proper attire.

sunny N stewart sunnyesq at
Tue Aug 18 00:01:36 EST 1998

In article <35D483F7.5E30ED2B at>,
	S L Forsburg <forsburg at> wrote:

>Data point:
>I am a junior faculty member in laid-back California.  I am
>mistaken for a secretary but in general the secretaries dress much
better than
>the scientists.  One of our jokes is that the worse someone is dressed,
>higher their rank.  Right now (typical summer attire) I'm wearing
>shorts, and a polo shirt.  Some days I wear a tee shirt.  During the
winter, I
>wear jeans or chinos, a decent shirt,  topsiders. I don't dress
>when I teach.   For those faculty dinners, I will bring in nice slacks
>a skirt), a very nice shirt, e.g., silk, a jacket, and loafers.  I wear
>earrings, and bracelets all the time but no makeup.  If I go off to give
>seminar, I'll wear nice khakis and a nice shirt and jacket.  I don't
>skirts much.
>I just got back from a FASEB meeting where most speakers were PIs.  A
>women dressed up for their talks (nice skirt, or a jacket), but most
>did not.  The women who dressed nicely tended to dress more nicely even
>they weren't speaking, so it wasn't obviously a special thing.   I gave
>talk in shorts, sandals and an (untucked) Madras shirt.  I did not feel
>this was inappropriate for this meeting venue which is definitely low
key and
>informal.  The feeling I got was that people dressed according to how
>felt comfortable.  I feel most comfortable dressing down, and around
here, so
>do most other faculty.
>I don't mind so much being mistaken for a student (given the grey hair
>accumulating! :-)  except that as Bharathi pointed out, it's usually
>the mistaker can't fathom the possibility that a woman can be a
Now I rarely agree with  Dr. Forsburg on anything bu this time it seems I
have to admit that her style of attire is apropos!

As a biotech attorney, we are a relaxed lot and I had long time ago
abadoned stiff suiting for a more casual look of khakis and such.

I think attireis important and its not because I am in my mid 40's. I
think it sets a tone and it will remain true whether we like it or not
that most books are judged by their covers!

sunny stewart
sunnyesq at


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