Wednesday, September 1, 2010

dressing for success. and 90 degree humid city weather.

i have to admit, 
that one of the things 
that did not come into my mind
when packing for montreal
was heat. 

now, in the midst of one of the hottest weeks in the summer,
relying daily on public transportation,
while trying to avoid blisters and throbbing feet,
i find it a bit more challenging to get dressed in the morning

and then there's the ever open question 
what does one wear to graduate school?
a suit and heels?
too much
shorts and tshirt?
too little

for the moment, i don't mind erring on the side of overdressed
dresses and skirts have been the go to so far
although surrounded by newbie undergrads tends to leave me feeling 
realllly dressed up at times. 
oooh undergrads. 
there, i said it.

on a related note,
i've recently discovered 
an intriguing mix of blogs, articles, and reviews
covering everything from nitty gritty statistics
to opinion pieces and forums

this morning i was pointed to an article about teachers and fashion entitled, 
it talks about how you dress in the classroom 
shapes your credibility in the workplace.
nothing new there.
it goes on to explain that in academia 
there is a reverse correlation between looks and success,
the opposite to what we find in the business world.

someone working in a Fortune 500 company
is more likely to be promoted
if they are considered 'good looking'
(i'm not agreeing with this, i'm just stating the general opinion in the article)
whereas as a faculty department member
the 'better looking' you are
the less credible you are.

"If you look as if you spend more time in the beauty parlor than in the library, that's going to be a problem."
do you buy into it?  or do you think 
that kind of discrimination and judgment
is not relevant 
in the workplace?

thoughts please!




Taylor said...

Great post! It's been boiling in Boston too, but the library is nice and air conditioned :) I also read the CHE article and have some thoughts! I don't really have much to say about the "hot or not" issue with teachers, since I myself have crushed on profs and, well, we're all human. But fashion is something entirely different--it's a personal choice. The thing I had the biggest issue with from the article was the line you quoted--that spending more time "in the beauty parlor" means that you haven't read the latest article or essay in the latest journal. To me this reeks of the one thing that bothers me most about academia, namely the tunnel vision that can occur (and is sometimes implicitly encouraged) when one is striving to get to the top of the professional ladder. I see fashion as a hobby; it's a welcome challenge for me to come up with outfits I think are creative and fun (and can be had on a grad student budget!) I don't consider it any different from having an outside interest in basketball or opera or even another topic within your chosen field--and I think those non-academic interests are healthy things, helping to keep you sane in the midst of the craziness that is a "life of the mind".

alli said...

I agree Tay, as I am being introduced into the splendor of academia little by little, I can already see those 'tunnel vision' tendencies you mentioned. I'm curious to see how my views on the fashion/academia interchange will change and evolve as the year goes on. and maybe as i start meeting some students more my age- the ones that don't have full time teaching jobs and still have time to play around with outfits in the morning :) thanks for the comment!

food for thought.

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