Last minute graduation dresses

Oh, graduation is next week and I haven’t looked for any commencement dress ideas for graduate students. Which means…I don’t really have “the dress” for my own graduation. I am probably just going to wear an old favorite (which I was also supposed to take to get hemmed, oops), but if you’re on the hunt for a grad school appropriate graduation dress that you can get fast, here are some options…

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How I buy business clothes on Poshmark

It all started with a suit. I stumbled onto the Poshmark site late last summer, thought, “huh, like Ebay, but only clothes,” and probably would have just left…but then I found it. A gently used J. Crew suit, in tall sizes, for $40. Could this site be for real?? I weighed my options. I figured if I lost $40 in some scam, I would be a little sad. But not as sad as I would be buying a $200+ suit for my impending time on the academic job market. I got out my credit card.

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The 8 pieces you need to start teaching

Hi friends! This post is all about what I bought to get started teaching as a grad student. This was my big question after I accepted my offer to start my MA (yeah I know, I should have been looking for apartments and registering for classes). I think with 8 pieces or so, you have a good start that can make lots of outfits, whether you are TA-ing once a week or teaching your own class several times a week.

I suggest a nice work bag, 2 work shirts, a dress, a blazer, a pencil skirt, dress pants, and one pair of extremely comfortable work shoes. Sources here.

To extend these pieces, I mix my casual wear in with a couple of dressier pieces. I think t shirts and jeans can look classy, especially with a blazer.

I also tend to add in my more casual shoes, like sandals and boots. Though if you’re in the market for several pairs of teaching shoes, I think oxfords are so geeky and perfect for grad school.

If you’re getting ready to make the move to start teaching, I hope this list helps you start to make a workable wardrobe ❤

How to avoid looking like an undergrad in grad school

 

Is this a common grad school anxiety? I think it is. If you’ve come straight out of your undergrad, you probably want to look older so that you don’t get hit on by some guy in the dining hall line who asks, “so, are you a freshman?” (#truestory). Some ideas:

-Messenger bag or tote>backpack. Some suggestions.

-Mix one business casual piece in with your casual wear (in this case, oxfords).

-Sweat pants/workout clothes are awesome and you have every right to wear them but they may increase the risk of the aforementioned junior-guy-hits-on-you scenario.

-Glasses have been shown to boost your perceived credibility.

You could also just decide you don’t care if someone mistakes you for an undergrad! But on days when you do care, the above can be helpful.

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.

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?