Friday, July 30, 2010

The Packing Tips Digest, Issue 2

This is another example of packing versatile pieces – for this conference I attended in San Francisco I brought along the typical conference fashion choices (a black skirt, boots, etc.) but I also packed this sort of grunge-inspired (and ever so comfy) plaid top and when I ventured away from the conference to see some sights and hang out in China Town, I tossed this over my conference outfit and instantly had a more casual street look.

Another tip I can offer, especially for shorter trips, is to bring at least one statement piece – something that will turn heads and add an extra sense of style to an outfit. For my San Francisco trip my statement piece was this white jacket (I was there in November and the coat is actually pretty light so it was an appropriate choice), which added an element of chic to my basic black pants and pumps.


Recently a few of the bloggers that I follow have done entries on Marchesa and after looking at the recent 2011 resort collection I can totally see why. Georgina Chapman is obviously a genius and I’ve always loved the theatricality and elegance of her designs but the resort collection totally blows me away (it has a Paul Poiret vibe to it that I adore) . Here are a few of my favorite pieces courtesy of

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Packing Tips Digest, Issue 1

As I near the end of my England trip (one month to go), I’ve been thinking about the insane amount of travel I’ve been doing over the last year and a half (I’ve spent anywhere from three days to three months in Washington DC, San Francisco, Boston, Edinburgh, London, Louisville, New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles) and I decided to think about my travels and put together a little series on packing for both the business and the tourist traveler (because my trips have always included both). So I guess this is part one.

The first tip I would offer is to try to anticipate what types of activities you will be engaging in while you are away (sight seeing or business? Will you be largely outdoors or indoors?) and pack a limited number of versatile items that you can mix and match.

So, to use my recent two month stint in Washington DC, I packed a pair of tailored jeans that look quite business casual but I can also roll the cuffs up and pair them with sneakers and create a more casual, sight seeing look. So here I am looking like a lunatic in front of the Washington Monument.

Or I brought some sleeveless blouses which are perfect for hot weather, outdoor sightseeing but can be paired with a cardigan to be suitable for a day in the archives. So here I am in Georgetown on the famous Exorcist steps in a very basic Ann Taylor blouse.

Scarves are always a good idea, they don’t take up a lot of room in a suitcase and can change the look of just about any outfit. It’s a neat trick to optimize your travel wardrobe. For example, this leopard scarf ($5 from a street vendor in NYC) transforms a basic black outfit outside of my rented DC apartment.

This photo really has no relevance, I was just looking at my DC photos and saw it again and chuckled.

I love how this sign seems to be suggesting that you just might casually run into George Clooney if you pay the entrance fee for the Newseum (I also love the name). I guess Clooney was out sick or something when I went.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Exeter and Beautiful Devonshire

Here are a few of my Exeter conference photos – all told it was a pretty fantastic experience. The campus was situated high above the town and offered gorgeous views of the Devonshire countryside. Aside from all that the campus itself was very beautiful and actually reminded me a lot of the Huntington and surrounding area in the sense that it not feel like a typical English campus. The conference was a ton of fun (it gave me a chance to wear my new white dress and pretend to fondle statues, one of my favorite vacation activities) and I ran into a woman who is an expert on Anna of Denmark (a figure whom I have researched extensively and wrote my MA thesis on many years ago) and we had a wonderful talk which made me feel less like a grad student and more like a professional academic (which I guess is what I actually will be in a year or so) so the whole thing was great. Oh, and there was free food and booze. And pretty views. So yeah, a good time was had by this gal! Then it culminated in a three hour train ride back to London where there were no seats and I was literally pressed up against a window by the door the entire time. But I got a few “train ride scenery photos” out of it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hello Exeter

Well, this is it. I’m leaving Cambridge and bound for Exeter. I know I resolved to lay off the trip photos but I did a little sightseeing and visited the famous King’s College Chapel here and I couldn’t resist sharing just a few more.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Take a Bow

As the temperature here keeps rising and I get increasingly too lazy to be bothered with mixing and matching skirts and pants and tops I am relieved that I brought this little black dress with a bow detail at the neckline from H&M – it looks chic, doesn’t wrinkle, and is so light and airy when I wear it (and, I admit, I feel pretty glamorous when I wear it with sunglasses). I’m leaving Cambridge (sniff sniff) tomorrow morning for a three day conference at Exeter University with the promising title of “Engendering Gender” (where I will be presenting a portion of one of my dissertation chapters and praying that no senior academics flay me) and I am planning on keeping this dress at the top of my suitcase so I can easily pull it out and don it at the conference (I’m thinking it will be perfect for the cocktail party/reception that’s happening on the first day).

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Odd and Ends

I have a few things to cover in this post, so here goes:

First up, the weather finally got less rainy and windy in Cambridge and I celebrated the improvement with skinny jeans from Macys, a striped tunic style top from H&M, and a belt from Urban Outfitters.

Oh, and I found the creepiest magazine cover ever. Ever.

And Courtney Love has a fashion blog (do with that information what you will). Okay, apparently she doesn’t write the entries but rather sends photos of her outfits to someone else who then writes the entries (although if you are familiar with the way Courtney talks and writes, it sure sounds like her writing the entries). Here's a rather humorous take on the whole thing from

And, finally, also, here’s an interesting article from the NY Times (for Mad Men enthusiasts).

Friday, July 16, 2010

Why Do I Always Look So Miserable in Churches?

Here are a few more of my Cambridge photos that I thought interesting enough to share:

Here’s me looking incredibly surly in the chapel at Clare College (and no, I don’t know why I look so angry, maybe it had something to do with the awful heat and the odd things it was doing to my hair)

I climbed to the top of a church tower

And here’s me again, still rocking my weird hair (humidity is not my friend)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Valentine to Cambridge

Here’s the first set of photos I managed to get off my camera from Cambridge (there’s still a few more to come). As you can see, this is an absolutely amazing place and I am having a great time. I’m working 9-5, 6 days a week in the archives which doesn’t give me too much time to explore but I am making the most of every single second of free time that I get to wander around and take it all in. I am here for a little under two weeks now and then I move over to Exeter to present a paper at a conference and spend 3 days having all kinds of conference fun (free booze!!!!) with a dear friend. From there I head to Kew for a week working in the National Archives and then I relocate to London for a month for some time in the British Library. My grand plan is to be done with work relatively early in August so that when my love arrives to spend the last month with me I will not have to work the whole time and we can the whole tourist thing. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to be doing the kind of work that I am doing – the hours and pay suck but I genuinely love it and the opportunities to travel and live in other places and meet all sorts of wonderful people just can’t be rivaled!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Loseley House and Guildford

I took a few minutes last night and formatted the photos I took of my little day trip to visit Loseley House (the ancestral home of one of the families that I am researching for my dissertation and, apparently, the location used to film several scenes in Sense and Sensibility) and the lovely, lovely city of Guildford. Here are a few shots of Loseley and its beautiful garden. Here is the tower from the Norman castle in the center of Guildford and a beautiful medieval church that I stumbled across as I roamed the city.