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Thread: Graduate student style

  1. #11
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    This is interesting. I'm also a grad student who went through a similar situation (in terms of different dress norms, not different climate). Initially, I also felt a bit of pressure to dress as casually as the faculty (and certainly the other grad students!) did. I eventually settled on something in the area of business casual. I worked my way up in formality to the point where, in order to be any more formal, I would have to add a tie. That seems to be the sweet spot where I can dress well, but it doesn't come across as weird.

  2. #12
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    Good god, do not wear shorts and a t-shirt to teach.

    What does the department chair wear? I suspect it is not shorts and a t-shirt. Be like him.

    If you dress better than other teachers they may view you as unapproachable and you may need to do some footwork to be more friendly. Over time they will not think twice about your clothes just like you've experienced in the past.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jikaasik View Post
    This is interesting. I'm also a grad student who went through a similar situation (in terms of different dress norms, not different climate). Initially, I also felt a bit of pressure to dress as casually as the faculty (and certainly the other grad students!) did. I eventually settled on something in the area of business casual. I worked my way up in formality to the point where, in order to be any more formal, I would have to add a tie. That seems to be the sweet spot where I can dress well, but it doesn't come across as weird.
    That's good, seems like you found a nice balance. I'm not sure I'll be able to pull that off here, but mainly due to weather. The past week has been more manageable heat/humidity wise for me, so I've been opting for button up shirts (usually untucked, sleeves rolled) with jeans or chinos. I have also worn some of my nicer shoes instead of the same sneakers. We'll see what happens when fall comes. I'm hoping to be able to break out some of my sweaters - maybe a casual sport coat or two, but some of the difficulty right now is just the weather.

    Quote Originally Posted by whereismurder View Post
    Good god, do not wear shorts and a t-shirt to teach.

    What does the department chair wear? I suspect it is not shorts and a t-shirt. Be like him.

    If you dress better than other teachers they may view you as unapproachable and you may need to do some footwork to be more friendly. Over time they will not think twice about your clothes just like you've experienced in the past.
    Yeah, not everyone does that, but a few do. It doesn't bother me at all. They're clearly smart guys, take their work seriously, and have earned tenure to boot. And they're actually fantastic teachers. I think there's also a difference in standards when lecturing to a couple hundred undergraduates, versus teaching a graduate course with 10 people. Now, I don't have any plans to follow suit, because that's not how I want to dress, but I also would rather not make this into a thread disparaging how others in my department choose to dress.

    Oh and the department chair? He tends toward old jeans and t-shirts most days I think. Maybe he switches it up when he has to meet with the dean or something. As an aside, in the (rather small) departments that I have been involved in, people don't seem to want the chair. It means taking on administrative duties and reducing time spent on research and mentoring students. The only incentives seem to be the nicer office and the permanent pay bump. Whenever a chair steps down, it seems like everyone else backs away from the job until someone reluctantly steps up.

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