As grad students, visiting faculty, and postdocs, we all look forward to our spring breaks. We visited our partners, friends, and families; we traveled; we read for pleasure; we continued to grade, do research, and/or write, write, write. And now we are back to finish up the semester and we are tired of the dreariness of winter, and turning to colors, variety, and fresh beginnings.
We also all found ourselves drifting away from the Black & White Wednesday dress code we privately began sharing with each other last autumn. Cindy and Sonnet ran off to Ireland for a little vacation, not packing much in the way of black & white (different rules when on spring break!); Alex adhered to the color scheme, but mixed a wintry sweater with optimistically vernal shorts; I mixed black and white with flowery pastels; and Taneem faded to a soft blue and white palette.
I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about classic children’s literature and fairytales, so hence this week’s theme. So, let’s fall down this rabbit hole of black and whiteness…
Alex: I would say 70% of the time I basically know what I’m wearing when I go to bed the night before. 20% I make a decision right away, and 10% I put on a lot of different things, make a mess, take too long, and am not sure about what I ended up with. Wednesday was one of those days.
But I ended up kind of loving it! It was sort of warm here in Columbus on Wednesday, and I just knew that a lot of undergrads would be out and about in shorts, cavorting around The Oval (our central green space). But it wasn’t really that warm. I don’t like being hot, but I REALLY don’t like being cold, and I was headed to the library which can be chilly. Plus, pullovers make me feel weirdly comforted and safe. So, this was me being springy (?) but warm. But cool, cause shorts and Chucks. But weather appropriate, ’cause stockings.
Specs: I got these shorts at a TJ Maxx in downtown Boston three year ago, after I got my engagement ring appraised. They’re a synthetic crepe-y material with a side zip and scalloped hem. I usually only wear these for evening, so I felt both self-conscious and kind of badass walking around in them on campus.
The great sweater is an Old Navy purchase based on Colleen’s fall sweater that she wore one #PumpkinTuesday (stay tuned for that in the fall!). I love the funnel neck, which is so comfy, flattering, and vintage. When they didn’t have the same color, I went for the black and white! It’s double knit, so it’s warm and soft without being bulky–pretty much the perfect Midwest/Northeast spring garment!
Sartorial Scholar Twins: Colleen’s not black-and-white sweater | Colleen’s black-and-white kitty pretending colors are aggregative…
In keeping with the orange hue of the original sweater, I wore Wet n’Wild 969, 24 carrot gold (so punny!) on my lips–I adore this shade, the perfect almost-orange red. I’m looking forward to new makeup shades as it gets warmer!
Colleen: It’s spring! I want to be outside with birds and flowers and growing grass and sunshine and breezes! And so when it comes time to wear black and white on a glorious spring day, I rebelled (in the least rebellious way possible): I added some fucking pastels! I needed to add some springtime colors in my accessories–creamy light yellows, robin egg ,and periwinkle blues.
And, yes, I was thinking a bit about Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass (I inverted the blue and the stripes, but Alice is all about topsy turvy) and Snow White, too.
I’m currently reading both Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi and After Alice by Gregory Maguire. I’m almost done with the former, and I have read most of Oyeyemi’s works by this point. She’s great at reimagining fairy tales to say really smart things and difficult things about women’s relationship with each other & with men, and about beauty and prescribed roles for women. She also writes each novel in postmodern narrative structures–shifting narrator from chapter to chapter, characters composing stories and letters in her works, characters writing each other’s narratives, supernatural and gothic elements–to fracture and disrupt these well-known fairy tales. (But sometimes it just makes me sleepy, because it’s a lot of work for the reader).
I’m just starting Maguire’s work, so I have no thoughts yet but I enjoyed Wicked (who doesn’t?) and it’s set in Oxford, and I reread Alice the last few summers while in Oxford–one time across from the Alice Shop and one time on the lawns at Christ Church under a sleepy old tree
So there is a bit of fairy tale princess whimsy… because I wanted to dress like I just might meet a talking cat or could enter an enchanted forest. I need this sort of possible adventure and romance at this point of the semester.
- Specs: black & white windowpane cardigan (Target); black and white striped sleeveless dress (Old Navy); light blue and lemon yellow statement necklace (no idea?); bronze coin earrings (art show, years ago, Buffalo, NY?); yellow paisley silk scarf worn as a sash (vintage, I think it was my mother’s?); periwinkle tights (Target); black character shoes (Amazon).
- Sartorial Scholar Twins: I realize that my dress is a twin dress to Alex’s Jazz Age Lawn Party dress, and I was totally inspired by Cindy’s blue going-out-but-not-feeling-it tights , so I’ve added their looks to my inspiration board above.
- SOTD: Rose Anonyme Cologne by Atelier. A bold Turkish rose, thick oud, and a spicy ginger converge in this lush and drowsy scent.
Taneem: Because it’s spring, and because my capsule wardrobe palette for the spring includes more blue than black, I cheated a bit this week (even more than Colleen!!) and went blue and white Wednesday. Hope y’all will forgive me. But, I mean, aren’t academics supposed to critique the rules?
Specs: So springy! White blazer is Eliza J, necklace is new! and from Franchesca’s (for some reason it’s not on their website, but I bought it in store like a day ago), dress is also new! and from Old Navy, bangles a random assortment of stuff from India and probably some F21 in there too, and boots are Crown Vintage. The last time I was at an airport, the shoe shine guy offered to give me a discount to clean them, so they are probably super dirty right now.
If it were spring, and I was going to a lovely ladies’ brunch, I would totally add this fancy new bag Sonnet got me from Turkey (thanks, Sonnet!). Unfortunately, it’s still basically winter here in Minnesota and I was going to campus to teach, so IRL I styled it with a baked potato coat.
Come on, spring. I’M GOING TO PUT MY BOOTS AWAY SOON!
Cindy & Sonnet (in Ireland): Black & White vs. Lush Pigmentation and Pastels (Love the lip colors!)
We are looking forward to the full bloom of spring and we are moving onto a new Wednesday challenge “Whatever” Wednesdays. We will each choose an alliterative “W” and just go with it. For our readers, we invite you to this Mad Tea Party and to join in the fun! You may wish to sit with the Plastics and share your fetch #onwednesdayswewearpink outfits, stay spooky in classic #blackandwhitewednesday hues, OR choose your own alliterative ‘W’ to dress thematically for #WhateverWednesday. Whether you just follow along or share your OOTD with us, we hope you have a lovely waning spring semester.