women scientists dressing down

jcoleman at msvax.mssm.edu jcoleman at msvax.mssm.edu
Sun Feb 11 14:59:43 EST 1996

In article <4fdavu$lie at masala.cc.uh.edu>, celestem at protein.bchs.uh.edu (Celeste Moore) writes:
>I have to agree with Dianna! People really do notice what you wear. For my oral  
>exams I was very careful to wear running shoes jeans, and an old sweatshirt,  
>and just for affect a ponytail. And many times during student seminars, when  
>new students decide to dress up to present( men and women), they are treated  
>much worse than those who dress down.  I think nice clothes are like wearing a  
>bulls eye!!!  I have chosen to handle this by dressing down when I am  
>presenting or in any position that could be critical. On the other hand I  
>choose to dress nicely on a day to day basis, once people bacame accustomed to  
>that, they hardly notice anymore, and I don't care if they do.

*laugh* This is totally different from my approach....I always dress up for
presentations, seminars and intend to buy a suit for my upcoming thesis
proposal defense...all other times I have a seatshirt jeans and a baseball cap
on for the most part :-) I started to dress up for my presentations more for me
than for the audience...mainly because I am totally phobic about speaking in
front of groups.....and for some reason if I dress up I convince myself that I
am knowledgable and confident...and I give much better presentations that
way...I feel that if I am very serious and business-like about it...I can't
possibly freeze up in the middle and run screaming from the room ;-) The first
time I got a few comments from one older grad student who asked me who
died..*laugh* Mainly because they had never seen me that way before...I think
there is a difference however been dress up and overdone...Other students don't
change their wardrobe for presentations...so I do stand out in that way...but
most of the faculty members know that I am very serious abou;my stuff and I get
what I consider sufficient respect...It may be that you get a harder time
because if you dress up they think you are really prepared and they try to
challenge you more...if you look like you just walked out of bed they think
you've had a hard time with the material and go easy on you? I think dressing
up shows that you take it serious...oral are not everyday affairs...and are
very important to the PhD so I try to send the message that I am profesional,
that I recognize the importance of the situation....I think it has paid off for


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