September 29, 2010

Men Don't Make Passes At...

New York and Company chambray dress shirt
Lauren Moffatt "Daisy Quarters" skirt
Spanx tights
Salvatore Ferragamo Varinas

I noticed from looking through recent blog posts that I have neglected my beloved glasses for the last few months.  I often do this in summer. The lure of the option to wear non Rx sunglasses during sunny, summertime weather is enticing. This particular summer was exceptionally hot with fewer rainy, dreary days than usual. My decision to wear contacts so often made sense because of it. But on Monday, the weather was cloudy and rainy so the act of putting in contacts felt especially taxing. I decided not to bother.

Then I realized that I hadn't yet taught while wearing my glasses this semester, so I found myself conflicted. Should I wear glasses and potentially provoke student commentary about my looks (which makes me uncomfortable)? Do I want to wear contacts all semester? Ultimately I opted for glasses. And I didn't receive any commentary at all about them, thankfully. 

Although I don't think students pay a lot of attention to what I wear/how I look I do realize they pay some attention. I know this from previous comments and compliments over the years, some of which wound up in my official university evaluations from students. Perhaps this kind of thing should have embarrassed me, because it meant my outfit choices that semester were especially remarkable (in the sense that they were worth remarking about)? At any rate, I do wonder if I push too far the limits of sartorial flexibility afforded to academics. In some ways, I guess it mattered both more and less while I was teaching as a graduate student. And maybe I am over-thinking things entirely. I am prone to that.

What do you think? Those of you who are teachers/profs: do you think carefully about making drastic physical changes during terms/semesters/school years in an effort to minimize commentary from students?


gee said...

i would mix it up.
keep them on their toes! :)
i wear my glasses all the time bc i am just to lazy to deal with my contacts!
i love this outfit..the best part are those amazing shoes..!

Michelle said...

Definitely. I make any drastic hair changes before the semester starts. I wore my glasses the other day to teach an my students were shocked. I always wear contacts.
The worse was when I was pregnant. I had to have a long talk with my classes about the changes in my body they would witness throughout the semester.

triciathomas said...

I say wear what you want! Your students 'should' be mature enough to handle it!! Your skirt is beautiful!

Rebecca said...

Michelle's comment made me giggle with a memory of being pregnant (I've had 3 children all in the space of my decade as a prof). I wasn't really worried about what students thought about my maternity fashion but I was REALLY worried what they would think when I, er, passed wind. There. I said it. I was teaching in fear ALL semester! It never happened (at least not that they could hear).

As for fashion changes. I must admit that I don't change up very much unless I feel like I need to assert my authority over my class. Right now, for instance, my seminar is quite rowdy. They love the class, are eager to talk, but sometimes the discussion goes off course too far. I've been dressing casually and tomorrow when I see them I think I will dress more professionally. It'll be interesting to see if they behave differently.

I wear glasses exclusively (can't wear contacts) btw. My students will occasionally ask where I got an article of clothing or will say they like my shoes or something, but usually they don't comment. I think that, at 41, I'm more of a mom figure to them (ergo invisible). Suits me fine.

I would consider it a compliment that your students are commenting on your fashion!

Dea said...

Such a pretty skirt, love it! As for your outfits in the academic environment, I would argue to stay somewhere in-between, but then again, each campus is different. Most of my professors are much older than us so they're just throwing on clothes and not so much focused on outfits. For the staff in our dept, there I see some more versatility and I think it makes that person seem more approachable b/c superficially it appears as if we might have something in common? Silly I know, but it's nice to be expressive, I guess as long as it's not taking away from your position as the instructor. I think your outfits are always tasteful and unique so in my book, you look great!

Anjali said...

Wow, I don't think I thought about what my professors wore even once in college! I can't believe your past students commented in evaluations! However, I think you are generally a stylish person, and I would notice your fashion if I encountered you IRL, whether you were my professor or not :)

Rad said...

I dislike when students comment on my appearance, but I don't think they mean anything but small chat by it (my colleague just got commented on her shoes today, and she was like, "Don't I give them enough things to think about so they don't notice my shoes?") I don't think they'll say anything about the glasses, and you should wear them if you'd like. I once had a student say "Rad is cuter in her glasses," which annoyed me, but whatever. They will comment on your looks no matter what, so might as well wear what you want.
Beautiful skirt!

thatdamngreendress said...

Yay, the glasses are back! I guess I always enjoyed profs that seemed to be putting that extra effort in- it's like it gives you some insight into their personality that might not always come out in the class.

But you shouldn't feel self-conscious about it- you're just cool and stylish. whatever.

Then there's the unintentional 'choices'- I mislaid my favourite glasses a week or so ago (don't ask me how, since I'm pretty blind without 'em) and have had to work with another less-loved pair since!

Lori said...

I'm the opposite with glasses. I don't wear them in the winter because they fog up and get rainy!

I dress up a little more professionally when teaching a class. Because I'm youngish looking, it helps give a little more sense of authority and distance.

NRC♥ said...

I like the way you put your outfits together, also speaking from a students point of view I always notice what my teachers have on x

PuppyLovePrincess said...

yes, i do think about this. of course, it's different since i work with preschoolers. if i come in with a bandaid on my finger they notice in 30 seconds and ask me what happened. the year i got my hair cut short, one of them cried. they notice everything, from my wedding rings to shoes... it's actually quite funny...


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