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.

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!)