09 August 2008

Style Dilemma: The Right Stuff for Post Doc Job Interviews

MotorCityGirl is, as mentioned before, a brilliant academic. She's nearly done her PhD, and is entering a crazy round of interviews for professorships. There's an interesting dynamic with these interviews (that's a whole 'nother topic for a whole 'nother blog), but part of it is that she's trying to come back East, and the Eastern universities are particularly conservative. So she needs to choose her interview ensembles carefully. She made a Banana run a few weeks ago, and wrote with a shoe/suit dilemma...

I got my suits pants hemmed to fit with my carmel-colored kitten-heel (1"?) Mary Janes. They're about 1/4" above the floor with those shoes. Then I Friday I wore those shoes and my feet have been KILLING me. No blisters, but they totally aggravate the plantar faciitis that I've been working on for over a year now. I'm also not perfectly confident with the caramel color and the taupe/grey suit. I also have a pair of very comfortable Born Mary Janes in a conservative chocolate brown. The pants come about half-way down the 3" heel and still break a bit in the front. Is this too short?

If it isn't, then my plan is to wear the brown suit with the gold pinstripe with the carmel shoes on the two "less important" days and the taupe/grey suit with the Born shoes on the more important days.

MotorCityGirl, I don't have a ton of advice here. Most important thing is how you feel. And remember your audience. To be honest (and maybe I'll bring the wrath of the Academic Fashion World down on my blog for this, but I'll take that risk), I don't think the 65-year-old tenured profs (white males, of course) give a hoot about your shoes and suit - unless they're inappropriate.
That being said, I'm just not crazy about the brown suit with the caramel shoes - I know you said there's a pinstripe the shoes pick up, but that's just not coming across. And yeah, the brown mary janes render the pants too short. I do like the grey with the caramel. Personal choice. (Love the camera feature with the multiple shots. Note to self - see if own camera has this!)

In the end, though, you have to wear what you're comfortable in. All of these choices are perfectly appropriate. You want to project confidence, and you won't be confident if you're fiddling with your suit or limping.

Good luck with the interviews...and let us know how it goes!

1 comment:

MotorCityGirl (but maybe not for long) said...

Decided to go with the grey skirt instead of the pants and wore the tall brown mary-yands. So, I sauntered into the room quickly glanced around and noticed that everyone was wearing t-shirts and shorts. Decided to take of the jacket to look a bit less stogey, revealing the AT white blouse. I got to the next round of interview, so the fashion clearly didn't hold me back!