Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What Would Emma Wear?


pearl necklace (gift from my mom)
pink (I swear!) cardigan (Gap)
white cami (Old Navy)
black and white print pencil skirt (NY&Co)
black patent mary janes (Mia via Macy's)

Earlier Drafts:
I wore this skirt while showing you my favorite bag.

When I found this sweater on clearance for $8 at Gap, it also came in forest green and navy blue, both of which I was tempted to buy.  I convinced myself to try it in this coral-ish pink color (which I realize photographed as orange! hmph) instead by deciding it was a very Emma Pillsbury-esque cardigan.  Who is Emma Pillsbury?  She's TV's most stylish and obsessively clean guidance counselor, and she's the inspiration for the fantastic (and interactive!) blog, What Would Emma Pillsbury Wear?  I love Glee, and I love Emma for her allegiance to cardigans (preferably embellished), to pencil and full-bodied skirts, and to round-toe heels (preferably mary janes or t-straps).  She usually pairs bright colors with fun prints and accessorizes with sweater guards, brooches, bows, and statement necklaces regularly.

Yesterday was the perfect day for an Emma-inspired look.  On Friday, I walked in my MA Graduation Ceremony, and my whole family was in from the West Coast for the event.  It was great to spend the weekend celebrating this accomplishment with the people whose support made it possible for me to get this far.  Yesterday, though, I had to say goodbye to all of them except my sister, so I thought putting on my best Emma-inspired outfit would help put a little pep in my step on an otherwise gloomy day.  After seeing this post on an Emma look that was left on the Glee cutting room floor, I paired my Emma cardigan with a white cami and my black and white high-waisted pencil skirt.  I knew no shoe in my wardrobe was more Emma-esque than these black patent round-toe mary janes.  I don't own any broaches or sweater guards, but I thought the pearl necklace added a little bit of Emma flair.  And, of course, I had to give the hair flip my best effort!  That actually ended up being my favorite part of the look, I think, because it's something I'd never have tried otherwise.

Glee has, in its short history, brightened quite a few of my days.  I decided shortly after I started my MA that I wanted to continue as a PhD student, so I had to do my best to put together a strong application to submit this past December if I wanted to be admitted to the program.  Our program has always been competitive, but due to some recent budget cuts, they only thought they'd be able to admit 6 students this year as opposed to the 12-15 they usually accept.  I generally approached this obstacle by putting my nose down, working as hard as I possibly could, and convincing myself that I could stomach a rejection if I'd tried my hardest.  But this meant that after taking a very difficult course load last spring, I also felt like I had to take on a lot of extra work in the fall.  Knowing I could look forward to a little mental vacation every Wednesday night for an hour was a nice escape from the stress and anxiety.  And the music helped me, too.  I had a significant intellectual epiphany about the paper I was using as my writing sample while listening to Volume 1 of the soundtrack during my morning commute.  As the deadline approached, and my professors and classmates felt it increasingly necessary to remind me how slim the chances were of getting in (they thought this would help me take rejection less personally), I must have listened to Lea Michele's cover of "Don't Rain on My Parade" 100 times to remind myself that it was worth giving it my best shot.

Glee helped me maintain a positive attitude until I was admitted to the PhD program (which was not impacted by budget cuts after all, thanks to our chair!), and this Emma-inspired outfit helped carry me through my sadness yesterday about the departure of my family.  I love Glee for the over-the top musical numbers, the almost believable storylines (ha!), the one-liners, the fantastic work of its costume designer, and mostly for the way it celebrates the kids for whom I had a soft spot when I was teaching high school-- the ones who are learning to celebrate the ways in which they're different.  I actually liked the first set of episodes better than these more recent ones, but I'm hoping they'll get back to focusing on the lives of the teenage characters again soon.  Tonight is a Lady Gaga themed episode, so I can't think of a better time to check it out if you haven't yet!  And those of you who follow us here would love the Emma style blog, I'm sure!


  • Are you as smitten with Emma's style as I am?  Besides putting on a broach or a sweater guard, how could I have accessorized this look to make it more Emma-esque?
  • Have you ever been encouraged to try out a different style because of a tv or movie character?  Which one(s)?
  • Do you use any tv shows as a mental vacation from your scholarly pursuits?  Please share them!
  • Do you use clothing choices to try to cheer yourself up?  How do you approach this?


Interrobangs Anonymous said...

Congrats on walking for your MA (feels good, doesn't it?) and for becoming a doctoral candidate!

I'm up against a set of difficult odds right now - maybe some Glee is just what I need to put myself in the right mindset to keep fighting for what I want. And I love that cardigan - Gap has the best cardigans when it comes to not having the buttons gap (hmmm, there's some sort of "Gap, gap" joke in there, but it's early and I'm not feeling witty quite yet...

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your acceptance to the PhD program! That's really fantastic. I love this look - that patterned skirt is the perfect backdrop for that wonderful bright cardigan. And I love the pearls!

La Historiadora de Moda said...

I've never watched Glee, as I can only devote myself to one or two tv shows at a time with any regularity. You look adorable, though.

Congrats on your MAccomplishment and on being admitted into the PhD program! My department doesn't admit terminal MA students, but Ann Underfunded's does, and it seems to create a lot of stress.

Nate C said...

Very much looking forward to a nod to last night's theatricality theme. Maybe even three. You ladies have done a great job reaching out to find and describe the edges of the boxes you've built around yourselves...now it's time to crack through that box and see what else is out there. Don't be afraid to stand out - not just because you're stunningly cute, in great shape, and clearly keeping your s*** in line - now that you've got the basics down, show me a little passion!

Also, crying at Glee does not make you an overly emotional person. Some people are just criers. It's okay.

Scholar Style Guide said...

The Emma inside you told me she wants a) Glee's costume budget and b) this blouse:


I was disappointed not to see her last night :(


Scholar Style Guide said...

Thanks for the congratulations, ladies! And I'm glad you like the outfit!

I have a fraught attitude toward the terminal MA. For me, though, it turned out to be beneficial, since I didn't think I wanted a PhD, and when I decided I did, I had to work hard to earn the opportunity. I think I'm farther ahead than most people are 2 years into a direct-admit PhD program, and I don't take anything for granted.

Nate, your suggestion about theatricality has got me thinking about the difference between theatricality and performance, as well as what could be considered a "creative" outfit or one that demonstrates "passion." I'll continue thinking and address this in a later post when I'm ready to tackle the subject. Thanks!


Nate C said...

I should also mention that your shoes softened the leaving blow for me, too. I always notice them first, and those were making a loud statement for a muted "classic" shoe. My little sister is all grown up..and you wore them without letting them wear you...we'll talk posture on a later date.

Jennifer said...

_Love_ Emma on Glee and her wardrobe--so glad you turned me on to the site.

That sounds like such a fun shopping trip: What would Emma wear? I must admit, I've had a difficult relationship with clothes shopping since starting graduate school as a) I don't have time for it and b) I don't have money for it. Both lead to frustration.

But I feel like a Glee/Emma inspired shopping trip might give me the fun challenge I need to start putting thought into wardrobe again. I must admit, I've let my fashion slip the past two years.

La Historiadora de Moda said...

I'm sure you are ahead of some people who are two years into a direct-admit program. However, I have to tell you that your statement to that effect really rubbed me the wrong way, Liz. It assumes a lot about programs and individuals.

Scholar Style Guide said...

LHdM, thanks for helping me to realize why my comment might come across as offensive. I'm sorry to have not said what I meant more clearly.

What I *should* have said was, I think I'm a lot farther ahead than *I* might have been if I'd been directly admitted to my own PhD program. And I should have clarified what I meant by "ahead," as well. I meant that I have a better idea of what I want to do for my dissertation because the requirement that I apply to the PhD program required me to seek out the professors who work in my research area, discuss my ideas with them, secure letters of rec from them, etc. In my program, most of my classmates do this in their first year of PhD coursework, which I'll begin in the fall. So in these regards, I think I'm ahead of schedule in our own program, which I regard as beneficial for me.

And while I realize that most direct-admit students don't "take for granted" their privileged status as graduate students, either, I just mean that for me, working so hard to secure this spot reminded me continually what a privilege it is to be able to continue this kind of work with funding.


La Historiadora de Moda said...

Hi, Liz. Thank you for responding to my comment and for clarifying.

I hope you're able to do some relaxing during this holiday weekend!

Anonymous said...

Great outfit! Just one tiny thing - I believe you mean "brooches" rather than "broaches."

Scholar Style Guide said...

Thanks, Anne! Duly noted and corrected. : )