Wednesday, September 15, 2010

If It's Not Broken

Earlier Drafts:
It's my favorite dress of the summer.  See it here, here, here, and here.

white short sleeve button down (Express via sister's closet)
blue printed shift (H&M)
white canvas peep toe wedges (MIA)

When I posted this dress a third time before Wardrobe Workhorse Week, I basically apologized for my insistence on continuing to show you the same old thing.  When I realized how much I liked it with a button down underneath, I didn't photograph it, because I figured you were all bored of this dress.  I had to post it one more time, though, because it has definitely been the Boxer of my wardrobe this summer, and I feel like Boxer more often than I care to admit.  (In fits of frustration, I've been known to lament, "All hard work gets you is more work," even though I actually believe I have profited considerably from my hard work.)  There's been a lot of excitement about the onset of fall and thus fall fashions, but I am a sunshine child through and through, so I'm clinging to my bare legs and open toed shoes as long as possible.  (Though I am developing a minor case of bootache.  They look lonely in my closet.)

One thing I really appreciated about WWW was reading your posts about how much you loved your individual items and how great you feel every time you put them on.  I share that sentiment, and for me, this dress has become a go-to when I want to look and feel great.  Last week was my second full week of taking three classes and instructing a class, and while I am excited about these various responsibilities, I haven't found my groove yet, so I've felt pretty exhausted.  I had no energy at all to invest in what I was going to wear.  As such, I adopted the if it's not broken, don't fix it mentality and relied on this trusty combination to get me through a teaching day. 

My shopping hiatus continues, and maybe it's because I've been so busy, but I haven't missed it at all.   Last week, reading along as you all talked about about the items of clothing you each love so much made me wonder, "Why do I ever wear anything I don't love?" I used to buy a lot of "expendable," inexpensive clothing because I got a thrill out of wearing something new, but blogging has helped me to think of new ways to wear the things I already loved.  Now more than ever, I've started getting that same feeling of satisfaction out of wearing my favorite clothes that I used to only experience when wearing new clothes.  In other words, putting together a great outfit now makes me feel better than putting together a new outfit, and I'm thankful that WWW helped reinforce that attitude for me.

  • What are your personal "if it's not broken, don't fix it" items of apparel or types of outfits?
  • How can I clean these canvas wedges?  They are looking dingy, but the canvas is pretty stiff, and I haven't figured out how to brighten them up yet.
  • How are your semesters going so far?  I know we mostly talk about clothes here, but I'd love to hear what people are up to academically or otherwise.


Michelle said...

You will find your groove!

I very much like the white shirt under the shift dress.

For the wedges, try mixing water and mild detergent or baking soda and scrub them with a toothbrush, then let air dry.

Nate C said...


You look great. I know you've repeated many times within this blog about your belief that being confident in your look makes you more confident for the day ahead (see: dressing up on test days, Harfeil-style) - I think there's just as much validity to the idea that feeling confident in what you wear makes anything seem fresh and new.

I've seen you in that dress more than once here, and each time I have to do a double take to realize it's the same one.

Feel good, look good...or as I say personally when people compliment my clothing choices - It ain't the clothes, it's the hangar.

p.s. Working hard definitely creates more work. Let's be thankful we exist in that space, because it's a much better rut than the opposite. I bet there are very few unemployed folks out there who wouldn't change places with we busy people in a heartbeat.

Scholar Style Guide said...

Thanks guys!

Michelle, the toothbrush suggestion is exactly what I needed. I couldn't figure out how to scrub the canvas without damaging it. Does this prove I'm a little braindead at the moment?

Nate, I absolutely agree that looking good and feeling good are reflexive, and that one can always beget the other.

Perhaps I should clarify what I meant r.e. hard work. The thing that frustrates me about it, and which I think Boxer illuminates nicely, is the idea that hard workers continue to be loaded down with more and more work while, at the same time, they have less and less access to the advantages or profits created by that hard work.

As such, I feel fortunate to have been privileged enough to have been taught the importance of questioning those who would otherwise profit from my work, which is, sadly, the very privilege to which Boxer has no access.


Rad_in_Broolyn said...

This dress looks great on you, so I totally get that you like to wear it.
I used to throw my old keds in the washing machine. Do you think these could hold up to a cold water wash?
I've been not shopping for 2 months now. I only bought a scarf, but it was "allowed". So far, I haven't noticed it, but I think I need to get some skirts tailored for when real fall hits.
My semester is going well so far, but I need to work more. I hope that yours is going well too!

Michelle said...

BTW, I think I even told my director that my mantra during exam prep was Boxer's maxim, "I will work harder." So from one Boxer to another, remember to give yourself a break now and then! :-)

Frances said...

Liz, I have some bone-colored linen pumps that I tried scrubbing with some cold water, Woolite and a toothbrush. I didn't like the results, so I took them to my cobbler and asked if they knew how to clean them. They told me they could try, but couldn't guarantee anything. I decided to take the risk and pay the charge for them to try, and they did a good job. Though the pumps didn't look brand-new, they looked clean and have stayed that way over the past year. So it might be worth a shot to take your canvas wedges to the cobbler if you really love them and your toothbrush endeavors disappoint...

I'm not a student (anymore), though I occasionally take a class when I can steal time away from my day job. I stumbled across your blog through postings on Academichic and Orchids in Buttonholes last week, and I absolutely love your style! Thanks for the inspiration--I will be dropping by regularly for more ideas. Good luck with your teaching and your fall semester!

Scholar Style Guide said...

Rad, glad to hear your semester is off to a good start! It's always hard to find that balance between teaching and doing your own work, no?

Thanks, Michelle. I'm trying to learn to be a more well-rounded person this semester... we'll see how that goes.

Hi Frances! Thanks for the tips and the compliment! I'm a regular reader of those two blogs, too! We're glad you've added us to your list!