OOTD: Spotted dress pants

OOTD here’s what those Old Navy dress pants look like. Spending today working on the three presentations I have to give next week, & one of them is in front of the department…ahhhhh.

OOTD: Dress leggings

OOTD: Dress pant. leggings. The best invention??

Pixie pant from J. Crew

Dress pants for people who hate dress pants

This may be a problem that other people don’t have, but I really hate dress pants. They just don’t feel like “me.” I think it’s the combined memories of wearing really lame suits to high school speech and debate tournaments and the fact that dress pants seem about 20 years behind the skinny denim trend that makes me feel such disdain. Unfortunately part of adulting is ??? needing to wear dress pants sometimes? Even in grad school? To deal with these moments, I’ve spent too much time and money in the last couple years trying, buying, returning, and browsing dress pants. Now I can say there are four pairs of dress pants I’m willing to wear & one more pair on my to-buy list. Here they are:

1) The least dress pant: Pixie pants by J. Crew

These are basically leggings in a dress pant fabric. They’re comfortable and feel really cool with a long tunic and sweater. Downside, I don’t like tucking things into them, I think the front of them is just too…leggings…to get away with it. But for teaching, I love them. 

2) The most dress pant: Loft Trousers

I’m not usually a fan of boot cut, but with heels these manage to look pretty sleek, while still definitely being a dress pant. Good for feeling sassy at conferences. 

3) Skinny dress pants: Essential skinny pant from Loft

If you can’t get over the boot cut thing, like me, and still want something that qualifies as a really nice dress pant, this pair from Loft is my favorite favorite. They look high quality and still trendy. Also, they come in a tall and a petite inseam. Hurray!

4) EXTREME BARGAINS: Old Navy Pixie pant

Because we’re in grad school and $35 dress pants are the best. Also, comes in crazy fun patterns so that you can look like the cool teacher you are. 

5) Trendy AF: Everlane Culotte

Not sure these count as dress pants, but damn are they cool. Does anyone have them? I’ve been thinking about taking the $68 plunge for a while. I think these might be good “it’s summer and hot but I still need to wear pants I GUESS” pants.

This concludes all the pants I’ve scoped out to address dress-pant phobia. I’ll be back tomorrow with how I style them. In the meantime, what other dress pants do you all like? 

How to dress as a new graduate instructor

Q & A: What do I wear to teach or TA as a graduate student?

This was my first question when I was admitted to a Masters program–how fancy do I need to get? A few business casual items can go a long way toward building your teaching wardrobe. Some to start with:

Dress pants

3-5 button up shirts (polka dot, maroon, buffalo checked)

Comfortable shoes! (Flats, oxfords)

A nice cardigan (thrifted, here’s a good one), and a blazer

I basically mix these items in with my casual tees, dresses, and jeans for teaching purposes.

What to wear to academic conferences

What to wear to an academic conference, pt. 4.

This year I’m presenting on the last day of the conference. These J. Crew skinnies look nice but will be comfy when I head straight to the airport. This is my last day of outfit planning for an academic conference. Real embarrassing ootd shots from the conference itself coming soon!

Shirt- Loft

Pants- J. Crew

Wedges- Nordstrom Rack, old (similar)

Bag- Thrifted (similar)

What to wear to academic conferences

What to wear to an academic conference, pt.3. A pencil skirt can feel tooo business to me (especially when I show up to a conference and half the people there are in flannel/khakis, though I guess that’s a discipline-specific problem), but this button up is soft and casual, unlike a dress shirt, so it tones the skirt down a little.

Skirt- J. Crew

Bag- thrifted (similar)

Shirt- Madewell

Wedges- Nordstrom Rack (Similar)

Glasses- Zenni

Teacher style: fancy cut, casual fabric.

One way to make your wardrobe work for teaching and the rest of your grad school life is to find crossover pieces. This dress has a semi-fancy cut (waist definition, pockets!) but is a nice comfy cotton, so I wear it to teach or dress it down with my jean jacket to go to class. Fun fact: I bought this dress in Norway from this woman who worked in a clothing store because I wanted her to give me some contacts for my research. She did not pick up what I was laying down, and thought I bought the dress because I was trying to ask her out. #hazardsofresearch 

Dress: Like I said, Norwegian. Some similar options from Old Navy: 1, 2, 3

Shirt: Madewell

Shoes: Pikolinos, Nordstrom Rack score (similar)

Backpack: Herschel (backpack round up coming soon!)

Choosing a bag for grad school:

 A messenger bag or tote is a nice option in grad school, especially if wearing a backpack means you get mistaken for an undergrad. Messenger bags can look a bit more professional. Here are some bag I’ve been eyeing recently:

1- Madewell

2- Herschel

3- Pendleton

4- Fossil (sooo expensive but I’ve wanted it for forever…perhaps a graduation gift to myself)

Academic conference wear, pt. 1. My goal at conferences is to look professional without feeling too old or stuffy. The polka dot shirt does that for me here. 

 Shirt- J. Crew, old (similar)

Dress- J. Crew (similar and more affordable!

 Bag- thrifted (similar)

Shoes- Nordstrom Rack, old (similar)

Glasses- Old (Similar and affordable!