Tuesday, March 30, 2010

YLF challenge

YLF challenge, originally uploaded by Cohabitating_Closet.

I regularly participate in Angie's Youlookfab forum. Not only because her blog is probably one of the major reasons that I started paying attention to style back 2007 or so, but also because I like the community of women (something that I am a late adopter to valuing).
Recently a forum member issued a challenge chain, in which forum members would get to know another person's style and challenge them to dress outside their comfort zone. Anne (not the co-contributor) very astutely noticed that I am a skirt/dress and neutrals kinda gal. It's hard to break out of my style rut, so this was a great activity. She challenged me to pants and some of the spring palette colors, which include turquoise, coral, violet, aurora and amparo blue. These are not colors readily available in my neutral heavy closet.

Image from http://www.pantone.com/

However, in a fit of fabric frenzy, I did pick up a few yards of faux eyelet coral summer weight woven cloth, which I quickly ripped into a raw edged scarf, and paired it with a lavender-ish long underwear shirt. I threw on my "professor" blazer and skinny jeans. I popped the collar and scrunched the sleeves to make it more casual. I hope I don't look like one of my frat boy students.

(eek! the challenges of a longer a torso: shirts never want to cover my belly)

edit: It's spring break. Only the folks at the laundromat saw me so far.

I don't wear pants that often, mostly because I like the comfort of skirts and because I think they flatter my longer torso more than pants. Also, when I moved to NY almost 2 years ago, I lost that 7 lbs from stress (ah, New York), and I have been loathe to invest in New Pants (which is a laborious activity for me). I did pick up these skinny jeans last winter, but the jury is still out on them. I think they look better with a longer top, as I am not overly fond of my hips in skinny pants.

I am also scared of oranges and yellow close to my face because of my skin tone. Any thoughts on the coral scarf?

Scarf: self made (ripped), probably about $0.50 (at $2.99/yard in the Garment district)

Jeans: Blank

Shoes: very old 9 West

Thermal underwear shirt: Uniqlo

Blazer: Esprit (two seasons ago)


  1. OK, it's a teensy bit hard to tell how that color plays off your skin as your face seems to be in shadow. I think it's a good shade for you, but not 100% sure.

    What it does for sure? Brightens the whole outfit, adds a fantastic focal point, lends balance to the otherwise slim items, and looks marvelous with the lavender.

    You look AH-MAZING in this outfit, lady. It shows off your figure, makes you look a mile tall, and is fantastically stylish. A great look to trot out when you want to be your alter ego, SUPERSPY Rad_in_Brooklyn. ;)

  2. You look FABULOUS!! Those jeans look great on you, and I love the entire outfit. I'm glad some Anne somewhere was able to get you to break out of the old comfort zone :)

  3. You are WORKING those colors. I love the bright orange and purple color combo! You should do it more often :D

    Enter to win a William Riera dress!

  4. Okay. I love skinny jeans on you.

  5. I think you look great and I dig those jeans, but I honestly have to say that I would not feel comfortable teaching in anything that bared my midriff. But maybe that's just me.

  6. The coral scarf is great on you. I hear you on the venturing outside of your comfort zone though. I also tend to wear neutrals (mostly black) and mostly skirts (practically speaking, it rains so often here that skirts make way more sense than pants, given that I walk or bike to campus usually). You look great in this outfit and I really love the pop of colour.

    I do think, however, that in the classroom, maintaining our comfort zone is okay. I don't know about you, but I find that I am negotiating a great deal in the classroom (and hearing that tenure clock ticking is an added pressure) and feeling confident in the classroom means dressing in the way that I feel is appropriate and comfortable for me (at least for now, as an untenured prof). I think working outside of your comfort zone is great for outside of the classroom, especially because you look beautiful in the scarf, but if it doesn't feel right for teaching, don't wear it. (It is a great book jacket photo, however.)

    Of course I say that after I, in a fit of rage against the machine (not even my institution) dyed my fringe bright pink, so perhaps I am not one to talk, though I still maintain my conservative-ish colour palette in the classroom for my own comfort level (in my defense, I can't see my hair). I like to add a pop of colour with the shoes, or with a chunky bracelet, which for now, is what I feel okay with.

    I think as assistant profs we deal with enough uncertainty that pushing our style comfort zone at our institutions can be saved for later (again, pink hair, grain of salt, blah blah blah). Nonetheless, I think you are rocking the skinny jeans in a way that makes me jealous and your colour palette here is fabulous on you. That is, you should feel totally comfortable with this look because it is awesome, but if you don't feel comfortable, that's what it is.

  7. i love the color of that scarf!! i am always wary of those color palette things only because sometimes i feel like there are some colors that don't work for me matched with others that do.
    i think if you love it, go for the scarf!