SO!!! This issue is something that has been bugging me and I kinda feel like I should at least blog about it LOL.
As you guys know, I have started lecturing at my university.(I have a separate post on how that has been – i’ll upload it soon 🙂 ). Anyway, something that has been on my mind is what is most ‘appropriate’ in terms of academic styling. First and foremost, for any type of ‘gathering’, I think it’s important to dress the way you want to be addressed. It’s pretty self explanatory and trust me, it’s true. What baffles me the most is that alot academics don’t always make an effort with their clothing – Sigh. Anyhow, this post is going to address these very very serious issues!
During undergrad, I had several lecturers who used to come into school, immaculately dressed. I’m telling you- perfect blazer, clean clothes, clean haircut – just clean. Chances are you’re more likely to take those classes more ‘seriously’ than someone who comes in to teach, constantly untidy, constantly has messy hair, yesterday’s pizza toppings in hair (TRUST ME…IM BEING SERRRRRRIOUS!!) Or breadcrums from scoffing toast on the train. It’s not to say someone like that doesn’t know what they’re teaching, of course not, but the chances are you’re most likely to get distracted by the untidiness and appearance of the lecturer to actually pay attention to anything coming out of his/her mouth.
During my LLM, almost all the classes I took, the academics were dressed OVER immaculately. I think if anything it was their style that induced me into thinking academia was the correct path LOL. I made a really good friend during my LLM and honestly.. she is hilarious for what I am about to tell u next. It’s so weird, in our first meeting, we got talking in our financial law class over the Michael Kors watch that we both had. At the time – it was like the most had fashion accessory. If you didn’t have that watch…you didn’t ‘belong’. Sigh. Anyway, I remember her taking one particular class simply because the lecturer was always SO perfectly dressed for the class. (Plus verrrrrrrry hot. But potato potatoe..!) So yes, appearance is IMPORTANT.
So. Naturally I like to play dress up anyway, and for my lectures/seminars, I try to always ensure that I am well put together. Remember when I said teaching is a performance? Well it is. You’re the main actor and so all eyes are on you. Always. What you have to say is obviously important, but to give you that little boost, it always helps to be confident with whatever you are wearing. Just be smartly dressed. You don’t have to wear Chanel or Tom Ford to class (although if you do then hey!) But i think it helps to be able to command that attention from the room by being well arranged from the wardrobe perspective.
For academics I would recommend five essential items:
1. That everyday dress.
Ok. Maybe not for men, but certainly for women. There’s a particular blog I have mentioned previously and honestly, it has been amazeballs! Have a glance, when your free on the Thesis Whisper about what the appropriate academic clothing actually is. I promise you won’t be disappointed!!
For women i think at least one everyday type of dress (obviously I don’t mean one singular one LOOL) but maybe several basic dresses which you can pick and choose as you please. I found this image on google but then traced it this blog – youngpolishedandprofessional.blogspot.co.uk. It’s quite a good blog – check it out!
2. The shirt.
For men, I am sure you guys have several white shirts in your closet. Honestly, you cannot go wrong with that – be it a white shirt or a blue shirt. It goes with everything. Women – pussybow blouses and normal blouses. Again, goes with everything and anything!
3. That blazer.
The best thing to give an outfit some ‘life’ is definitely a blazer. Black, pink, red. Whatever the colour, every woman should have that one blazer which gives the outfit a little umph. For men, guys always look great in a three piece suit. Theres something that just screams ‘hey, how you doing’? ( In a Joey voice😎😎). You can’t go wrong with this and/or a great blazer. The Stylish Academic did a post on this recently – amazeballs.
I’m quite short – no need to remind me please (rolls eyes) and so generally, I wear heels at every occasion. Sky high type of heels…! However, that hasnt been advisable for my new job for several reasons. One, I often have to move from one class to the other with the distance sometimes being quite far. It’s not advisable in Loubs or Miu Miu’s LOL. Secondly, heels obviously hurt! Not sure I can be standing by the lecture slides discussing the Mens Rea of Murder for so long wearing ankle pinching heels. So I propose at least one/two work flat shoes which are comfy and everyday. The same with mid heeled type of shoes. You’ll still stand tall ( lol ok in my case only maybe!) and have that bit of height. Men, we all know you guys only have that one type of shoe LOL. Brogue shoes for the WISE!
Every woman and man has got to have that bag. For men, there are some great ManBags which are just 😙😙😙😙. It fits everything you’ll need! For women, I can’t even say have just one bag cos that would be totally inappropriate of me! You don’t necessarily have to have loads, but you should distinguish between your work bag and you’re everyday bag. Also, I have had to buy a backpack because I always have so many books now! Plus, (my kinda now smelly) trainers for the morning rush to work.
This point might not be for everyone to be honest as not everyone actually likes watches. I think its important as it compliments the outfit, but you can pace and time yourself while teaching. Not to encourage that you’re constantly looking at your watch(!), but as I said, helpful for pacing.
So that’s it boys and girls. The key point to buttress is you don’t have to spend a fortune on looking presentable. Its just you making an EFFORT! Hope it’s been useful. Kisses! 😙😙😙😙😙
Images courtesy of Google and StylishAcademic