Any College Professors here?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by copperx, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. Benesyed

    Benesyed Senior member

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    Oh word? Thanks man without that the OP would have probably just slacked off and played gameboy all day. Because you know how easy it is to get a job these days in academia.

    Now to be helpful. What is the general feel like of where you teach. You don't want to seem bizzarely out of place. I think well fitting chinos and a scholarly sort of shirt with a tie and sport jacket would look very good and not over the top but its relative to the mood. Not a big fan of the jeans suggestion but thats a stylistic issue not that it would not be good.
     


  2. Bandit44

    Bandit44 Senior member

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    OP,

    Sportcoats, ocbds, chinos, and good shoes are a great way to start off. Since you didn't indicate what kind of faculty position your were starting, I cannot tell you what is most important for you to focus on. Tenure is only important if you have a tenure-track job; otherwise, being a good colleague or being an effective teacher might be more important. Dressing well should make you feel better about yourself regardless, which in turn should help you do your job well.

    If you are starting a tenure-track job this Fall, the best advice I can offer is sell your TV, cancel you internet subscription, and move a cot into your office. The clock starts ticking in August. :)
     


  3. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

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    +1. And definitely don't spend a lot of time here on SF.
     


  4. bringusingoodale

    bringusingoodale Senior member

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    Gawd, perish the thought that one could overdress at a university!!!...WTF?

    Unless you are contemplating wearing a dinner suit, I don't see how wearing a suit and tie everyday would hurt OR help you either way. It's a gentleman's uniform is all. Or am I horribly out of touch with the embalmed world of academia?
     


  5. BBC

    BBC Senior member

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    For me it's

    Monday-Thursday: Suit and tie (the occasional sport coat)
    Friday: Sport coat and tie
     


  6. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    I'm in the same situation of having finished grad school in the spring and starting a new job in the fall. In my experience dress code really varies quite a lot department to department. Where I did grad school, wearing pants and closed-toed shoes was considered dressing up. Where I am now, generally people wear chinos and polos, although there's a shorts and t-shirt crowd too. I've been wearing sport coat and slacks no tie and have gotten some, "you look nice" or "you're always so dressed up!" comments, but I think as long as you don't have a condescending or arrogant attitude in general, it doesn't come off as elitist. I was advised that when teaching, it's fully appropriate to wear a jacket (I might add in a tie on those days, but that may be overdoing it). Obviously it doesn't make you smarter (although it may make you more confident), but it does add some element of authority and separation between yourself and the students, which is important as a younger faculty member, I think. You don't want the students thinking you're just one of them.
     


  7. thinman

    thinman Senior member

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    I've been teaching in a university science department for 21 years and this is good advice. Nowadays, I usually fall into category 2, even on days I don't teach. I started dressing up on teaching days as a young assistant professor because secretaries were mistaking me for a student and I didn't want students making the same mistake. Dressing up to teach shows students that I take class seriously and they should, too. If your colleagues wear a tie to class, I would too; if they don't, I'd skip the tie. My pocket squares get me enough recognition (I've been called "dapper" on more than one occasion after I found SF). Don't forget to wear nice shoes.

    Also, if you'll be using a chalk board, do NOT wear a navy blazer. It will show every speck of chalk dust. Instead, my wardrobe is filled with sports coats with small, all-over patterns (like tweed, black/white herringbone, etc.) that color-coordinate with chalk dust. For trousers, I wear linen and wool in summer; woolen flannel, corduroy, and moleskin in winter. Most of my shirts are OCBDs.

    As long as you're not vastly out-dressing your colleagues, you should dress how you wish. You'll ultimately be judged on your accomplishments.

    Have fun and Good Luck!
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011


  8. SuitedDx

    SuitedDx Senior member

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    Personally, especially starting off and developing your own pedagogy, it is helpful to establish boundaries with your students and truth to the matter is that clothes do help set those boundaries. I assume you have "Publish or Perish" mentality already so I will just comment on the clothing. Suit, SC, trousers, etc. just make sure they fit well. Depending on your department and area of academia, standing out too much might not be the best thing when you are starting off.

    My branch of academia is slowly shifting towards women becoming the majority so I think I get away with dressing well (although I still predominantly wear SCs or an occasional suit). I do make sure of three things: (1) always wear a tie, bow or long; (2) smart and well polished shoes; (3) leather briefcase and not a Northface backpack.
     


  9. Amelorn

    Amelorn Senior member

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    I wouldn't go crazy with the tweed. Remember, you want to get tenure, so looking like a transplant from Oxbridge or Yale might be problematic. Take a cue from your department and stick with denim. Add a sport coat. You can put some flash here (I can't recommend cashmere enough). Of course, you have a salary, so anything you wear should be of a cut/cloth/fit which surpasses your students.
     


  10. williamson

    williamson Senior member

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    Though I believe, very strongly, that "dressing up to teach" calls for a tie, I nonetheless think this to be excellent advice.
     


  11. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    Williamson, from your sig, I'm guessing you're in Europe? There are some places in the US where literally one prof in 200 will wear a tie to class. I think in Europe it's much more common.
     


  12. RogerC

    RogerC Senior member

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    Depends where in Europe, and depends which departments. The Brits tend to wear ties more often, the Dutch and Belgians much less. Also, natural science departments dress less formally than humanities and social science departments, or at least, that's my experience.
     


  13. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    But at least nowhere in Europe do you see profs in shorts and tshirt? There are many campuses in the US where this is common. Agreed on the generalization about departments - in particular, I think at most business schools profs are expected to wear suit and tie when teaching. Although at many of them, on other days of the week shorts and tshirt is still normal.
     


  14. academe

    academe Senior member

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    This does happen, especially in natural science departments. And I teach at a "posh" university that educated the Cambridges'! :embar: Many of our students are frequently better dressed than the staff...
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011


  15. joelmccrea

    joelmccrea Member

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    I'm in a similar boat as the OP. One thing I've noticed is that in my field and to some extent my department one can get away with dressing up some as long as the result does not looks remotely appropriate for the business world. Dandyish works well, and tweedy works OK.
     


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