Carrie Bradshaw Goes to University

You know what they say about the best laid plans? That happened to me on Wednesday morning when I was up at 5:30 to get ready to go in and teach my first classes of the semester. I was totally going to take your advice, Blognation, and I was going to wear the blouse you picked out for me with my best grey dress pants and my red patent booties. I was going to look (as I have before when I have worn this outfit to teach in) professional yet feminine, and very spit spot smart.
But then I wondered what would happen if I tried on the plaid blouse with my floral skirt …

Total Pattern-Mixing Mayhem!
Usually I like to leave pattern-mixing to The Professionals but I’ve decided that this works for me because everything is in the same basic shades of grey, which is a much more flattering colour on me than black.
The Devil in the Details:

Grey Plaid Cotton Blouse: All Saints
Grey Floral Skirt: All Saints
Black Chevron Tights: Marks & Spencer
Red Patent Booties: Fly London
Going Rogue: Priceless
I know this is a bit of a remove from the professional dressing I’m trying to cultivate. I would never wear this to a conference or to a meeting with the Dean, but I wonder if the classroom is the one place where I can push the boundaries of what I count as professional dressing. As a medievalist I teach courses that are generally under-enrolled because there is an assumption that medieval literature is going to be difficult (true-ish) and boring (not true) and not at all relevant (not true either) and the first day is a Shopping Day for students, a day when they decide if they are going to stay in a course they have already enrolled in or drop it for something better or easier. I am not going to dumb down the material for lazy students, but I am going to bring my sartorial A-game to help me sell some Chaucer. I thought I would dress with some pizzazz to go with my lecture on why it is important to study medieval literature and why I won’t accept papers that are more than seven days late. I’m hoping my outfit–which I adored–belied some of the boring-but-necessary laying down of the law that has to be done on the first day and underscored my own creative approach to the material, which I love almost as much as I love this skirt.

This is how I congratulated myself on a day well-dressed.

Do you sometimes throw caution to the wind with your dressing when it is 5:30am and your judgement might be compromised?
Isn’t it great when it works out?

21 thoughts on “Carrie Bradshaw Goes to University

  1. Fabulous! So great- who could turn down a class taught by someone so obviously cool!The proportions and details are absolutely perfect, and the red boots of…A+!

  2. Fabulous! So great- who could turn down a class taught by someone so obviously cool!The proportions and details are absolutely perfect, and the red boots of…A+!

  3. I was the sole naysayer on the original choice, I think, and so now I get to say "I told you so". The one that you thought was BA? That was the winner! Obviously! And you look fab, and quite eccentric in a good way. The students will be constantly wondering what you might have in store for them.

  4. Okay, I'm going to be the naysayer here. I love the skirt and I love the skirt with the tights and boots, but I have to say I'm not a fan of the shirt with this. Of course, I am in the minority, so it just might be me.In my experience medieval courses (at least in history) enroll very, very well. Sorry to hear that's not the same for lit.

  5. I LOVE this outfit! Superlative pattern-mixing, and the divine boots are the clincher. Well done, D-Med!I really like the idea of the classroom as a place to take risks, sartorial included. I also love that your outfit complements your teaching style. This is perfect in so many ways, and I can't wait to see what you wear for the rest of the semester.I have a lot to say about E-Jo's smartpants analysis of privilege within the university structure, but rather than getting all riled up I'm going to give E-Jo a high five and go look at D-Med's fabulosity again.

  6. Teaching is absolutely the forum where we can dress interestingly which is why I like it so much! I ADORE this outfit. It is so smart and yet so fascinating. The proportions are all great and the patterns are just subtle enough to really make you want to study what is happening! Kudos to you for it! I too awake at an ungodly hour and predict that it will influence some interesting fashion decisions and boundary pushing!

  7. The structure of that skirt is fantastic! I never took medieval lit, but I did take an Old English course in which we had to learn Old English before we began reading the texts (I can still conjugate all the pronouns…) and my prof wasn't nearly as snazzy as you. Well done!

  8. Oh I love this outfit! The individual pieces are fantastic on their own, but together, they make a really wonderful look. Good for you for trying to turn the students towards Chaucer! I focused on Medieval Literature in college, so I'm a huuuuuge fan. It's a shame those kids who don't enroll won't know what they're missing.

  9. Woah, your first day of class outfit is crazy-amazing. I love the dark colors, the patterns, and the magic boots. (Oh magic boots, you taunt me with your desirability!) Plus with that head of hair that even A-Win wants to imitate- you are gonna change these students' perceptions of medieval lit for a long time.Yeay for D-Med! I'm excited to see how you bring it for the rest of the semester, too!

  10. I think waking up at 5:30 (egads, that's even earlier than I get up – by a whopping 15 minutes) gives you license to throw the best laid plans out the window. I'm curious to know what the drop rate is compared to prior semesters, and if dressing awesomely actually did make a difference to the students.

  11. Holy crap! This is possibly the best outfit ever in the history of outfits. (And in the history of medieval literature professorial fashion.) My outfit post tomorrow will be a GIANT step down after this extravaganza of awesomeness.Also, E-Jo: Holy crap, again! Your smartypants response to D-Med's smartpants explanation of her ensemble is also fantastic. Huh. You'd think you guys were literature professors or something.

  12. I LOVE this outfit. It demonstrates much greater sartorial bravery than I can typically muster. Bravo.Even more than the outfit, though, I love your explanation of it. For a variety of reasons today I've been thinking (read: infuriated by) the ways in which certain kinds of academic privilege gets made invisible. It's refreshing to hear someone articulate the way things like subject matter are routinely under-valued within the academy as well as the university system because they don't seem as "sexy"/ political/ etc. as other topics. That this is gendered to some degree is not surprising. I like that you find a way to address this in your clothes & teaching persona.

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