Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fear and Loving in My Office

Jeans, Brian's Etsy Store

I apologize for the cornball title of this post. As you're about to find out, my brain is a little fried.

Academia: The craziness of check-in week continues. I both love and fear this week every semester. I love helping the students and making them feel welcome, but I fear how tired I know I'm going to be. This week has been full of both; I feel like I've been able to put several students at ease about their transition to life in the US, but I never fully recovered from the last couple of go-go-go days of our vacation, and I haven't been sleeping well this week. I so love my job - I wish I could go back and reassure High School Emily or College Emily that it was on the horizon - but sometimes it wears me out. Good thing there's a three-day weekend coming up. Thanks for having a birthday, America!

Sartorial: Since this is check-in week, we're supposed to avoid wearing jeans and t-shirts, in order to make a good first impression on the students. But I feel like I've worn all the dresses and skirts in my 30x30 already, so I wanted to find a way to dress up these jeans a little. I think this blouse does it, combined with some metallic jewelry and shoes. And I really liked it. I love white blouses with dark jeans. A perfect pick-me-up for a very sleepy day.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It's Like a Heatwave Burning in My Heart (and My Skin, and Basically Everywhere)


Academia: A fairly normal day. Business meeting. Seminars for new students. Calls to the infirmary for old students. Hikes across campus. But all in the hottest, most humid weather ever. It was 90 degrees and 100% humid, and it would rain for 10 minutes at a time, which only served to make things more humid. It was like walking around in a sauna. It's like this every summer, but after a week in California, it seems particularly awful. I promise I won't gripe about the weather every day. It was just gross today, and I'm mad I'm not still in Monterey.

Sartorial: I had to look business-like today for all my activities, and I swear I tried to get up the will to wear the only pair of heels I put in my 30x30, but I just couldn't. With all the walking and sweating I knew I was going to do, I put the sandals on and figured people could just deal. And they did, as far as I can tell. Probably they were too busy trying to keep their own sweat under control.

Aaaaaand that's about as much time as I want to spend thinking about other people's sweat. And probably about as much time as you want to hear about it. So let me just go lie under a ceiling fan, and I'll see y'all tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Taxi Driver

Dress, Shoes 

Academia: At the beginning of every semester, I coordinate housing and shopping help for new students. I hire undergrad assistants to help drive the students to apartment complexes, the grocery store, and Walmart. This is a service for new students. New.

At the beginning of last semester, a returning student who lives on an inconvenient bus route showed up for shopping help. He didn't need help. He just needed a ride to the store. But I figured it was a one-time thing, so I sent him along with an assistant and assumed that was the end of that.

Imagine my surprise when, 15 minutes after everyone else had gone home, as the assistant and I were walking to our cars, the same student ran up asking for shopping help. Dude. This is cultural adjustment help, not a taxi service. Since he was there and the assistant was willing, I let him go. But I also told him not to try again next semester. I mean, really. Not a taxi service.

Sartorial: The 30x30 continues. I wanted to prove that I could wear this dress to work without a cardigan, and I think this was a success. Although now that I'm looking at it, I'm kind of wearing the colors of a NYC taxi cab. So maybe I've been sending out "I'm a taxi service" signals all day. I should look back and see if I wore this on shopping day last semester too.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Headband First

T-shirt, Brian's Etsy Shop

Academia: Nothing like diving headfirst into an orientation week to shake off that last little bit of vacation lethargy and jet lag! Today started our half semester, so there was no time to ease back into work. I ran around like a crazy person from 8:00-5:00, and lucked out that no students wanted to look at apartments this evening, or I'd still be doing that right now. It was a good day, and it's good to be back at work and in a routine. It was just kind of like diving headfirst into a very cold swimming pool - a shock at first, but then gradually more and more comfortable.

Sartorial: I'm back to (albeit waaaay behind on) the 30x30. This is my fourth outfit. I didn't ban myself from shopping during this challenge, but I don't really see the point since I can't wear anything new until this is over, and I'm not one to buy something and not wear it right away. So when I felt in a shoppy mood yesterday, I bought this headband and designed my outfit around it. I really liked the way it turned out, and I probably wouldn't have thought to put any of this together before, so yay for the 30x30! I'm happy to be back in this sartorial routine as well.

P.S. These earrings are no longer for sale because my lovely mother-in-law bought them for me for my birthday! Thanks, Sheryl (and happy birthday to you today)!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Back from Vacation!

Hey y'all! I'm back from California! I'll resume my regular outfit posts on Monday (ah, 30x30, how I missed you), but for now, I wanted to share some a lot of pictures with you. Cary and I had an awesome time and I'd love to go back, provided a helicopter could take me from attraction to attraction in Los Angeles, because seriously, traffic in that city is redonkulous.

Also, many, many thanks to my guest lecturers, Shea, Kimi, and Allyson! I hope you enjoyed their posts as much as I did.

Okay, here they are. The pictures! These were all taken, and almost all edited, on Cary's iPhone. Excuse the plethora of fonts; I got a little carried away.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Guest Lecturer: Allyson from Decoding Dress

Hi everyone! As you're reading this, Cary and I are embarking on the last day of our California vacation. Here at Academia Sartorial, we'll return to our regularly scheduled programming on Monday, but today I want to introduce you to the most thoughtful blogger I know, Allyson from Decoding Dress. And I mean thoughtful in all senses of the word: Allyson is very considerate, as you're about to see, but she also thinks a lot about fashion and why we make the sartorial choices we make, which is one of the things I love about her blog. Before you read, though, a disclaimer: I solemnly swear that I did not ask her to write any of the following...

Guest Post: Five Things I Love About Emily and Academia Sartorial

Hi there and welcome to my guest post! I'm Allyson and I normally blog over at Decoding Dress, but I'm a big fan of Emily and of this blog, so I was thrilled when she asked me to guest post while she's on vacation. I'm such a fan, in fact, that I decided to tell you five things I love about Emily and Academia Sartorial. Here we go!

1. I love the clothes. Emily and I share a common love of LOFT and she has an uncommon knack for mixing their laid back, feminine vibe into her wardrobe to make it fit the occasion perfectly. As someone who owns a lot of their pieces, let me tell you that's no easy task, no matter how easy Emily makes it look. Which leads me to say...

2. I love Emily's style. And when I say I love it, what I really mean is I'm insanely jealous of it. It's comfortably chic, feminine without being frou-frou, smartly casual. It looks effortless, which is part of
what makes it so lovely, but I've discovered that it takes plenty of effort to pull off. She's also broken the code on accessorizing perfectly. Her whole look communicates balance and serenity to me. All that said, however...

3. I love that Academia Sartorial isn't just about the clothes.don't know about you, but I like a little real life with my outfit blogs. Emily hits the sweet spot here every time. I love the little glimpses into her day-to-day that she gives us. Whether she's sharing her passion for her students, showing us some pictures of her freshly refinished dining room chairs, or telling us about a get-together with an old friend, I really enjoy getting to follow along. I can tell Emily isn't in the blogging game just to show off her cute wardrobe. I feel like she's here for the same reasons I am: to be a part of something, to share a little of herself with us and to take a little of what we share with her and make something special out of it all. That's where friendships come from, and that's what community is made of. It's good stuff. Which reminds me that...

4. I love her philosophy. It's way up there at the top of the page. See it? "Style and smarts are not mutually exclusive." As a recovering post-secondary school addict I absolutely adore that. When it comes to fashion for women in academia the envelope is very, very tight and it takes courage to push it. (See this post at Threadbaredwhich is a bit dated but still relevant, for some very interesting background on the subject.) That's why I was hooked on Academia Sartorial the moment I read Emily's little bio blurb about getting a PhD in "not looking like a college professor." But lest you imagine this blog will be full of lofty academic commentary or rarified monologue peppered with ivy-covered buzzwords...

5. I love that it's all so accessible. Emily could doubtless wax prolific on any number of scholarly topics and leave the rest of us feeling like we should have spent a little more time cracking the books, but she doesn't. She lets her guard down and opens herself up to us. She's witty but never a show-off, modest about her accomplishments, and confident without a trace of arrogance. These are rare traits among the faculty -- the professorial life doesn't exactly encourage humility -- which is why I'm sure the students who are fortunate enough to be under her tutelage or care absolutely love her. And I think her fashion sense reflects her accessibility perfectly, which takes us right back to reason number one!

So there you go - five reasons why I love this blog and why Emily is one of my favorite bloggers! I know you have your own reasons, though, so why don't you share them in the comments? What a great gift for Emily to find when she returns from her vacation!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Extra-Curricular: Family Matters

Today is the last day of the Extra-Curricular series, which means my vacation is almost over. I'll be back on Monday, but not before one last guest post tomorrow by the lovely Allyson of Decoding Dress. Come back and read her tomorrow, and enjoy another non-academic outfit today!

T-shirt, Shoes, Earrings 

Academia: A couple of weeks ago, we were in my hometown to surprise my dad for his birthday. We got there on Friday evening and spent Saturday lounging around, eating lunch with my grandmother (who sweetly spent 20 minutes looking at this blog and exclaiming about how adorable I am), and watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (my mom hasn't read the books and they're trying to catch up before The Cinematic Event of the Decade next month). They live on several wooded acres that are inexplicably in the middle of town, and their back porch is one of my favorite places to read, nap, and now take pictures for my blog.

Sartorial: I'm not going to get tired of this t-shirt anytime soon, y'all. It's in my 30 for 30 and I plan on wearing it all. the. time. Since my parents gave it to me, I thought it would be appropriate to wear on a day I hung out with them. This outfit is basically a combination of this one and this one, but I really liked both of those, so if it ain't broke, etc., right?

Cary's iPhone can do this! Cool!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Guest Lecturer: Kimi from All the Fuss

I'm still on vacation, cruising the Pacific Coast Highway in sunny California. Today, the Guest Lecturer series continues with the smart and stylish Kimi of All the Fuss. I discovered Kimi's blog a few months ago and was immediately drawn to her sense of style and her sense of humor. She has a collection of graphic t-shirts to be admired, and makes dressing for Minnesota weather look like a very fashionable piece of cake. Personally, I'd be wearing a Snuggie all day, every day for nine months out of the year if I lived as far north as, say, Kentucky. Here she is, bringing a much-needed dose of coolness to this blog. Enjoy!

The good? Emily asked me to guest blog for her while she is on vacation! The bad? I stepped on a dead snake immediately after this picture was taken. Oh well. A reptile carcass is no match for an intrepid style blogger on the hunt for a good shot. Also, my backyard is overrun with garter snakes (as is the rest of the neighborhood, which is situated in a valley near a river), so chances are I will stumble across one now and then.

Administrative: Before you assume I parade around the office like this, let me assure you, I did wear a long cardigan all day. My office gets pretty chilly, and partially see-through tank tops aren't office appropriate on their own. I wore this (plus sweater) to respond to email, coordinate meetings, fix the printer, mail stuff, retrieve mail, take notes, and stare at the clock - you know, a typical day in the life of an office drone.

Sartorial: I wear this thrifted skirt ALL the time. I love it. In fact, this outfit is fairly representative of my go-to style at the moment: flowy skirt, fitted shirt, belt, and wedges or sandals. I feel good in this outfit. In addition to not falling apart immediately after being purchased, that is basically all I ask of my clothes: that they make me feel good.

Wait. Did I forget to introduce myself? My bad! I'm Kimi, and I blog over at All the Fuss. Come visit my little corner of the bloggy world sometime!

Many thanks to Emily for letting me crash at her blog for the day. Laters!

One of the many snakes we encountered this season (the "shovel" is actually a garden trowel).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Extra-Curricular: Market Day

Academia Sartorial proudly presents another installment in the Extra-Curricular series. Tune in tomorrow for a new guest post by Kimi of All the Fuss, another fabulous fellow fashion blogger. Alliteration FTW!

This is my superhero pose.
Academia: My town has three farmers' markets. The first is downtown and is for people who are selling unpasteurized milk and homemade soap. The second is on the highway out to the country and is for actual farmers. And the third is in the snootiest neighborhood in town and is for people who want to buy locally collected honey and have their dogs groomed at the same time. Guess which one I went to in this outfit?

Sartorial: If you guessed the third, you're right! My sister Suzanne is a nanny in said snooty neighborhood, so she knew about their Saturday farmers' market and invited us to go with her and Dr. Mike a few weekends ago. I knew it was game on as far as looking fancy, but like I didn't try too hard to get that way. A simple dress with sandals (that no one had to know cost $8.88) did the trick. At least, I think it did - no one stopped me and said, "You obviously live in a lower middle class neighborhood!" but I suppose they might have been thinking it.

And honestly, this is the best farmers' market to try to blend with sartorially. If I had gone to the second market, I would have had to wear camo or faded jeans and an old t-shirt if I wanted to blend, and for the first, I would have had to stop shaving under my arms three weeks before. So let's all breathe a sigh of relief that I chose the snooty market, because I'm pretty sure the pictures from the other two would not have been pretty.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Guest Lecturer: Shea from Bon Chic Bon Gastronomique

Meet Academia Sartorial's first guest lecturer, Shea from Bon Chic Bon Gastronomique! Shea is a French teacher, chef extraordinaire (see that French vocab I slipped in? Six years of college, y'all), and fabulous dresser. She blogs about fashion and food, and always makes me want to shop/eat. Okay, I generally want to shop/eat. But Shea inspires me to shop/eat better. I love her and I know you will too. Enjoy!

Bonjour Academia Sartorial readers, I’m Shea from the blog Bon Chic Bon Gastronomique. Emily asked me to guest post for her while she enjoys a summer vacation. (I know, I’m jealous too.)

When trying to come up with an idea for this post, I was thinking about the things that Emily and I have in common. We both share a love of the television show Friends, but I feared that a post filled with nothing but Friends quotes might not be quite right for a personal style blog. Then I realized we have something else in common: we’re both book lovers. (By the way, do you remember the episode when Joey was reading The Shining but he had to put it in the freezer because it was too scary? Sorry… couldn’t help it.)

A few weeks ago Emily styled an outfit that was inspired by a book cover, and I loved that idea so much I wanted to do it myself. So, I chose one of my favorite reads, Julie and Julia by Julie Powell, and used it as the inspiration for this outfit.

I must say, I had fun styling an outfit inspired by a book cover. Next time I’m stumped about what to wear, I might just have to peruse my book shelves for some more inspiration!

Outfit details: t-shirt: Old Navy; cropped khakis: Gap; scarf in hair: so old I don’t remember where it’s from (which usually means Target); earrings: Target; sandals: Merona, Target

Friday, June 17, 2011

Extra Curricular: Photo Shoot

I'm still on vacation, so the Extra-Curricular series continues! Stay tuned on Monday for my first-ever guest post, by Shea of Bon Chic Bon Gastronomique. It's wonderful and I promise you'll love it. Check it out, and until then, have a great weekend!

Academia: Another thing I do besides work at a university is moonlight as a model for educational advertisements. No, really. Let me explain. A couple of weeks ago at work, my friend Melina was taking pictures of some of our students around campus to enter in a photo contest for intensive English programs. She needed a blonde head to make the pictures more multicultural, so I volunteered. It was a lot of fun, and the combination of our gorgeous campus and Melina's great direction meant that the pictures turned out wonderfully. If we don't win the contest, I'll... um... okay, I don't know what I'll do, but trust me, the contest people will be sorry they didn't pick us.

Sartorial: Melina asked to wear anything we had with our university's logo or mascot on it, and I did for the actual shoot. I'm a little leery of posting any direct reference to the school that employs me online though. I can't think of anything bad in particular that would happen, but just in case my blog gets super famous and the university gets mad at me for using its logo without permission or saying its employees have tacky clothes, it's probably best that I just let you infer where I am instead of telling you directly.

The outfit I wore to the shoot was basically the one in these pictures. The shirt was the same color, just with the initial of my school on it. I wanted to look collegiate and all-American, so I wore the Chucks and the jeans. I felt like College Emily 2.0 - older, wiser, and more stylish than Original College Emily. Too bad there's not a way to go back and tell Original College Emily that flip-flops don't go with everything. That was a lesson that took a while to learn.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Extra-Curricular: Church Lady

Hey y'all. For the next 10 days, I'm on vacation in sunny California. But never fear - Academia Sartorial will carry on! I have a series called "Extra-Curricular" lined up, which will feature what I wear when I'm not in the world of academia, as well as a few guest posts from some awesome bloggers I know you'll love. So without further ado...

Academia: One thing I do other than work at a university is go to church. Cary and I go to an Anglican church not far from our house, and we love it. Our priest is a great guy, the teaching is right on, and we have good friends there, including both of our siblings and their families. We go to the contemporary (read: guitar music) service at 11:00, and we usually get lunch afterwards with friends.

Sartorial: This outfit is pretty typical of what I wear to church every week. Our church is pretty informal, and people wear everything from ties to sneakers. There aren't any restrictions about ladies covering their shoulders or heads, so this outfit was fine for a Sunday service. However, it's normally at subzero temperatures in the sanctuary. I guess, "Thou shalt freeze thy brethren to death, thus necessitating the use of a jacket even when it's 95 degrees outside," is a commandment my Sunday school forgot to teach me.
I asked God for a breeze to make me look windblown and model-y.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

T-Minus 12 Hours


Academia: Here it is: my last day before vacation. I really want today to feel like the last day of school, or at least a Friday, but it feels more like the day before a final exam. A bunch of stuff that I'm normally responsible for has to happen without me next week, and putting the mechanisms in place for it to run itself, knowing that I won't be here to fix anything, is a bit stressful. It's not that I don't trust the people who are filling in for me; I do. I just want everything to be super easy for them since they're already doing me a huge favor by helping out, and I want my boss to be impressed by my organizational skills since I'm new to this job.

Luckily, I know myself well enough to look forward to the moment the plane takes off and I forget I ever had any responsibilities at all. The further I am from work, the less responsible I feel. And since California is 3000 miles away, I'm anticipating a pretty carefree vacation.

One reason I'm going to be carefree is that I have some great guest bloggers lined up, as well as a series on what I wear in the non-academia part of my life. So don't you go on vacation too - Academia Sartorial will be up and running the whole time I'm gone!

Sartorial: I'm really loving the 30x30. Today I wanted to wear something I'm not bringing to California, which restricted my choices even more severely than the normal restraints of the 30x30 do, so I tried something new to me and layered a shirt over a dress. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, and I got compliments, so I think the general public was pleased too.

Follow-Up: Yesterday I made some predictions about how my day would go. Let's see how many came true!
  1. Student medical services will call because they can't understand our students. They didn't, although I did interact with them in other ways yesterday.
  2. At least one student will have a weird problem I couldn't have anticipated. A student had her bike stolen, which was unusual, but I kind of anticipated it because I wrote a blurb for our student newsletter this week about bike theft prevention. My boss asked me to write it, so I guess she really anticipated this one, not me.
  3. I will discuss Monday's storm with another faculty member. I discussed it with my mom, not a faculty member. I was busy yesterday and didn't have a lot of chatting time.
  4. At least one student will stop by to say hello and will make me laugh. Lots of students said hey as they passed my office, but no one hung around to amuse me. I guess they had to go to "class" or whatever. Jeez, students.
So clearly my predicting skills aren't 100%. Good thing I didn't pursue my other dream of being a psychic.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chantilly Lace

Academia: I wanted to get a jump on Everybody, Everywear and post early today, but I'm posting so early that nothing has really happened yet. So instead of a recap of what I did today, I offer you some predictions. I predict that our student medical services will call at least once because they can't understand our students. I predict that at least one student will have a weird problem that will have been impossible for me to anticipate, either involving their health or an online purchase that they want to return/reschedule/file a complaint about. I predict that I will have at least one discussion of yesterday's storm with either another faculty member or a student. I'm pretty sure I'm going to instigate that discussion - see yesterday's post on our Storm Ride of Death. Finally, I predict that at least one student will stop by just to say hello, and will probably say something that makes me laugh. Come on, that one student!

Sartorial: Today is Everybody, Everywear's Lace Day. I was a little stumped by this one because I don't really love/own that much lace. I liked lace on my wedding dress, but I'm not a huge fan for everyday wear. So I had to bring it into the outfit in small ways. If you look carefully at the hem of my skirt, there's some lace there. My scarf is also lace, which I was unsure when I first put it on because it feels a bit bridal to wear lace on my head, but now I'm okay with. This outfit also had to fit within the parameters of my 30x30. All these constraints pushed me a little out of my sartorial comfort zone, and I actually think I like it. Stay tuned; by the end of the 30x30 I may be dressing like Lady Gaga. No, I won't. I think she's tacky. Go ahead and write me off as visionless and bourgeois. Wearing a dress made of meat is still tacky.

Lace | Everybody, Everywear

Monday, June 13, 2011

Storm Ride of Death

Shoes, Earrings

Academia: After a pretty normal day at work, Cary and I headed an hour north to have dinner with his parents, aunt and uncle, brother, and niece. It was Steak Night. It draws a crowd. The sky was looking pretty black as we were heading for the interstate, but that's typical of a summer afternoon here. However, two minutes after we got on the highway, nature let forth a storm of Biblical proportions. I'm not kidding. This one was a behemoth.

As native Southerners, Cary and I fancy ourselves pretty unflappable by storms. We've driven through tropical depressions, heard lightning strike a block away without jumping, and slept through hurricanes. But I have never been in car during a storm like this one. First, there was torrential rain and tropical storm strength gusts of wind. Then there was lightning striking on the shoulder of the road. Then there was hail, and not just a little hail, but what sounded like a gravel truck emptying out onto our car. This went on for 20 minutes. I haven't been nervous in a car in a storm in a long time, but I breathed a big sigh of relief when we came out on the other side of that mess.

Sartorial: Today was Day 1 of the 30x30, and I really loved this outfit. So much so that I wore for the Storm Ride of Death this afternoon, even though I had the chance to change into shorts when I came home from work. It brought me some measure of comfort knowing that if we were struck by lightning or impaled by giant hailstones, I would die looking cute. I had clean underwear too. Moms of the world, be proud.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

30 for 30

Tomorrow is Day 1 of my first 30 for 30. I have no idea how this is going to go, or if I chose well. I tried to pick things that were easily interchangeable, and plan to use my accessories extensively. This is going to take me quite a bit longer than 30 days, though, because I'm going on vacation on Thursday and won't be back until the following Saturday. My vacation clothes are more utilitarian than fashionable, so I won't be blogging those days. You're welcome. I'll do the first three days of the 30 this week, and then I'll resume when I get back. Wish me luck!
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