I’ve always loved clothes and picking just the right thing to wear. I haven’t always hit the mark, but most of the time I think I have gotten it right. Here are a basic rules I have for myself for those days that I am teaching:
– Always wear something that can clip a mic pack and a mic to. That means a lapel of some sort (cardigan, blazer, button down blouse), and a belt dress or pants/skirt for the mic pack. I have forgotten this from time to time. I talk with my hands, so holding the mic pack or mic while lecturing is far from ideal.
– Never wear cotton/polyester blend button down tops. Why? Sweat factor. Wow, TMI. Do you feel like you know me a little too much now? But seriously, that classroom gets really warm. I also admit to a rush of nervousness at the beginning of every single lecture, no matter how many I have done. No one wants to see sweat, how embarrassing.
– Dress my age. If my students are wearing it, I probably shouldn’t be. If my mother would wear it, not for me either. My skirt length is never shorter than above the knee. That is the most straight forward application of this particular rule.
– Don’t wear something that feels uncomfortable. When I am getting into a lecture, the last thing I need to worry about or do is fix/correct/rearrange my clothing. It would be way too distracting for students to watch and for me while I am trying to focus on the next coherent sentence.
Those are my basic rules of thumb. However, there is much more thought that goes into the daily selection of what to wear when I am teaching. I have actually begun to write down the combos I have worn to each different class/group of students, so to avoid repeats. Sounds crazy? Just read teaching evaluations. For my fellow faculty members, you know what I am talking about.