Monday, September 29, 2014

How I wore it: eh?

Today, after much internal debate, I decided to wear a dress over leggings for my Monday. We had super-summery weather over the weekend, sunny, with highs in the mid-80s. Today promised us slightly cooler weather, but clouds, so I thought I'd take advantage of the in-between temperatures and wear something I was pretty unsure about.

… And for good reason. Behold:

I mean, the dress itself is cute. I styled it awfully: I don't think it's an "over leggings and casual mocs" kind of dress, but it's an objectively pretty dress. I bought it in the fall of 2006, if you can believe it, after a shopping spree at H&M in Philly with an old friend from NYC. It was a good purchase: I was teaching my own Sanskrit class in university (I was a fourth-year grad student) and a cute dress was a must. 

Since then, I've worn it often - I'm shocked I've never featured it here - usually with boots. However, after I left grad school and - coincidentally - stopped my 5-days-a-week gym habit, this dress was no longer my friend. It clung unflatteringly to my belly and made me self-conscious about looking pregnant years before Baby Boots was a gleam in our eyes. I did wear it while pregnant, which was great. Today, between biking and super-heavy leggings, I was fine with it and even remembered to suck in every once in a while.

But… I just don't know if I like it anymore. I look at my last outfit and I like myself so much in it! Flowy, unstructured dress, flowy sweatshirt… I love it. There's so much to this dress, with its clinginess and short, flowing sleeves, and that red solid detail that flows into a sad bow in the back -

… The least cute pin-up EVER. I look deranged.

You see, it's just so fussy. And I don't know if I do fussy anymore. 

That being said, it's damn cute with tights and boots and who knows if I'll always be working in such a casual environment as I am right now (although I do own a lot of other dresses). I always get complimented when I wear it and it reminds me of happy days in Philly…

So it comes down to your opinion, Style Nation. What should I do with this dress? Donate it or keep it in my closet for a bit longer? Help me out, y'all!

Patterned dress: H&M
White tank (underneath): gift from parents from Geneva, remixed (?)
Grey leggings: Calvin Klein, by way of TJ Maxx, remixed
Mocassins: Minnetonka, by way of Lord and Taylor (NY), remixed

Saturday, September 27, 2014

How I wore it: guest star

Hi all! Thursday turned out to be a kind of tough evening in the Boots household, as Baby Boots was just not having it. I lost my patience a couple of times with her, although I was able to put her to bed before 8 PM (she was EXHAUSTED), so I spent most of yesterday (Friday) in a funk, feeling guilty about being a bad mommy and hoping for a do-over.

So yesterday I took my time with Baby Boots and we all ended up having a great evening. It helped that she FINALLY napped at preschool (for the first time since she started transitioning over from Toddlers to Preschool), that the weather was lovely, and that some of her friends were playing outside when we got home.

Something else that helped? I invited her to be part of the photo shoot:

Should've maybe combed her hair before taking the photo…

What a ham. Both the mother and the daughter. Also, who knew that my hair could be neater than someone else's at 6:30 PM? Enter Baby Boots. Her curls are untamable - she's actually got her hair in a bun, but - as the day goes - all those little curls spring out from however she's wearing her hair and just take over. 

Anyway, back to my outfit. It's pretty much identical to this, only with different shoes and my walrus sweatshirt. The weather was going to be lovely, as I mentioned, so I decided to get another wear out of my short black dress and my short black leggings. I wore the sweatshirt out of propriety and was glad to have it on my bike ride home, despite the shining sun and 70 degrees. When I look at/think about this outfit, I sometimes wonder if it comes off as too young. I'm 33, after all, a professional woman with a doctorate and a child and a mortgage. 

But honestly? Screw it. It was perfect for biking, going to preschool and back on foot, and playing in the grass with children. And that's the other big part of me. Over the summer, I had a lot of revelations about identity and selfhood (with regard to my own self) and this outfit is just inching closer to the vision of me that I most like. 

Rock and roll…

Walrus sweatshirt:, remixed
Black dress: Old Navy (online), remixed
Black leggings: Adidas, by way of TJ Maxx, remixed
Shoes: Target, remixed

Thursday, September 25, 2014

How I wore it: basic and stripes

Today we were supposed to get rain (not yet happened, though) and I had an unexpected respite from my usual Thursday faculty meetings, so we arranged for my husband to pick me up early from school today. So while I tend to dress up more extravagantly on Thursdays, as I don't bike, today I wanted to be comfy in case I got caught in the rain.

So I deployed boots (well, booties) for the second time this year and wore one of my new favorite button-down-ish tops. No one gasped in amazement when they saw me, but I really liked my outfit today:

Ignore the closed eyes…

Although this striped shirt is so basic, I have a passionate love for it. I bought it online from J. Crew Factory last spring, as I tend to take advantage of their sales through Gilt. I've often paired it with khakis or jeans, but never with black jeans. I have to admit, for an easy almost-Friday look, I was super-happy with it. 

It doesn't show so well in the photos, but I'm wearing my beloved Fluevog badass short black boots. Still love 'em.

Well, that's all, folks. My daughter and I are installed on the couch, watching the end of 'Yellow Submarine' (I've trained her well). And she's in a pissy mood, so I gotta go deal with that…

Striped shirt: J Crew Factory
Black jeans: Old Navy (online)
Black boots: Fluevog, remixed

Monday, September 22, 2014

How I wore it: black and blue and brown?


I hope all of you are doing well. We are having beautiful weather in the Boston area, balmy, breezy days that are a joy to be outside in. Last week we had a couple of cool mornings, but right now it's lovely out.

Yesterday we had an especially warm day, especially for late September - with similar weather promised for today - so I decided to do something a little different:

…  I don't know if it was entirely successful, but it was fun. I've worn this dress [second outfit] several times and this is the most casual iteration of it: the short leggings, the slip-ons… I gotta admit, I was super-comfy and happy all day. Until…

Sad peanut sauce victim is sad.

One of my colleagues was having a bowl from our school's noodle bar. With Thai peanut sauce. And it spilled all over him. He was sitting next to me. You can see where this is going, right? Some spilled on me, which - of course - I didn't notice until after I got up from lunch. I used some baby wipes on it and most came out. Too bad I don't have a job where I periodically turn my back on teenagers while writing on the board. Oh, wait…

I found out once I got home that this dress is dry-clean only (although its polka-dot counterpart is not), so between the biking and the stain…yeah, it's going out to the cleaner's. 

So that was MY Monday…

Blue dress: J Crew Factory, remixed
Black leggings: Adidas, by way of TJ Maxx, remixed
Shoes: Target, remixed

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How I wore it: Texas tuxedo Tuesday

So today I was all excited to wear a favorite shirt and some jeans and I thought that they were differently colored enough to, y'know, look very different.

Alas -

It seems that amorphously colored blue chambray and grey jeans don't look allllllll that different from each other. No one laughed at me, which was great, but I think next time I'll have to make a higher contrast, yeah?

At least I had my neat-o houndstooth shoes. 

I biked today - despite inclement weather (it never ended up raining on me) - because tomorrow and Thursday I have stuff after school, so no bike. It was so worth it.

And now I must cook dinner.


Chambray tunic: J Crew Factory, remixed
Grey jeans: Gap (online), remixed
Shoes: Target

Monday, September 15, 2014

How I wore it: casual Monday

Hey, y'all!

After a lovely (short!) weekend, today dawned all too soon and I found myself figuring out how to get to work on my bike in cooler temperatures (it was 48 degrees when I left the house!!). So instead of cute dresses and under-leggings, I found myself considering jeans and light sweatshirts:

Today also marked my first seasonal deployment of boots! This weekend I started seeing the ladies wearing their boots around the Boston area, so I thought it wouldn't be too soon to pull out my light blue short boots. As always, I loved wearing them, but they're a smidge too tight (about a half-size?). It didn't bother me the whole day, but walking to and from preschool to get Baby Boots was a little painful by the end. 

And… that's basically it. How are the rest of you doing with the beginning of a new week?

Walrus sweatshirt:, remixed
Striped tank (underneath): Gap
Jeans: Old Navy (online), remixed
Boots: a gift from my husband, bought in Spain, remixed

Friday, September 12, 2014

How I wore it: T.G.I.F!!!!

Yikes, you guys. It was just the first full week of classes and all of my colleagues and students are wrecked. Why has this year been so much more tiring than other years? I don't know, but I'm constantly exhausted, frazzled, and achy (…well, that has more to do with the constant biking/walking to get Baby Boots).

So I am super grateful that today is (finally) Friday. So I wore a cute outfit. Well, cute-ish. For my new standards:

To be honest, I don't know how much the leggings do for this (especially since they're pretty much full-length leggings and I like the knee/calf-length ones), but they're super-necessary for biking, of course. Well, anyways, I've had this dress since the spring of 2013 and have worn it a bunch. It was surprisingly good for biking, along with the leggings. I

I was hoping to wear cuter flats, but my feet were killing me after a lot of walking in unsuitable wedges yesterday and then I stubbed my toe super-hard this morning and suspect that I might have broken it. So comfy moccasin slippers it was! 

I always get excited, as you know, when my jewelry matches my outfit:

…And match it does. These two pieces are peridot, my birthstone, and pieces that I've had for years. The pendant I got from my parents for my 11th birthday, one of the first "nice" pieces of jewelry that I ever had. I wore the crap out of this chain/pendant combo: at one point, I never took off the necklace and even went swimming in it. All the wear and tear have banged it up a bit, but I still adore it. 

The ring was my 12th birthday present from my parents, bought to match my pendant. This ring means a lot to me, although I have bittersweet memories attached to receiving it. The original ring was too small for me, so we went to Macy's to get it resized. The saleswoman, upon hearing our request, looked at my hand (keep in mind, I had just turned twelve), and said, "Oh, I see. You have fat fingers." 


A saleswoman told a preteen girl that she had fat fingers. My mom is still furious about it.

Funnily enough, my fingers have remained the same size since then (the ring still fits perfectly around my ring finger, for which it was sized) and, hey, I'll be honest: I sometimes catch myself looking at my fingers to see if they are, indeed, "fat." Maybe they are. Who knows. I don't particularly care anymore, but - 21 years later - I can't really understand the brutal honesty that made this lady say that to me…

Green dress: J Crew Factory, remixed
Grey leggings: Calvin Klein, by way of TJ Maxx, remixed
Moccasins: Minnetonka, by way of Lord and Taylor (NYC), remixed
Peridot ring and necklace: presents from my parents from Macy's (NYC) 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Lookit my new shoes!

This weekend, my family and I went to Target to buy Baby Boots new shoes. While there, I fell in love with some slip-ons, similar in style to ones I'd had in grad school that I quickly wore out. My husband also fell in love with them, especially with the pattern (which is my personal favorite), so for $16.99, I decided to splurge!

Fun, right? I wore them with black jeans and a black tee. They were the only spot of brightness in my outfit and quite comfy for biking and walking back and forth to daycare and home. I don't think they'll last long, as my big toe has the tendency to pierce through any cloth shoe, but for now, I dig 'em. 

Biking has continued to be a fun way to get to and from work, although I admit to feeling quite anxious in the mornings (although the afternoon ride is more stressful). I have a lot of contingency plans (I have three different ways to get to school, after all!), but it doesn't stop me from feeling worried until the moment I'm on my trusty Raleigh. 

Today I had some highs and lows with the biking. A nice biker lady talked to me at my train station, complimented my bike, and we talked bike trails for a while. On my way home, I was passed by a school bus from my last school - one that was being monitored by one of my really good friends (I think - at least, someone waved at me from the bus window!). However, when I crossed a street, I was approached perilously closely by a truck, whose driver yelled something nasty at me (my first street harassment as a biker!). So that wasn't great. But it made me feel like a real Cambridge biker…!

(Also, the area between the second train station and my school is really hilly. My thighs and calves might be all the better for it, but, dang, it's tiring in the morning.)

Monday, September 8, 2014

How I wore it: attack of the Mondays

Happy Monday, y'all! This weekend flew by for me (no date night outfit, as I was too busy having fun to document anything) and suddenly it's the week again. I received my first panicked e-mail of the year last night from an advanced student and, well… it's starting again.

(But I have potential good news: I was personally invited to a fall reception at the Asian Studies department of a local university. And I've been asked to give a talk on my research. More details to follow once I know more!)

For today's outfit, I'd had something in mind for a while, but I thought I'd be too shy to implement it. However, as last night and this morning wore on, a lot of factors were in my favor: the weather, the wearability of my outfit while biking, and comfort.

So… I wore this:

I bought two different versions of this dress (the other one is blue: see the second outfit) in spring of 2014. I've worn this polka-dot version twice before and, much like its blue counterpart, it's quite short. Since I knew I had to wear it with leggings anyway, I thought "Why not wear this to bike to work?" And so I did. 

The leggings are dark grey, though you can't tell from the photo, and they were also bought a couple of weekends ago. 

While it's not the most flattering dress in the world, I love it, it was quite comfy, and I got loads of compliments on its bright color. I feel as if I'm taking more personal risks with my style - not to mention changing it a fair amount - and there are several factors for this: one is sheer wearability. I now bike a lot and need to be more comfortable than before. I'm also more established at my job, so I feel a little more relaxed. And also? People change. I have different priorities. I feel more comfortable wearing stuff that might have horrified me a few years ago, or at least intimidated me. I'm excited to see where this all goes!

Dress: J Crew Factory
Grey leggings: Calvin Klein, by way of TJ Maxx
Black flats: Me Too, by way of DSW, remixed

Friday, September 5, 2014

How I wore it: inching toward normalcy

Today was the first day with school in session where I biked to and from (the train to and from) work and also picked up the little one from daycare. It's been a rough week, but I'm glad that I was able to bike a few times. It was also nice to know that my self-imposed biking/daycare schedule is still working out.

The work schedule, on the other hand, is tiring me out, but a lot of my colleagues are saying the same thing, so I think we just have the back-to-school blues and once we get used to not being people of leisure again, it all should balance itself out.

Although I knew today was supposed to be sunny and hot, I was told yesterday by a colleague that it would be super-humid. So I really dressed for the weather and the biking and not really for work: this might be the least professionally I ever dressed for school…

Look! I wore my finest graphic tank!

Forgive the frizzy, messy hair. I had just taken my helmet off and was on my way out the door to pick up Baby Boots (although I did change into shorts). 

I was very ambivalent about this outfit - don't get me wrong, I kind of LOVE it. But I was very nervous about wearing this Beatles racerback tank to work: it just seems so casual! However, I also figured that the weather was going to be rough and also - hi, no dress code. No one gasped in horror upon seeing me and I don't think I'm fired, so looks like I got away with it.

I thought I lost one of my earrings today! In the middle of my first class, I realized that I was only wearing one earring (not a very important pair, but still not a great realization). I was sad and put the other one in my bag to take home. Later in the day, I saw something glinting in the bottom of my backpack and … it was my other earring! I probably loosened it while taking off my helmet and it fell into my bag when I bent or something. Yay! Both earrings survived the bike ride home and that's honestly the most interesting story of my day.


Tomorrow's date night, so I'm super-excited! Stay tuned!

Grey tank: Old Navy (online)
Turquoise jeans: Gap (online), remixed
Yellow flats: Nine West by way of DSW, remixed

Thursday, September 4, 2014

How I wore it: back to school, part the second

So today was the second day of classes and I already feel as if I've been run over by a truck. I think my classes will be good, but, oof. I've gotta pace myself. Although I'm restless about my work and would rather be doing something more related to my field, I really came into this school year very optimistic, especially after my relaxing and happy summer. Of course, it's only the second "normal" day of school, so I'm sure I'll find the balance soon.

Because of after-school faculty meetings on Thursday, I've decided that I won't be biking in those days and I dressed in an outfit that I actually think I wore last year on the first day of classes. I hope no one remembered that…

Um, I don't know why my lips look blue in this photo…

It was a pretty simple outfit: a colorful dress, bright red shoes, and some accessories. Easy to throw on and keep on during the whole school day. I was a little uncomfortable by the time I got home and ready to put on my flip-flops and loose pants, but I think it was a good first "dress-up" outfit of the year…

Man, I'm already lookin' forward to the weekend! My husband and I have a bona-fide date planned for Saturday and I'm just looking forward to running simple household errands with my family. I treasure time with my husband and daughter, especially once the school year starts, because we're all so busy during the week. Heck, I've barely had a real, adult conversation with my husband since the week has started! 

Anyway, it's almost Friday, which means it's almost the weekend. Avanti!

Striped dress: J Crew Factory, remixed
Red wedges: CL by Laundry, by way of DSW, remixed

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

How I wore it: back to school…again

So today was the first day of classes. I met my new advisee, I taught two classes, and I found myself doing a comprehensive chart of present tense verbs in Spanish on a white board in about half an hour. For an advanced Spanish class. Yeah, I think review might be a little slow with them…

I was also able to bring my bike home from work today, as the weather was beautiful, sunny, and warm. For that reason, I didn't dress up as formally as I tend to for the first day of school (my more dressed-up days will be Thursdays, as I won't be biking in then because of our weekly faculty meetings). I did wear contacts, but that was my only special-occasion concession:

I got this top this past spring, just in time for my 15th high-school reunion. These jeans I got last autumn, to replace my old beloved Bulldog pair. Although the difference is pretty nominal, I really still miss those old jeans. I mean, I like my current pair just fine, but they just don't fill me with as much glee as the old pair. I don't think it's the color - I prefer darker greys - maybe the shape of the old ones was just better? Who knows. 

Well, it was a long and tiring first day and I think this is gonna be a big year. Wish me luck!

Anchor tank: J Crew Factory (online)
Grey jeans: Gap (online)
Moccasins: Minnetonka, via Lord and Taylor (New York), remixed

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

How I wore it: the best-laid plans...

Today was orientation for new students at my school. I was all excited in the morning, because I had maneuvered my bike expertly on the commuter rail. The weather was sunny, but ridiculously warm and humid. Everything was going well.

Until it started pouring. So I left my bike at work and took the school bus home. I guess I'll bike home tomorrow…

Anyway, my outfit today was with an eye on the weather (not knowing, of course, that it would rain) and on decency while biking. Without further ado…

Somehow I manage… Even in the rain!

I bought short leggings over the weekend so that I could wear more skirts/dresses while biking this year. We'll see how it goes. 

I wish I could be more flowery, but I'm exhausted. I hope to have more to say tomorrow. Catch you on the flip side!

Black dress: Old Navy (online), remixed
Leggings: Adidas, by way of TJ Maxx
Buffalo plaid flats: American Eagle by Payless Shoe Soruce, remixed