Thursday, January 27, 2011

Style Mentors?

Do you have any role models 0n workday style?
Who are they?
What do they look like?
What do you wear to work?
I realize that I have lots of ideas of what I don't want to look like as I develop professionally, but I'm not sure I have any ideas of who I do want to look like.
At my last job I worked with a woman who has the sense of style I always thought I would acquire when I grew up and bought new clothes-- she wears unstructured jackets and raw silk jumpers and loose clothes of purple or green patches purchased from fair trade booths. She wears no make-up, her hair is still long in her forties, and her comfortable shoes rarely coordinate with her outfits (her style somewhat like JD at KBS). It works, but it's not me at work.
In my department here, I've got two short foreign women who end up looking like they don't care, even though I think that both do, a woman who looks great at fifty but wears nylons and sensible heels every day and lots of coordinating synthetic skirt outfits, none of which I am about to do. There's a professor who dresses more like I do, but to the point that I can't tell if she has any style either.
Thinking of the women at KU, well, Maria has distinct style, but it is nothing that I am going to emulate. HA sometimes has a look that I want to avoid-- the little practical scientist lady. Actually, my size (and my smile and my penchant for large necklaces and my unwillingness to cut my hair) make me unable to pull of a "very basic clean and well groomed science lady" look.
So who do I look to?
(Barbara McClintock, pictured, seemed to always be photographed in a blue sweater with a white collar. I don't have the personality to so limit myself. Perhaps that is one reason why I will never win a Nobel Prize.)


salsis said...

Liz and I often had a similar conversation on our long sampling trips. We decided that no matter what we wear, our hair gives us away - we just don't have much fashion style. But tucking in shirts helps! JD has taken her style up a notch (in a good way, not a matching heals with purse way). Wearing fitted clothes improves my look. I can see you wearing the raw loose silk fair trade style though. My question - I'm usually one of the few females at meetings. What style do men take more seriously - both in the outdoorsy conference world and the govt office setting (consisting of men who used to do more outdoor work but have become bureaucratic/ bring in the money/paper pushers)?

Erin said...

I love this photo! Well-dressed biology women are lacking. I think it is interesting that we all struggle with wanting to look/feel good and wanting to be taken seriously. It's too bad that they still aren't the same thing, even though women are now about 50% of academic biologists. How will that ever change?

Jenny said...

I have similar issues. Every time a I do an event (audience members are usually a mix of what you described), I rethink through possible wardrobe options, weight the pros and cons of a skirt, or button-up colored shirt. Usually I settle on a navy polo shirt and capri pants or jeans with sandals. It is boring, though comfortable. It is not particularly stylish, probably.