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Dress me like a Dean

III

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Or perhaps, as a snooty academic, I should say "Dress me as a Dean would dress".

I'm about to take a job as a research dean at a medical school in the southwestern US. It's a pretty casual place (high desert, lots of folks in cowboy boots, etc). It will be my first obligate full-time suit-wearing gig. I currently own a solid navy bespoke suit, a navy windowpane (Hickey-Freeman), a gray glen plaid (Hickey-Freeman) and a gray sharkskin (BB). Four suits are obviously not going to cut it, so a wardrobe expansion is in order.

I was oogling a navy chalk stripe in a shop the other day and my girlfriend said "absolutely not - too Wall Street". I know there are a few other academics and medical types around here. What say you? Strong stripes OK? Too authoritarian for the Academy? How about brown? It could be a farm town if anything would grow there . . . .
 

Eccentric

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As the man in charge, you do have the liberty of dressing however you want. That being said, a tweed suit would fit the role perfectly.
 

Marcus Brody

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If i were you, I'd be heading here as fast as my virtual feet could take me. I'm just starting my journey toward academia, and when I start getting toward the top, I'm going to reward myself with just such a suit. They are fairly inexpensive to add to the wardrobe and will definitely add a somewhat casual but eminently academic vibe for when you want to go for that. Edit: Eccentric is a man of good taste and fast fingers.
 

idfnl

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Tweed, and an ascot is a must. A pipe wouldnt hurt
 

Dewey

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Not too many things can be said about dressing for academia that will be true at all the various schools and in all the various regions. But it does look to me like you can make almost anything work in academia. Eccentricity is easily embraced so long as it's not too aggressive or unstable (inconsistent).

The whole range of suits should be an option for you. Prince of wales, other classic plaids, solid brown and olive suits, brown shoes, and outfits without a lot of contrast appear to pass for laid-back. It's doubtful you'll need the warmth of tweeds in the southwest, which is too bad since they are good for down-to-earthy tones.

It's probably best for you to wear what you have for a month and take notes all the while. The appropriateness of various outfits will depend on your duties for the day. If you must do a lot of fund-raising, you may or may not want to blend in somewhat with potential donors. If you deal much with the faculty, you may or may not, depending on the case, want to blend in with them. And you will be looking at your equals and superiors as well.

I'd go slow and grow the wardrobe cautiously.
 

Marcus Brody

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The Southwest's high desert can get fairly cold, tweed might work. Also, you might want to look to this guy for fashion tips. Dressing like him can give you that added bit of authority to put rogue fraternities on double secret probation.
 

James Bond

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james_timothy

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-1 on the tweed. A research dean is not a research/teaching position. He is -not- trying to look like a professor.

I'd vote for gray prince of wales. Dewey's advice seems the most reasonable to me- I'd listen to him.
 

dirk diggler

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don't forget that as the dean you will have to shill for the school and hit up alumni and wealthy patrons to be donors, pay for new buildings, scholarships, etc. DRESS FOR WALL STREET
 

Stazy

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It's all in the glasses. Oliver People's for Nom De Guerre would work well.
 

JayJay

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Originally Posted by dirk diggler
don't forget that as the dean you will have to shill for the school and hit up alumni and wealthy patrons to be donors, pay for new buildings, scholarships, etc. DRESS FOR WALL STREET
dirk is right, dress conservatively. Your audience is not only the school, it's donors, state legislators, NSF, NIH, and others in DC. Your university administrators and other deans will be dressed very conservatively, and in suits.
 

badchad

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How do the other faculty dress? If you've made it to "dean" then you have obviously been in the academic sector for quite some time.

In my experience, a standard suit will suffice.
 

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