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presentation wear

nomovement

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I normally post on the streetwear board but I have a question that men's clothng might field better. I found out today in one of my classes that at the end of the semester, a lot (10-15) of very important people are coming to my class's final critique. I was already under the assumption that there would be a few guests for the critique; but not this many and more importantly not anybody as important as the people coming. I planned to wear a pair of calf length dress boots, dark black (raw) jeans, and a white button up with a tie-which would be ok for 3 hours; but this critique, due to the amount of participants will probably be about 7-8 hours. I don't think I can handle a tie for that long and i've never had a shirt in my entire life that stays tucked in properly. I thought maybe a jacket might give me a little more room; but then I figured that I'd just defer to the experts. So what do you guys think, or what would you wear for an 8 hour critique/presentation? Keep in mind that if I'm too formal, I'll look silly standing next to my proffessors-who are more intelligent than stylish.
 

Sator

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Originally Posted by nomovement
I normally post on the streetwear board but I have a question that men's clothng might field better. I found out today in one of my classes that at the end of the semester, a lot (10-15) of very important people are coming to my class's final critique. I was already under the assumption that there would be a few guests for the critique; but not this many and more importantly not anybody as important as the people coming. I planned to wear a pair of calf length dress boots, dark black (raw) jeans, and a white button up with a tie-which would be ok for 3 hours; but this critique, due to the amount of participants will probably be about 7-8 hours. I don't think I can handle a tie for that long and i've never had a shirt in my entire life that stays tucked in properly. I thought maybe a jacket might give me a little more room; but then I figured that I'd just defer to the experts. So what do you guys think, or what would you wear for an 8 hour critique/presentation? Keep in mind that if I'm too formal, I'll look silly standing next to my proffessors-who are more intelligent than stylish.

In front of an academic audience I would enthusiatically recommend something like a tweed jacket in colours like brown with plaids/checks. I would suggest that chinos would look better than jeans. A white shirt would be a bit boring with this combination and something like a solid lightish to medium blue would be better.

It sounds like you've never worn a tie in your life or if you did once before you were so young your mother tied it for you and you probably need her if you were to tie it again
. In which case you might like to then drop the tie and instead put a pocket square in your jacket. Academics commonly wear a jacket without a tie, and you don't want to outdress your professors.

As for 'calf length dress boots' - what may I ask are they? I am just afraid you are going to tell me they are Doc Martins or Harley Davidson boots....
 

Rolo

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You need to provide more context.

What type of course/field of study? What is the nature of the presentation? Who is the audience (other than important)? Doctors? Lawyers? Executives? Politicians? Etc. Are you an undergrad or a graduate student? Are you presenting alone or as part of a group?

The rule of thumb is to dress professionally whenever making a presentation. The key is that what constitutes "professional" will vary depending on the context. It is always easy to forgive students due to their limited means if they attempt to dress in a professional manner. General thoughts, chinos or dress pants rather than jeans. No sneakers/trainers. Sport coats are nice, but can be expensive and thus can be forgiven if not worn. However, if you're not wearing a coat, wear a tie (it looks like you made the effort). Most important, iron your clothes!!!

I'm assuming you're not in law school or B-school. If you are, dress for the job your seeking. Others will.
 

Holdfast

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As Rolo implies, I would agree that the key is to know your audience. I personally wear just a touch above what they're wearing. Enough to give you a bit of automatic gravitas and aura of knowledge but not so much as to seem uppity or arrogant. Be careful not to overdo it, but you certainly don't want to seem shabby either. I fully appreciate that academics have a sort of wilful reverse snobbery about dressing smartly but they are not the be all and end all in the world. Besides, unless they have a remarkable strength of character, they have been through the same socialisation effects that the rest of us have and have been conditioned in the same way to connect a smart, neat appearance with confidence and knowledge, whether they admit to it or not.

In the long term I think you have a net benefit to following a smart approach.

If the audience are in jeans and shirts, go for odd jacket and dress trousers. If the audience are in jacket/trousers, go for a conservative suit and tie. If some of the audience are in suit and tie, match them and consider a tie with a little more interest.

Regardless of your dress, remaining relaxed but confident when presenting goes a long way to creating the right effect.
 

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