Finally wore my Fluevog Bondgirl boots to lecture on Friday. With a short black dress over a long-sleeve deep-pink T, black opaque tights, and a pink/purple/gold/blue silk pashmina.
These are serious boots that, if paired with the wrong items, can seem to walk me around instead of the reverse. I considered my efforts to ground the outfit as well as the boots successful.
But there’s a reason I’ve not lectured in these bad girls for the last two years: they CAN be perceived as unprofessional. They CAN also make me look at bit like I’m try to be “that prof” – the one whose eagerness to be perceived as cool (or hot, or phat, or whatever the coolkids are saying these days) can end up infantilizing and undermining her in the classroom.
Students in my 80-student intro class were particularly chattery on Friday. And there was some nudging and looking me up and down. Now, I don’t usually care if my students talk about me – my own undergraduate experience suggests that some students will inevitably gossip about instructors (and some students are, despite appearances, NEVER talking about instructors or the material instructors present to them). But I could not help but get that “toilet paper stuck to my boot” feeling.
Probably my own inhibitions about the boots are making me over-think Friday’s experience. Nonetheless, once again, I’m removing the Bondgirls from the professorial fashion line-up, again. Even as I obsess over how I might strike the balance between fashionable and professorial while wearing the boots that I love.