Monday, January 31, 2011

How I wore it: dentist and waffling

So today was my second (of three) dentist appointments in order to fill some cavities. Gross. That was ... pretty much the only thing I did today. Oh, I vacuumed. I was so excited to be reunited with my wardrobe (at least before another blizzard whacks Boston), so I pretty much dressed as if my closet vomited on me:

Purple! Turquoise! Brown! Glasses necklace! Side braid! Life is pretty crazy when you have to go to the dentist, yeah?

I don't really have much to say: I wanted to wear my turquoise corduroy leggings and I like pairing my grey boots with them. And purple. And brown. And fun jewelry. I ... don't think these things out in advance, people.

The fun thing is that I tried something new with my hair, as you can see. I've worn my hair in a single braid many a time, but this is the first time I attempted a loose sideways braid. I'm usually wary of the side-hair thing, as I am a child of the 80s and I don't want to look as if I'm stuck in a weird hair era. The braid was a little messier than my usual, as I'm all about the control, and it got a little mussed up what with scarf-tying, jacket-wearing, and dentist-wrangling; but at the same time, I really liked the loose frame it made for my face:

... At the same time, you can imagine what this means: I ... kind of don't want to cut off all my hair anymore. I mean, I do, but I realized that I still enjoy playing with the different hairstyles that long hair can provide. And it's weird, because I rarely waffle on things once I make a decision, but... huh. I guess I'll just wait until tomorrow and see if I need a new prescription/frames (highly unlikely, although one can only hope...) and then take it from there. I'm also very willing to let my stylist boss me around. And, as I said before - it's only hair.

But man, is second-guessing one's self annoying...

Purple cardigan: gift from mom, via Lord and Taylor (New York)
Brown tunic: Gap, remixed
Turquoise corduroy leggings: HUE, by way of Lord and Taylor (Boston)
Grey boots: Frye Paige Huaraches, by way of

Sunday, January 30, 2011

How I wore it: unexpected outing

Today I planned to stay home and revel in my own familiar surroundings for the first time in a week. However, it was brought to my attention that we had almost no food, so we had to go out for a short walk and pantry-replenishing (and Haribos!). In order to do that, I had to get dressed. Well, hey:

As I said some time ago, I don't want to make this space about my recent weight loss and new, healthier, eating habits. However, this morning I suddenly realized that I am at about the exact same weight as I was in my senior year of college/ beginning of graduate school, when I was at my smallest.

What does this mean? 

It means that I ventured to put on pants that I don't think I've worn since I still lived in Philadelphia, which was until May of 2008. And, what do you know - they fit. Now these pants' muddy neutral tones might not be suitable for the dead of winter, I actually bought them in early 2004 (January, I think), so I associate them with cold weather. I've always liked them - my severely unsuitable ex even called them "bitchin'." So I knew they must be cool. I like the pattern - 

- which another unsuitable boy compared to curtains. And, more importantly, I was pretty psyched to put them on again. With black accents and caramel-colored boots. Since these pants have a range of neutral colors (and patterns!), I can pretty much pair them with any other major neutral, as I did today. 

I also did some semi-crazy pattern-mixing with wearing a hairband with black polka-dots. 

Crazy! ... Sometimes life just doesn't go as planned, eh?

Hairband: Gap, remixed
Black top: H&M, remixed
White tee (underneath): H&M, remixed
Pants: Gap
Boots: gift from husband, from Athens' Ermou Street, remixed

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Heureux qui, comme Ulysse, a fait un beau voyage...

Did I never tell you that I'm into old French poetry?

Anyway, hi. I'm back in New England after six beautiful days in Philadelphia. I was surprised by how not emotional I was while in my former town, but that all fell apart on my ride to the airport. I teared up a few times. Anyway... yay. Boston.

So since now the idea of having potentially new hair is kind of taking over my brain (dissertation? What dissertation?), I've been looking up hairstyles on the internet. And the other day I was Googling something like "short haircut bangs" to see if I could actually regain a pixie cut with the way my hair is now. And I came upon a cute photo:

Behold Katie Holmes in all her cute glory. (Never was a 'Dawson's Creek' fan. Not a Tom Cruise fan. She leaves me cold, but sometimes she has super-cute hair. Remember that short bob with the blunt bangs? Mrreowr.) Now, before I was saying that I wanted to go super-short the way I was in the past, but this is pretty cute, huh? And it doesn't get rid of bangs, it looks like!

So, yes, that's what I've been occupying my mind with. And reuniting with my husband. And snorgling my kitty. 

Happy weekend!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Philadelphia freedom

(I lo-o-o-o-ove you!)

People, I've been a derelict blogger. I've not been taking any photos of me in an artistic academic setting, the way I thought I would. I've barely been reading blogs, let alone commenting. It's because I've been too busy enjoying the crap out of my research vacation in Philly. Today was the bittersweetest day: I spoke on the phone to two dear professors of mine, I got a card giving me the title of "Visiting Scholar" (for library privileges), I bought university paraphernalia, I hugged my bookstore-owner best friend for five full minutes... It was a lovely week.

But, within each silver lining, there is a cloud. And that cloud is grey and soft. Like my suede boots:

Oh, my grey suede slouchy boots. You were the second pair of fun boots I ever owned and my first pair of grey boots - the Holy Grail, if you will, of my shoe quest. You were comfortable and stylish. You were warm. You transformed me into one of the coolest middle-school Spanish teachers ever, and you made me feel like a fashionista the first time I paired you with black skinny jeans and a grey top. 

But, grey suede slouchy boots, it is time to say good-bye. I don't care that you're scuffed and stained. I can live with that. But you have zero arch support. And your soles have cracked irreparably. I have nine other pairs of boots. It's time to say good-bye. 

You'll be missed.

RIP, buddies. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How I wore it: hittin' the stacks

Hi, all! First off, I wanna thank you guys for being so sweet about the pictures I posted as a young, mostly innocent grad student. When life was easy and my professors still thought I was the next big thing in Indology. (Now I'm a bum who "sold out" in order to actually make money by teaching her native language. No, I'm not questioning my life choices, why?) Aaaaaaanyway. For reals, thanks so much for your kind comments - you truly made my morning when I powered up my computer at my alma mater's library.

Speaking which, I spent a few hours in the aforementioned library doing research and reading some Saduktikarnamrta verses (don't worry about it). I met up with a young professor of Sanskrit whom I helped hire (I was the student liaison on the hiring committee - and the only Sanskritist), chatted with him for some time while he complimented me and made me wonder if maybe I do want to return to a life in higher academia. Then, while starting to head back to my hostess' home, I ran into a friend of mine whom I met FRESHMAN YEAR (1999, baby) and reconnected with senior year (we were in the same Hindi class), but hadn't seen since graduation in 2003. He's doing business school at our university. We had a long coffee. So, yeah, my day was slightly more productive than yesterday, but also very fun.

Are you having fun yet? Want me to, I don't know, start describing my meals in slow, excruciating detail? I could do that for you.

Anyway, I was able to sneak a photo at the South Asia reference room in the library. The lengths I go to for you guys:

Real-life PROOF of my scholarly pursuits!

Anyone else reminded of Hillary and her magical library pictures? Yeah, but I'm not as cool. And colorful. People, I am embarrassed to tell you that this is probably the most colorful outfit that I'll wear for this entire trip. On Saturday I looked at my suitcase and saw that EVERYTHING in there was black or grey, except for my Frye blue boots and my accessories. I packed the turquoise tights and green sweater out of shame. And, as you can see, decided to wear them together. Yeah, color! My Sanskrit buddy, upon seeing me, told me I looked like a junior art history major at NYU. I took it as a compliment. And then I reminded him that I was about six months away from thirty. 

(Whatevs, I still took it as a major compliment - who wouldnt?!)

Green cardigan: gift from my mother via Lord and Taylor, remixed
Black dress: Gap, remixed
Turquoise tights: Gap, remixed
Grey boots: Penny Loves Kenny, by way of DSW, remixed

Monday, January 24, 2011

As promised...

Greetings, all! I am happily ensconced in West Philadelphia ("born and raised...") after spending a not-so productive day at the library and seeing old friends. My bookstore owner buddy was thrilled to see me and we had a lovely reunion. He even had a Sanskrit dictionary for me. Yay!

Anyway, I thought I'd share some old pictures of me with short hair so you'd see what I used to look like way back in my second/third year of grad. school. I'm putting my favorites on there and you might see a bit of a mix in length. Let's see:

The picture above was taken soon after I got it cut for the first time, so it's probably at the longest acceptable length which I would want NOW. As you can see, I looked pretty thrilled to have it off. And happy with my drink.

Here I am also drinking (at the same friends' house, no less) before going out dancing. There my hair is probably at its optimal at the time. I like the way it looks, but it still looks a little too shaggy for my current taste.

And here you see me smiling like a loon. At the same friends' house (...yeah, I hung out with them a lot). That's probably the shortest my hair ever went. And, naturally, the pictures I have from that evening are among my favorites. 

It's good to see these pictures because I can see exactly what I had at some points and no longer want. On the other hand, a lot of these pictures from my past showcase awkward growing-out hair, so I need to think long and hard about my hairstylist commitment if I do decide to go short again. 

So there you have it, folks. Official proof of my short-haired existence. Whaddaya think? I want honest opinions as to whether I should make the chop or not! 


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Shine a light, shine a light

Technology is amazing, people. I'm in Boston's Logan Airport waiting for my flight to Philly. I'm starting to get super nervous about my trip to Philly just in terms of being sure that I can make time to see my friends and do my research. My husband has asked if I'm going to go to the neighborhood where we lived together for a year (my favorite neighborhood in the city) and I'm not sure if I'll be able to handle it, emotionally. We'll see.

My big fear is the reception I'll get from the best friend I had in Philly. He's the owner of a used bookstore and in grad school, I basically spent every hour that I wasn't at school/home/gym at that bookstore. I haven't been in touch since I said goodbye in May of 2008, so I hope he'll be happy to see me again.

So why focus on the negative? Let's talk about future plans. Most importantly, future hair plans. Folks, my hair is getting to the point that it's so long that it strangles me when I turn around too abruptly in bed. I definitely need to get it trimmed/cut to a more manageable level. Especially in order to be able to wear it down again, because when I wear it down now I look like an evil fairy-tale witch.

However... I've been thinking of chopping it all off again. In October of '04, I cut off all my hair and kept it pixie-cut short for another couple of years. I loved it like that, but - inevitably - I got bored and started growing it out and here you see me. Recently I've been thinking of shearing it all off again. But I'd want it super-short. Like this:

(Note: I'm not a huge Natalie Portman fan, but I loved her short-ass hair)

Anyway, I'm excited by the chance of having my hair clean and manageable again, but - as always, there are pros and cons to this haircut:

  • I would spend a lot less time on my hair. 
  • I wouldn't fuss with my bangs. All. The. Damn. Time. 
  • Similarly, I wouldn't be obsessing with trimming my bangs all the damn time. 
  • I love really short hair and I loved how it looked on me.
  • It would be very striking.
  • I like short hair short. Very short. It's a bitch to maintain (and trust me, it doesn't grow out cute on me), and expensive. Do I have the patience to go to the salon every so often to get it trimmed? When I had short hair before, I went to the salon every two months. And it was looking BAD by that eighth (or seventh, or sixth) week. If I knew how to cut it myself, it would be a godsend. I trim my own bangs and I save so much time/energy on that, but trimming my own shorn head? Hard.
  • I don't even know if I can get my hair cut like that, considering my blunt bangs right now. 
  • I really really like my hair now, and maybe some inches off the length will be the perfect look for me. 
Then again, it's just hair. It'll always grow back, right? And my hair grows fast. 

There's another element to the mix, and one near and dear to my heart: glasses. When I last had short hair, I wore my contacts most of the time. I think my current Ray-Bans are a little too heavy to wear with unadorned hair. HOWEVER. I do have an eye exam the week after next and there's an infinitesimal chance that I might have to change my prescription. If I do, I wrote before that I'd like to change my glasses, either to these:

(All images of glasses are from their respective sites, to which I've linked)


If I change glasses, maybe I can think about cutting off all my hair. But if I don't, I'll get a trim. See? It's like a strategy game.

On top of that, I have interviews right after my eye exam. And I want to keep my hair the same for then so that I can put it up in the way I'm used to. 

So. Here's the plan. Eye exam in early February. That will be the starting point. If I don't need to change prescription, I'll just cut my hair right after the interviews and trim it. If I do need to change glasses, I'll wait till I get them and then see what happens. 


Dudes, it's my flight is being called. Laters!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

How I wore it: crimson and clover

Good morning, Style Nation! It's kind of a weird day today. I have a million things to do before tomorrow, when I leave for a six-day trip to Philadelphia. I haven't been to Philly since May of 2008, when we left the city for good - every day I miss it and I wish I lived there still. So on top of the packing/backing up my computer/buying gifts for my hostess/trimming my bangs (what?)/gathering together dictionaries and bibliographies, I'm also quietly wondering what my own emotional reaction will be to returning to one of my favorite cities ever, where I lived for nine years. Okay. Deep breath.

Anyway, it's also a weird day because yesterday was one of the worst days in recent memory. I don't want to get into it right now, but there's a huge bureaucratic problem with my standing in my university in Germany, one of which I wasn't made aware for over a year, and something that my advisor was told but just never bothered to inform me. On top of that, I've written, like, three desperate e-mails to him (he's in India at the moment, but I know he has internet access because I'm Facebooking with another friend who's in the same town) this week alone and have gotten no response. Which, sad to say, is pretty normal from his end. Good thing he's so damn smart.

Anyway... okay, so I did get into it a little. Dammit. So, yeah, yesterday was a tough day for me. However, I had to put on a brave face, get dressed, go out into the street (which was brutalized by a morning blizzard), and tutor my girls in French. And then go to a dinner party. So I obviously wanted to look, y'know, good. But at the same time I also walked over three miles to get to my tutoring location, so... I'm telling you. Weird day.

(On top of it all, about ten minutes after leaving my house, a truck sped by the sidewalk on which I was walking, and sprayed me with slush and water. I literally burst into tears on the spot. HAPPY FRIDAY!)

So I went with something so basic and satisfying that I don't know why I'm not wearing this every day:

I knew I wanted to wear my red boots (poor babies - they're in my second bathroom being treated for salt/snow stains: trial by fire) and then I decided that I'd be basic, wear all black, and shamelessly match my cardigan to my boots. 

Guys, I cannot tell you how great I felt in this outfit. Despite my effusive love of grey, I think my inner New Yorker gets even happier when I'm wearing all black. I don't know what it is - I just feel so good in monochromatic black. Especially when it has one accent color, such as crimson/burgundy in this case. I don't know, I just feel as if something clicked when I put all of the elements of the outfit together. I felt great. Until getting soaked by a passing truck. Bastard... 

I also decided to be even more obvious and match my jewelry to my boots and cardigan:

People, I freaking love garnets with a passion, although I don't wear the stone nearly as often as I used to. This earrings were brought home by my mom after a trip to Buenos Aires and they're from the same store as my rosa del inca jewelry. Pretty, huh? 

So, yeah. That's what went down. Although my tutoring wasn't really on after the morning I'd had, the dinner party was a lot of fun and a welcome distraction. Lots of white wine and raclette didn't hurt, either. 

Mmmm, cheese. 

Crimson cardigan: gift from mom, via Lord and Taylor (New York), remixed
Black tunic: American Apparel, remixed
Black leggings: HUE, via Lord and Taylor (Boston), remixed
Crimson boots: Frye Shirley OTKs, gift from husband, via, remixed

PS - I have a phone interview today with a Spanish teacher from the school that I like! I guess he looked beyond my shameful comma use... Wish me luck! 


Thursday, January 20, 2011

How I wore it: Thursdays are back!

People, I am typing this from my living room, on my sofa, watching 'The Office.' The NBC line-up is back, people! Tina Fey and I are reunited again! It's the little things, y'all. It's the little things. Anyways, I had a very pleasant morning and early afternoon just loafing around and lesson-planning for today and tomorrow. However, I did have to leave the house in order to tutor my six-year-old charge. Since my brain was filled with what to pack for my six days in Philly, I just went with something easy:

There you go, people. When I have nowhere to go for which I need to dress like an adult, you just get a lot of tight pants, boots, and tunics. And cardigans. Sadness. God, I hope I get a job. On that front, things are still looking the same: the Spanish teacher from the school in which I'm interested e-mailed me today. We'll be speaking on Saturday. I'm feeling mortified because I just noticed that I mis-punctuated my e-mail back to him (after Dear ____ in Spanish, it's usual to use a colon, not a comma. And I typed a comma without thinking. My husband says it would be paranoid to bring it up on the phone)... it's okay. Everything'll be okay. 

... I'm being weird, aren't I. Stop the panic... 

Despite the simplicity and boredom of this outfit, though, I was pleased with it. The simple colors and shades made me happy. Also, I was wearing my grey Fryes as a good-bye because I won't be packing them to Philly. I'll be living in my red Fryes for the next couple of days, believe me. 

Good times, y'all. Good times. I'm so boring. Forgive me, y'all. 

Purple cardigan: gift from my mother, via Lord and Taylor (New York), remixed
Striped tunic: American Apparel, remixed
Blue jeggings: HUE, by way of Lord and Taylor (Boston), remixed
Grey boots: Frye Paige Huaraches, by way of, remixed

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How I wore it: grey and grumbly

People, thank you so much for the bloggiversary wishes yesterday and today! It meant a lot to me to have so many wonderful readers comment and say hello. Y'all are awesome!

Apart from being the blog's one-year birthday yesterday (weird. It wasn't a national holiday), my husband and I had a rather daunting social engagement. An older neighbor of ours, a trustee in our building (whom we invited over for tea and snacks last June), invited us to dine with some other older academics of her acquaintance. It was fun to hang out with old (um, my husband is two years older than me. The next youngest person was FORTY YEARS older than my husband) academics and be able to name-drop some hard-core Sanskritists - although the majority of these people were musicians (with one political scientist), they knew everything about everything. To make a good impression, I decided to dress in an outfit that would offend nobody, not even my former bosses last year:

In fact, apart from the shoes, I'm pretty sure I wore this exact same outfit to work at some point last year. Anyway, I was comfy and just dressed up enough to impress old intellectuals: one professor emeritus offered to look into helping me find a Spanish position at a university. Dazzling prospects, people!

As for the shoes, these are the ones I ordered from CSN Stores many moons ago. Last night, one of the shoes' ankle straps was missing, so I pulled off the other one's and wore them as plain flats (which I liked a lot, actually). Of course, this morning I mysteriously found the "lost" ankle strap in plain sight on my bedroom floor next to the bed. I'm convinced that either elves or Amalía took it to play with it for the night... 

I'm rooting for the elves.

In other news, apart from a maybe-drunk professor's offer to help me find a job, things are going well. I'm proofreading my dissertation intro like crazy and have sent various "final" versions to my husband (he's also helping me proofread) before filling in some missing bits during my research trip to Philly (FOUR DAYS TILL I LEAVE OH. MY. GOD.). I also had a very phone conversation with the dean of a big-deal private school over the weekend and I look forward to continuing that process during the next few days, as a current language teacher from there is supposed to call me this week. Of course, I've been checking my e-mail like crazy and driving myself insane, but it's good to remember that I'll have options come September. 

Isn't life glamorous?!

Black sweater: Gap, remixed
Checked skirt: Ann Taylor Loft, remixed
Grey stockings: Gap, remixed
Grey shoes: Adi, by way of CSN Stores, bought with a gift certificate from the store in exchange for a review, remixed

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Do blogs get gifts for their birthdays?

Hi, all! So exactly a year ago, I worked up a lot of nerve and posted my first post, about a pair of boots I had just ordered. I had thought of a name quickly, chosen a template, and gave in to what had been a dream of mine (with a lot of encouragement from my husband): to join the ranks of Style Nation and add my own poor musings up there.

A year ago, I was working within the confines of an extremely strict dress code in my professional life, but was also starting to experiment with styles, silhouettes, and new footwear during my weekends and vacations. I stared Chalkdust and Boots with a thought to push myself during both weekends and weekdays and to capture some of my more memorable outfits while doing so. I guess my mission is still pretty vague - now that I don't work full-time, I don't have professional outfits to show, but I'm starting to finally be able to put a finger onto what is my personal style and am challenging myself to mix things up when that style gets a little stagnant.

A year ago, I only told my husband shyly about my blog. I didn't advertise it to any of my friends on Facebook. I didn't tell anyone about it. Part of me was a little embarrassed, worried that if I told my friends, they'd react with a resounding "YOU?! A fashion blog?!" And I didn't want that to happen. To try to drum up readers, I started commenting more and more on my favorite blogs, as opposed to when I had been a mere lurker before. I don't think I had any readers for the first eight months of my blog. But in the summer, something happened and people started leaving comments. And following me. Now, five months after that, I get excited every time I have a new comment. Some of my favorite bloggers - Erin, the geniuses behind Fashionable Academics, and Hillary  to name just a (very, very) few - leave comments on almost all of my posts. I'm linked to by other blogs that I'd only timidly read just a few years ago!

I guess what I'm trying to say is - thank you. I never thought I would have so much fun with this and - on top of that! - each time I see a new follower or a new comment, it's like a little present. So, for Chalkdust and Boots' first birthday, I want everyone who reads this post to write a comment. Just a hello would be great - I see that I have readers all around the world! Sing out!

Style Nation, thanks for letting me join you and for sharing my bumpy ride on the personal style train. Y'all are awesome.


Now go out there and eat some cake in my honor.

Thank you for reading me for a year! 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

How I wore it: Black (and grey) Swan

 Today being Saturday, it was - of course - Date Night. It was really nice to put on some clothes because I may or may not have spent the day in a fleece bathrobe. I may or may not have even not made the bed! Crazy times.

I'm tired, y'all. This might be the first time in about a year or two that I've left the house without making my bed.

So I wasn't really ... inspired in my outfit choices today. I had the bottom of the outfit planned okay (and that stayed on), but my tops went through some changes. I wanted to wear one of my husband's shirts and look adorably gamine-like in a grey plaid men's shirt. But I keep forgetting that I'm significantly smaller than my husband. Instead of "skinny model wearing a man's shirt that's perfectly tailored to look slightly schlubby on her slender frame," when I looked in the mirror it was more of a "Chalkdust wears her big brother's shirt. Again." Not happening. So then I pulled on my David Bowie t-shirt. Nope. So I went boring:

Isn't jaundice tragic?

Black and grey with my new boots! Will wonders never cease?! But in fun news, it's the first time wearing my new Fryes with non-black leggings. Um ... revolutionary? 

Yeah, sorry, folks. I got nothing. But I was comfy and felt happy in an outfit with many tried-and-true elements. 

So we ended up seeing 'Black Swan.' I'm still thinking about what I thought of it. But I'll tell you one thing: I'm really happy I never wanted to be a ballerina as a child. 

Striped sweater: Banana Republic, remixed
Black top: Tony, a boutique in Old City Philadelphia, remixed
Grey jeggings: HUE, via Lord and Taylor, remixed
Crimson boots: Frye Shirley OTKs, gift from husband, via, remixed

PS - A school in which I'm kind of interested contacted me! I'll be speaking on the phone with some sort of dean tomorrow. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

How I wore it: happy Friday

Today was a remarkably happy and peaceful day. Except for my return to the gym (I'd only run once this week and not gone to the gym in a little over a week, I think). That was more like sweaty and fainty. But the rest of the day was very nice. After a minimal amount of work, I had my weekly French session with my two young tutees. I wanted to look nice, of course, for them, but also because we guessed it... a dinner guest coming over tonight! A friend from my last job. Anyways, so, yeah, I wanted to wear something in which I'd be comfy the whole night, without having to change while waiting for my friend. This is what I came up with:

Since I'd worn my blue jeggings yesterday, I wanted to wear my grey ones (with grey boots) today. Nuts! See how I mix it up?! Hold on to your hats.

The real craziness of my outfit is, of course, the belt. I don't often belt my clothes. I want to be a belter, but it just doesn't come naturally to me. I see Sal and the women of Academichic, who belt and look awesome, but a belt isn't the accessory that comes to mind when I'm trying to figure out how to perfect an outfit. But today, when I spotted this grey leather belt - from Elizabeth Kelly that I won through one of Sal's giveaways - and saw how well it went with my grey palette ... well, I couldn't resist. And I think it worked, too!

I do kinda think that the belt looks like an afterthought, but that might be because I'm not used to it. What are others' thoughts?

Of course, the true test was that my twelve-year-old students told me that they liked it. SCORE!

Striped cardigan: Banana Republic, remixed
Turquoise tunic: American Apparel, remixed
Grey leather belt: Elizabeth Kelly (through, remixed
Grey jeggings: HUE, via Lord and Taylor, remixed
Grey boots: Frye Paige Huaraches, by way of, remixed

Thursday, January 13, 2011

How I wore it: prep and edge

Dudes, I went sledding today! It was the second time in my life that I'd ever done it (the first was a couple of years ago, in CT)! And it was super fun. And cold-inducing. After spending the morning careening down a steep hill in my hard-core cold-weather running gear (PLUS fleece, PLUS down jacket, PLUS hat), I kind of wanted to look presentable for my evening tutoring session:

The genesis of this outfit came from the fact that I wanted to wear my blue jeggings. Because of the weather, I knew I wanted to wear the hardiest boots I own at the moment, which are my blue Fryes. For some reason, everything else came rather organically - I thought that a preppy button-down under a preppy sweater-vest might work and, hey - it did! As usual, as soon as I emerged into the living room wearing two articles of Brooks Brothers clothing, my husband exclaimed that I looked great. I'm telling you, people - prep looks good on me. Dammit. Good thing I own tough (blue) boots. 

The other area which I fancied up was my accessory selection. I've been wearing my new-ish hoop earrings a lot recently, especially as I've been craving simple silver hoops for some time - I think they go with almost everything and so far, that's turned out to be true. With all the blue clothes (everything except for my sweater), I decided to go with sapphire accents: fancy!

See? Nothing says classy like sapphires and diamonds (and sterling silver)! The ring I introduced some time ago, and the eye necklace was my 29th birthday present from my husband. Sparkly! 

So there you go, people. That was my Thursday!

Hello, errant lock of hair!

Black sweater vest: gift from mom via Brooks Brothers, remixed
Button-down shirt: gift from mom, via Brooks Brothers, remixed
Blue jeggings: HUE, by way of Lord and Taylor, remixed
Blue boots: Frye Veronica Slouches, by way of, remixed
Silver hoop earrings: TJ Maxx, remixed
Sapphire eye necklace: gift from husband, via Edelweiss store in Athens, remixed
Sapphire ring: gift from parents, remixed

How I wore it: return of dinner guests

Hi all! Although it's technically Thursday morning, we had dinner guests over who didn't leave till 11:30, not understanding that some of us needed to take outfit pictures and post on our blogs, preferably while it was still Wednesday. Well, it didn't happen, but let's just pretend it's still Wednesday, shall we?

As you probably know, the Northeast was hit by a "weather bomb" today. It was pretty rad. But it also prevented me from working out, unless you count climbing over snowbanks to get to Whole Foods as "exercise," which, hey... Because of said walking in the snow, I put on my contacts so that my glasses wouldn't ice over, and stayed like that for the rest of the day. I rather liked the outfit I put together for the dinner, although it didn't photograph so well:

Ignore what I'm doing with my legs

Although it's hard to tell, the tight tunic I'm wearing is the grey version of this "dress." I bought four of these tunics (I will continue to call them so, as they barely cover my ass, unlike the way dresses should) from American Apparel (while I still shopped there) while still in grad school in Philly and I wore them constantly. But now? I don't think I've worn the grey one in three years. Weird. Although you can't see it, it has turquoise stitching on the sides, so it made a good excuse to wear my big ol' turquoise pendant. I also kept the look low-key with jeans and flats. And, it being winter, my favorite cardigan of my husband's (I wear it more than he does). 

While this outfit looks rather shapeless in the picture, I liked the juxtaposition of oversized sweater over tight top. As I moved, the look was quite nice and I'd like to think that I sexified my usual jeans + long shirt look a little with the very nature of my long shirt. 

Most importantly, I was comfortable and felt sassy. Who could ask for anything more?

Turquoise pendant: Macy's, remixed
Grey cardigan: husband's from H&M, remixed
Grey tunic "dress:" American Apparel
Pinstriped jeans: Gap, remixed
Mustard flats: Nine West by way of DSW, remixed

Monday, January 10, 2011

How I wore it: inexcusable?

Hello, all! Today I had a dentist appointment scheduled and so I left the shelter of my house and braved the windy streets of Boston only to have someone come at my mouth with a sharp instrument. Yay! Because of my compelling need to have strange doctors think that I'm a respectable citizen (especially if they're wielding the aforementioned sharp instruments), I decided to dress classily. I may have ruined the whole thing, though:

Although you can't tell, these oddly flared pants (they were marketed as wide-legged, but I don't think that's a viable categorization) are actually pinstriped, not solid grey. I'm a sucker for pinstripes, so I was happy to pull on these pants; they are also the exact same pants that I couldn't fit into almost two months ago. So I was super-happy when I was pulled them on again, because I like showing my clothes who's boss. And I didn't give up delicious gummi candy (I fell off the wagon yesterday, though) for the results not to show, dammit.

However, um, there's one problem with these pants. THEY'RE TOO DAMN SHORT. I know, right? I mean, I tried to mitigate the craziness of this by wearing my tall black boots underneath them, but I think I made it worse, with the flared leg flapping merrily in the breeze AT MY ANKLE. When I bought these pants, I shopped pretty regularly at the Gap and I noticed that their regular-length pants were usually too long on me (as you know, I rarely wear heels), so I started actively looking for ankle-length. But I'm also five-eight, y'know? So that might not have been the best strategy.

That being said, what's the solution? These trousers are certainly in good shape still, so I'm not gonna toss them or donate them - I still love 'em! And I would never have really noticed a problem if it weren't for my constant perusal of fashion blogs! I mean, a couple of years ago, when I bought these pants, I didn't really care if they didn't look "right." Now ... I'm a little embarrassed photographing and exposing them for y'all, but I still wore them (and rocked them) all day today and no one threw a snowball at my head for violating inappropriate pant-length rules, either, you see? I guess what I'm saying is - does it really matter all the time? It's just a couple of centimeters in the end. I still like the pants, and even how they look on me, even if I know I "shouldn't." Does anyone else ever get this feeling?

Anyway, the new dentist was a sweetie, but I'll need to go back next week and two weeks after that for some cavity filling. My teeth are sparkly clean, but I'm still a little sore.

Seriously, can't modern science come up with anything less medieval than a metal hook for dentists?!

Black shirt: Tony's, a boutique in Old City Philly, remixed
Pinstriped pants: Gap
Black boots: Aerosoles, remixed

Sunday, January 9, 2011

How I wore it: artists' colony

People, I am freezing. Despite the weather being sunnier and supposedly not that cold, the wind was sharp and, after an hour-and-a-half-long walk through our neighborhood's surroundings, I came home cold and have not been able to, as we say in Spanish, entrar en calor.

Today's outfit took inspiration from my casual lounging wear. Last night, upon returning home from dinner, I changed into PJ pants and a long-sleeved shirt that I basically only wear around the house (it had also been hiding in my parents' house for months and months, so I was recently reunited with said shirt). Loving how the shirt looked and exulting in being able to wear it again, I decided to indeed wear it again today, outside of the house, with a bright contrasting color. This is the result:

Despite the minimal waist-definition of this outfit, I was super-comfy (albeit cold) today (don't worry: I added a sweater, gloves, scarf, and heavy down jacket. It didn't help.). The shirt is from India, a gift from a severely unsuitable ex-boyfriend (well, one of them). He gave it to me when we first got together, my first year of grad school. He had recently returned from a sort of reunion tour of India (he had been sent to school there as a child) and had amassed a lot of clothes/jewelry/handicrafts to keep and to give to friends. I never knew if this shirt was actually his or one of his unworn souvenirs, but I loved it immediately and wore it all through my summer in India later that year, as a beach cover-up in Greece a few years later, and, in more recent years, as a home-relegated top (some of the stitches are unravelling). What I love about this shirt is the simplicity: it's just an off-white tunic, with red stitching at all of the borders and a lovely simple neckline. 

When I paired it with the colorful corduroy leggings and the shell necklace, I felt like a sort of cool, hippie artist - a sculptress, perhaps? Too bad I'm not at all creative in the visual arts realm. 

... I don't know, though, if my cool alter-ego would've approved of the boots. Surely she would've lived in a WARMER climate and gone barefoot. Hmmm... 

White tunic: gift from ex-boyfriend, from India
Teal corduroy leggings: HUE, by way of Lord and Taylor, remixed
Grey boots: Frye Paige Huarache, by way of, remixed

Saturday, January 8, 2011

How I wore it: the return of Date Night

Today, after a long day of lazing around and doing other things (like napping), my husband and I went out for dinner and drinks. We had had more elaborate plans, but it was snowing pretty hard (or so it looked from our window) and our plan to have a long, brisk walk from the subway station to the original planned restaurant seemed a little silly. We decided instead to go to a nearby restaurant that has a gluten-free menu (and it was so charming when we walked outside that we ended up walking there and back anyway. Yay snow! ... for now.)

Because we'd planned for the first Date Night of 2011 for a few days, I knew that I wanted to wear the new Fryes (btw, I had another Frye dream last night. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!). I went with an old favorite combo, thinking that the burgundy boots would look great with my favorite color palette (take that, Boston Metro!):

Believe it or not (ha!), I really liked this look. As you know, I love all the elements of this outfit - the leggings, the tunic, and, of course, the cardigan - and I'm glad that it looked so nice with the dramatic boots.

At this point, I've only worn these boots with black leggings and I think it's time to graduate to another type of outfit. I just don't know what yet. I don't own very short skirts and I don't think these boots would look great with hems that cover them a little. Unless I fold them, which is an option. Decisions, decisions... Any suggestions, people?

So in other news, I decided to take a little more of a proactive role in my own future. While I'm happily working on my dissertation this year, I don't really know what I'll be doing once the summer/dissertation ends. I decided to send out applications and e-mail old contacts in the chance that I might be teaching high school again next year. My most recent dream is to work in a foreign language bookstore, but, y'know, teaching Spanish might be good, too. I just think it's good to have all my options open, y'know?

... But in the meantime, if any of you have the inside scoop on a Sanskrit-teaching job, hook me up, mmkay?

Striped cardigan: Banana Republic, remixed
Grey tunic: American Apparel, remixed
Black leggings: HUE, by way of Lord and Taylor, remixed
Red boots: Frye (gift from husband), by way of, remixed

Friday, January 7, 2011

How I wore it: teach-y!

Today was supposed to be cold and blustery and I had to go out to tutor my French students. For some reason, I went with a look that I'd never really put together before. I really wanted to wear a particular sweater that I don't wear that often (and had only worn once or twice in the last couple of years) and while I originally thought of pairing it with jeans, I went with another look:

This sweater is the only thing I own from Old Navy.

The quickly-becoming-ubiquitous navy pants! As much as I still like this pinky sweater, it's rather cropped, which is problematic for me because it creates midriff with most of my pants, and it adds some extra bulk, as you can see from the picture. The midriff issue I solved with a layering top beneath. You're gonna have to believe me on the fake bulk issue. Despite the fact that I rarely wear this sweater, it has a few elements I really love about it: the scooped neckline, front and back (like most women, I like my collarbones), the buttons on the neck, and...

... brown suede-y elbow patches (that weirdly match the other top)! Like most academics, I can't really resist a good elbow patch. Yay! Now I look all professorial (despite the fact that I giggled about Eurovision with my twelve-year-old tutees)!

So while I kind of surprised myself by picking out today's outfit, I felt very comfortable and mobile the whole day - I didn't even change into PJs upon coming home! I don't know - I just felt good, y'know? Like I had a good self-esteem day. And it's Friday!

... I love it when that happens.

Sweater: Old Navy
Layering top: Express, remixed (?)
Navy pants: Gap, remixed
Grey booties: Aldo, remixed

Thursday, January 6, 2011

How I wore it: hazy shade of winter

When I bought my new grey jeggings on Monday, I pretty much knew I'd wear them out for my next "important outing." Because I had my maxi-dress epiphany yesterday (and ha! It's Epiphany today!), today was really the first important outing: I had to go tutor. In my head, the outfit I put together was made up of all different shades of grey (and some black and white), with contrasting patterns of stripes between my tunic and my sweater, and looking overall awesome. I'm not sure how the final result played out:

See what I mean (arrgh, graininess!)? I finally, non-guiltily, went back to my beloved wool striped long cardigan, and it felt great to wear it again. I originally planned to wear my grey Fryes with this outfit (especially since they're a different shade of grey), but I remembered my grey suede slouchy boots and I thought they'd look better with this outfit. I like the look on a whole, but I think the Fryes would've been more flattering on my legs; see below:

See what I mean (my hunched position isn't helping either)? It's okay, though. I did quite like the overall effect anyway. Also, these boots are on their last legs and I plan to keep them throughout this winter before doing away with them: the soles are cracking quite alarmingly (and the boots themselves have almost no support). I'm hesitant about repairing them because they've had a good run (I bought them in July of 2008) and I have so many other boots of better quality that it'll be nice to maybe start simplifying things. 

On an amusing note, today in the Boston Metro paper, I read that some lady (a fashionista, perchance?) said that people would/should no longer be wearing skinny jeans or grey and black palettes. 

... Oops.

Striped cardigan: Banana Republic, remixed
Striped tunic: American Apparel, remixed
Grey jeggings: HUE, by way of Lord and Taylor
Grey boots: Penny Loves Kenny, by way of DSW

How I wore it: it's all in the mind, y'know

[So yesterday Blogger and I had a slight issue with posting, so y'all will probably get two posts today. Lucky!]

I wasn't gonna leave the house yesterday, apart from the gym. I didn't even expect to post. Although I did have a dream on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning that I magically finally found the Frye boots of my dreams, readily available.

Are they not glorious? I still kick myself for not buying them on Election Night 2008. Anyway, ever since I read Sal's article on how to shop on eBay, I have saved a search for these boots and maybe one day they'll be mine. I thought, after my dream yesterday morning, that perhaps there'd be some luck in the eBay department, but apparently not. Let's keep our fingers crossed, though! 

So, yeah, I imagined that yesterday I would write a wittily airy post about how sick I am that I even dream of Frye boots (um, Frye? Any chance that you'll ever make that style ever again?) and then spend the whole day merrily working on my dissertation.  

However, due to my husband's wish to go running in lieu of the gym yesterday, I found myself needing to leave the house for a quick jaunt to Porter Square in order to buy presents (today is el día de los reyes, which means I maniacally fill my husband's shoes with gifts). Do you ever get the ghost of an outfit in your head and you think "YES! I'm gonna look so boss in this! I need to wear it immediately!" Well, that's what happened to me. On Tuesday night, a very simple outfit came to mind, and - despite rather cold temperatures yesterday - I couldn't wait to wear it:

(Also, between sweater tights, long jersey cotton, and boots, I was actually okay in the cold) This outfit isn't that revolutionary: I mean, I've tried to make this exact same maxi dress more seasonally relevant a couple of times already, in more elaborate ways even, so I don't know why my brain immediately glommed on to the idea of simply throwing a winter cardigan over the dress, wearing caramel-colored boots, and calling it a day, but it did. Fortunately, it was one of those outfits that, when taken out of the realm of the purely imaginary, did look almost as awesome as it did in my head. What do you all think?

Anyway, in other news, I didn't spend that much time on my dissertation yesterday, but I started and, hey, that's better than nothing. I also squared away my transportation to and lodging in Philly for the research trip I'm taking later this month. Exciting things!

Crimson sweater: gift from mom, via Lord and Taylor, remixed
Striped maxi dress: Gap, remixed
Boots: gift from husband, via a shoe store on Ermou Street, Athens, remixed

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How I wore it: airport dropoff

Today my mother-in-law flew back to Greece and my husband and I accompanied her to the airport, where we all got a little weepy. What can I say, we're all Mediterranean!

Because I only wore normal clothes to the airport and back, I went with an easy, comfortable look that additionally kept me warm under my heavy jacket:

What's easier than jeans, a t-shirt, and boots? Add on a sweater for seasonal appropriateness and you're set to go. Not much to say about the outfit because there's not much to it. That's how I roll.

Since my mother-in-law is gone, both my husband and I feel as if the holidays are over, despite the fact that he has almost two more weeks of vacation. He has a major project to work on for the rest of his break and I need to be reminded of what my dissertation is about. My plan for tomorrow is to start proofreading my intro and make official plans as to my upcoming trip to Philly. Today I started off the work groove (after vegging on the couch) by paying my credit card bill and changing the calendar in my Filofax. See? Now I'll be productive and ready to work!

... It's gonna get ugly tomorrow, isn't it.

Purple cardigan: gift from mom, via Lord and Taylor, remixed
David Bowie t-shirt: Gap, remixed
Black jeans: Bulldog by Urban Outfitters, remixed
Grey boots: Frye Paige Huaraches, by way of, remixed

Monday, January 3, 2011

How I wore it: normalizing

Hi, all! Despite my mother-in-law's nasty cold/cough, we still ventured into the city to show her downtown Boston and some of the nicer sites within walking distance, like Newbury Street, the Prudential Center, and, of course, the Apple store. I'm sad that she'll be leaving tomorrow, but at the same time, I'm quietly eager for life to begin getting back to normal and quieter: no more daily running of the dishwasher (with all our guests and cooking and whatnot), no more big dinner parties (at least until the weekend...), returning to my dissertation, etc. I even went for a run today. Between the scattered patches of ice on the path and my general non-practice (my last run was on Wednesday, and my last run outside was...a while before that), it wasn't the best of jogs, but it was nice to start to get back to a normal schedule.

However, we are very sad that my mom-in-law is leaving [I got super-lucky in the in-law department] and we decided to have a quiet day around Boston, as I said. The weather was cooler than before, and got much colder quite dramatically as the day wore on. This is what I wore under my insufficiently warm coat:

You know that I love pairing red and black together, much like A-Dubs. But, as you've probably guessed in the almost-year that I've been writing this blog, I, um, kind of like pairing grey with everything. I've even worn this combo before, but it was the end of summer then. I winterized it with my beloved grey Fryes, a bottle-green cardigan, and my favorite scarf. 

I think one of my limitations in fashion/dressing - which carries over to blogging - is that when I find a combo that I like, I tend to stick with it instead of playing around with different elements and being more creative. I mean, if it weren't for the fact that it's winter and I had to dress accordingly, I would probably have worn this combo in the exact same way as last time. I've very consciously not done any of Kendi's 30 for 30 remix challenges, because I limit myself enough as it is - choosing different outfits from a limited selection and playing with how to wear them (presumably differently) creatively? That would make my brain explode, as good as it would be for me. Perhaps one thing I could try more aggressively with this blog is to hold myself accountable to wearing my limited, beloved, and tried-and-true outfits with more creativity and panache? We'll see. 

Rapidly changing subjects, though, I logged another purchase in my Great Leggings Obsession Journey. The grey jeans you see me wearing above (which are my absolute favorite pants) are ripping rather suggestively in the crotchal area (let's see how this affects my blog hits!). The rips aren't visible when the jeans are on, but when they're hanging on their hanger, it's a little alarming and depressing:

Yeah, those aren't safe to wear anymore. Let's see a close-up, shall we?

FAIL! So, yeah, these pants' time is limited. Since I found my blue jeggings such a successful alternative to skinny jeans, I decided to buy grey jeggings to substitute these skinny jeans:

Yes, another HUE purchase. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?

So now that I have a viable alternative, it's time to say good-bye to my favorite jeans. I can't bring myself to throw them out just yet. I've taken them off their hanger and put them on my closet shelf because I don't know how to say good-bye to the dreamy light grey denim and the red-stitched accent on the back pockets (never highlighted here). Sigh. I mean, I can always buy another pair from the same brand (Urban Outfitter's Bulldog), but I've found all the other jeans I've bought since the grey ones quite flimsy, and I don't think I'll have the same luck that I had with these sturdy guys. 

It's okay. We'll get through this together.

Green cardigan: gift from mother, via Lord and Taylor, remixed
Checked scarf: Urban Outfitters, remixed
Red top: Tony's, a boutique in Old City Philadelphia, remixed
Grey skinny jeans: Bulldog by Urban Outfitters, remixed
Grey boots: Frye Paige Huaraches, by way of, remixed