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Dress me like a Dean - Page 2

post #16 of 29
I made the transition from industry to academe and the first thing I noticed was that university reflects the larger world: few people dress well whether they are a university president or a professor. As Dewey notes I don't think there is a requisite dress code that typifies academic life. University environments allow for expressions of individuality but use your head and express that individuality with good taste. Wearing an ill-fitting, quilted Thom Browne jacket won't work anywhere. There is nothing in the job offer stipulating that "the board of regents would like you to wear tweed on a regular basis". That said, a rotation of suits and odd jackets should be considered. Wear tweed because you want to not because you feel you have to - actually I have two tweed jackets but had them prior to coming to the university. If you will be liaising with industry and alumni trying to raise endowment funds I echo Dirk in saying you should dress as you would in industry. There is no limitation on colour or pattern as long as they work and are tasteful. You are on this forum most likely because you appreciate sartorial style so apply what you know and what you have learned here. In the end, it comes down to you. Some people will recognize and appreciate your style but most will be oblivious to it. Hopefully the new job comes with a bump in salary giving you increased wardrobe flexibility. acquiring
post #17 of 29
I´m not so sure about the tweed recommendations. While I like tweed as much as the other guy, a tweed suit might be overkilling it and seen as costumey. A couple of suits in muted colours, a blazer, both a tweed and a corduroy coat, a pair of gray flannel pants, and you´ll be fine.
post #18 of 29
Our b-school dean wears stripes, and he's doubled our endowment during his six-year tenure.
post #19 of 29


Edited by merkur - 7/27/11 at 4:39am
post #20 of 29
I'm not saying tweed should be the only thing in your closet, far from it. I agree with the above posters who assert the occasional need for conservative dress, but it is an occasional need. Having one or two casual (tweed) suits will only enrich your wardrobe.
post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 
Many excellent replies!

The job will indeed entail meeting with the faculty, community leaders, the occasional legislative delegation, president, regents etc., as well as students, postdocs and so on. I will also need to be ready to meet with the press on short notice - significant publications or new developments always generate interest in a mid-size town.

Thanks, all, very much!
post #22 of 29
You can do that chalk stripe, hell yes. Tweed can be great for university, but in a way is almost a cliche.
I think you would want to look more administrative rather than like faculty.
post #23 of 29
post #24 of 29
Find some corduroy too.

Sport coat, coat and vest, suit, or 3 piece.
post #25 of 29
Originally Posted by designprofessor View Post
You can do that chalk stripe, hell yes. Tweed can be great for university, but in a way is almost a cliche.
I think you would want to look more administrative rather than like faculty.
Yes, definitely dress more administrative than faculty. Faculty, students and your peer administrators will actually expect it of you.
post #26 of 29
Couldn't resist.
post #27 of 29
Dress you like The Dean?

post #28 of 29
You need a more formal wardrobe for meeting with external constituencies--government, donors, etc--and a less formal one for meeting with faculty, who will likely already regard you with some suspicion since you hail from industry. Choose clothes that appropriate to the audience you're addressing.

I would scrap tweed. It's much too hot.
post #29 of 29
As an academic at St Andrews, I see plenty of administrative higher ups wandering around in suits all the time. May be because it is the UK (and British men do love stripes), I frequently see all manner of pinstripes, chalk strips, self-stripes, etc. and don't necessarily automatically think "banker." I'd get a few striped suits if they appeal to you. If you're in the "warm" part of the US like the southwest, you might consider having a couple of linen suits for the warmer periods of the year. These might also be a bit less formal, for days when you don't have to speak or meet the public...
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