Through Manolo, I have also discovered the wonderful blog of Linda Grant, The Thoughtful Dresser, the header of which features this pointed epigram: "Because you can't have depths without surfaces." Grant demonstrates daily that an interest in style and fashion does not preclude an ability to think productively about culture, politics, ideas. In short, she deconstructs the hierarchy my poor mother has judged herself by for many decades and which I still have time to break free of!
The photos accompanying this post exemplify my approach to dressing for academe: I'm loving the new high-waisted, full-legged pants, accented by a red belt, accessorized with a small-heeled pump and this gorgeous shawl I could not resist when I checked out a local store (A to Zebra) the other day. Sixty-seven dollars for this much colour and texture (and it's reversible to an aqua base with red accents) in 100% wool, with some elasticizing stitches that allow it to grip rather than slide off coats and sweaters. I hope this is more "bohemianosity" than "creeping bag-lady-ism" to echo Manolo; I think the basic black and the classic cut of the pants keep it from being too goofy. Whatever, I was warm in my drafty office, and could lose the shawl when I got overheated in my passionate performance at the front of the classroom (don't laugh, it could happen!).
I'm sure your relationship with style and/or fashion is also an evolving one, and I'd love to hear your comments on the topic. Now I'd better go mark papers!