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Monday, August 21, 2006

Dress What You Are

OK, so first day of classes here at the University of Mississippi School of Law (see recent post on exactly where that is and who we are not)

First pressing question: What to wear?  Answer:  Dress what you are.

I am teaching labor law today, so I am looking very much like a Teamster (well, a Teamster that I remember once bargaining against during collective bargaining negotiations).   In solidarity with workers everywhere, I will strive for that proletariat look throughout the semester.

Tomorrow, I teach employee benefits law, so I will go with the distinctly nerdy look (although I don't think that I will wear a pocket protector, but who can really say?).  This class will actually just require me to dress like I normally do.

As for the suit and tie and all that mumbo jumbo, I'll leave that to the corporate law and prosecutor-types (and yes, Jeff, to those who teach Article 9  and Secured Transactions for a living).

Posted by Workplace Prof on August 21, 2006 at 11:02 AM in Life of Law Schools | Permalink


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I love to wear stylish dresses which I bought from Brooks Brothers store through couponalbum.com...

Posted by: Tazanna | Jan 16, 2008 2:21:13 AM

I guess I'll show up in one of these. ;)

Posted by: Simon | Aug 22, 2006 9:47:12 AM

Steve: here we go

I love the color.

Posted by: Kate Litvak | Aug 22, 2006 2:28:39 AM

Steve, not to worry - you are always funny. and indeed, there is an established correlation between height and respect -- for example, your neighbors at university of florida found in 2003 that tall people earn considerably more money throughout their lives. Another University of North Carolina study analyzed the results of four large-scale research studies - three in the United States and one in Great Britain - which followed thousands of participants from childhood to adulthood, examining details of their work and personal lives. The study controlled for gender, weight and age and found that mere inches cost thousands of dollars. In fact, each inch in height amounted to about $789 more a year in pay. Height was associated with subjective ratings of work performance, such as supervisors’ evaluations of how effective someone is on the job, but also objective measures of performance, including sales volume. This particular study even suggests that height had more significant impact than gender in determining income, and its significance does not decline as a person ages.

And Steve + Stilletos, well, the sky is the limit...

Posted by: Orly Lobel | Aug 22, 2006 1:29:23 AM

Kate -- If you come across a pair of stiletoes (sp?), in a men's 16, feel free to send them my way.

Posted by: Steve Vladeck | Aug 21, 2006 8:55:21 PM

I use teaching as an excuse to show off my collection of heels and expensive dresses. Nothing is more certain to distinguish you from students than the ability to walk in heels. Especially if you are a 6'8'' guy.

Posted by: Kate Litvak | Aug 21, 2006 8:52:14 PM

Orly -- I have no doubt, and meant only to be funny (but, as usual, failed).

I do wonder, though, if I were the same person, but eight inches shorter, whether I would be able to get away with what I get away with....

Posted by: Steve Vladeck | Aug 21, 2006 5:46:52 PM

Steve, i may not be 6'8 but believe me, i am taller than a good number of men prawfs. i do think there is an age+gender factor that makes more formal attire for some more important.

Posted by: Orly Lobel | Aug 21, 2006 5:36:08 PM

Once again, it pays to be 6'8". What I wear seldom matters, as long as I wear _something_ (not always an obvious, mind you, here at UM).

So, I roughed it today for the first class, and wore a long-sleeve button-down dress shirt and dark khakis. But I'll be back in polo-shirt-land by early next week.

Orly -- Is it your gender, or your height?? :-)

Posted by: Steve Vladeck | Aug 21, 2006 5:08:26 PM

I wear a suit also, but it's because I see students as like clients, and I always wore a suit for clients (even the entertainment industry clients, who used to razz me about it). Also as far as I can tell it seems to be the norm among younger profs, male or female, but I haven't been paying close attention.

Posted by: Bruce Boyden | Aug 21, 2006 5:07:48 PM

thanks Jeff and Paul for the fashion advice. i was advised early on, and have followed this advice, that as a new female prawf i need to wear a suit while my senior colleagues are off wearing a t-shirt to their classes.

Posted by: Orly Lobel | Aug 21, 2006 4:34:21 PM

When teaching, I aspire to the "senior partner at Saturday morning partners' meeting look": gray slacks and blue blazer from Brooks Brothers, oxford cloth button down, Lands' End repp tie, and penny loafers (always with the "beef roll" trim). If I could actually manage it, I'd go with contact lenses and reading half-glasses (so much more intimidating when you look over the top of them), but I've opted for the round academic-looking wire framed progressives.

Remember: think Yiddish, dress British. (The Hollywood version is "write Yiddish, cast British" which is why Robert Redford and Jane Fonda starred in Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park.)

(This is such a joke. I hope my wife reads it. I shop for clothes every five years whether I need them or not.)

Posted by: Jeff Lipshaw | Aug 21, 2006 11:14:35 AM

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