Thursday, September 30, 2010

Waiting and Wednesday

This is what I wore to work yesterday.  I snapped a couple quick pictures when I got home from work last night (this is the first one I took, and I'm amazed that it actually turned out).  I mentioned a few weeks back that my fella and I bought new furniture for our living room and dining room.  It's being delivered today, and we just found out last night that the delivery crew does not take away old furniture, as we had previously been told.  So last night we spent the entire evening clearing out our old furniture and cleaning the apartment in preparation for the new stuff.  Needless to say, I'm pretty sore today.  We have to wait about a week for a charitable resale shop to come and pick up the old furniture, so it's currently stuffed into our second bedroom, which often serves as Rad's room when she visits.

I started writing this while I was waiting for the delivery guys, and the apartment looked like this:

They have since come and gone, and I've arranged everything, and now it looks like this...

...and this

Style Underdog posted somewhat recently about dressing to match your home's decor.  So I guess I should be investing in more brown.

But enough gushing over furniture, I'll get back to the outfit - the coolest part of it is by far the tights.  I thought it was finally good weather for tights here, but of course it ended up being close to 80 yesterday.  But they're so cute, I don't really care.

Sweater: The Limited
Tank: H&M
Skirt: Target
Tights: Target
Shoes: Kohl's
Earrings & Necklace: New York & Company

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Faux summer days

Faux summer

Greetings from TCC Northeast (yes, we are riffing off our buddies at IPF, who have so many regions covered). While it's been cool enough to wear tweed pants in the Great Lakes area, today, the subway is air conditioned to a frigid temp. And there are shorts, sandals, and lots of mild summer in the city type outfits on the streets. It took me way too long to get dressed this morning, as I could not find the pants I had in mind (hence I am taking the office outfit shot. The lack of any natural light and the greenish glow of the overhead lights are part of the charm of working in a converted midtown shoe factory space). Since I commuted with this bright magenta folder out of the bag, and I've been drowning in my usual neutrals, I'm using my prop as a pop of color. (Taking prop cues from Style Underdog and A-Dubs). All the pieces of this outfit are from my 6xAugust challenge. I guess when I was pressed for time, old standards work in a pinch.
I am giving myself until the end of next week to really learn my students' names (I have about 90 so that's no small feat). Blokey has about 65, and he knows them already. How? He takes his time when he calls roll (we are legally supposed to take attendance). I tend to rush through, but he makes mental notes about students names during that time. Why is he so smart?

Also, for your viewing pleasure, what Buster likes to do on my lap in the mornings (when Blokey isn't there because he's teaching):

Shirt: Rodarte for Target
Cardigan: Jcrew (thrifted)
Skirt: Muji
Shoes: Aerosoles (thrifted)
Bag: Brooklyn Industries
Folder: Office Max
(posters from Northern Sun)

Playing Tourist

I had a nice day not working and hanging out downtown with my brother yesterday.  I don't usually post my non-work outfits, but I am this time because it includes my super versatile cardigan.  I've actually worn it a few times since my original post, so it is proving to be just as versatile as I thought.  I said I could make at least 12 outfits with the sweater, so here is outfit #2.  

Cardigan: Target
Tee: Loft
Jeans: Gap
Shoes: Privo
Scarf: New York & Company
Watch: Kohl's (c. 2004)

Since it's a pretty simple outfit, I don't have a lot to say about it.  Instead, enjoy this shot of downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan, as seen from the Shedd Aquarium.

Have a nice day, everyone!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Missing in Action

Happy Tuesday!  Things have been pretty busy around here at TCC Midwest (we can have locations too, right Rad?) so, although I've had some decent outfits the past few days, I just haven't had time for pictures and posts.  I had a fairly busy weekend, and on top of that, I've had a lot of annoying work stuff on my mind.  Also, as of today, I don't have a computer - my personal one died earlier this year, and my work one is getting a new hard drive (the second in a couple of months!).  Thankfully, fella has an old Mac for me to use in the meantime. 

Here's what I wore for a busy Monday.  It's getting chilly here, and although it's perfect tights weather, I opted for some comfy wide-leg pants instead.  I had to get to work extra early so that I could leave nice and early, rush home, walk & feed Jude, change and head downtown for a Bears game with my brother and the fella.  Football is probably my least favorite sport, but Bears games are always a good time, and it was pretty fun sitting in between my two favorite sports nerds for the entire thing.  My brother is here from California and is off to visit our parents tomorrow, so I'm off work today to hang out with him while he's in town.  It's always fun to play tourist here, and the break from work isn't bad either.

Anyway, how's your week going?

Cardigan: Loft
Top: Trulli
Pants: The Limited
Shoes: Born
Necklace: Ann Taylor

Monday, September 27, 2010

Stormy Monday

Ida, Cesar and Me

Edit: One subway ride and a good convo with a fellow prof later, and I'm feeling a bit less stormy. Note how my good friends, Ida Wells and Cesar Chavez are brightening my mood.

Do I look a stormy myself? Sorry, I tried to be less grey and cloudy, but I'm a bit annoyed at the moment, as I received a pretty irresponsible email from one of my M.A. students. But I shan't let it ruin my Monday. Today will be a good day, and I'm inaugurating tights season, as the high will not go above 70 degrees today.
Upon inspecting this outfit, I've decided that I'm looking awkward. But that's what the office blazer is for! I may upload another photo later on the day.
Hope your Monday is more sunshiney and cheerful than mine.

Shirt: Uniqlo
Belt: Gap
Skirt: H&M
Tights: Uniqlo
Shoes: Naturalizer

Edit: Office Blazer: Esprit

Crankier, earlier photo (note Buster's paws under the door)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An Old Favorite

I apologize in advance for the terrible lighting in today's pictures.  I had my fella take them when I got home from a long day of work and running around tonight at about 7:30 (bless his heart, he did it while cooking me dinner), and the lighting in our apartment is just awful.  But I really wanted to get pictures today, since I really love this outfit.  There's a lot of sparkles in it (detail below, because sometimes there's nothing better than something shiny), but my favorite part is the skirt.  This is one of the oldest pieces that's still in somewhat regular rotation in my wardrobe.  It's perfect for any season, and it's flattering on me within a 30-40 pound weight range.  How many articles of clothing can possibly make that last claim?  

Skirt sparkles
I bought this skirt in 2004, for my first-ever Christmas party with my company.  Of course, the days of company-funded Christmas parties with giant buffets and open bars are long-gone in much of the corporate world (our yearly party has shifted to a lunch time pot luck), but the skirt remains.  I realize 6 years isn't that long to have owned something, but keep in mind, up until the last few years I was buying trendier pieces rather than classic pieces, so a lot of what I have from years ago either doesn't fit me anymore, or looks too dated.  I think this skirt has lasted so long because it's basically a black skirt, and those never go out of style.

I kept the accessorizing simple, sticking with a pink brooch (I was happy to see brooches on Sal's list of classic accessories) and a pair of stud earrings.  I'm really stoked that this style of earrings seems to be coming back into style, since it's a really easy way to dress an outfit up.  I'm still wearing them despite having changed my clothes, and my jammies have never looked classier.  

What pieces in your wardrobe have stood the test of time?

Cardigan: Target
Tank: Loft
Skirt: New York & Company (c. 2004)
Earrings: New York & Company (current)
Brooch: Etsy
Watch: Anne Klein, gifted
Shoes: Aerosoles

Gratuitous Jude shot (he's always so happy when we come home from work)


Ace, originally uploaded by Cohabitating_Closet.

It's 66 right now, but it will be 85 degrees later (not that I'll be outside much during the day), so I thought today might be one of the last days for linen, seeing that it is also the last day of summer (officially). Looking at the photos now makes me think, "Hmm... perhaps when my GAAD year is over, I should consider some slightly higher waisted pants."
My neck felt naked without a scarf, but this scarf is made of a stiff nylon, so I had to twist about to get a picture without the ends sticking straight up, like Snoopy's Red Baron chasing Ace pilot. But since I like Snoopy's Ace, I thought it would work OK anyway.


Happy last day of summer (bring on the cool weather, please! The hottest summer in recorded NYC history has to end someday, right?)

Jacket: Gap
Shirt: H&M
Pants and belt: H&M
Scarf: eBay
Flats: Ecco

Monday, September 20, 2010

Springy in the fall

Springy in the fall, originally uploaded by Cohabitating_Closet.

Happy Monday, Stylenation! Only 3 days until Autumn starts! I thought I'd dress in denial with this green A line skirt. It's very "Spring" colored, but I don't pay attention to season appropriateness anymore. The point of GAAD is to wear everything, right? Today, I'll be teaching my heavy load (3 classes, including a 2 hour grad seminar) so I thought I'd go with the stretchy, comfy cardigan on top. I've been thinking about my work uniform, and the skirt-cardigan-shirt (usually belt, but the waist on this skirt doesn't quite work with a belt) is pretty standard. This would also work with the office blazer, but that's in Manhattan right now (where I will soon be bound).

Blokey and I had a great time on our minibreak in Asbury Park. Yep, minibreaks mean true love. I really like visiting AP, but it's such a strange place. Like, if the town is 75% African American, how come I only saw white folks on the public boardwalk and beach? Also, the lifeguards whistled me out of the water. Evidently, hurricane season means bad rip tides.

Yes, Greetings from Asbury Park!

Legendary Wonder Bar (and not so legendary big cars)

(Blokey wanted me to take a picture of the towny part of AP, which is not thriving)

cardigan: Loft (thrifted)
skirt: Tulle via Presence (Chicago)
shoes: 9 West (ages ago)
t shirt: H&M

A Black Dress Never Fails

Happy Monday, all!  I can tell it's Monday because nothing seems to be cooperating.  My body, sore from an apparently intense work-out yesterday (as I write this, I'm watching my fella limp around the apartment - I guess we both overdid it!), and reacting to all kinds of fun allergens, would much rather I had stayed in bed today.  And my pictures?  Talk about uncooperative.  I made the mistake of taking them before I put any make-up on.  I've done this before, and it's not been an issue, but it's bad today.  I look exhausted, and the dark circles under my eyes are matching my black dress way too much.  Happens to the best of us, I suppose.  It's a shame too, becuase I was excited to show off my new haircut - an angled bob!  So I'm just going to go headless today.  After all, it works so well for the ladies of IPF, Kelly and Away from the Keyboard, to name a few.  At least I got the pose kind of right :)

But the thing that is working right today is my outfit.  This black dress, previously remixed here, is definitely one of my favorite fall-back pieces.  It never fails me.  I mean, it's a black dress, so it's super versatile.  It's also really comfortable, and one of the best-fitting things I own.  Today I paired it with one of my favorite cardigans, and a simple red belt.  I'd rather be wearing my jammies and curled up on the couch, but this outfit isn't bad either.

What do you wear when you'd rather just stay in bed?

Dress, Cardigan & Belt: Target
Shoes: Born
Necklace: New York & Company

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Friday=care day

Usually, Thursdays are for household labor, care, and catchy up at the end of the teaching week, but I had to go in yesterday, and then got caught in the great NYC hurricane of '10 (Blokey's poor Wasa crackers did survive the 60 MPH winds and rains, miraculously) and I didn't get as much done as I 'd wish. Today, I'm going to see my acupuncturist (I have become "One of those" Brooklynites, in an effort to deal with my skin problems and allergies in a natural way, but it's community acupuncture, and totally affordable. Costs the same as a co-pay, almost), go grocery shopping, and work like a fiend, hopefully.
Blokey and I have plans for a little mini-break to the Jersey shore this weekend. We may or may not overnight. But we've wanted to go for a while, before the semester got to crazy, and the sun went away for good. I'll try to post boardwalk pictures!
If you're not familiar with David Mitchell, British funnyman and occasional Liberal political commentator, I highly recommend him. I also recommend this recent video of him explaining why he wore the same red shirt on his Soap Box series on the
While I can quite commit to becoming "Homer Simpson" or "Charlie Brown" in my embrace of a signature uniform, I have been thinking about "uniforms" lately. I want to organize how I dress for school into various "uniforms" so I'm not stuck by my closet, wondering what to wear (the in between seasons weather has not been helping). Jesse.anne.o's post on her experiences with a sustainable fashion workshop during Fashion's Night Out got me nodding. I too want a cool uniform style wardrobe. A jacket, shirt, skirt, and boots are a favorite fall casual uniform. But yet I am reluctant to donate my thrifted prairie dresses...
Ah, what's a conflicted, stuffed closet, eco-wannabe clothing consumer to do?
Also, Stylenation: Can I buy staples to replace the things I've worn out on the GAAD? I need like 1-2 black and white T-shirts, for layering. I have the discipline to traipse in somewhere, buy them and get out (or on, or whatever eretailer I fancy).

Jacket: Levi's
Shirt: H&M
Skirt: DIY
Socks: Gap
Boots: Palladium

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Stylenation: Can You Help my Co-Worker?

Dear Stylenation,

I was sitting at my desk this morning when one of my co-workers came over to ask me where she could look online to find out how to dress better (her words, not mine).  I'm tickled that she came to me for help, since she said it's because she always enjoys my clothes.  She's curious about where I find inspiration for my outfits, so I told her that I people-watch a lot in Chicago (she lives in the Chicago suburbs, so she has less options there) and read style blogs.  

Since I've learned so much from all of you, I was wondering if you could recommend any resources for my co-worker to check out.  She's interested in business-casual for a woman in her 40's, and I should also note that she's petite, so she sometimes has trouble finding things in her size.  Can you help us?

(it feels weird not posting a picture, so here's some Jude)

Jeans in the classroom

Today, I'm looking a bit worse for the wear. I woke up at 4AM with itchy, watery eyes (thanks fall weather!) and I may look a bit like someone with a recreational drug habit today. And my hair won't go out of "modified Carol Brady" lately, but that's OK. Buster still likes me.
I tried to incorporate your great thoughts about wearing a jeans based outfit in the classroom. Today, my students are watching a film so and having a discussion (we learn about the Spanish American war as a case study, and then we use that "historical data" to analyze theories of war. Since many have woeful memories of high school history, this serves as a catch up). Since I'll be sitting most of the day, I thought the 3" oxford, inspired by Ephemera, would be appropriate.
Some folks asked really great questions about how I may be perceived by fellow faculty members, and E-Jo made a great comment about how junior faculty do cutting edge research, and likewise can probably get away with pushing boundaries in the classroom. I like that idea a lot. While I won't be showing up in anything inappropriate, skin wise, I think that clothing norms at both my school and my department are very broad and diverse (like our students!). And I have very high regard of my fellow department members and I believe them to be fair, open-minded and nonjudgmental. I mean, my research is quite non-mainstream but they liked it.

Edit: I belted it and took a quick picture. Which is better: loose or belted?

Hope everyone has a lovely Wednesday!

Cardigan: Rachel Rachel ROy
Top: via Clique
Jeans : Blank
Shoes: Tahari, via DSW

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Do I Wear Hats?

Perhaps you've seen the recent Target commercial where a woman is shopping in their hat section, tries on an adorable hat and her inner monologue says "Do I wear hats?"  She then imagines herself in an apple orchard partaking in "hat type things."  I love this commercial so much (not that I watch a ton of commercials anyway) because that's exactly how I feel about hats.  I love them and usually look pretty good in them (with the exception of the fedora, but that's too trendy for me right now anyway), but often wonder where I would ever wear them.  It's a little ridiculous, but I sometimes think people will just look at me funny if I'm sporting a hat other than one of the many wool hats I have to keep me warm in the winter.  I guess people aren't wearing enough hats.

While growing up, I watched a lot of classic TV from the 60's and 70's, and, feminist implications aside, loved the fashions of those times.  Even now, watching Mad Men (I'm a little late to that party, but yes ladies of IPF, I finally got into it) I long for a time where women would get dressed to the nines.  From watching Mary Tyler Moore's iconic beret toss as a kid, to Trudy Campbell's over the top derby hat, and Peggy Olsen's adorable (albeit a little too reminiscent of the hat I wore for my First Communion and several subsequent Easters) white hat in last week's episode of Mad Men, I've wished I could be the kind of woman who could pull off hats.  So, what the hell, I'm going to be a hat person.

This is a lot to say that I have a new hat that I've been itching to wear for a while.  It's a nice, thick black felt with some great feather detail on the side.  I think it will be great for fall, although perhaps better with skirts/dresses than pant ensembles.

What do you wish you could wear, but aren't sure you can pull off?  Am I crazy to think dressier hats look a little out of place?

Sweater: The Limited
Cami: H&M
Pants: The Limited
Shoes: Born
Necklace: New York & Company
Bracelet: Macy's (2005)
Hat: Target
Sunglasses: Loft

Monday, September 13, 2010

Brightly Colored Versatility

A couple of weeks ago, I wore this blue dress to cheer myself up out of a funk.  I'm happy to report that I'm in a much better mood today, so I've remixed that dress and shoe combination with a bright pop of color.  I found this cardigan on clearance at Target over the weekend (I guess it's not a fall color, yet it seems absolutely perfect for fall if you ask me), and I do have a hard time passing up a good deal on something cute.  The cool thing about this cardigan is that the purpleish/pinkish color seems to go with everything in my closet.  I came up with 12 outfits that include the cardigan without really even trying.

After popping in to Target on Saturday, my fella and I had lunch with friends at our neighborhood Kyrgyzstani restaurant, and on the walk back to our apartment ended up buying all new furniture.  It's pretty exciting, given that we'd both been using mostly hand-me-down furniture and cheap post-college purchases.  But this means that my clothes-shopping habit will be on a mandatory and much-needed break.  This comes at a good time, given how tempted I always seem to get by new fall clothes.  Plus, this will give me a chance to wear and remix everything that's been hiding in my closet, with the help of versatile pieces such as a bright-colored cardigan or neutral dress.

What piece(s) do you own that seem to go with everything?

Dress & Cardigan: Target
Belt: Target
Shoes: Tsubo
Necklace: Ann Taylor
Watch: Anne Klein, gift

Edited to add: Jude Monday photo-crash

Pants weather

Pants weather, originally uploaded by Cohabitating_Closet.

Today, I've been inspired by the brilliant professional pants-wearing of La Historidora de Moda, A-Dubs, and Anne. These are my best "professional pants" and they cost me like $20 in 2001. Somehow (probably not wearing them that often), they've remained in decent shape, and look slightly better than a decade old pair of cheapo trousers. Ah, the magic of artificial fibers.
Before I started reading style blogs, I wore black and grey, black and white, and black tops with jeans. As a wink to my slight style evolution, I've added a magenta/aquamarine scarf and burgundy shoes. They're like types of red, and they go together, right?
Like Anne, I want it to go below 70s before I pull out the old tights for class. There is a school event this week that I should attend on a non-teaching day- so maybe I'll go leggings/jeggings as my pants alternative?
Hope you have a lovely Monday. I'm off to educate the youth, Stylenation!

Shirt: JCrew
Belt: Gap
Pants: Very old Old Navy
Shoes: Naturalizer
Scarf: eBay

Friday, September 10, 2010

Risk and the classroom

Inspired by D-Med's awesome first day of class ensemble yesterday, I wanted to float this by the readers. I am not teaching today (or until Monday), but while it's still "transitioning" weather outside, could this (or something similar) work in a classroom? The jeans give it a casual vibe, but the jacket, from my "interview suit" (which I dislike, as suits are just not my thing), formals (yep, using it as a verb) it up a notch). Or maybe it's too early for this kind of laid back wardrobe choice?
I'm working from home today, (the blazer will get ditched if Buster decides to use me a sa climbing pole, which begins around 10 AM), although we'd hoped it would be nice enough for the beach today. Maybe tomorrow. Other than that, we don't have many plans. I got some reviews for a different paper back yesterday, and while they were positive, they wanted significant changes. But one of the reviewers seemed agitated at my claims, which first annoyed me, but then Blokey and I had a good laugh. Sometimes, there's just no pleasing some people.
I guess there's this fashion thing going on somewhere in Manhattan. I guess some bloggers are having their own events? That's cool and I'll read some bloggers (but not many) talk about this. I have nerdy research, writing, and class prep to do. The nice thing about being very geeky in NYC is that I generally don't care if I'm missing much. My manuscript is more pressing than, as Jezebel calls it, "rich men wanting to make money."
Are you interested in fashion week? Do you like reading blogger's coverage of it?
Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Dancing Days

I'm happy that Friday is here again.  How was everyone's week?  And what are you all up to this weekend?  Chicago's German-American Fest is this weekend, about 4 blocks away from me, so I'm looking forward to some sausage, beer and Gem├╝tlichkeit (Rad - is that proper usage?  Am I even thinking of the right word?).

The cooler weather seems like it's here to stay (well, since it's Chicago, there's a good chance that it could be 80 again in a few days), so I've been avoiding skirts this week.  I miss them, but it's too cold for bare legs, and I'm not ready for tights just yet.  I've been having fun with pants though, since it's been a long time since I've actually worn them on a regular basis, so it's like I have a brand new look.  The inspiration for this outfit was Rad's striped scarf earlier this week.

Sweater: Loft
Scarf: The Limited
Jeans: Gap
Shoes: Born
Earrings: New York & Company

Jude did some serious photo-crashing.  And he worked so hard to get in the pictures, it'd be a shame not to share it.

One of Jude's many hobbies/talents is dancing with us.  I'd say this dog has nothing on Jude, but he probably wouldn't let us dress him up in sequined dance costumes.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


As much as I love color in my outfits, sometimes it's nice to just rock some neutrals.  I've been avoiding button-down shirts for a while since they don't always look very flattering on me (a conversation that I had with Rad while she purchased this shirt, oddly enough), but I took Sal's suggestion of belting a button-down shirt, and that seems to have added some much needed definition and detail to a plain black shirt.  Not content to go entirely neutral, I added a pop of color with a green beaded necklace.

How do you spruce up your neutrals?

Close-up of pant pattern:
Shirt, Pants, Belt and Necklace: New York & Company (wow, I actually didn't realize that until just now)
Shoes: Aerosoles

Really begins

Really begins, originally uploaded by Cohabitating_Closet.

I feel like the semester really begins after Labor Day. Usually it does, but since Rosh Hashanah starts today at sundown, we have a 1/2 day. All of our post 4 PM classes are cancelled, which means I only teach one class. That class isn't going to be too pleased about being there so we're keeping it light today.
I realize that I look bummed in this picture, but all my other photos made me look startled or annoyed. I'm trying to wear some of my "workhorse" pieces, as the ladies at Scholar Style Guide have declared it "Wardrobe Workhorse" week. I was too out of the loop to officially participate, but I love the idea. I got this shirt at the Gap with Anne in July, and though I've only worn it a few times, I plan to remix it a lot this fall. It's a little causal, but since we are mostly doing administrative stuff and review in class today, I'm OK with that. This skirt was part of my 6 pieces for some of August challenge, and this scarf is part of my growing collection. Scarves are my favorite accessory, since I often find jewelry to be fussy. Finally, these brown wedges are some of my favorite shoes. I wear them out, to teach, and they're pretty comfy for 3" wedge heels.
Hope you have an excellent Wednesday.

Shirt: GAP
Scarf: UO
Skirt: Muji
Shoes: Aerosoles
Belt: off a pair of H&M pants

Monday, September 6, 2010

Long Weekend

I hope everyone has been enjoying their holiday weekend!  After kicking the weekend off with a camping trip up near Wisconsin, I spent the remainder of the weekend running errands and doing fun things like house cleaning and dog grooming.  Okay, that's not so fun, but it needs to be done sometimes.  This is what I wore yesterday for some shopping in Lincoln Park and dinner at my fella's brother's house.  It's a bit of a remix of the red shoes and green cardigan combo from last week, perfect for the slightly chillier weather we had here over the weekend.

I'm not too excited to get back to work tomorrow, so instead, let's enjoy some camping pictures.  Have a good week, everyone!

Camping chic, with the perfect accessory
Lake Michigan

Jude's camping girlfriend
Cardigan: Loft
Tank: Gap
Jeans: Gap
Shoes: Puma
Necklace: Gift
Watch: Kohl's (circa 2004)
Headband: hazel