Following my post on power, expression and style, I’m going to convey what I mean in a practical way: Meet my professor on South Asian history:
This is how he dresses pretty much every class: khakis, oversized sweater with a button-up underneath, collar tucked into the neck. My professor is not fashion-conscious; I asked him what he thinks of his own style and he said, “comfortable”. How accurate!
Though he is not consciously styling himself in a particular way to convey anything, just by what he’s wearing, you can extrapolate a lot about him. Yes, he’s dressed for comfort. But he’s also dressed in a way that makes him extremely approachable as a professor. I asked him to take a couple photos, and he decides to sit on the table, legs crossed at the feet. Even the body positioning is comfortable and approachable. My professor is NICE. And it’s easy to tell, just from what he’s wearing. He laughs a lot when he lectures. Why? Because history is hilarious; it is truly stranger than fiction. His clothes are a great indicator of how he teaches: relaxed. He doesn’t come in wearing a suit and tie demanding the class pay attention, open up their textbooks, and silently follow along. Despite all his education and travels, he doesn’t take himself too seriously, and you can tell from just this photo.
I asked Joan what she thought of her style for today, and she said she hadn’t thought about it at all. But, she did tell me in two words what she was aiming for, “comfortable and warm”. Indeed, look at all the knits!!
Again, Joan is dressed for practicality, but has done so in a inadvertently stylish way. Joan’s personality is fun and she is also super, super nice. You can tell that she hadn’t meticulously thought about her outfit, just comfortable and warm; no need to get pedantic. But the combination of everything worked out well, no? The cheeta print scarf is what really tops it off, the colours playing perfectly with her knit headband.
By the way, despite dressing for comfort, notice she’s not wearing Uggs. THANK YOU, JOAN.
Both Joan and my professor are dressed in ways that reflect who they are, despite really not thinking about it. They both dress in unintimidating ways, and so are their personalities. They’re sincerely nice and friendly, and I think that’s evident in the way they’ve un-conscientiously styled themselves.