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 ❤
This week I am headed to a conference that poses a packing challenge because I am wrapping in 2 days of conference with 12 days of visiting my parents in Phoenix. This called for some extreme minimalism: 2 shirts, dress pants, 2 pairs of shoes, and a sweater.
I blogged recently about my hatred of dress pants, and the good news is I’ve found a pair I like a lot at Loft. I actually managed to make a conference outfit that feels like “me” this time around, also, which is progress because I really don’t enjoy business casual clothes.
I’ve started to think more seriously about building a business casual capsule wardrobe as well. I won’t be on the job market for another year, but I’m a slow shopper so I would like to get a start on this now. As part of a capsule wardrobe, I like to pick 4-5 colors and focus on buying clothes in those colors so everything matches (this makes packing for anything AMAZING!).
However, I’m not really sure what colors to go with on this. I would love to do black/camel as my neutral bases and blush (pictured here) and burgundy as accents. However, I can’t deny that I tend to gravitate toward navy and grays also. But, because I’m going to start with a small business wardrobe I think I should start with more limited colors. (PS: I just got these Sam Edelman flats and they are the most comfortable flats I’ve ever owned. Conference MVPs for sure).
What do you think? What colors would you go with? If you’ve built a business capsule, do you have any advice about what items to start with?
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:
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!
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.