Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A moment of panic

Today's outfit is all about comfort. Tank top, spa pants (kind of like lightweight cargo sweat pants....sooo comfy), sparkly flip-flops. Something not all that dissimilar from what our students might wear.

So far today, while running around campus, I've run into colleagues and former students, and chatted with both.

While walking back to my office, I had the following panic-inducing thoughts:
* Am I dressing too young?
* Is dressing too young worse than, say, a man wearing black socks and dress shoes with shorts? Or wearing socks with sandals (my big fashion pet peeve)?
* Do my colleagues think I'm pathetic for dressing like a student?
* Do my students think I'm pathetic for dressing like them?
* If I'm not seen as pathetic now, at what point will dressing like a student brand me as pathetic, and will I be able to tell when I've crossed that line?


BrightStar said...

isn't it okay to be dressed more casually since it's summer? (she asks anxiously, as she's been dressing similarly to the way you describe this summer...)

Laura said...

Oh, god, I have these thoughts all the time. When I'm wearing my low ride jeans and a kind of tight shirt and sandals. I was actually thinking of buying a suit--a suit. But it needs to be a cool suit. Not that I want to look young, but I don't want to look too executive. Gah! Why all these thoughts?!

AiE said...

This post had me laughing out loud this afternoon; the perfect cure for the post-interview blahs I've been experiencing.

And your personality, at least as much as I ascertain from reading your blog, is definitely cool enough to be wearing the outfit you mention.

Jane said...

b*, casual is fine, yes (I hope!), but I get myself all worked up because I try to do casual/young/stylish instead of casual/frumpy like, um, many people on my campus. For some reason, my like-minded (in a fashion sense) colleagues are not around campus this summer, so sometimes I feel out of place when I dress like this.

Laura, glad to hear I'm not the only one that stresses about these things! :) I've been contemplating the suit, too (I have this idea of what my teaching wardrobe could look like....sadly, reality does not match fantasy here)....if you find something that works, please let me know.

AiE, glad I could help, and thanks for the confidence booster! I hope your interview went well!

peter said...

who cares what other people think?

academic coach said...

Peter - you must be a man!

Yes, women do need to think about what we wear. And I think that it is important to consider exactly the types of questions you're thinking about. We play a role via our clothes -- and I think that a "more-casual-than-teaching-season-but-not-still-a-student" is a great way to go.

I think that it is challenging to find a suit that doesn't read "business" instead of "academic". Sometimes pantsuits work, IMO.

New Kid on the Hallway said...

Oh, I so worry about this too... and am thinking about a suit as well! (Though the only one I currently have is fairly corporate, and I tend to wear the items separately rather than together.) Teaching clothes are such a drag (especially now that I have to have teaching clothes that look good in 90+ degrees! Pah...)

But I do spend my time split between worrying that I'm trying to look like my students and that students/colleagues will laugh at me, and that I look like a suburban matron and my students/colleagues laugh at me. It's really hard to figure out how to dress mid-thirties if you're not a SAHM or a business guru (IMHO).

Jane said...

New Kid, I think you've hit the nail on the head here. There are so many times lately that I've gone shopping and have come home disappointed, because I haven't been able to find anything that I like or that's appropriate for what I do and how I live. Everything's too dressy or too casual (or too cutesy...ick). Maybe that's the reason....we're not being marketed to! :)

Mel said...

I am so with you, and NK, and everyone else who's having these thoughts this time of year. I'm worrying that I'm getting too old to buy all my clothes at Old Navy, but I can't see myself shopping at Banana Republic either.