Post # 1
Okay bees…I’m trying to update my wardrobe to fit my postpartum body and to be a bit more grownup. I’m a PhD student and instructor at the college level, so I’m going for mostly business casual pieces (slacks, blazer, skirts, etc), but I’m stuck on what kind of jeans to get. I probably wouldn’t wear jeans to teach in regularly, but a lot of the professors at my university do so I want to get a pair that can be dressed up a bit wth a nice blouse and blazer. I was thinking dark wash skinny jeans would fit the bill, but I’m so terrible at fashion that I’m second guessing myself. So…any tips for what kind of jeans are good for dressing up slightly? I’m on a budget so I’m only getting one pair for now.
Post # 2
I think the two extremes of skinny jeans and a nice pair of trouser jeans (with a more flared leg) look great dressed up with a blazer, blouse, and pointy toe flats or heels.
Post # 3
catmom17 : if jeans are acceptable you can definitely dress them up! Shoes are an important part of the “dressed up jeans outfit” and usually something with a heel elevates the look of your jeans. And some pretty jewelry!
Post # 4
catmom17 : I really like Bannana Republic Skinny Sculpted jeans. You can go to their outlet factory stores and get them fairly cheap ($30ish).
Post # 5
I think dark wash, skinny jeans are great! They are easy to dress up and I think they look great with a heel.
I’m not sure, however, that I would wear them to teach. I think at many universities, you’ll find regular faculty teaching in all kinds of outfits.The same may not go for graduate students. Doctoral students who teach are often not many years older than some of their students, so I think it pays to look professional. Additionally, in general, it pays to look professional at the university, even on your more casual days. People in my department could be seen in varying work-wear- and some were more casual than others, but they were tenured faculty who had probably earned the right to dress up or down. When I was teaching as a doctoral student, though, I would never have worn jeans.
Post # 6
catmom17 : I’m also a PhD student and have been teaching for years. Academia is pretty casual (and in fact there’s been research showing that students actually rate teachers as better and more effective when they dress casually versus when they dress up). I wear dark skinny jeans a lot just because they’re pretty neutral and go with anything. I wouldn’t worry about being business casual for teaching – it’s actually not in your best interest!
Post # 7
I only taught for one semester during my PhD, and it was a lab course, but FWIW most days I wore dark or black skinny jeans with a blouse or sweater and some sort of jacket. And I was still better dressed than my students and the rest of my department.
If jeans are common in your department then I wouldn’t try too hard to overdress. I think blazers and pointy-toed flats or heels are a great way to dress up jeans and distinguish yourself from the students.
Post # 8
I taught as a PhD student, but I always taught lab courses, so heels or even ballet flats were not allowed for safety reasons. And we wore lab coats so blazers didn’t really make sense (I’m also in FL so a million layers really isn’t practical). I mostly just wore jeans with sneakers and a nicer top. That said, if I weren’t teaching in a lab, I would probably opt for flats rather than sneakers. I would say that most of the professors in my department wore jeans or khakis and business casual shirts. Blazers were very rare. But this was biology, where you’re in and out of labs all day, I imagine in a business program the attire would be much more dressed up.
Post # 9
I think dark skinny jeans with dressy shoes and a flowy top or blazer woud look great!
Post # 10
I feel like skinny jeans can only be dressed up if the top is dressy or paired with a blazer, the jeans are a dark wash, and you’re wearing them with heels. As a former teacher, I wouldn’t want to wear heels to teach.
Its easier to dress up black or dark trouser leg jeans, and I feel like they can look professional even if paired with a top and cardigan or flats.
Post # 11
FutureMrsBex : frillsandthrills : ChasingZenith : Thanks! This is exactly what I’m going for. Glad to hear it works.
Shoot4theMoon : Funny you say that. I was just at Banana Republic Factory Outlet the other day but I didn’t see any jeans. I LOVE their other clothes though so I’ll have to go back and check.
robsbeach : catskillsinjune : girlfriendphd : SithLady : It seems like the appropriate attire for TAs varies so much from university to university. I’m in the social sciences, so definitely don’t have to worry about lab safety. From what I’ve seen here at my university, it’s pretty split between jeans and dress pants/skirts so I’d like to get at least one pair of jeans and one skinny leg dress pant that’s not overly formal. I’m all about that capsule wardrobe life, so might stick to just two pairs of pants for now. Thanks for all the tips! That’s good to know the research about over dressing not actually being in my best interest. I’ll look for nice shirts that I can wear without a jacket too.
knotyet : You’re absolutely right about heels. Thanks for the feedback! I’m planning on dressy flats most days, so if that doesn’t end up working for skinny jeans I’ll try the other cut.