Monday, October 4, 2010

Boot Up!

Previous Drafts:
I declared these boots the more stylish cousin to the ubiquitous Uggs, and I over-accessorized with this belt back when I bought it in the Spring.

eyeglasses (Kate Spade)
black cami (Kohl's)
blue oxford shirtdress (H&M via sister's closet)
black leggings (Target)
gray leather slouch boots (Steve Madden)

I have so many random things to say about this ensemble that I'm not sure where to begin... but I'll just jump right in.

Do you guys watch How I Met Your Mother?  I still DVR it even though I think it peaked a few seasons back.  When I prepared to put these boots on last week, I thought to myself "Time to boot up!" as a riff on Barney's "Suit up!" catchphrase.  This personal joke I had with myself seemed even funnier when I realized that one of the reason I liked this shirt dress the first time I saw it on my sister was because it looked like she was wearing a men's oxford shirt, which made me think of some of my favorite 80s movies.  Why are the women in those movies always sleeping in a man's oxford shirt? Wouldn't that be uncomfortable?  Or did my 8 year old self assume they were sleeping in those shirts, when actually they put them on after getting up from sleeping in nothing?

This was also my first attempt at wearing leggings, which I picked up for $5 at Target last week as an inexpensive way to try to develop my casual styling skills.  I found myself nodding my head when Sally suggested that black bottoms and colored tops don't always bring out the best in one another, so I worked to try to incorporate the black leggings into this look.  I left the top button undone to let my black cami peek out, and I grabbed my snake print belt to try to incorporate the gray of my boots and the black of the leggings into the overall look. 

I wore this look to a mostly social event for my department.  Our program's new director wanted to give each of the professors a chance to introduce their work to the grad students, which would also give us a chance to speak with them informally.  I thought it was a great idea!  Even though I know most of our professors from my years in the office, and I know their field specialties, it was still fun to hear them paraphrase their current research projects in their own words.  I also enjoyed looking around the room and thinking, "Look at all this great style in one room!"  I wish I had photos to share.

Chatting with the professors afterward also felt a lot less intimidating than trying to schedule an appointment to meet with someone because you admire her/his work.  I was able to arrange a meeting with the professor I've been trying to track down since she returned from leave, so my attendance was a success.  The friendly vibe of the event was underscored when our program's director came up to me during the socializing portion and said "Liz, I want to talk about this outfit."  Her opinion?  She felt like the dress was bright and thus read as "Spring" attire while the boots and leggings read as "Winter" attire, and she didn't "get" the inclusion of the belt.  LOL!  I tried to explain that I don't really dress for seasons as much as for temperature, and I admitted that it was probably still a little warm for leggings+boots, but that I was ready to try something new.  Her final verdict was that she liked the dress, and she liked the boots, but she thought I "had a lot going on here."  This made me appreciate my decision not to wear my clear acrylic beaded necklace, which I had considered before deciding that would be too much.   Then we discussed the advantages and disadvantages of pantyhose, tights, and leggings.  In case you were wondering, she's a fan of Hue.  : )

  • Have you made the leap to boots yet?  After I wore them three days in a row during last week's cooler temps, my sister asked me, "Is this boots week on SSG?"
  • Are the black leggings providing too stark a contrast here?  Might I have looked less seasonally confused if I'd worn charcoal or navy leggings instead?
  • Have you ever worn a man's oxford shirt for sleepwear or loungewear?  Is this actually comfortable?


Just some girl said...

Hmm. I think it is pretty seasonally-constrast-y as it is. I think it's partly the light color of the shirtdress, and partly the fabric. I wonder if something like a black wool sweater vest over the shirtdress and under the belt would make it look a little more fall-ish, and thus integrate better with the leggings/boots?

And I have slept in men's oxfords, and it is comfy (though the one I sleep in is a flannel button-down rather than broadcloth.)

Between Laundry Days said...

That's so funny about her comment. If anything, I feel like this is a relatively season-neutral and simple ensemble. I feel like blogging colors what I think about "busy" outfits. I see so many out-of-the-box outfits on the internet (which I love!) that I occasionally don't notice when I wear something more "out there" in my real life, which is a bit more conservative.

In any case, I really love this outfit. Such a fabulous dress!

Julia said...

I really do love this outfit. I think you did a nice job of incorporating elements throughout to make it cohesive.


I agree with Between Laundry Days, I am completely baffled by her comment! This looks clean and elegant to me, absolutely the opposite of overdone. And the shirtdress reads more neutral-colored to me in these photos than spring- or pastel-hued, so I think you look both seasonally appropriate AND stylish!

Someone said...

I really like this outfit, I don't think it's too much at all but just right.

And the boots are great - take that, UGGs! Personally I think UGGs are truly fUGGly and I don't understand why they're so popular. Boots don't have to be fUGGly to be comfortable.

Scholar Style Guide said...

I witnessed the conversation Liz had with our program director, and I can verify that it was pretty hilarious.

I believe I mentioned this to you IRL, but I didn't recognize you at first just based on the outfit. I like the snakeskin belt with this dress, and I didn't think it was overdone at all. It just didn't look like what you normally wear - not in a bad way. I'm having trouble figuring out why because you didn't really veer from your normal style, though I think it's that I'm used to seeing brighter colors on you, like crimson or jewel tones, that seeing these cooler, more subdued hues threw me off.

And to answer your questions...
1. I still watch HIMYM, though I not so much last season because I thought it wasn't very good. But I have hope for this one.
2. I am wearing boots right now :)
3. I'd love to see a navy legging with that outfit, though I think the black is fine.
4. I have never worn a man's oxford shirt as loungewear or sleepwear, nor do I plan on trying it.


Jessica said...

I really like this outfit! I agree with others that this is seasonless, but perhaps next time wear with more "fall" colors? purple/navy/orange tights/cami?

Surely Sonsy

Scholar Style Guide said...

JSG, I like the vest suggestion. I wonder how it might have looked if I'd swapped out the belt for the vest AM is wearing in the post below!

All of your comments helped me to identify that my professor was probably reading this dress as a pastel, whereas I totally think of it as a neutral, like a shirt any man would wear on any given day to an office. So therein lies our difference of opinion, I think. But thanks for the feedback! I had fun wearing it, and I wasn't too worried about how it was received, so overall I was pleased. I think those of us who are recognized for being somewhat "fashion conscious" can get away with more adventurous styles, because people still read them as intentional.

Katie, I meant to mention that you said you didn't recognize me! I would guess that in addition to the reasons you list, it might be because you've never seen me in leggings before, and I have only once or twice entered our building with a hemline this far above my knee, and those were shorts. So even though I'm not showing skin here, this is a different silhouette than you're used to seeing on me, at least on campus.

And someone, I try to avoid passing strong judgments on the sartorial choices of others, but there is no item of attire whose name so perfectly matches my attitude toward it as the UGG/UGH boot! Partly because I think of them as slippers, partly because they seem to lose their shape immediately.


Camla said...

I guess she didn't get the "if you can't say anything nice..." lesson.

Scholar Style Guide said...

Thanks Camla-- but I do want to clarify that I didn't take any offense to her comments, and I don't think she meant them as a criticism as much as just an analysis.

If there's one world in which your daily behaviors make you forget that old maxim, though, academia might be it! : )


sartoriography said...

I love this outfit and don't think you have anywhere near too much going on in it. :) I think the colors are appropriately low contrast, the style is relatively simple, and the belt gives the whole look a little sass. For your first attempt at styling leggings I'd say you get an A++.

Don't you love when professors are confused by things that have nothing to do w your work? Personal comments from my advisor/professors tend the tickle me. They're almost always something like, "You always look so nice. But what kind of style is this supposed to be?" Love it. :)

Diana said...

I love this outfit! Add me to the list of people who don't get your professor's comment though... nothing here reads as particularly one season or another, if you ask me, and I think it's a great transitional outfit.

I wore real boots (not booties) for the first time this fall's about time! =) It made the gloomy, wet day today so much more worth it.

Diana said...

Oh, I meant to add that I have worn my boyfriend's button-down shirts as loungewear-he's much bigger than me, so they come down practically to my knees, so they look pretty comical but are fairly comfy and don't require the wearing of pants. I wouldn't actually wear them to sleep, though, as the stiff collar and all those buttons are not particularly conducive to sleeping. They are not so different from the pajama tops that button up the front though, so I guess some people (not me) might not mind sleeping in them.