Thursday, August 27, 2015

How I wore it: bike grease!

Today was my second day back to work. Ugh. Well, so it goes. I have to admit that it was fun to see my coworkers, meet the newbies, and start thinking about actual work again. But, still, I will miss the summer, which seemed all too short, even after seven weeks abroad.

Yesterday, for our opening meetings, I actually dressed pretty schlubbily (but I did wear celebratory contacts!), as I happily returned to bike commuting - good thing, too, as I got rained on in the morning. But today, knowing that the main space where the faculty and staff were meeting would be pretty cool, I decided to wear a more "me" outfit:


I don't know if you can tell, but there are many spots of bike grease and general schmutz on my legs. So it goes when you hoist a bike on and off a train, often in a big hurry. When I first started bike commuting about a year ago, I pretty much had to come to terms with being generally grubbier than I would like at work - as much as that would've horrified me a while ago. Now I can live with it, but it can still be a little embarrassing. In other news, as much as I love those jeans, I always am amazed by how unflattering they are in pictures. Perhaps it is time to retire them? I cuffed them up a teensy bit for easier movement and so that my Chucks wouldn't get in the way. 

I bought that Indian shirt in Zara in June. My family and I were invited to a wedding in Greece (on Lesvos, which is why we were there) that took place in July. I didn't know what to wear, so my husband and I rambled up and down Newbury Street - a tony shopping street in Boston - and decided to stop in Zara for a look. I ended up buying that shirt, a beautiful embroidered Moroccan jacket, and a very 70s-style saffron-colored jumpsuit, that I ended up wearing to the wedding (no pictures, alas, until at least next year, as I left it in Athens). I was on the fence about the shirt, as I have A LOT of Indian/Indian-inspired clothes, but my husband loved it and it was on sale and I haven't regretted it once. I wore it often in Greece and was pleasantly surprised at its versatility: I wore it with shorts and swishy ("harem") pants and, now that I'm back home, I've been wearing it over skinny jeans. I got a nice compliment on it from a colleague, so that was encouraging. 

You'll notice that I'm also proudly holding my Nutcase Union Jack helmet, which I modeled for y'all back here (I am hot, no?). Although I was so happy after I bought it, I've actually taken it out on rides and worn it very little because the size isn't perfect: the medium was too small and the large, which I bought, is a touch too big, even when I adjusted the size to its smallest setting. However, I got inspired by Bike Pretty, a sort of fashionable biking lifestyle extravaganza, and I decided that I would like to bike prettier! After getting inspired by this post, I adjusted my Nutcase further, futzing around with the straps, and its fit became much better. Granted, the whole frame still seems too big for my head and I definitely don't look as cute as Melissa does in hers, but I don't adds a fun element to my morning commute and makes me feel that much cuter when heading out of the house than my normal black monstrosity. 

Anyway, that's it on my end. For the first time that I can remember in my academic career, we are starting classes before Labor Day, as the holiday hits a little later this year. However, since all of our opening schedule has always revolved around Labor Day weekend, the administration at work has been really decent about timing, meaning that there are no meetings scheduled tomorrow (staying home!) and that we can sort of figure out our own priorities on Monday and Tuesday (I'll go in one of those days) before new student orientation on Wednesday and first day of classes on Thursday. Yowza!

Bike helmet: Nutcase, bought in Bicycle Belle in Somerville, remixed
Embroidered shirt: Zara
Jeans: Old Navy (online), remixed
Chucks: Chuck Taylor store, remixed

Monday, August 24, 2015

How I wore it: winding down

My first outfit post in over two months! Amazing!

Today was my second to last day of summer vacation (*shuddering sigh*) and it was busy with, of course, medical appointments (we came home last Monday: on Wednesday and Friday I had medical appointments, on Thursday my husband had one, today was the dentist for me, and tomorrow we go to the vet). So, yes, I had to go to the dentist today. I took a longish bike ride in the morning and decided to go with the spirit of biking to my appointment, although I took the subway for it:

I bought two elements of the outfit in Greece this summer: in Molyvos on the island of Lesvos, as a matter of fact. I'm not one to own short/cropped tees, but I was so charmed by the breeziness of shirt, the bike pattern, and a weird summer confidence that I bought this sucker. Today I paired it with my black jeans, which are a little higher-waisted than some of my other jeans, so that worked out well for us. 

The sandals were also bought in Molyvos, from a little leather shoe/sandal shop. This kind of chappal-style sandal was super-popular in Greece this summer  - I saw a lot of Athenian babes wearing similar shoes, but I liked mine the best... and for sixteen euros, who am I to complain? Here's a close-up:

They're very comfortable: I broke them in in one night in Athens, walking long distances with my husband and our house guest to get from home to dinner and back (it was the night of the Parliamentary elections, so there was no service in one of the main subway stations that would've been our transferring stop, so we ended up walking miles). Anyway, they were comfy from the beginning, but after that first night they became like slippers. I really like them and they seem to go with everything. What do y'all think?

So that's it for now. Starting Wednesday, I have meetings and next week marks the beginning of classes. BOO!

Bike tee: bought in a boutique in Molyvos, Lesvos
Black jeans: Old Navy (online), remixed
Red sandals: bought in a store in Molyvos, Lesvos

Saturday, August 22, 2015


You guys, I totally had a post planned out about how Baby Boots is totally my style icon and how we were inadvertently dressed similarly today and ha ha how cute are we?! But I didn't get a photo in time and next thing I knew, I was wearing (so-called) harem pants and an old tank and sleeping, so, yeah, different post.

People, my jet lag is SO BAD. It's never been this bad, even after I came home from a summer in India. Granted, I was eleven years younger, but DAMMMN. It has an exciting sprinkling of insomnia mixed in, too. I wake up every morning at about 4 or 5 and then just STAY AWAKE. Sometimes I nap (school hasn't started yet). Basically, I've been watching a lot of 'Parks and Recreation' and crying (I really like that show, okay? And I'm really tired). I bought some natural sleep remedies today at Whole Foods, so I'm hoping that maybe I'll do better tonight...

Anyways, let me make this amazing announcement I've been hoping to make for a few days:

I've decided to be a little less subtle about how much I like the Beatles. 

Yes, for my birthday a little over two weeks ago, I bought myself Beatles-printed high top Chucks from this shop on Etsy [check it out! There are so many awesome prints!]. They arrived today. I cannot WAIT to wear them. I'm thinking first day of school, yes? Too much? 

Aren't they amazing, though? Why have I never thought of it before? BEATLES SNEAKERS. I mean, the mind boggles! 

[Totally not kidding, Baby Boots and I are watching 'Yellow Submarine' on the couch right now as we speak. I have a problem.]

Anyway, thanks for indulging this bit of silliness. Hopefully I'll have real outfits up here again soon. Watch this space.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


So... we're back from Greece and I didn't post once.

My bad?

We spent a whirlwind seven weeks in Athens/Lesvos/Sparta that felt like both the longest and shortest vacation ever. Baby Boots got to bond with her relatives and speak a lot of Greek and I was able to spend a little time doing the things I love: hanging out with family, biking, playing the uke, and reading Sanskrit poetry for fun.

I bought some new clothes, I wore a lot of new-to-the-blog clothes, and I photographed nothing. In fact, this is how most of my pictures went:

Selfie of the three of us at the castle on the top of the city of Molyvos/Mithymna, in the island of Lesvos/Mytilini, where we went for a wedding. You can see the top of a blue halter top I've owned since I was 24. Baby Boots is wearing a salmon-colored jumpsuit. FASHION.

We had a house guest in mid-July and we took him to the Acropolis, along with Baby Boots. I asked my husband to get a picture of us and, unbelievably, I am in fact wearing two new items of clothing that I bought in Molyvos:

That bike cropped tee and Panama hat were both bought on the island. Alas, I left the hat in Athens, but the shirt came home with me. My hair is a mess, which is why the photo isn't bigger. Magical.

We went out a few weeks after that and I took yet another selfie:

Same bike tee, although you can't see it. Baby Boots is rocking that smile, though. 

In the midst of all that, I turned 34. Yowza. This means that my husband and I have been together almost ten years (I was 24 when I met him). I started high school almost exactly TWENTY years ago. I am solidly in my mid-30s. The last year, 33, was a good one: I learned to take care of myself better, mentally, by doing things that I love, such as biking and playing music. I realized that I couldn't let myself be defined by what I do professionally (or, in my case, what I don't do professionally, i.e., teach Sanskrit). Despite all that, I ended up giving my first talk, at a big university, no less. There are hints of better things in the future on that end, perhaps. If that doesn't pan out, though, I think I'll be okay. I have high hopes for 34. And I hope to be better dressed than ever - or at least, wearing what makes me happier than ever.

So I leave you with this: a photograph that, while douchey and contrived, manages to be my favorite of the summer. I took it relatively early in the trip, when I was alone in our Athens apartment, in front of my computer, doing what I now love best (or at least tied for best):

High messy bun, big glasses, eyeliner and ukulele: that's me!

(Oh, hey, that tank top is relatively new...)

So, no. No Fashion Babe post today. But I hope you get a sense of what I was up to and don't mind the rambliness of this post. I have a lot that I'm looking forward to sharing in the upcoming days and weeks and - I hope - months. I'm sorry for not posting while abroad. See you soon!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

How I wore it: smoothie date!

I'm not going to apologize profusely AGAIN for being out of touch for several months. I'll just apologize a little, but with the caveat that I think this is the new me: I don't want to give up blogging yet, but I don't think I'll the most regular cat as I continue...

I'm now on summer vacation, which is lovely. The school year was tough on a lot of us, and the end of the school year was tough on my school. However, it was bittersweet, as I watched the seniors - the group of kids with whom I started working at my school - graduate after our four years there together: I was even asked to hand out some diplomas, so that was super-special for me.

Now that it's summer, some plans are afoot. I've been biking a lot (more to come, as we're off to pick up our bikes from their yearly tune-up in a couple of minutes!) and working a fair amount on a huge document that I have to edit for work - I'm getting paid extra, don't worry! I've read some Sanskrit, but I'm saving the bulk of it for when we go to Greece next week. Oh, yes! We're going to Greece next week for PRETTY MUCH THE REST OF THE SUMMER, so that should be a thing. We didn't go last year, for almost the first time, so Baby Boots and I will have a much-needed catch-up (my husband went over New Year's). We have a wedding to go to, dates to go on, and walks to take, so I hope to be documenting more on the other side of the pond, since I have a ton of new clothes to show y'all.

But let's get back to today. This morning, I went on a smoothie date with a beloved colleague: she just started working at our school last September, but we quickly became friends. She's not an American citizen, so her visa situation is a little iffy at the moment, but we decided to make the best of it and get some smoothies (and take a long walk, and end up at my place to snuggle my kitty) while we at least were in the same city. Since I knew I couldn't be bothered with biking or anything, I thought I'd go fancier than my usual grubby outfits these days (I'm not wearing all the stuff I want to pack to Greece to keep it fresh):

Blast from the past, huh? All stuff I used to wear a lot before - and maybe even in the same iteration! God, this grey top (a tunic, but tucked into my skirt today) used to be a favorite, huh? About five years ago, I wore it ALL THE TIME, especially when my leggings craze kicked in (that seems to be going strong, still). While I still get a thrill every time I see this tunic in my dresser, I must admit that - while I love it - I rarely wear it these days. Just goes to show that even old favorites can fall out of favor a little bit.

On that note, I've noticed that my own tastes are changing for the moment. While I still like good waist definition as much as always, I've been gravitating toward more relaxed silhouettes, some examples of which I'll be packing to Greece. I don't know why - it's not the most flattering thing on me, but I think as I get more comfortable with my body, I'm more curious to experiment with shapes that I like, but that I've just never liked on me. It should be interesting... 

Oh, see my new glasses? I got them about a month and a half ago and never documented them for you! I LOVE THEM and so does everyone around me, but I'm still working on how to make them really sing on my face. Wear my hear up more? Down more? More stuff? I don't know right now, but I'm loving them all the time. I think that - while I had a nice break with my Ray-Ban Clubmasters and there's nothing to say I won't go for them again in few years - my face just looks better with an all-around thicker frame. You'll see them in more detail, I'm sure, in the future. Thanks, Warby Parker! 

Well, looks like it's time to get ze bikes! Bye for now!

Grey tunic: American Apparel, remixed
Linen skirt: Gap, remixed
Houndstooth shoes: Target, remixed

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

How I wore it: meh

Hey, all.

I really liked my outfit today and it got its usual seal of approval from my fashionista advisee (the pants, which you will see below, I've worn three times in not-very-different iterations), but the photographic version is sadly limited...

Meh, right? I love these pants, which I ordered from the Gap: they are a nice, thick fabric with a big, pleated waist and cropped at the hem. I love them on and I loved them in the picture online: they remind me of Bianca's whole look, but when I tried to photograph them today, not so much... Between the camera being above me (stumpifying and not able to show the cropped quality) and the light issues (columns of black!), you can't really see them. Sorry.

I took a sideways mug shot version of my outfit and it's almost worse:

You can see where the pant hits me on the leg, but you can also see that I have a phantom pot belly as the pants are a smidge too big on me. Yay for losing weight healthily, though, right?

Ugh, what can I say? Sometimes things look better in person than in poorly-placed cameras. Sometimes things look better mentally/shop windows than in execution.

I still love these pants, though.

As a PS, though, how boss would this outfit look with my new glasses that should be coming soon? 

Chambray shirt: J Crew Factory [online], remixed
Black pants: Gap (online)
Houndstooth shoes: Target, remixed

Monday, May 4, 2015

How I wore it: cool cat

Folks, it is GORGEOUS outside! 80 degrees and sunny! I have today off, as it's the last day of our final little break between school units (our next one is in five weeks and it's SUMMER VACATION!) and I got all my grading done on Saturday evening. I've had a tough few days - my husband's best friend from Greece came to visit for a business trip and he is the HOUSEGUEST FROM HELL. So I thought that today would be a welcome lonely day.

It's only a little past 2:30 PM as I write this: plenty of time to get in a bike ride before strolling to pick up Baby Boots and then going to a playground with her.

But earlier today I had to go to the dentist and decided to look cute(...-ish) while doing so. Behold!

Ah, yes, my old red skirt workhorse, a Beatles tee, and my newish (about two months old) Chucks. Pas mal, n'est-ce pas? 

Say good-bye to those glasses soon. On Friday I went to the Warby Parker store in Boston to put in an order for the glasses of my dreams. The store was beautiful and a perfect glasses-buying experience: I called it "an Apple store for glasses" to my husband. It was full of Beautiful People and Beautiful Glasses. I kind of...want to work there. As always, as soon as I start mentally cheating on my current specs, those specs start to look real good to me. Oh, well. If I miss them, I can just get new lenses for them next time I go to my optometrist. 

Back to the outfit: 20-year-old me would've LOVED this outfit. Honestly, this is kind of how I dressed a lot when I was 20. I definitely bought the skirt that year and I paired it a lot with tees and bright sneaker. Okay, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. 

(lots of French today. Sorry. Did I mention that I also teach French?)

Anyway, that's all on my end. I'm pretty psyched about the weather and it's supposed to stay lovely throughout the week. My family and I are going to Maine (Portland area) for the first time on Friday afternoon for the weekend and we're very excited! I'll keep you posted on everything!

Beatles tee: Old Navy (online), remixed (?)
Red skirt: Dickies brand, from store called Guacamole in Philly, remixed
Chucks: Chuck Taylors store