Everlane pieces I’m thinking about using my tax return on

Does anyone else get excited about filing taxes? As a grad student, my comedic level of income leads to the govt saying “oh wow, you are really poor” and giving me a lot of money back. Money that I should have gotten in the first place by changing my paycheck withholding rate, but those are always a mystery to me, and I kind of like the surprise money that comes around in the spring. Considering tax refunds a “surprise” is not very adult of me. Anyway. I’m saving most of my refund this year, but am thinking of getting one investment piece for teaching/the job market. Here are a few of my ideas. Help!

Everlane cashmere crew sweater: Cashmere just screams “I AM A RESPONSIBLE ADULT WITH A SWEATER SHAVER” to me. I know that $100 is a good price for cashmere, but it still hurts. This is the only time of year I have that much $$ lying around, so maybe now is the time. Now, to decide on a color…

Relaxed silk shirt: Listen, I watched The Fall, and am now convinced that Gillian Anderson is a bad ass feminist detective mostly because she is herself but also because she owns like 20 white silk shirts. Because I am not at put-together as her, I’m thinking blue or black to hide the inevitable coffee spills. Cost: $88.

Sleeveless: A slightly cheaper option. Would look great under sweaters. Extremely useful if your classroom is as hot as mine. $65

Cocoon coat: The biggest splurge, but coats always end up being great investment pieces for me. I left Phoenix at age 18 and haven’t lived anywhere warm since 😦 Cost: $265. Also looking at a cheaper option from Land’s End because the quality is great and they make tall sizes. 

Bonus sensible pumps in a fun light blue color. What investment pieces are you eyeing? 

OOTD: Spotted dress pants

OOTD here’s what those Old Navy dress pants look like. Spending today working on the three presentations I have to give next week, & one of them is in front of the department…ahhhhh.

OOTD: Dress leggings

OOTD: Dress pant. leggings. The best invention??

Pixie pant from J. Crew

Dress pants for people who hate dress pants

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:

1) The least dress pant: Pixie pants by J. Crew

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. 

2) The most dress pant: Loft Trousers

I’m not usually a fan of boot cut, but with heels these manage to look pretty sleek, while still definitely being a dress pant. Good for feeling sassy at conferences. 

3) Skinny dress pants: Essential skinny pant from Loft

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!

4) EXTREME BARGAINS: Old Navy Pixie pant

Because we’re in grad school and $35 dress pants are the best. Also, comes in crazy fun patterns so that you can look like the cool teacher you are. 

5) Trendy AF: Everlane Culotte

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? 

Shopping J. Crew winter clearance for business wear

Shopping the J. Crew Sale

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)

2- Velvet blazer

3- Cashmere sweater (I will probably save up for a couple months and make this my next big purchase…additionally, Steinmart has cashmere sweaters for $35 right now. Run, I say!)

4- Dress pants (I love that these come in fun colors, I might buy these in blue)

6- Necklace (J. Crew is my go-to for I-am-presenting-at-this-conference-and-I-need-a-power-necklace)

7- Flats

8- Dress

How to dress as a new graduate instructor

Q & A: What do I wear to teach or TA as a graduate student?

This was my first question when I was admitted to a Masters program–how fancy do I need to get? A few business casual items can go a long way toward building your teaching wardrobe. Some to start with:

Dress pants

3-5 button up shirts (polka dot, maroon, buffalo checked)

Comfortable shoes! (Flats, oxfords)

A nice cardigan (thrifted, here’s a good one), and a blazer

I basically mix these items in with my casual tees, dresses, and jeans for teaching purposes.