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5/recent posts
The Politics of Fashion: Modern Work Wear

The Politics of Fashion: Modern Work Wear



Like most young professionals, I struggle to balance my personal style with my professional wardrobe. Of course, my struggle has the added difficulty of navigating a predominantly male and old-fashioned profession. As a young (well, at least youngish looking lol) female academic, I am constantly judged by my appearance. Even among women, it is a no-win situation.

Don't dress too feminine.

Don't power dress.

Wear a suit.

Don't wear high heels or anything too tight.

Wear heels so you appear taller.

Wear dark colors, no patterns.

Don't wear black.

Wear makeup (but not too much) to appear more competent.

Et cetera, et cetera.

The problem is that as a woman I make a statement with my clothing no matter what I choose to wear. You see, for the male academic dressing in a suit is neutral, it is the default for male power and authority (intellectual or otherwise). For women the act of getting dressed is never that easy. If I wear a suit I am "power dressing," "trying too hard," or perpetuating masculine perceptions of authority. If I ditch the suit for dresses and *gasp* patterns, I am "too feminine" and run the risk of being perceived as not serious or less competent.

The debate rages over what female academics (particularly historians) should and shouldn't wear. Funny thing is, I really don't think the students in my classes give a crap about what I am wearing. I have heard stories of students critiquing a professors appearance on evaluations, but I have never had a student comment on mine (thank goodness).

While I certainly don't have any definitive answers on this topic, I do think it is important to talk about. If only to remind ourselves that fashion/clothing can embody, reflect, and/or transcend race, class, and gender hierarchies.

What are your thoughts on this topic? How do you balance your personal style with your professional wardrobe?

I've linked some of my favorite professional yet stylish options below:


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Ashley B
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Spring's Hottest Trends

Spring's Hottest Trends



So I know it is not even February yet and here I am planning for spring. But I can't help myself. I've given up hope on any sort of winter here in Florida (which happens every year at this time), and I am fully ready to embrace spring. I love the start of a new season because it means new trends to try and a chance to revamp your wardrobe with exciting new pieces.


Obviously, you should always be selective with the trends you embrace. A good wardrobe is equal parts timeless classics and fashionable finds. But I must admit that there are a lot of trends I am loving for this spring. Some of these aren't exactly new, but carryovers from the fall and winter. Thanks to Gucci retro inspired loafers are not going anywhere for a while, and neither are voluminous and bell sleeves. There are also some timeless classics back once more, like pale pinks and bold stripes. Fresh for this spring are fabulous flatform and platform wedges, lady-like jackets, and embellished bags. Shop for favorites for each below!


Retro Loafers:

Voluminous Sleeves:

Platforms and Flatforms:

Pink, Pink, and More Pink:

Stripes:

Lady-like Jackets:

Embellished Handbags:
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Ashley B
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(Re)Writing History

(Re)Writing History



What is the difference between history and the past?

This is the question I love to pose to my students on the first day of any history course. They usually stare back at me puzzled for a few minutes. But, once they start to think about, they come to some great conclusions. Despite only a few being history majors, this semester's class had fantastic answers and were really engaged with the question of why history matters. So, I thought it might be fun to share some of the ideas from our discussion.

History is not simply everything that happened in the past.

History is indeed true stories from the past retold by historians. Yet, history cannot tell every story or perspective from the past. Historians select moments of the past to tell, or retell. Thus history, in any form, will never be the whole truth. Furthermore, the stories we do choose to tell, are interpretations of past events, peoples, and places (based on what evidence survives), which, more often than not, actually reflect the ideas, values, and cultures of the historian interpreting the evidence.

By this point you might be wondering, what is the point of history then, if it cannot tell us what actually happened? Here is the thing, it can and it can't. You see, uncovering the truth of the past is not the historian's goal. Historians are not only concerned with what actually happened, but how that event was understood from multiple perspectives, and what all of these truths might mean (then and now). And in some cases, the myth or what is untrue can be more meaningful than the truth. For example, Jack the Ripper has never been proven to be one man. But the myth of the Ripper left an indelible mark on the culture of Victorian London.

I don't want to give the impression that history isn't concerned with the truth or what actually happened. It absolutely is. But in many cases "truth" and what "actually happened" are not so easily discerned. The past itself has no narrative. Historians uncover truths from the past and create narratives that have (and have always had) a purpose. History is has never been the simple memorization of dates and names. It uses actual events of the past to analyze and offer arguments that help understand the human experience.

My goal is that from history my students and I can gain perspective on ourselves and the world around us, in the hope that if we can better understand humanity, we might actually better humanity. Now more than ever, I think the humanities, which continue to be underfunded and underappreciated, matter. I often wonder how people expect to improve the present if they don't understand how and why we got here.

Obviously, this was a lot of rambling on the meaning and significance of history. I know I can get carried away. I just want everyone to love and appreciate history like I do! And obviously if you are reading here, you probably already do.


Now it is your turn, why do you think history matters?


Love history too? Here some more posts you might like:
A bit more on my dissertation research here and here.
Why I think more people should study history
5 books that changed the way I thought about the past and present
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Ashley B
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Winter Brights

Winter Brights




Who says that just becuase it's cold outside you have dress in boring neutrals? I prefer bright colors and bold color combinations even in chilly weather. Any time the weather dips below 70 in Florida, I go running to my closet for a jacket. Maybe it is a byproduct of being a Floridian, but I love jackets and coats! And this cropped pink jacket has been on repeat all winter long.

jacket (sold out, similar on sale) // hat // sunnies // top (also here) // skirt (old, similar) // booties (similar) // c/o Dagne Dover tiny tote

For a day of eating and mural sightseeing in Wynwood, I paired my go-to cropped pink jacket with with my favorite bell-sleeve top and bright red fluted skirt (click here for more on Wynwood). The diamond mural and ombré wall were definitely my favorites, obviously since they coordinated so well with my outfit.

Sadly this jacket and skirt are no longer available, but I have linked some similar options. This bell-sleeve top comes in a couple colors (also seen here) and is one of my favorite purchases to date. It is one of those pieces that looks very fashionable and dramatic, yet is still super comfortable and easy to wear. It will also transition easily into spring, since bell sleeves will be here to stay for a while.

Anyone else dare to wear brights in the winter?


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Ashley B
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Wynwood, Miami

Wynwood, Miami



So, I am sure by now you have heard about, or at least seen a million pictures on Instagram, of Miami's coolest and most colorful neighborhood, Wynwood.

Wynwood is basically Miami's Brooklyn. It is a hipster haven full of cool cafes, vibrant murals, art galleries, trendy eateries, and eclectic bars. Naturally, it was high on my travel bucket list.

Wynwood was once an unsightly warehouse and manufacturing district before it was transformed into a thriving arts district. The area is just a short drive over the intracoastal waterway from Miami Beach. It is definitely worth a stop when visiting Miami. Emily and I stopped to explore Wynwood on our way home from South Beach.

I was immediately taken by the amazing murals. In fact, Wynwood is one of the largest open-air and street-art installations in the world. But before exploring fully, Emily and I fueled up on duffins (doughnut and muffin hybrids), cappuccini, and avocado toast at Cafe Miam. I mean what is a trendy neighborhood without avant-garde baked goods and avocado toast?

Fully satiated, we wandered and admired the colorful murals. We, of course, took a thousand photos, before heading to Zak the Baker. And as if the bakery wasn't enough, when then decided "flock it" and headed to cutest flamingo-themed ice cream shop, Serendipity Creamery. In an effort to survey all of the areas best eateries and cafes, we also investigated The Salty Donut, Panther Coffee, and Coyo Taco. It's important to be thorough. If you're not a foodie, don't worry, you can also take an art tour for a more in depth look at the famed murals.

Wynwood definitely did not disappoint and should not be missed when visiting Miami!
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Ashley B
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[name=Ashley] [img=https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bTA6uO0YNf0/WEooiL2h2DI/AAAAAAAA-4A/4lNwqyMNFRAW7yUynRd5IRlAJVdXzWkrgCLcB/s1600/Blog_Pic_2.jpg] [description=Thanks for stopping by! Please feel free to leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/historyinhighheels/) (instagram=Ihttps://www.instagram.com/historyinhighheels/) (pinterest=https://www.pinterest.com/HistoryinHH/)