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From-To: From Grad Student to Professional

I have seen several bloggers posting “from-to” charts as we transition into Fall. And I thought I would put my own spin on it!

As I mentioned in my “what I do” post, despite being labeled a PhD student, we are actually professionals. But, I should clarify this point. You start grad school as a struggling, completely clueless student (let’s be honest I spent most of my first year crippled with self doubt and I cried a lot… a lot!). Eventually you are expected, about half way through, to transform into a professional academic.

Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle with self doubt (I mean I can’t believe I am seen as an expert on anything), but I am expected to present at conferences and teach. This means that somewhere along the way your wardrobe has to evolve from casual and exhausted grad student to respectable professor (who is still exhausted but doesn’t look it). Presentation is especially important for young professors. I still look like a student, and I often have students who are older than me. Like it or not, dressing is important for conveying authority.

Over the past couple years I have graduated my look (pun intended) from casual grad student to polished professional!

From: t-shirt // shorts // stripe top // jeans // tank dress // sneakers // sandals // tote
To: sweatshirt // skirt // blazer // stripe top // jeans // dress // low heels // high heels // tote
Don’t worry, I am not giving up my t-shirts, sundresses, and Jack Rogers completely. I still have the weekends! 

Dress for the job you want, right?