We’re all friends here, right? Can I just share that my shopping victory of the weekend was finding a suit I want and will actually wear, in a tall size, for $115?! I know that’s steep, but it’s hard to find anything cheaper when it comes to suiting unless you are lucky enough to find one second hand.
I accomplished this by using Black Friday sales to finally get some business clothes I’ve been eyeing. Yes, I know, the season of giving gifts to others, etc etc…but this is also a really good time to find business casual clothes at more affordable prices.
Here are some picks from the J. Crew sale, which is 50% off almost everything. That makes J. Crew almost affordable! Above, the suit I bought (jacket $75, pants $40). Below, some other good choices:
I know there’s a bigger sale getting hype on the internet right now (every influencer in the world is blogging about it, rhymes with Pordstrom, no more hints), but I look forward to July because that seems to be the time J. Crew puts their clearance on sale for an extra 50% off, aka the only time I buy their clothes. Here are some of my picks if you’re looking for back-to-school teacher stuff:
Is this a common grad school anxiety? I think it is. If you’ve come straight out of your undergrad, you probably want to look older so that you don’t get hit on by some guy in the dining hall line who asks, “so, are you a freshman?” (#truestory). Some ideas:
This may be a problem that other people don’t have, but I really hate dress pants. They just don’t feel like “me.” I think it’s the combined memories of wearing really lame suits to high school speech and debate tournaments and the fact that dress pants seem about 20 years behind the skinny denim trend that makes me feel such disdain. Unfortunately part of adulting is ??? needing to wear dress pants sometimes? Even in grad school? To deal with these moments, I’ve spent too much time and money in the last couple years trying, buying, returning, and browsing dress pants. Now I can say there are four pairs of dress pants I’m willing to wear & one more pair on my to-buy list. Here they are:
These are basically leggings in a dress pant fabric. They’re comfortable and feel really cool with a long tunic and sweater. Downside, I don’t like tucking things into them, I think the front of them is just too…leggings…to get away with it. But for teaching, I love them.
If you can’t get over the boot cut thing, like me, and still want something that qualifies as a really nice dress pant, this pair from Loft is my favorite favorite. They look high quality and still trendy. Also, they come in a tall and a petite inseam. Hurray!
Not sure these count as dress pants, but damn are they cool. Does anyone have them? I’ve been thinking about taking the $68 plunge for a while. I think these might be good “it’s summer and hot but I still need to wear pants I GUESS” pants.
This concludes all the pants I’ve scoped out to address dress-pant phobia. I’ll be back tomorrow with how I style them. In the meantime, what other dress pants do you all like?
Every December/July J. Crew does a 50% off sale on clearance items. This is the only time I buy anything from them, and has helped me to slowly build a professional teaching wardrobe. Here are some of my favorites this time around:
1- Sweater (I bought this in cabernet for $30 yesterday)
This year I’m presenting on the last day of the conference. These J. Crew skinnies look nice but will be comfy when I head straight to the airport. This is my last day of outfit planning for an academic conference. Real embarrassing ootd shots from the conference itself coming soon!
One way to make your wardrobe work for teaching and the rest of your grad school life is to find crossover pieces. This dress has a semi-fancy cut (waist definition, pockets!) but is a nice comfy cotton, so I wear it to teach or dress it down with my jean jacket to go to class. Fun fact: I bought this dress in Norway from this woman who worked in a clothing store because I wanted her to give me some contacts for my research. She did not pick up what I was laying down, and thought I bought the dress because I was trying to ask her out. #hazardsofresearch
Dress: Like I said, Norwegian. Some similar options from Old Navy: 1, 2, 3