Monday, February 25, 2013

Pisces fish

The other day I bought this little guy from the Paperface Studio shop on Etsy. It just caught my eye:

I think if I link, it goes to my own receipt, but I got this image off of Etsy

Anyway, I don't know why I got so into this little fishy, but I did, ordered it (along with more stuff), and it arrived home on Thursday. Today was my first day wearing it out. As you know, I care very much about February 25th because it's George Harrison's birthday (he would've turned 70 today. Sigh.). He was a Pisces. He even sang about it on his last album. So what better day to début my koi fish necklace?

Here's how it looked on:

As you can see, I totes approve. The colors are doing no favors to me or to the necklace, but you can see the length and relative size of the charm. Nice, huh? I got a couple of people (both adult women, no kids) mentioning how much they liked the necklace. I was pleased.

And I couldn't let you go without letting you see my FACE, right?

THERE I am, taking selfies in the office, the way I do. 

Yay! Monday's almost done! 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

How I wore it: expectations vs. execution

Hi, folks!

(Look at me, with the posting twice in one week. Do you think... I might be getting my groove back?)

So it's Friday night (technically Saturday morning) and it's been a tough week. The colleague I mentioned on Wednesday passed away that same night and the kids and teachers at school have just been heartbroken to lose a beloved teacher, mentor, and colleague. Seeing my students and advisees melt away into tears is just heartbreaking.

Life will slowly be getting back to normal at work and in my home, it still goes on. I've also been incredibly stressed as I'm applying to my first postdoc and the deadline is fast approaching. My advisor had been AWOL for well over a year, but he wrote to me today and wrote me a doozy of a recommendation letter, so I'm feeling really good. Both the postdoc and the job in the very faraway other state I applied for a huge long shots, but I'm glad to be working actively toward something again.

After two days of dresses (Wednesday and yesterday, which I didn't blog), I decided to wear a new favorite pair of pants today. I experimented with something and, well, I didn't so much love it:

The good: how amazing are those red plaid pants, Style Nation? I ordered them from the Gap in the fall without a second thought because - as a child of the 80s from New York who spent the 90s hanging out in St. Marks Place ALL THE TIME - I've wanted red plaid pants since forever. .

The bad: these amazing jeans are skinny jeans, which means my footwear choices are a little limited. I've worn them with normal shoes, booties, and low boots in the past, quite successfully, but I haven't been able to figure out what tall boots to wear with them. Last time I wore them, I wore saddle-colored riding boots (my new Fryes, which you haven't seen yet) over them and the aesthetic was good, as the Frye boots are chunky enough that the whole thing was flattering - but I didn't like the color combination, especially as I tend to wear these pants with a black top. So today I thought I'd try them out with my black Fluevogs, but these boots are too skinny themselves, so - combined with a patterned pant and my own broad thighs - the whole thing just made me look knock-kneed, as you can see above. Oh, well. I think that I'll just have to forego tall boots with these pants and wear them in warmer temperature with less hard-core footwear.

I did have one colleague tell me that I looked Parisian today, so... that's a plus!

Good weekend, everyone. Take care of yourselves and your loved ones.

Black sweater: Saks, from the early 90s (my first article of black clothing!!), remixed
Plaid jeans: Gap online
Black boots: Fluevog, remixed

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How I wore it: old school

These last few days have been somber at work. We learned over the long weekend that a colleague had  suddenly fallen quite ill and the mood has been grim at school. As you know, I don't have a dress code anymore, but between just wanting to feel more in control and presentable AND the fact that I no longer pump at work, I thought I'd pull out an old favorite today that I hadn't worn for about two years.

That's my daughter's blurry head in the foreground

Forgive the colors. I have a brighter one below. While the dress is over three years old and it was an old standby at my last job, I have never worn it "out" with boots, as boots were verboten at my old place. Since my classiest, dressiest boots are my black Fluevogs, I went with those and then decided to jazz up the whole thing with royal blue tights. I dug the effect. 

No feet, but better color! 

I was surprised by how many people were surprised by my outfit at work. I guess they're so used to seeing me dressed like a slob that a fancy work dress is shocking! 

I liked this outfit a lot - I felt very myself in it - but I'm not sure if the blue tights are necessarily working for it. I personally think they're a lot of fun and, since you don't see much of them, it's not too off-putting, but it does kind of shock the senses. I tried to pull it together with my jewelry, but I don't know if anyone noticed that:

With such blue tights, my only choice was lapis lazuli, naturally! On all of his trips home to Chile over the years, my father has always brought me back oodles of lapis stuff. Here is a fraction of the tip of the iceberg: my favorite lapis ring, my favorite lapis earrings, and a simple silver cross with lapis accents. I did like those elements of the outfit.

Anyways, it was hoot to get back into my old gear. It felt kind of like dress-up, especially knowing that I don't have to wear that sort of outfit every single day...

Grey dress: Banana Republic, remixed
Blue tights: Gap online
Black boots: Fluevog, remixed
Jewelry: gifts from my father from Chile

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hints of spring?

It doesn't feel much like spring out there: the ground outside my home is still covered in snow. Last weekend we were hit by a record snowstorm. I sleep covered in blankets. Baby Boots is usually encased in fleece somewhere on her body.

But today the temperature rose to the 40s. It's raining, not snowing. Slowly slowly the weather is warming up again, I hope, and one can even start thinking about spring again. Which is great, as I got an e-mail from eShakti reminding me to check out their spring styles. Here are three articles of clothing I am salivating over:

This is the Marigold Garland Dress. I love its simplicity and the gold flowers at the waist and hem. Pretty, huh? 

This is the Colorblock Stripe Print Dress and I am in LOVE. I love color blocking, first off, and I also LOVE dresses that have at least different-looking styles in one. Isn't it fun? I could see myself wearing this with a kerchief in my hair and maybe on a bike. ... Right?

This is the Winter Floral Embellished Skirt. I love the delicacy of the flowers embroidered on the sturdy shape of the pencil skirt. 

I have to say, I fell in love with some dresses/skirts yesterday on the site, but they're already gone from there, so stuff moves FAST if you like anything on eShakti, people! 

Do you know their deal? You can get anything customized to your own size! You can take your measurements once and store them on there with an e-mail I.D. and you can get anything in your very own individual size. You can also buy stuff in traditional sizes.

The good folks at eShakti have offered me something to review and I'm thinking about what to order. What do you think? I'm thinking of going for the colorblock dress. Your thoughts?

And remember: maybe spring will be back. Oh, wait. The news just told me there'll be another storm this weekend. Brrrr....

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Fun with glasses!

As you all know, I wear glasses. All day, (almost) every day. Glasses are totally my thing, to the point that in my last school, the kids who didn't know me called me "The one with the glasses." Glasses are totally my jam. A few weeks ago, I was contacted by someone from Warby Parker to see if I'd be interested in collaborating and sharing some ideas. More of the story below, in mauve:

"I approached Chalkdust and Boots with a challenge - create some looks that represent you and the things that inspire you using Warby Parker eyeglasses.  I love the idea of having glasses that you can tailor to a certain event or activity, based on your life, and at Warby Parker we want your glasses to reflect you and compliment your individuality and style!

With the central idea of choosing glasses that represent her in any possible situation or event, Chalkdust and Boots created some awesome clothing and accessory combinations with the help of the Warby Parker Home Try-on program, where you can pick 5 frames for 5 days totally free.  Check out her looks below!"

- Kaki Read – Fashion Coordinator at Warby Parker

So after a flurry of e-mails between Kaki and me, we came up with the idea stated above: feature at least five frames with five different outfits in order to showcase how glasses can really influence and enhance what one is wearing. As you all know, I tend to be a one-pair-at-a-time kind of girl, so this was kind of fun in getting me to think outside the box and to really view glasses as a fluid and subtle accessory. 

Because I've had a hell of a week, I'll be showing you a picture of each frame in close-up and an outfit featured earlier on the blog that I think could've been improved by this frame (so get ready to see some older hairstyles!). 

So here goes, in no particular order...

1. The Preston in Gimlet Tortoise

This pair is the first that jumped out at me when I started perusing the list o'specs. I love that light/blonde tortoiseshell color and never considered trying it on myself, although I'd admired it for many years on other women. The classic shape and the cool color made it the first choice for my home try-on experience:

And this is what they look like on me. Since these glasses skirt the line between classic and funky, I think these would be a mainstay for me, especially in a professional environment. My husband and I have been staying up late talking about our futures a lot this week and I've decided that I want to try to get back into higher academia. I submitted a proposal for a colloquium (rejected, alas, as I am no longer a grad student and this colloquium was more geared toward that), I'm planning on attending an academic conference next month, and somewhere down the line I guess I'll be giving job talks and sounding all expert-y. I think these glasses for a job interview/campus visit/job talk would be quite perfect. I would love to pair them with something very classic to add a slightly irreverent touch:

Worn in early 2011 for a private school job fair

... Ahh, yes, crisp button-down, classical pencil skirt, sedate flats - wouldn't these glasses break up all that dark color, what with my tights, skirt, and hair? 

2. The Tenley in Midnight Blue

This pair is touted as Warby Parker's version of the cat-eye shape and they're lovely. I love me a big frame, as y'all know, and I was curious to see how something with a pronounced shape would look on me, although I tend not to dig the cat-eye aesthetic, at least for myself. Fun fact: my husband loved these the most both on the site and in person:

Dramatic! I loved these for their bold shape and size. These would be my date glasses, you guys. I would wear these with any combo of my usual uniform (cool boots, skinny pants, long top/sweater) - or at least what my usual uniform was when I went on dates. Something like this:

Also worn in early 2011, to see 'The Black Swan,' I believe

I mean, I loved my Ray-Bans, but these would look pretty sweet out on the town. The perfect combo of geek and chic. 

*Gasp* You guys, I just noticed they came in this color. I think we found my back-up pair!!!

3. The Sloan in Rum Cherry

I believe that every kid who starts wearing glasses at young age (I was six), or at least most kids I know, goes through a red glasses phase; I did, my best friend did, the kids I tutored did... we just want to look awesome. My big brother still teases me mercifully for having owned big red glasses as a little kid, but when I saw this pair, I knew I had to try them on. Red glasses for grown-ups! Plus, red is totally my power color: I wear it when I want to make an impact; a lot of my favorite articles of clothing are red - most of my house has red furniture... I love that color! So I knew I had to see if they still looked dorky over twenty years later...

I wasn't kidding about my furniture being red. Check out the red couch I'm sitting on and the CD tower I'm pointing to...

I didn't expect to love these so much, but they were the ones to which I had the most positive impression straight out of the box. I guess I still like red glasses! As to where I'd wear them? Well, that's simple. My husband almost applied for a fellowship to stay a year in Berlin (he missed the deadline) and while he was working on the application, I started daydreaming about going to avant-garde concerts in Berlin while wearing interesting, vaguely European-inspired outfits. These glasses would definitely be part of them. I'd love them with this:

Valentine's Day, 2011

... or something like this:

Poetry event in spring of 2011 - remember when I cut off all my hair?!

I know, I'm the mayor of matchytown, and I almost can't conceive of wearing red glasses without a red article of clothing somewhere in the mix. But wouldn't this pair be fun for a cultural night out? I envision myself wearing a big black sweater and red plaid pants with these frames...

Not-so-fun fact: my husband didn't like these as apparently he had multiple girlfriends who wore red frames (I told you we all went through this!!!). Oh, well.

4. The Beckett in Striped Chestnut

This was my wild-card pair. I really wanted to try on these, but they were out because apparently they're super popular. So, with the Becketts, I went with something that looked familiar. A little too familiar. They were very similar to what I have now, but with a more retro flair:

These would be my research glasses. I would wear them at home to do work or if I were in the library all day long. With their no-nonsense shape, my friends and family would know I meant business if I were wearing these. I'd probably wear them with something like this if working from home...

Before a tutoring session, December of 2010

... or if doing research in the stacks:

Having people over in a snowstorm, January of 2011

And, finally...

5. The Duckworth in Marine Slate

While the shape and the size of these frames are not my usual cup of tea, I couldn't resist the pretty color and the way they looked on the model. Plus, something about those pronounced edges (plaques?) spoke to me. And I'm so, so glad I did try them on, cuz look!

Awesome, am I right? I really really liked these on. The blue is subtle (you can't really tell how pretty the color is, as I took these pictures in the dark at, like, 10:30 PM in my living room while Baby Boots slept in her crib in my bedroom), but noticeable. The shape is gorgeous. I would wear these to work at any point. I mean, I work in a pretty funky environment, but even in the most conservative of places, these glasses would be perfect - they're unique, but serious and colorful, but professional. I have no problem envisioning putting these every day to teach at my progressive little school. In fact, the day I tried on these glasses, I was wearing an outfit almost identical to this one:

Early 2011, tutoring session. I wore this exact outfit on Wednesday, only with light blue boots. There was blue everywhere.

Yeah, the Duckworths would've looked real good with the above outfit, I think. Especially as I wore so many blue accents this particular week. And I think my kids would've loved those frames.

                                                               *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

So, yeah, that was my most recent Warby Parker experience! What do you guys think, Style Nation? Do you see glasses as purely functional or can they accentuate your look? Are you a one-pair kind of person, or - if funds were unlimited - would you buy a bunch of different frames for different types of outfits and situations? Did you love any frames up here? I'd love to hear from you!

I'd also love to thank Warby Parker and Kaki for letting me indulge in one of my favorite pastimes - trying on glasses - in the best way ever: in the privacy of my own home! I'm not quite sure what frame I'll go for after my next appointment, but there's a very big chance that Warby Parker may be involved!

Good night! Happy February! Have a great weekend!