Wannabe French Cool Girl

I have a super fashion crush on French girls (women) such as Emmanuelle Alt, Lou Doillon and Capucine Safyurtlu.  Their look is functional, sleek, irreverent, and a bit bad ass.  They are also blazer people, meaning a blazer is as natural on them as a pair of jeans. I am not a blazer person.  A quick Google image search for “5 piece french wardrobe” will bring up all the cliche frenchie pieces – a striped shirt, jeans, blazers, boots.  All the things I chose for my wannabe french cool girl outfit.  I wish I were a cool french girl.  I guess I’ll just have to settle for being a poseur.





glasses: warby parker – blazer and top: madewell – cardigan: uniqlo – belt: gap –  jeans: j.brand via nordstrom rack – boots: cole haan via nordstrom rack

Bag Lady/Man

Every teacher is a bag lady/man to some degree. We manage to schlep large quantities of paper, supplies and knick-knacks to and from school regardless of the day. I’ve carried papers home to grade, only to carry it right back to school untouched. Even so, I consider myself a light packer, based purely on the number of bags I bring everyday – one. Here are my bag residents, the stuff that lives permanently in my teacher bag – a little teacher voyeurism.
bagging it

1) beanie – for those really frigid Brooklyn mornings 2) phone – with a card case that carries my ID, credit card and metrocard 3) small pouch for small things like lip balms 4) lipstick of the day 5) sunscreen, for field trip days outside 6) non-scented hand lotion 7) tokyo milk roller ball perfume – for the days when I need an olfactory pick-me-up 8) mirror – to check for boogers and lipstick smears 9) oil blotting sheets – I’m an oil slick by the end of the school day 10) smelly floral hand cream – gives a little zing to my keyboard action 11) various lipshit with color – I need to have a selection at all times 12) gum – so I don’t dragon fire my coffee breath all over the kids 13) headphones 14) first aid kit and tissues – for when “I have a hangnail, I can’t write, so I can’t do my work” complaints 15) baggu bag (llamas!!) – for packing in the groceries needed for the day’s culinary class 16) book of the moment for zoning out on the commute 17) pens/pencils – obviously 18) wallet – for everything else that doesn’t go in my phone case 19) glasses cleaning cloth – that oil slick inevitably ends up all over my glasses 20) sunglasses – unused for the past month or so

bagging it2All this crap and more fits into my daily carry for the past 1.5 years, my Freitag tote bag.  On top of all this, I throw in my lunch for the day, about 32 ounces of coffee in 2 thermoses and a scarf/puffy coat if it’s cold out.

That’s all folks.  Interesting?  meh?  Did you lose a few brain cells looking at another “what’s in my bag” type post?


It’s the first day back from spring break, so I woke up this morning feeling like I needed to take another week off to relax.  Unfortunately (and fortunately), that’s not an option – so second best is a super lax get up for the day.  I found this skirt hidden deep in the sale dungeon at Anthropologie while out walking with B yesterday.  I felt the warm, thick stretchy material of the skirt and pictured myself in it:  lounging at my desk with my feet up watching over a classroom full of kids as they work diligently on their final papers.  One can dream, right?  I can already tell that this skirt, even with its crazy ass print (for me) and weird length is going to be a classroom staple.  lax




sweater: j.crew – white t: target – skirt: anthropologie – booties: bp – watch: fossil

teacher outfit reliables

A thin cardigan:  warmish, thin and drapey.  Cardigans keep you warm during prep and cover up your arms so you don’t feel too naked in front of the kids. They also cover any arm jiggles you might think you have when you are furiously trying to get through a lesson before the bell rings and you’re writing like a mad woman on the board. Definitely aim for something not so thick and bulky that you end up dripping with sweat before you get a chance to breath and remove layers.  Some reliable, tried and true and fairly affordable options:

J. Crew: this on is currently on sale at $50 (with extra 30% off) which brings it to $35.  It will last a long long time (3 years and counting of weekly wear for me) and is the perfect amount of open weave vs. warmth for the classroom.

Uniqlo: can’t go wrong with Uniqlo.  Great price and quality that compares to more expensive brands.  $19

Stretch skinny or straight black jeans: slimming, easy, stretchy, and comfortable.  Black jeans are simple and basic enough that they match with everything possible and allow you that extra time in the morning to just grab your coffee mug and run so you can get to class early and prep. The color also makes them professional looking enough – they’re not sweats and they’re not blue jeans.  Boom, profesh. Some reliable, tried and true and fairly affordable options:

Uniqlo: black skinny fit tapered stretch jeans. Normally priced at $50, you can usually wait for them to go on special at $40

Madewell: more expensive, but really soft and will hold their shape. $99

Forever 21: inexpensive, washes well, and durable. $10

Button ups: sleeveless and sleeved (for winter, the only time it can actually get cold in a classroom even with 35 teenagers fogging up the place). A dressed up (professional) version of a top with room for your pits to vent/breathe.  Helps to have armpit breathing space when you’re doing your daily song and dance in an effort to keep the teenagers “engaged” with the lesson.  I mean, lets face it, not all kids find the functions of the golgi apparatus and endoplasmic reticulum fascinating.  But they will find my mimed rendition of protein synthesis at least mildly amusing.  Miming takes a lot of energy, and as we all know, a by-product of work is moist pits.  Some reliable, tried and true and fairly affordable options:

Uniqlo: see above.  $30  Classic cut (not too slim, not too manly boxy)

Madewell: on sale now, only in lime green.  Wait till other colors go on sale, then get-em while they last.  Durable and roomy without making you look like a box on top.  $40

Black ballet flats:  This should be a big duh.  They’ll help you survive the day even when kids are too busy talking about the latest cafeteria fight to even acknowledge your presence at the front of the room.  They’re comfy enough without being sneakers, and … bonus points for being able to slip them off during staff meetings so you can give your dogs a breather rest.  Some untried and  possibly sucky but fairly affordable options:

BDG at Urban Outfitters: on sale now at $20

Forever 21: $25


Frye: my personal splurge, 2 years ago.  The leather stretches out over time.  $149

Watch: the bigger the face, the better, so you can check yourself when you’ve been rambling for too long about how “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”.  One I like but don’t have, nor am I willing to shell out the cash for just yet:

Nixon: I like men’s watches – big.  $125

So, fellow teachers, did I miss anything?

basics round up part 1: the booties

When booties are your jam, you tend to stock pile them.  Part one of my closet basics round up, the bootie.

I picked up my newest addition to the group this past week when J.Crew was having their 30% off sale items promotion.  I “needed” a brown bootie in my collection.  When I got them, my sister exclaimed that “they look exactly same as all the other shoes you have!” to which I replied, “no they don’t, they’re totally different!  They’re brown!”

If I were not such a sucker for shopping and spending my hard earned teacher cash, I’d be more realistic and be fine with having one pair of boots that go with everything.  But no, I’m a product of this consumerist American society, so I have 10 – all well worn and in constant rotation.  We all have that one (or many) thing that we get sucked into right?  Well, the first of my many things is…the bootie.  I like small booties and I can not lie.

Even more ridiculous and consumerist, I lust after these, these and these booties.  They will be mine.  Oh yes, they will be mine.

top, then grid in order of age: j.crew aggie bootanthropologie inclined chelsea boot – zara studded cowboy ankle bootecote alexandra suede ankle boot – anthropologie woven clog bootiessteven by steve madden noahh boot dv by dolce vita jamison bootboutique 9 cooper boot – nine west – bp from nordstrom

this is my basics jam

My style sensibilities have been changing…and it’s veering closer and closer to a uniform of purely neutral basics.  It’s like I’m heading back to white rice territory, after years of trying to make the most interesting and complexly flavored fried rice out there.  I’m cutting out the fluff and I’m crawling back into my comfort zone, the safety of neutral colors in classic cuts and fits.  It makes getting dressed much easier, faster and stress free.  You can never be too over dressed or underdressed with basics, otherwise the point of having basics would be defeated. Right?   On this note, I just got back from shopping for basics at the most basic of stores with zero creeper hipster appeal, Uniqlo.  The moment I walked in to the store today, I was thinking, yeah, this is my JAM!!  I had just left Zara, which assaulted me in all its trendiness with everything black/army green/oxblood and covered in studs/mean animal faces/leather sleeves.  Uniqlo with its stacks of logo-less, glitter-less, graphic-less, simply cut clothes was refreshing and welcoming.  This is what I picked up today, all of course at teacher-friendly prices.  For more of a basics guide, check out this post by refinery29, where they pick apart the basic basics, through the ages.  Technically, I fall into the 30’s category, but can barely afford the 20’s category.  Big poo.


Boring?  Or classic?  Either way, these items came home with me because they went perfectly well with what I wore out shopping today.  My everyday basic outfit, jeans and a tshirt, with my going-to-be-with-me-for-the-next-10-years-just-like-my-other-one-was Freitag bag.  The boots come and go, get swapped out with black flats, flip flops or converse, and some days lipstick gets thrown in the mix too.  For the most part though, this is it: my everyday basic outfit.

glasses: warby parker – t-shirt: alternative apparel – belt: gap – jeans: madewell – boots: ecote via urban outfitters