A special treat for y’all — another librarian style profile! (You can read a previous post here, a librarian style profile for Kate.)
This is Amy, a super-talented academic librarian from Pennsylvania living and working in west Texas. We have been Facebook friends for awhile, and we also follow each other’s blogs (Amy’s blog is The Homestead Librarian). She met my husband, Sam, first through literary circles, and then when he found out she was a librarian, he knew we’d be kindred spirits. He was right! When Amy let me know that she’d be traveling to Portland for the librarian conference I went to during spring break week, I offered for Amy to stay at our house during the conference. Amy also told me know she had been closely following my style blog in the weeks prior to the conference to get ready for our spring weather. 🙂
We had a super fun photo shoot during one lunch period at the conference, with me stepping into the photographer role. Isn’t Amy the cutest?!
How would you describe your style? In the past, I never really considered myself to have a style. Only recently did I start to notice my wardrobe has coherence and an essence of Amy-ness. I’d say that my style on most days needs to be something that I can easily and quickly throw on. I’ve got two little girls, and sometimes mornings are just too hectic, but that doesn’t mean that my style has to suffer. I find myself able to quickly throw on a patterned dress and a cardigan for everyday work wear, or a fringed poncho and skinny ankle pants. I love mixing patterns and textures while adding in a surprising element of color — usually in my sock choices! [as seen below] Some of my favorite prints right now are all-things-floral and southwestern. Comfy shoes are a must, but sometimes I’ll break out my favorite wedge booties.
Do you have any strong opinions or thoughts about the connection between style and your profession as a librarian? On my campus, jeans are discouraged. I personally think that’s a good policy because then I have less of a chance being mistaken as a student, although that still happens. Since I work with students all day and in more laid-back settings, such as providing reference services in their residence halls, I want to make sure that I emulate youthfulness, but still while embracing my professional side. In a way, I mix current fashion trends with bold patterns and textures but keep it classy with a cool jacket, vest, or cardigan. I like to think that my style makes me appear more approachable to college students.
Do you have a “casual Friday” policy at your work? Or do you institute your own personal “casual Friday” dress code? Our casual Friday policy is one that allows us to wear our university polo shirt. However, we’re still discouraged from wearing jeans, so my typical Friday includes my maroon work polo and skinny black ankle pants. If I happen to be teaching that day or giving a presentation, I will dress in my usual Monday–Thursday attire and often opt for a dress.
Do you plan your outfits in advance, or go with how you feel on the day? I wish I could get myself to plan in advance! I often find myself in bed thinking about what I might wear the next day, or rotating different jewelry in my mind that might look interesting with any of my outfits. Typically, though, I decide what I’m wearing when I get up. If I find that I have some extra time on my hands in the evening, I’ll lay out my outfit along with shoes and necklaces. If I don’t get a chance to do that, the only thing I know for sure in the morning is that I’ll have my watch and leather bracelet on!
Do your casual and work styles differ? My casual and work styles differ, for sure. I’m a simple girl, and I like to wear jeans or leggings with long tunics or over-sized sweaters — definitely not work-appropriate. When I’m out with my girls on the weekends, we usually go to the park, and I like to be able to play with them both, so sometimes extra jewelry and dresses don’t work for that. And at home, forget it — I’m wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Lately, we’ve been building a chicken coop for our flock slated to arrive in a few weeks, so if I’m not at the park with my girls, I’m working on getting the coop set up.
And for a more personalized question: I know you’re a crocheter, so how has that influenced your style? Do you personally wear a lot of items you’ve hand-crocheted? I crochet quite a bit — actually I even blog about it a little bit at Tiny Hooks. When I think about mixing crochet and style, I usually do it with little touches — a little handmade goes a long way, in my opinion. So, I’ll wear a scarf I’ve made, or maybe a hat in the winter. During the summer months, I like to wear light crocheted cotton necklaces or neckerchiefs. I will say, I do love the texture it brings to an outfit – it just makes it that much more interesting!
[Editor’s note: Amy crocheted me a lovely beret while she was traveling to Portland! I immediately put it on — the deep berry color is totally me! See below for a pic, and FYI, I’ll have more personal pics from ACRL up next week.]
Packing for conferences
Since I consider conferences to be a way to really network and build connections, I find it extremely important to give an excellent first impression. Conferences are so busy that you might meet someone and never see them for the rest of the time, so I want to make sure that I’ve made a positive impact, and a lot of that is appearance. When traveling to Portland, Oregon, for the Academic College and Research Libraries conference, I found myself pulling out all of my dresses and making a list of what I needed, and then a secondary list of what I wanted to bring. I like lists. Anyway, I knew that I needed 5 nice outfits, but I wanted to bring an extra just in case I wasn’t feeling something that I chose. I made sure to bring dresses made of cotton, so I could roll them into my suitcase without worrying too much about wrinkling everything. And, rolling your clothes saves space big time! This allowed me to bring a pair of jeans and a t-shirt for exploring the city and beyond after all the conferencing.
As for toiletries, I bring the basics. I don’t really put a ton of product in my hair, so I just made sure to bring my hair dryer and a brush, and I’m good to go.
Makeup, too, I keep it simple. I knew that I was going to be pulling long days, so I wanted to go light on the makeup. I only brought a bit of moisturizer, shadow, mascara, and gloss.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it, I was totally nervous to meet and stay with people I had only talked to online. I guess it’s because it feels like there’s an expectation for me to be exactly like my online self. But sometimes, our digital identities can be the biggest facade, so I was hoping that they’d still like me even if I didn’t live up to their expectations. Well, I could’ve saved myself a TON of worthless worrying because Jennifer and Sam were two of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. They were so welcoming and kind, and I felt like I could be myself right from the beginning with none of the awkward small talk. Plus, they entertained my demands to go to Happy Knits yarn store, Powell’s (where I bought SO MANY small-press books), and even out to check out the beautiful landscape just outside the city. I had a blast at the conference and meeting Jennifer’s contacts while taking a few moments to act silly during our ‘fashion shoot.’ I loved every minute in Portland, and I couldn’t say that without saying that it was all because of Jennifer & Sam. You guys are so awesome.
Awwwwwwww, so sweet of you, Amy! We loved welcoming you to our home and to our city! And thank you for sharing your style perspective with my readers. (Like I said, isn’t she the CUTEST?!)
Would y’all like more librarian style profiles? Please leave a comment and let me know! 🙂