Tell Me Something I Don’t Know: Sartorial Sidelines

There was a little bit of a hiatus, but now I’m back with another installment of Tell Me Something I Don’t Know! When I first dreamed up the idea for this series, I knew without a doubt that I was going to feature Courtney at some point! Courtney was one of the first bloggers I connected with and she’s been so supportive of my blog since the very beginning (I’m pretty sure she’s the #1 commenter on my site!). Courtney was also one of the first bloggers I met in real life when we had the first CT Bloggers Meetup and she was just as delightful in person as she is on her blog, Sartorial Sidelines. Not only does she have great style, but also plenty of brains to boot (she got her PhD in History at Yale). Her intelligence totally shines through in her answers below- take a look!

I’m a fashion blogger and, obviously, I wanted my blog title to convey that in some way. I settled upon the first part of my title “sartorial” because it clearly imparts the subject matter of the blog and also because it happens to be one of my favorite words. Odd, I know. Anyways, the second half of the title “sidelines” is a reflection of the fact that I started blogging while pursuing my PhD in history and engaged in the process of professionalization of myself as a scholar and historian – my interest in fashion and the writing outlet that the blog provided were sort of a sideline to all that. It also attempts to convey what I still see as a fairly prevalent attitude among certain people (especially within the academy) that things like fashion are inherently frivolous and detract from one’s position as a “serious scholar.” I, of course, think that’s rubbish and so my blog title offers a little nod to that. Finally, I am a sucker for alliteration. 

Listening to- The Flatliners // Reading- In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson // Watching- Homeland

I’m currently really into the bands The Flatliners and Hot Water Music. I listen to a lot of punk and metal (alongside mellower more experimental stuff like Metric, the Rural Alberta Advantage, and Ladytron and classics like the Supremes and Leonard Cohen) and my current musical obsessions are pretty in line with that. I’m addicted to Homeland, Breaking Bad, Parks and Recreation, and the Walking Dead in terms of viewing and can’t enough of reruns and new episodes. I’m also thinking about rewatching the amazing series The Wire but its so emotionally draining that I have to screw myself up a bit before that happens. In terms of books, I am an avid reader. I usually have 3-4 books on the go at a time (fiction, non-fiction, and all the academic books about history (British history specifically) that I read). Right now I’m reading a scholarly book called Tudorisms, the newest book in the Game of Thrones series on the fiction side, and In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson as my light non-fiction read.

I did a series of posts from England while I was living there researching my doctoral dissertation that I really like because they were both about fashion and allowed me to geek out about my research and the glories of British history, which was fun. I also did a post about the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met when I was living for 6 years in the NYC area and made it into the city with some frequency. McQueen is my favorite designer and so getting to see that exhibit and write about it was an amazing experience for me.

I just moved back to my hometown in Canada after living in the US and various other places for 6 years while I was in grad school and I’m really enjoying rediscovering the city of Edmonton. So much had changed while I’ve been gone and there’s a lot about it that I love these days…the sense of local community is really strong in a lot of areas of the city and I just love that.

My current job is incredibly demanding and I’m also teaching a history class at a local university on the side, as well as applying for research fellowships and academic jobs at research universities so my plate is pretty full these days when I’m not blogging. But I’m also reconnecting with old friends after having been away for so long and trying to work in some down time (and by that I mean tv watching and wine drinking with my husband and two adorable cats…don’t worry, they don’t drink the wine).

This may sound a bit lame but I’m going to have to go with my books. I have a great collection that I’ve been building for years and that I love being surrounded by. Yup, I definitely need those in my life!

Definitely sipping some wine and taking in a good tv show or a so-bad-it’s-good movie. When I really need to de-stress I reach for a terrible When Animals Attack movie. Deep Blue Sea anyone?

1 // 2 // 3

I’ve been coveting a pair of Fluevog boots for seriously the longest time now – I think it’s getting close to the point where I should pull the trigger on that. I am also currently obsessed with clothing that incorporate little accents of faux leather and am trying to stock up on pieces like that.

The best advice I’ve ever gotten, and it’s so good that I give it out now, is to be open to stay true to your vision of yourself. There’s a real tendency for fashion bloggers to get caught up with trends and, while there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, my favorite blogs (and the ones that I think endure) are those with a clear vision that really showcase the personal style (and attitude and character) of the blogger behind them regardless of what other bloggers are doing. If I wanted to read about trends I’d buy a magazine – I like blogs for their sense of realness and immediacy in terms of fashion. And I think that sense of authenticity is really important and worth preserving.

Thank you so much Courtney for agreeing to participate in “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know!”

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I’m Nnenna and this is my online journal where I write about the books I can’t put down, my personal style, the places I’ve traveled to, the products I love, my favorite spots in NYC, and more!

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  1. clara turbay wrote:

    love it all.

    Posted 10.26.12 Reply
  2. JennaStevie wrote:

    Such a great post, it’s always awesome to get to know these little quirks about other bloggers! It’s so crazy that you’re just getting your license now, but I know the feeling, I got mine 5 years later than all my friends. And sipping wine while watching a bad movie is the BEST!

    Posted 10.26.12 Reply
  3. I love this series! It’s so interesting to see more of the person behind the blog!

    Posted 10.26.12 Reply
  4. m wrote:
    Posted 10.26.12 Reply
  5. What a great series!

    Posted 10.27.12 Reply
  6. Lyddiegal wrote:

    Love Courtney and her blog, she is one smart stylish lady! Lovely feature Nnenna!

    Posted 10.29.12 Reply