Burlington
Ring: Alaska state fair

Saturday, February 20, 2010

the sneaky knot

So I do not own many crewneck shirts. I think they make me look short and squat and bulldozerish. I tend to stick to boatnecks and v-necks and turtlenecks. When I fall in love with a cruel, cruel crewneck, such as this lovely soft jewel-tone sweater, I tend to try to break up the neckline by layering it over or under something.

Yesterday I was substituting for another ESL teacher and wanted to stay a little on the conservative side, so once again I thought of this sweater and a pencil skirt. For a different way of camoflaging the neckline I tried the "sneaky knot" recently featured on academichic.

Results? Meh. The scarf didn't totally hide the neckline when tied this way, and the "sneaky knot" creates a lot of bulk down the front, which is kind of distracting for someone who waves her hands around as much when teaching as I do. It's also an impediment to good hugs. I do not think clothing should interfere with hugs.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Top: BR outlet
Skirt: GAP outlet
Scarf: gift from mom
Tights: street vendor in Russia
Boots: Burlington
Earrings: Fred Meyer's

Thursday, February 18, 2010

blustery day

Man was it windy this afternoon! And warm - all our pretty new snow is melting. Check out the wind tunnel effect on my hair. Cue the violin music! Some romantic cliche is about to take place!

The drapeyness of this cardigan also gets awfully interesting in the wind.

I did say something about being obsessed with gray and purple, yes? I like the brown elements mixed in too. A good outfit for a long day on campus of writing center and meetings and studying.

Gray cardigan: ebay'd by mom
Purple tank: Costco
Belt: GAP
Jeans: Banana Republic
Boots: Steve Madden Girl via DSW
Earrings: street vendor on Cape Cod

dark and light

We finally, finally got some snow on Tuesday. So, hooray everything is pretty and white! On the other hand, boo, I got stuck taking my pictures inside, which is unfortunate because I was rather pleased with my outfit.

I wanted to wear this pretty purple jersey dress again and this time show off the pretty gathered sleeves and the line of the skirt. So I layered a button-down shirt under it and emphasized the empire waist with a belt.

I felt adorable all day. Also I am kind of obsessed with gray, black, and purple right now.

Dress: Max Studio via Loehman's
Button-down shirt: TJMaxx
Belt: mommed
Tights: Calvin Klein via TJMaxx
Shoes: via TJMaxx

Happily, I got back outside for my pictures on Wednesday. The glorious sunshine reflecting off the new snow made me crave some lighter, brighter colors. A little orange, perhaps?

I had a presentation in class yesterday, so I used the button-down-and-belt combo to keep the skinnies-and-boots combo from looking too undergrad-y. And with a heavy pair of wool socks inside, these brown boots were surprisingly snow-worthy.

Button-down: ancient, I think TJMaxx
Sweater: Old Navy
Belt: thrifted
Jeans: Banana Republic
Boots: Steve Madden Girl via DSW
Bracelet: gift from sister

Monday, February 15, 2010


Today's outfit is a slight reworking of this outfit - easy, comfy, with a splash of bright green to keep me cheerful.

I switched to a shorter cardigan to show off more of the color of the top, and grabbed my new gray and black scarf to pick up the gray of the shoes.

Also, my nutty cat has been escaping out the back door when I come out to take my pics - today I caught him on film! Silly beast.

Here's a cuteoverload-style en-HANCE!

Shirt: TJMaxx
Cardigan: Costco
Belt: TJMaxx
Jeans: GAP
Shoes: Also outlet
Scarf: gift from mom
Earrings: hand-me-down from mom

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Ever had one of of those mornings where you have to be somewhere at 8:30 and you roll over and look at the clock and see that it's 7:45 and you overslept and you panic and run to take the world's fastest shower and throw on some clothes and then look at the clock again and realize you read it wrong and it's only 7? Yup.

Fortunately the day got better from there - I had a good meeting with my advisor and I actually got to help folks at the writing center today, which felt great.

Nothing too creative outfit-wise - just some cozy layers in my favorite color scheme. I wish I weren't so wrinkly, but otherwise I felt pretty and comfortable.
I ganked this awesome belt from my mom's belt drawer while I was home - it's from the 80's and is stretchy and suede-y.

Girls' movie night at my house tonight! It's part 2 of Pride and Prejudice, with tea and scones.

Dress: TJMaxx
Sweater: kersh essentials via Costco
Scarf: gift, H & M
Tights: Hue via Burlington
Belt: mommed
Boots: Burlington
Earrings: Aldo outlet

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

double steal

I've had this outfit from What Would a Nerd Wear kicking around in the back of my mind for a while now, and finally decided to recreate it today.

I really like the silhouette created by the tucked-in shirt and the open cardigan. However, with all that gray and black, I felt kind of dull, so I added a pop of red with my belt.

Then I stole Tina's hairdo.

Snowflakes!! Too bad they didn't stick.

Shirt: TJMaxx
Cardigan: kersh essentials via Costco
Skirt: j.crew outlet
Belt: Sears, taken from a dress
Tights: ancient
Boots: Burlington
Necklace: street vendor in New Zealand
Watch: Target

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

sophisticated cowboy?

Inspired by today's comparatively warm sunshine, I decided to try a winter remix of this fall outfit, adding leggings, knee-high boots, and a scarf. It came out a little cowboy, but I'm ok with that.

This writing center job is going to be all about casually professional, and I think a button-down with a denim skirt fits that aesthetic well.

I loved the way the rich tones of the scarf played up the deep purple of the shirt, but since I suspected it would be warm in the writing center (I was right), I also wore a necklace.

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

Shirt: j.crew
Skirt: Levis via Sears
Belt: GAP
Scarf: gift, H & M
Leggings: Target
Boots: Steven Madden Girl via DSW
Necklace: my aunt's from the 70's
Ring: Burlington

electric blue

Above: Gabby and I in a face-off.

So, as you may or may not have noticed about me, I pretty much wear the same pieces of clothing over and over again. Maybe it's a comfort thing, or maybe I just need some new clothes. Either way, this black sparkly cardigan has been enjoying a lot of play lately. I just really, really like it (the material is really stiff, and it has this fantastic sucky-inny quality that makes me feel as though I'm wearing Spanx on my arms), and at the risk of looking like a disco ball, I decided to pair it with another black sparkly item i have (clearly, this is how i play out my dolly parton/bedazzler fantasies).

Because I do not promote wearing an entirely black outfit (I've done it, of course, but save it for funerals! Life's too short), I added a punch of electric blue. This skirt comes in handy when I don't know what else to wear, because it makes it look like I totally knew what I was doing. Plus, it's just fun.

I did get a number of compliments on the outfit yesterday at work, and I'm not sure if it's because I rarely wear skirts, or if it's because that's how people masked their dismay at my being so...shiny. I'll just take the compliments as compliments and leave it at that. :)

P.S. these shoes are new from a Target clearance rack. I think they are precious with their tiny little wedgey heels.

Black shirt: Express (so, so long ago)
Black sweater: Old Navy
Blue skirt: some surplus-type store in Dover
Charcoal tights: Lane Bryant
Shoes: Target

Monday, February 8, 2010

footless wonder

Ahhhhh these pants are eating my foot!

No, not really.

I'm sure you all are very relieved.

I'm starting to get to that point of winter where I'm a weensy bit bored with the colors of my winter clothes. I was tidying up my bureau the other day and this pretty teal top caught my eye. I tried to winterize it with some good solid basics and a matching scarf.

I have to say that I am still not sold on these pants. They are just so...wide. What do you all think? Keep or donate?

Sweater: kersh essentials via Costco
Teal top: street vendor in Thailand
Pants: BR outlet
Shoes: Aldo outlet
Belt: Target
Scarf: TJMaxx
Ring and earrings: Alaska state fair

Thursday, February 4, 2010

packing challenge: wrap-up

So having had some time to reflect (ok, a LOT of time to reflect - I am lazy sometimes, what can I say?) here are my thoughts on the packing challenge:

I brought waaaaaaaaay too much stuff home with me. I packed things I didn't even wear - partially because the occasions I had imagined (New Year's on the town) didn't materialize (stupid head cold), partially because my home town is even more casual than I remembered, but mainly because I acquired a ton of new clothes while I was home. Which often happens (um, thanks Mom!).

For a reminder, here's what I brought.

And here's what I learned:

1. Pack no more than one of each kind of thing. I.e. one short cardigan and one long, not two. One pencil skirt, not two. One pair of neutral-colored heels, not two. One party shirt, not two. One pair of neutral dress pants, not two. One turtleneck, not two. I had to force myself to switch up and wear all the multiples I brought, which means I could easily have done without them.
2. This rule doesn't apply to button-downs - I wore all three of those multiple times - they can layer under or over tops and dresses.
3. It also doesn't apply to layering tanks and long-sleeved tees- I wore all of the ones I brought with me, especially since it was so cold.
4. Pack versatile pieces that can dress up or down - my plaid tunic got an awful lot of wear both at the office and on weekends. On the other hand, I wore my sweater vest zero times, because I packed a short-sleeved sweater that served essentially the same function and was more fun to remix.
5. Pack more underwear and socks. Because those I did run out of more than once. And being out of clean underwear is lame.

None of these lessons are ground-breaking, I know, but I do think this was a good exercise for me personally. Anyone have any other packing tips they could share?

The next packing challenge will be in March - packing for (gulp!) an academic conference!

more inspiration

I've recently discovered the delightful What Would A Nerd Wear (clearly the best blog title ever). I like her style, but I think even more I like how honest she is about the process of fashion blogging - some days, it's hard to be creative, or you're not thrilled with an outfit, and that's real. I like real. And when this recent outfit caught my eye, I thought I would try a hand at recreating it.

So the shortest skirt I own. I've had it since, oh, late high school, when I was more comfortable with skirts above my knees than I am now. But with two pairs of thick tights for coverage and the rest of the outfit pretty demure, I actually felt appropriate for a series of meetings on campus - and surprisingly warm! Two pairs of tights + wool skirt = very happy legs, even in the biting wind.

Oh wait, did I say demure?

Hello! I freaking love this belt. I also did some more braidy goodness. (I fixed the bobby pins after the photos.)

Happy almost weekend, everybody!

Sweater: Banana Republic
Skirt: Old Navy, ancient
Belt: Target
Scarf: gift from mom
Magenta tights: Hue via TJMaxx (Black tights underneath:street vendor in Russia)
Shoes: Payless
Earrings: Target
Ring: Burlington