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  • Read scholarly book #1
  • Read scholarly book #2
  • Catch up on professional journals
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  • Write two final exams
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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Hand-me-down finery

I've just come into, or shortly am to come into, possession of two amazing additions to my wardrobe, both of them vintage and both completely gratis. And them that knows me knows that if there's anything I like more than funky clothing, it's funky clothing on the cheap.

Item the first: a set of 50-plus-year-old doctoral robes. When I was at that fabulous conference in European City I got to talking with one of the other keynote speakers, and somehow the issue of academic regalia came up. I mentioned that I really wasn't looking forward to shelling out some $500 for my robes, even though I think INRU's are especially gorgeous (they happen to be in my favorite color, so I may be prejudiced).

And she said, hey, my Dad got his Ph.D. from INRU, and he passed away several years ago. I'll check with my Mom, but I think she'd really be delighted if someone else could get some use out of them.

I figured that she'd forget or that she wasn't really serious, so I wasn't waiting around expectantly--but in fact I just got an email from her the other day saying that her mom thought it was a great idea, and asking for my mailing address.

How fabulous! I'm sure I'll have to have them altered, and I'll still have to buy the hood (his doctorate was in a different field) and the tam, but I just love the idea of wearing a gown with such history, and embodying, in some way, the continuity of the academic and intellectual life.

Item the second: a 1950s or 1960s-era white mink coat: stroller length, lush wide lapels, and in pristine condition. Great with jeans, great for formal occasions. A woman who shares office space with my mom's company was given the coat by a grateful client (it was his mother's), but it really wasn't her style and she felt it would look out of place in Northwest City. So she offered it to my mom, for me. And I said, hell yeah!


link | posted by La Lecturess at 12:58 PM |


3 Comments:

Anonymous New Kid on the Hallway commented at 7:48 PM~  

Oh, I'm so jealous about the robes! I still haven't bought mine, b/c the set I want runs about $800, and at my last job they used to rent them for you for free. Here, I have to pay for the rental, and I HAVE to wear robes twice a year, so I probably should shell out the money... a friend of mine has her father's robes. Very cool to be part of that past.

As for the coat - are you somewhere where people will freak out if you wear fur?

Blogger La Lecturess commented at 10:10 PM~  

Yeah, that's the problem with the robes, isn't it? It's a HUUUGE outlay at the beginning, and though it really makes sense over time to own them, it's hard to feel that way for the first few years, I imagine!

And as for the fur--nah. On the one hand, yes, as liberal hotspot, Major Eastern City is likely to house many people who are opposed to fur; but on the other hand, it's such a land of fashionistas (and it gets so cold) that there's more fur-wearing here than anywhere I've ever lived or visited.

(Also, in the last few years fur (and more importantly, faux fur) have become so common that I don't think many people are likely to notice or care what I'm wearing.)

Personally, I wouldn't pay for a fur garment. I'm somewhat uncomfortable with the politics and ethics of fur, but I'm mainly uncomfortable with the absurdity of luxury goods of that nature; I do love clothes, but I'm at core fairly frugal, and something in me really rebels from the rampant comsumerism and keeping-up-with-the-Jonesesness of high-end products of all stripes.

Blogger Eddie commented at 5:41 PM~  

I am jealous. The fur coat sounds AWESOME!

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