Thursday, April 29, 2010

Flowy White Skirt Day

Finally, I found a way to wear the flowy white skirt. It's a little cowgirl, but really fun. We had a conference today so it wasn't a "real" workday even though it required me to be up much earlier. I'm not sure this would be workday outfit, but it works for this situation.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

In honor of the last few days of April and the last candidate interview that requires me to be in the library during the day, I busted out my dressy black skirt. Wow, so today I got comments (compliments) about my dress more than other day. Heels, cardigan, surplice top completes the outfit. It was fun. I wouldn't wear this on any normal day, but given a more formal work place, I could totally rock this.
I did recreate the Monday outfit. Nothing too special, but this is my long day filled with laundry and other less than glamorous task so a normal outfit it pretty nice. Better though would have been this:
Black espadrille wedges would have tied the khaki skirt and black tank together more. Plus they're just darn cute and I don't think they've made the blog yet. :-)
Finally, I wore this to an afternoon symphony concert on the dreary, rainy Sunday. Again it's been recreated for documentary purposes (and hastily at that).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The End is Near

The countdown has begun. Four days until May arrives. While I haven't worn skirts every day, I certainly have worn more skirts this month than the rest of 2010. :-) So with the end in sight, I have redoubled my efforts to wear skirts with vigor. Yesterday, I'll recreate when I can. Today you get this:
I haven't really gotten to wear my favorite flannel skirt for April, and now it's cold and I miss my comfort clothes. So flannel shirt, corduroy skirt, to provide some warmth magenta tights, and orange flats to work the 2/3 triad color scheme. It's outside my box, but I think it works. I just wish I had put on a belt.
I added a blazer when I went to work. I think the velvet, corduroy and flannel might be too much texture. However, I'm very happy to have found a way to wear my flannel!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Let's Call it a Quarterly Review

April hasn't been all about the skirts. Otherwise, there'd probably be more blogging. Taking pictures of yourself everyday is hard! I have a post in the queue, but I need to, you know, finish writing it.

Earlier this month had a stack of books about 2 ft high all waiting to be read. (Any good library Science major will tell you that the average book is an inch thick. You do the math.) Normally this is no big deal, I have a lot of books I want to read and I usually get through them all eventually. But this stack was populated with a lot of library books. Not just any old library books that have due dates and can normally be renewed; several of these books where ones I had been waiting for on holds lists for months. Not reading them in the time allotted was not an option. I might never see them again. Anyway, now that stack is down to two. Whew! All that worry for nothing. Except that the three books I just checked out from the library aren't in that stack...

However, the decimation of the stack has prompted me to review my book list. As of today, April 21st, I have read 26 books in 2010. Last year on April 22nd, I hit 30 books. Not too bad. Especially considering one of those books is Vanity Fair (no not the magazine), the classic 699-page English novel by William Makepeace Thakeray (I really just like his middle name) subtitled "Novel without a Hero". I've been working on this my first classic novel of the year since January 15th. However, it is the only classic work I've read even though my resolutions should have me at at least 5.

Also no Theology books have been read. Lots of contemporary Christian non-fiction, that could almost count by letter of the law, but not really in spirit. I've read 8 non-fiction books so far, 5 of those of a spiritual persuasion. Favorites: Looking for God in Harry Potter to give to all those people who think Harry Potter should be banned due to its satanic influence, The Happiness Project one of the books I've been waiting for since November, and Real Sex, a cohesive argument for abstinence in a Christian context that doesn't seek to vilify sex when you're single and then expect you to flip a switch once you've gotten married.

The rest of the list is populated with YA and Crime/Thriller novels. I'm still a die-hard advocate for Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. It's been so helpful in keeping my Greek myths straight. And I also just read Scarlett Fever by one of my favorite twitterers Maureen Johnson. On the Crime/Thriller side, I attempted an adult novel by Rick Riordan (who wrote Percy Jackson)--not so good. And I need to get back into the Kinsey Millhone books since I stopped at L in January.

Favorite author, Jasper Fforde, released Shades of Grey at the end of 2009. And I finally got my hands on it in March. While this book took me forever to get through, it was an exercise in trusting the author to pull it all together because 2/3 of the way through things just caught and went and I couldn't put it down until the last page. So glad this is going to be a series. Even though Thursday Next holds a much tighter hold on my heart. Such a brilliantly creative author.

So not a review of all 26 books, but those are the ones I'm most glad to have read. I have at least one more book that should be finished today even (class text--totally counts because over 16 weeks I did read all of it). And then there are more due dates approaching. :-)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Librarian Image

Oh the fun of post-dating blog posts. The skirt project has been happening (mostly) just without pictures (mostly). Results of a bad photoshoot coupled with cooler temps sparked two days of jeans rebellion. And you know it's my skirt month I can make up those rules. :-) Sunday, I wore a skirt to church and then changed and did go out in jeans in the evening. Monday, I returned to my skirt-wearing ways, but sans picture because Mondays start early and end late.

Tuesday, I finally got my act together:
This outfit is nothing spectacular really, except that it's exactly how I see myself as a librarian. Lots of classic elements: the cardigan, the skirt, the flats, the tucked-in shirt!!!* But the shirt is irreverent (Unshelved classic: Frequently Asked Questions), the skirt is jean, and the cardigan is fun-colored. I feel pulled together, but not dowdy and not likely I'm pretending to fulfill some sort of prescribed image. While it's not completely on trend, it's me.

More importantly as someone who really never thought she'd be a librarian and yet finds herself enrolled in a Library Science program, I've been navigating through how I see myself as a professional in a library-environment. I'm not the shusher. I'm not the children's librarian. I'm not the hipster who knows all the great local music (as the library becomes a sub-genre of the coffee shop--oh that's a horrible thought). I am an academic who delights in finding places for the really big words I've read in everyday life--not to prove that I know what they mean and others don't, but to show some harmony in this mental life and, you know, the real world. And actually that's where I'm going to stop--this outfit does the same thing for me.

*I NEVER tuck in shirts--it makes me feel short-waisted. But I've found my more structured skirts really benefit from using my natural proportions as opposed to faking a longer torso with dropped waists.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Work Wear

I work evenings at a law school library. This statement has some profound implications on my life. For instances, this my alarm went off at 7:30, but I didn't get out of bed until 9. For an hour and a half I read The Happiness Project* (a seriously good recommendation--excellent reading for someone in the midst of a month-long resolution). It is an indulgence, but more like the indulgence of people who read for an hour before going to bed.

The other implication for better or for worse is that I can get away with wearing jeans to work. "Get away with" is probably the best phrasing for while I have excellent justifications for doing so (reducing wardrobe changes during the day, more casual atmosphere during the evening), I'd seriously up my credibility by dressing business casual like my day-time counterparts do. However, my other justification is that they give me t-shirts to wear to work, and these t-shirts go best with jeans. So today you're getting an example of probably my least dress-y work wear:
A light-weight cardigan will probably be added to the ensemble, but I couldn't make myself put it on outside without air conditioning. Also, especially in the work context, I very rarely wear the t-shirts without some sort of blazer or sweater to smarten them up. Also note to self: stop smirking for the camera.

For those keeping score, last evening I traded my tank top for a banana yellow work polo and sneaks for orange flats. Probably about as dressy as I'll get. Though I wonder what the yellow polo with my black dressy skirt and wedges would look like... There will be a couple times this month that I'm going into work during the day so maybe I'll try it out.

Finally, I'm kind of in love with this background. Very urban chic and it's all right under my feet.
It's true. Anything can look beautiful when properly cropped. However, climbing that slope--not easy, especially in a skirt.

*FYI that link is to Rubin's website, but I was reading the book.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Do Shoes Make the Skirt?

It's a simple day today. Not much going on, but I do have to walk up to the university campus around noon. I love walking in our neighborhood It's a nice little urban community, and it counts as exercise. But Cincinnati finds affinity with the seven hills of Rome and we live in one of the valleys, so walking from our apartment usually means climbing one of three massive hills. While yesterday I walked the littlest hill in my red shoes, today I need to walk the biggest hill. Tennis shoes are necessary. So I face another one of my skirt issues: what to do when you need sensible shoes?
So I tried a bit sportier look. The cord skirt is about shorts length. The tank top would certainly be in any normal wardrobe choice for today. So I'm hoping the cute matching overcomes any tennis shoes/skirt conflicts.

Also, I tried the white flouncy skirt again today with no dice. I'm thinking it might actually not make it through skirt month. :-)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Opening Day

As many of my friends' facebook statuses proclaim, it's opening day for baseball. While I consider myself an extremely "fairweather" fan--i.e. I like going to games for the several hours one can spend in the nice warm sunshine and cheer for whoever does a good thing or needs cheering or, you know, whatever. However, I did realize late last week that the Cincinnati Reds were playing my beloved St. Louis Cardinals for their opening series, and I was mildly devastated to realize that any chance of me seeing that game was out of the question. So while I won't be downtown for the parade or anything else baseball related, I can pull out my Reds *ahem* Cardinal red in solidarity for those celebrating.

On deck (literally) is my favorite red t-shirt (which says "Lutheran Superstar" on the back, but it was hard enough to get these self-timer shots), my khaki skirt, my Dorothy shoes and a cream cardigan. Originally paired with my white flouncy skirt, I found the shirt and flounce too much at odds. The khaki transitions nicely between the very cas tshirt and the polish brought by the cardi and shoes. Overall I'm pretty happy with my opening day outfit. However, I think I'll be even happier when I define my waist with a belt. :-)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Jeans Day

Alright so we hit the 3rd of April, and I'm ready to put on jeans. It's Saturday. I have errands to run. Es ist windig. (Hey, it's the German I know.) It's not the time to be flouncing around with skirts. So out comes the jean skirt.

It did get me through my errands and the other parts of my day. Though I claimed pajama time early. It's all good tomorrow there's a sunrise service so it pays to be ready for bed early.

PS I understand why bloggers become interested in photography. Bad pictures suck. I was so frustrated I just decided to go blurry and blame the wind (indoors).

In other news, the blue-print charmeuse skirt was the Good Friday skirt of choice. Paired with a black-knit tee and grey wedges, it worked perfectly for the somber service. Another overexposed shot here:

Friday, April 2, 2010

Skirting the Issue

Alright so here's day two:

Magenta tank top; Ikea skirt (I made it here); This is the first time I tried the skirt with a color other than navy. I think it works with the little pink flowers in the design. (Probably just like the navy worked with the little blue flowers, but I feel gutsier with the magenta.) Anyway today was a challenge because it really was a great day for putzing--I took Mike to school and met him for lunch. It would have been so easy to put jeans on with that tank and call it a day. We'll see what turn I take for Good Friday. This is a bit springy.

So here's the skirt collection:

Dressier skirts: Black double-vented pencil skirt, Silver-blue silk Ralph Lauren skirt (SO PRETTY!), and a pinstripe skirt from my one suit set. The silk skirt will make an appearance for Easter this Sunday. The first black skirt might be my Good Friday choice, but otherwise I don't expect these to make much of an appearance this month. Of course I may have to work in the silk skirt again. I don't wear enough to match my love for it. :-)

Set Two consists of the basic skirts: two pairs of brown cords (the first is supposed to be replacing the second); a flirty white full skirt--perfect for summer (this was my first choice for today); a khaki skirt; and a lovely new-to-me jean skirt. Seriously without this recent acquisition I don't think I'd make it through this month.

Set Three: Printed skirts (mostly in motifs of blue--specifically aqua). Um... a lovely NY and Co. skirt from several years ago that first convinced me that I liked skirts. My newly made skirt (Amy Butler skirt btw). The Ikea skirt. And another hand-made skirt not by me, but by my pattern friend.

So that makes twelve skirts. The fabrics for the two patterns would also be blue of the aqua-persuasion. So that would make 7 out of the 14 skirts in blue... (I might have a problem.) Alright so we'll see how I can add some (other) color into the wardrobe. :-)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Skirt-a-Day April

Way back in 2009, I blogged every day in April. It was part of the effort put forth by Maureen Johnson to encourage young writers and develop community blah blah blah. Basically it kind of burned me out and here I sit 20 posts in the past 11 months, 2 since August.

But it's April and it's beautiful. And I've been sewing. Again. After another terribly long hiatus from something I love to do. And yesterday I finished a project:
It's a pattern I borrowed from a friend, and it has pockets(!) because as she professes skirts without pockets are useless. So even though the pockets were actually much harder than I'd anticipated (need to discuss that with friend), I have a lovely cute skirt, with pockets that are useful. And I wore said skirt to the library and to work and while cleaning my living room and thought, "Maybe I should wear skirts more." Which was promptly followed by "But I don't have enough skirts."

This, my friends, is a flat out lie. I used to not have enough skirts. I have been collecting which the intention of being that person who always has cute skirts. Now I'm pretty sure I have a skirt for every day of the week, plus patterns and fabric for two more. So I have enough skirts. I just normally wear jeans. ALL THE TIME. Because they're convenient and go with everything and so so so easy. So here's my goal:

Wear a skirt every day in April.

It needs to be an outfit that will get me through most of my day. There might be days that require other attire for parts of the day which is fine, but I should plan for a change. Most importantly even the putzing around the house days need to be skirted. If E from academichic can make skirts the basis of her "Mom Uniform" that includes being on the floor with a baby, I'm pretty sure I can wear skirts more casually without the kid factor.

Tomorrow if I get my act together I'll post the other skirts that will make up this challenge. ;-) Hopefully this will go better than the "blogging the books I read" resolution from January.