Black and Gold

Come March, many of us in academia have gotten to know our students a little bit, and it’s very tempting to let the university classroom become a more casual space. But experience has taught me that it’s in everyone’s best interests if a level of formality is maintained in the classroom, even as our discussions of course material get a little deeper, and students become more comfortable with me and with the material under consideration. I wish to avoid – A.VOID. – any situation where a low mark is read as a betrayal of trust between friends rather than a necessarily honest appraisal of a student’s work.

And so, as in November, I walk the line between bringing it in terms of sartorially interesting ensembles (to keep eyes front and cultivate student engagement) and keeping things profesh.

This was my March 1st teaching outfit: 

I bought this dress (on sale) with Janey Em in January. The light in these photos is brightening the black, but I couldn’t wait for better pictures. I’ve dressed it down quite a bit for teaching – but I’m soooo looking forward to dressing it up (for a non-teaching event) at some point very soon.

Polyester crepe & gold silk dress: BCBG MaxAzria
T-shirt: Kenneth Cole
Bangle: The Bay (remixed)
Not-as-opaque-as-I’d-hoped tights: Hue
OTK boots: France Mode (via Shoe Heaven, remixed)
Mug slogan: I love not camping. (This is my favourite mug.)
I’ve decided that the black and gold keep things formal enough that a cotton t-shirt and flat boots don’t make things too casual. Here’s a close-up of the belting, etc:
Now I’m wondering what else to do with the dress for classroom wear. And frankly, now that I’ve made it teaching appropriate, I’m having a hard time imagining dressier styling options.
What would you do for either or both, StyleNation? 
(I know you’ve already got some excellent ideas.)

19 thoughts on “Black and Gold

  1. Pingback: End-of-term – Hoo-ahhh! | In Professorial Fashion

  2. Fun dress!I think Sheila's suggestions for dressing it up are spot on. And I would throw a huge comfy cardigan over it for a causal look – or pull it up and wear it as a tunic with some black slacks.

  3. Love that mug! Why the heck people camp is beyond me, I have a nice comfy bed at home – thank you very much. I'm lovin the sparkly on the dress and the OTC boots are just the right amount of edge. Cheers to the great indoors ;)Doreen

  4. This is Star Trek-tastic! You sort of look like a beautiful alien whom Riker would totally mack on. You may or may not give in to his advances, though you should know that, if you do, it will not turn out well for you. Yes, I'm still alive and almost through the wilderness.

  5. I am on team bare legs and gold gladiators. This outfit is beautiful.I think you expressed my failures in the classroom in that first paragraph better than any other articulation I've ever heard. Because I am a lot younger than many faculty (and younger looking) students think we're in the "chum" zone very quickly. The fact that I am super casual in my speech doesn't help.

  6. What a fantastic dress! The gold piping really gives it a sharp, refined look. Now for styling…For another professional look, I would try a khaki blazer and black tights. And for a dressier look, I wonder if black tights and black patent pumps could work? Can't wait to see other ways you wear it!

  7. I am totally impressed — though certainly not surprised — by your ability to make this fabulous dress classroom-ready! Well done.I'd love to see this with gold gladiators, though obviously that's a few months off. I like both the belted cardigan and blazer ideas posted above. Would it work with your fabulous blue/teal velvet?Last but not least, I demand pictures of the Sparkle Crotch Tunic. I've got your back, J-Em!

  8. *Allison: Thanks! And what is this style you're calling bare legs? I sense that I should know it, but it seems so very far removed from my current icy, snowy, blowy reality. . . *E-Jo: Thanks. And it's good to know you're going the smart route and doing some training for that conference meet-up. Best to get your tolerance to a tolerable level well ahead of time. *Katie: I know, right? Why do people camp? Also, thanks for your excellent suggestions. I went on Amazon last night and filled my virtual shopping basket with potential golden sandal candidates. *Janey-e: It's the Chainmail Vulva top. And no one needs to see it. But if they are to see it, you'll have to do the showcasing as I hid it in your apartment before I left!*Anne: I know, right? The gold's more difficult than I anticipated. That said, I think Katie's suggestion for the belted cardigan could work. Plus, maybe I could add some red, or another bright colour?*Sheila: Ohmigoddess! You're totally right. It's a trekkie dress, for sure. And thanks for your excellent suggestions. I'll definitely try to work out the belt angle.*Courtney-E: Thanks! Hmmm. I like the blazer idea. And you're right: the dress is dressy all on its own, so I probably just need to not try to make it casual and it'll be just fine. *Cynthia: Ha! I vote for freaky-wear tomorrow!*Jesspgh: Thanks for stopping by! Your dress collection is delectable, so I fully understand your desire to give it as much exercise and airings as possible. Plus, I love your funky professional look. I see no need for change!

  9. Gosh I adore that dress and there is something simultaneously hip and profesh/professorial about this ensemble. It can be so challenging to figure out what to share in order to foster an environment of eager participation and how to keep enough distance to limit any entitled feelings of friendship. I want my students to identify with me on some level and view me as approachable. I believe they work harder and participate with more thoughtful obligation when they do. But I am also a young female which sometimes causes them to treat me as though I am TOO approachable. And for female academics, the professorial body is already probably more of a focus than it should be. I am sure some think I dress like a wacky art teacher librarian stereotype. And if they are commenting in evals (which happens at least once a semester) then I should likely tone it down. But I don't think I will because I derive a lot of personal enjoyment from my style.

  10. Yeah, like Sheila, I'm pretty much lost on metallic gold for daywear. I would probably never have worn that dress into the classroom! You are a bolder woman than I.Maybe I should wear something really freaky to class tomorrow. Although I think the fact that they almost all did badly on the first exam (this is a grad level survey class) kept eyes pretty well front yesterday.

  11. Love that dress! What about pairing it with a blazer for another casual/professional look? It seems like a pair of heels would be and no t-shirt underneath would be about all you would have to do to dress it up.xoxo ~ Courtneyhttp://sartorialsidelines.blogspot.com

  12. Holy smokes, that is some kind of awesome Star Trek dress, A-Dubs! Love it.For dressy, swap in a thin gold belt and strappy sandals. Very 70s disco queen!For more casual, I don't know…I have trouble mixing really shiny gold as casual. I think you did a good job with this look.

  13. Wow, nice dress! I don't know that I ever realized how much you have to take into consideration when dressing for academia. Unfortunately I'm at a loss for how to style the dress for teaching other than pairing a cardigan over it. The gold is throwing me off. However, I'd love to see you dress it up!

  14. I think you can wear that excellent, excellent dress and wear it in the same way you had planned to wear the Sparkle Crotch Tunic (whatever that may have been).This is StyleNation's cue to ask for pictures of the STC, btw. Don't let me down, StyleCitizens! (You will not be sorry.)

  15. I need that mug! I live in a state where everyone is uber-outdoorsy, and while I'll go hiking, like hell I'm going camping.I look forward to seeing that dress in the summer with some strappy sandals (gold and Grecian, perhaps?) and minimal jewelry – just let the dress shine. But for now, could you layer a cardigan over the dress and then belt both the dress and sweater with the dress tie?

  16. This dress is awesome. I can't think of styling suggestions as I may or may not be on my third G & T of the night (I'm practicing for a later this month conference meet up with Rinty the Crusher and Early Modern Cool Kid) but I'm impressed by your ability to take a dress that leans towards the dressy and making it teaching appropriate.

  17. What a fun dress! I think it could be dressed up with some fancy shoes and bare legs. I love the drapyness and belting.

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