20 in 2020 update: A purchase better than clothing

What makes something a good purchase, for you? I recently received my summer teaching paycheck and the anticipation of it hitting my bank account was such an exciting time. I abandoned approximately 1000 online shopping carts full of investment buys–nice bags, cashmere sweaters, and fine leather goods (TREAT YOSELF). But then the money came in and I was faced with extreme decision fatigue…

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My Online Back to School Capsule Wardrobe

Now is usually the time of year I start to feel the want for fall clothing. The back to college vibes always get me–yes, even as a professor–and I feel the need to make some teaching wardrobe upgrades. But this year is different for everyone, and I’ll be teaching online through the fall semester. So instead of upgrading my wardrobe, I’ve decided to downgrade it to 34 items. I hope this capsule wardrobe will reduce decisions and keep me comfortable for days of online class prep and a few visits to my office. Here is my early fall capsule wardrobe!

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Brass summer try-ons

It’s probably not a secret at this point that Brass makes my favorite ethical workwear and business casual clothing. With many items under $100, they’re also one of the better priced ethical fashion companies if you’re new to trying to buy from better brands. I’ve reviewed a bunch of Brass before and am back because most of my summer buys have come from them this year, too! Here are reviews and try ons of the drift knit, all day shorts, high neck shell, and all day culottes.

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Do you buy yourself a birthday present?

On a ten point scale of the enjoyment adulthood provides, I would give a 1 to having to schedule my own doctor’s appointments and a 3 to paying my AC bill in August. But I have to give a solid 10 to my favorite thing I’ve done the past couple years: buying my own birthday present. Is it vain, selfish, silly? Maybe. It’s also delightful. There are no rules for adult birthdays (except that the stress of planning a birthday usually outweighs the fun of having one) so why not buy your own present?!? Here are the self-birthday presents I considered this year, just for fun.

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Now & Later: Repurposing Office Clothes for Work From Home

Welcome back to another week of challenging myself to wear my work clothes, even if only to get on Zoom. I asked some friends what clothing items are getting the least love in their closets right now and blazers were at the top of the list (maybe right under my entire shoe collection). So here’s how I’m wearing my blazer now to work from home!

Any old blazer can be fine for working from home but I really love softer sweater-blazers for this. However, the blazer I chose today is just my regular oversized suit blazer. It’s relaxed enough to type in, plus in between meetings I tend to hang it off the back of my chair anyway.

WFH. Bloggers are always wearing their blazers with denim shorts and I have never understood who can get away with that (people who don’t work in offices, that’s who) but now is the perfect time to feel a little more street style in your own home! With flip flops and a tank top, this outfit is perfectly ready to run errands as well. Tank/Shorts/Flip flops (old Old Navy–yes really hahah)

Later. I just got some espadrilles and am excited to wear them in the fall with my favorite shirtdress! Shirtdress (old, similar), espadrilles

What should I style next? What things in your closet need a little more love lately?

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Now & Later: Repurposing Office Clothes for Work From Home

Welcome back to another attempt to repurpose clothes for my work from home life. Today: a floral maxi dress for working from home OR fancy events later!

This dress is a happy accident–Rent the Runway wouldn’t refund my next rental (engagement picture outfits, RIP) so I got stuck with some credit and decided to browse their online clearance. I justified this prairie-chic dress by picking it for a fall wedding we might attend. But then it was just too comfy to stay in my closet until then.

WFH. Ok full disclosure this dress has more cleavage than I anticipated, so I knotted a white t shirt over the top (easiest way to make it appear as if you have more skirts than you do!) and added sneakers.

Later. I’ll put it with the only heels I wear. I was going to go straw bag but for a fall wedding I tried to pull it more toward fall colors with olive and some berry lipstick.

What should I style next? What things in your closet need a little more love lately?

If you’ve never used Rent the Runway you can get $30 off your first order using my link. This post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author.

Now & Later: Repurposing Office Clothes for Work From Home

Lately my urge to do a huge closet cleanout has been creeping back. I LOVE getting rid of things, but sometimes it’s a thinly veiled excuse to keep buying more things. It doesn’t help that half of my closet is just sitting there because I’m working from home now. I sort of miss my office clothes, but I also want to be comfortable, so starting this week I am challenging myself to style more office and going out clothes for my life right now. So here’s my first restyle: a midi skirt.

I love my skirt collection but anything too rigid is staying on its hanger. This softer midi skirt is from the Rent the Runway clearance and I was immediately drawn to it because it would match so many things (black, cream, navy, and yellow) and I liked the sporty drawstring.

WFH. For midi skirts at home I’ve just been grabbing a tank top and sneakers for my walks around the block. This outfit was pleasantly comfortable!

Later. I can’t wait to layer this skirt in the fall with a black blazer (sold out but still in white) and wedges (mine are still in my office at school because I just throw them on at the office).

What should I style next? What things in your closet need a little more love lately?

If you’ve never used Rent the Runway you can get $30 off your first order using my link. This post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author.

Why we love virtual writing parties

I wrote last year about how I became someone who writes every weekday. This habit has been a game changer for my scholarly productivity and for my schedule. But times are tough, being inside for 4 months straight is lonely, and my academic writing habits have required some tweaks to deal with pandemic writing. Here’s the simplest change I’ve made to keep writing in 2020: not writing alone.

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My summer work from home outfit essentials

Ah, remember when we thought we would be back in the office by the end of May? Turns out I’m not going back in 2020 at all–I’m teaching online through the end of the year and feel very very fortunate to be able to do so! I’ve made a few Poshmark purchases recently to fill some work from home wardrobe gaps because finding lounge clothes that 1) make me feel put together and 2) are hot weather appropriate is a challenge. Here are my recent wardrobe additions.

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My Starter Teacher Wardrobe: 10 items that mix and match for new teachers and professors

I get this question about once a year from someone who is either about to start teaching as a new professor or a graduate school teaching assistant–what should be on my list of clothing for starting out as a teacher, especially if I’m starting from scratch on professional clothes? I know many of us are not in a spot to spend on clothing right now, but I so love thinking of mix and match outfits and business clothing capsule wardrobes–and chances are you already own some of these items. So, here are my 10 items I would suggest for starting out as a new teacher, linked for those on a budget and those interested in investing in some ethical clothing!

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